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"Fantastic Archery Elk Hunt for Troy"
Photo provided by: Troy Bennett

Troy Bennett sent over these photos and his story about his awesome hunt for this big 'ole bull.

Troy writes, "On September 14th in Eastern Colorado, my friend Lance and I set out in hopes of both tagging a monster bull with our bows. We were doing a DIY hunt on public ground in the National Forest and knew it was not going to be easy.

If that wasn't hard enough, it was the first day of muzzleloader season, and as a bow hunter, that's not a good thing. We headed up the mountain and just as expected, we started passing blaze orange headed in the same direction. As the sun started to come up on the saddle we had set up on, Lance hit the bugle hoping to get a response. It didn't take long for the northern slope of dark timber to erupt with a response. We checked the wind and started our chase. We have been hunting public ground long enough to know it was a real bull and not just another hunter.

We knew he was about 200 to 300 yards away, but not knowing if he was coming or going, we eased in his direction. Lance continued to bugle every 5 minutes or so to keep him talking and as we got within about 100 yards, we started raking and snapping tree limbs to really get this bull fired up. As Lance and I were coming up with our final plan to take this bull, a second bull bugled extremely close from the direction we had just come from. I immediately headed toward the closer bull trying to get some distance between me and the caller. I got only about 25 yards from Lance when I saw movement coming down the hillside through the dark timber. As the bull got closer I glanced at the antlers and knew it was a shooter, but did not make the
mistake of trying to picture it on my wall.

As I looked for possible shooting lanes I quickly realized I didn't have any until he was at about 5 yards. The bull was now about 40 yards away coming right at us. Lance let out another aggressive bugle and the bull instantly started shredding an aspen tree. I knew that bulls usually have their eyes closed when rubbing trees, so I started moving closer to find a shooting lane. I got about 10 yards closer when I finally got a shooting lane; unfortunately, I still needed the bull to come about 20 yards farther down the hillside to use it.

Lance let out one more bugle and started ripping down tree limbs. The bull couldn't take it anymore and let out a monster bugle right in my face. I couldn't help but put myself in all of the elk stories I had read in magazines over the years. The feeling sent chills down my spine and still does when I think about it.

The bull was now headed my way and was going to pass right through the only shooting lane I had, at 15 yards away. I slowly pulled back the bow as he started to enter my shooting lane. As I got to full draw and looked down the sights, the bull stopped broadside in the middle of my shooting lane, listening for the bull he believed to be in the area. I released the arrow and sealed the deal. Knowing the bull wasn't going far, I instantly looked back at Lance throwing my hands in the air. Lance was already sprinting towards me pumping his fists in the air.

I walked over and got my arrow, which had passed through the bull and stuck into the hillside. We only had to track the bull about 75 yards before we saw the antlers sticking up. I was shocked when I realized what I had just shot. It was a 6x6, that gross scored 330 and was a giant in my eyes. After 3 seasons of chasing elk with a bow and being left with tag soup I finally got to put my tag on one!"

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