Mule Deer, Elk and Western Big Game Hunting -

395 Inches of Monster Bull
By Kassie Smith

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Since I was 5 years old, animals and hunting of any kind has been a huge part of my life. A little strange for a girl, but I love it. Because of that, I call this bull elk a true trophy of a lifetime. As a mom, I strive to let my kids enjoy the world of hunting as I did growing up.

I hunt with my best friend, husband and one of the best hunters I know (Randy). This hunt took place in the red clay country of Wyoming. The first day of our hunt was tough, the second day we were hit hard with rain, and spent plenty of time slipping and sliding in the mud. Day 3 we began by using the wind in our favor and were able to position ourselves 20 yards from a rut-crazed bull. But, just as the wind helped us, it also hurt. When it switched, they busted us and they were gone in an instant. I felt defeated and that my chance for success had passed.

On day 4, I woke with a bruised, banged up and sore body. Plus, my pride and assurance had been beat up. In that moment, as a hunter, I realized that no matter how often you hunt, no matter how hard you prepare, and no matter what you predict/research on the weather, it comes down to pulling yourself together and believing that all the adventures/lessons in the past have made you the hunter you are ... so JUST HUNT! And that I did.

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In the draw, the wind kept swirling and even after changing ridges three times and getting busted twice, we were not about to give up. After two hours in cold wind and a little rain, I began to see movement coming from where we had spotted the elk earlier. The bugles continued to get closer and closer, then they appeared, making their way down the draw in front of us. I estimated that they'd pass by at about 45 yards, and hoped for a good shot.

5 spikes, 20-40 cows and 5 descent bulls passed, but I waited for him. He was coming ... 55 yards, 50 yards and then 45. Randy says..."Hey bull" and he stopped broad side! I didn't hesitate and I can still see the arrow in the air hitting the kill zone when I think about that moment. The smell, sound, sight, adrenaline and emotions are just as strong today as they were when I harvested this awesome bull. We were blown away as we approached the huge bull that sports a 6x7 rack and gross scores 395-4/8".

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