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"Alan's Exciting and Successful Archery Elk Hunt"
Photo provided by: Alan Scott

Alan Scott writes, "I have been bow hunting since 1997 and have take 2 small bulls with my bow. At the age of 68 I decided to contact a New Mexico outfitter with hopes of drawing a good tag and make a long time dream come true. It took 5 days into the hunt to make it happen. Every day we were into bugling bulls but I just couldn't get a good shot opportunity. On day 5 we moved to a different area and things started happening. We were out for the evening and were on top of a ridge working our way back to the truck and heard a bull bugle. I set up kneeling down with a tree on my right shoulder to hide myself. The guide got about 30 yards behind me and started calling. He called and I figured 30 minutes had gone by and I was just about ready to stand up to move on when I saw antlers coming through the timber. I caught movement behind me and I watched a calf limp up and stand right next to the tree I was kneeling by. Then here comes a cow and stopped just short of her calf. I looked in the direction of the bull and here comes another bull, both are heading right to the calls.

I took a good look at both of the bulls and all though they were bigger than anything I had taken in the past, I decided to hold off thinking I could do better. The first bull heading towards the calls was about 15 yards away when he spotted me. The wind was great and he couldn't figure out what I was, so he decided to come and check me out. I didn't move a muscle or even blink as he approached me. Because I was on my knees when he got to me he had to bend down to smell me and try to figure out what he was looking at. With his nose within 12 inches of my face he started drawing in some deep breaths and after about 3 wiffs he didn't like what he was sniffing and decided to bolt out taking the others with him. I stood up laughing and asked my guide if he saw what had happened. All he could say is I wish I could have gotten that on film.

We walked about another 200 yards and heard another bugle. Again I set up behind a tree and got on my knees looking for movement. I saw legs coming and he looked as if he was coming in straight to the calls when I lost sight of him behind some thick trees and down falls. The next thing I saw was movement on the other side of the tree and it was the bull. I had to turn 180 degrees so I would be able to make a shot. However, the bull caught my movement. He stood staring in my direction for about 5 minutes and then started towards the calls again. I could never get a good look as the timber was thick, but from what I could see I decided if a shot was presented, I was going to take it.

When he got behind a couple of trees I drew back and he stopped and just stood there. He may have picked up my movement again. As luck would have it there was a small pine tree right in front of me concealing me from his view. I had to let down because he stood there too long and I couldn't keep the bow drawn any more. Finally I think he had enough and started walking quartering away from me at about 28 yards. I drew back and watched my arrow bury into him. We gave him some time and it was now dark. My guide and I decided to get back to the truck and come back in the morning.

When we found him the next morning I was one happy camper. He was what I had been looking for all the years I put in to bow hunting elk. I decided I will continue to pursue elk until I can't go anymore because there is nothing more exciting than chasing bugling bulls with a bow."

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