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"Steve's 2006 Bull"
Photo provided by: Steve Ohngren

Steve Ohngren writes, "It was August 2006 early in the archery season. We woke up bright and early and began our journey into one of our top elk hunting spots. Right at first light the bugling began. We worked several bulls, but didn't manage to pull any into us. It was still warm and the rut was not in full swing. When all the action died down, we decided to climb up to the very top and take a look of the area. It was really thick and would be hard to get a shot any further than 25 yards. Everything was quiet and it was beginning to get very warm out. We decided to call it a morning and head down to camp, but right before leaving we let out one more hearty bugle from the Mac Daddy. As luck would have it, about 200 yards uphill we heard a big boy bugle. We continued to call and the responses continued to come, however we weren't able to pull him away from his cows. We finally decided to head up to him. We didn't get more than 75 yards before we stumbled right into several spikes and a cow. We had to freeze in our spots. The cow fed to within 45 yards of us and presented what on any other year would have been perfect shots. But, this was the year of my Limited Entry Bull Tag, so this cow was nothing but a burden.

After about 10 minutes, we heard a hearty bugle up the mountain and without hesitation the cow and spikes obediently followed after it. When they got out of sight, we cut hard right and straight up. After about 100 yards we, spotted several elk through the trees. We watched as one chased a spike away, when he came back we could see he was one of the satellite bulls. I pulled my range finder out and ranged a tree to use as a guideline for distance. It was also in the only place I would have any prayer of getting a shot. At this point, my buddy from Hunters Specialty, Al Morris, began to work his magic. For those of you who have heard of Al Morris, he is one of the best elk callers in the world and actually I just heard he recently won the world elk calling championship. This comes of no surprise to me because the moment he began calling, this elk came straight in. He worked his way into us to within about 30 yards, however due to the thickness of the forest I had no shot. My only prayer was if the elk was to cut straight right and move into the open area I had previously ranged. Did I mention Al works magic? He cupped his hands over his mouth and left an opening on the right side so that when he mewed it sounded like the cow was over on our right. And son of a gun, that bull looked hard right and headed that way.

Finally my moment came, he stepped behind a really thick patch of trees and I drew my bow back. I don't know if he caught my movement or heard my old bow, but he whipped his head around and stared right at us. I had NO SHOT!!!!! I was at a full draw for well over a minute before he finally looked back in front of him. Between this and the big bull being 20 yards in front of me, I WAS SHAKING!!!!!!! Finally he started to move. He slowly worked his way into my opening. All he had to do was clear one log with both front legs and I would have my shot. The first leg came up, then down. ONE MORE LEG!!!! The second one came up and I let out a mew. His hoof hit the dirt and stopped right where I wanted. He looked my direction, but it was too late. The arrow was released. Next thing I knew the elk was a blur through the tree, Al was bugling and I was basically shaking in my pants. It was by far one of the greatest moments of my life. The bull isn't a monster by any means, but where I didn't have much time to hunt because of college and I killed him with a bow, he truly is a trophy to me. If anyone is interested in watching the hunt it is on Hunters Specialty Prime Time Bulls 5."

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