Danny Henderson writes, "I shot this bull in Central Montana on September 12th, 2014. I had gone up the day before opener with my brother and we each filled our cow tags on the opening weekend. However, we spotted a really nice bull the day before the season opened and believe that it is the same bull I shot the next weekend.
On the 2nd weekend I headed back into the same country where we had run into a few bulls and seen this really nice bull with long swords. I didn't get up into the area until about 11:00 and after getting setup I left the vehicle around noon to go hunting. I had heard a bugle off in the distance down a deep draw, so I headed out in that direction. Twenty five minutes after leaving my pickup I spotted 2 rag horns and called them into 40 yards, but passed on both being my freezer was already full of good meat as I was looking for a good mature bull. After stopping to glass the surrounding area and to have a bite to eat, I spotted some elk 1-1/2 - 2 miles off in the distance and so I began my stalk.
The mosquitos were absolutely horrendous, making stopping to glass for very long or slowly stalk, almost unbearable. They must have had a recent hatch with the fall rains Montana had been getting. It took me about an hour and a half to get within 300-400 yards of the bedded elk. After surveying the terrain better and making sure there were still elk in the spot, I moved in multiple times trying to choose a path to the bull. He was up keeping his cows together when he let out his last bugle at 3:08 in the afternoon, raising my adrenaline level. The next half hour was one of the worst 30 minutes I have had hunting due to the multiple times of having to freeze solid for 3-5 minutes at a time while hundreds of mosquitos feasted on me. I had to tell myself multiple times during my stalk that the torture will be well worth it and that I had come this far already.
Finally I had gotten within 100 yards and was closing in on my bull, which had bedded down behind some fallen burnt timber. He had 11 other elk with him making the final approach very slow and agonizing, however, in the end worth the wait. I was able to get to where I could see his rack sticking above the timber and was able to range a tree at 41 yards. He began to slowly stand up when I realized it was now or never and estimated him at 50 yards, as he was just beyond the tree I ranged. I released my arrow hearing it hit its mark. I threw my binos up and saw almost 2 feet of my arrow sticking out the opposite side and slow work its way out, falling to the ground. He followed suit and crashed no more than 80 yards from where I shot him.
I did not even realize the trophy I had shot until I walked up to him and put my hands on his antlers. Up until then I had never really had a good look at him during my stalk, as I would just make sure that I saw some of the elk in his group when working my way closer. He ended up being a 7x6, scoring just over 364 gross inches and he doesn't get credit for the mass he carries through his points that this trophy deserves. His right main beam splits at the end giving him the 7th point on that side. Regardless of the score, a true trophy in my book and the taxidermist aged him between 12-15 years old as his ivories were worn down even with his gums."