Oren Gatten had himself a hunt he will never forget, as he arrowed this 371-2/8 gross trophy bull.
Oren writes, "Archery has always been one of my passions. Six years ago I spent $150 to buy a used bow, six arrows and three broad heads. My plan was to spend the Labor Day weekend looking for elk, but I never really expected to see one. Imagine my enthusiasm when I called in and harvested my first bull. I was hooked for life.
This year I had acquired enough bonus points to draw a tag in northern Utah. I knew of two ranches with an abundance of nice elk, and made arrangements with the landowners for access. I set a goal to kill any nice branch-antlered bull which presented a good shot.
On the opening morning of the hunt, I dressed in light clothing, sprayed down with Scent-Away, and walked about 1/2 mile looking for one of the landowner’s tree stands in the dark. My plan was to be settled in before daylight, but I couldn’t find the water hole or stand. As the sky began to lighten, I finally found the stand and hurried to get up the tree. I screwed in a bow anchor and got ready for an uneventful morning. I did not expect to see anything after wandering around and making so much noise just getting into the stand, but almost immediately a deer approached the water. I was positioned between the trunks of two aspen trees and perfectly silhouetted against the sky, but I kept still and she never saw me. While she drank from the muddy water I could hear a large animal moving through a distant aspen grove. I was certain only a cow or another hunter could be making so much noise, so I dug into my pack for a drink and more scent spray. While I was putting the drink back into my pack, I saw antler tips above the brush in front of me.
I scrambled to get my bow and release ready. I could tell the antlers belonged to an elk and he was patiently testing the breeze coming directly from my position. All I could do was wait and hope he did not detect me. After several minutes he started walking and never stopped till he was drinking in the middle of the pond. I had a 12 yard broadside shot, and the arrow hit perfectly behind the shoulder. I dropped my bow and clung to the tree as the shakes took over. The sun was not yet cresting the distant ridge, and the biggest elk I have ever seen in the wild would soon be wearing my tag."