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"Exciting, Fun Elk Hunt for the Blackburn's"
Photo provided by: Scott Blackburn

Scott Blackburn, aka patientlywaiting, wrote, "The is my wife's first bull and her very first elk. We've been married over 34 years. She loves the mountains, camping and going hunting & fishing with me but not what you'd call a hunter. About 31-32 years ago she shot two antelope which is all that she has shot. Now after putting her in for the past 14 years she finally drew a tag.
I made two trips into the area during the archery hunt before Labor Day and seen bulls, but nothing big. All the elk were pretty holed up in the timber during the day due to the heat and full moon and it wasn't until my last trip which was the last two days of the archery hunt (September 9th & 10th) before I heard them bugling and finally seen some decent bulls.

Once her hunt opened on the 18th, we seen bulls each morning and evening and she could have shot several smaller bulls each day, but nothing we wanted. I'm pretty proud of her because she hunted as hard as a guy could for three long days, passed up bulls, leaving camp each morning by 5am and dragging back in the trailer around 10 pm. We GPSed over 17 foot miles hunting and another 10 miles by the time we got the meat out and I never heard one complaint. And during the day it was pretty boring with no bugling and we were too far to go back to camp.

Other than in Yellowstone and Teton Park, she had never seen a bull bugled in and really had fun watching and hearing them screaming back and forth acrossed the canyon and watching younger bulls trying to steal cows from the older bulls. Also we were bugling and watching a bull acrossed the canyon and huge 5 point came in silently behind us and bugled at us. She said she thought we were going to get ran over.

Tuesday evening we were watching a canyon with a seep in it where each morning and evening we had seen elk coming and going, apparantly to the water, including some decent bulls and where just that same morning we blew a stalk on a nice six when the wind changed on us.

It was around sunset and I bugled and we immediately heard a bugle 400-500 yards above us on top of the ridge. We started moving up the hill out of the quakies where we could cut the distance and where we could see the hillside better. We traded bugles again and this time could tell he was moving down the ridge to our left which gave us an idea where he might appear. I bugled again and he bugled right back even closer to where we hoped he would end up and within a few minutes he walked out of the trees. We started scrambling around trying to get my wife into postion for the shot and I ranged him a 345 yards. I'm not sure where the fire was, but due to the smoke in the air to the west it was getting dark much faster than the night before, plus we were on a steep hillside where my wife couldn't find a good shooting position and would start to slide when she'd try to get into positon. I finally kicked a few holes in for my feet and my butt then leaned into the hill and let her slide down so she was sitting on my leg before she could get him in the scope while all the time I'm cow calling and bulging to keep him in the opening. Luckily, during all of this he moved even closer and was 310 yards thrashing a tree, but giving her only a straight on shot which was not what she'd hoped for. It was getting darker by the minute, while the bull is standing there straight onto us bugling and killing the tree when my wife suggested that I quit cow calling and maybe he'd move. A few moments after I stopped calling, the bull stepped to the side completely broadside and that's when she took the shot.

At the shot, the bull jumped and bucked one time then walked maybe 10' where he stood for 3-5 seconds before falling forward on his face in the hillside. Talk about an excited women when he hit the dirt. By the time we picked up all of our gear and got our packs on and worked our way through the trees and dead fall between us and the elk we had to use our head lamps to find him. Luckily 30 minutes later the full moon popped over the hill and it was bright the rest of the night.

After picture taking, caping, more pictures, quartering, and more pictures and then hauling the meat to the trees so it would be in the shade the next day, we loaded up with meat and the horns and headed for camp around 2am.

She shot the bull at dark, we made it back to the 4-wheeler at 4am, and in our trailer at 4:30am Wednesday morning just as our alarm went off to get up. One long, great day. We only slept 4 hours, and spent the next 12 hours hauling the rest of the meat and didn't get back into camp Wednesday night until 11pm.

It was a great hunt and I was lucky to share it with such a great gal. Next year she might just have a Mt Goat tag since she now has 15 goat points. I hope so."

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