Trophies Come in All Sizes!

Well, the Super Hunt tag thing didn't go as I had planned.

The morning of October 1, I found myself 80 yards from a really heavy bull. Trees were thick, but open enough. Weather was bitterly cold, which was refreshing. Elk were going crazy.

After watching a bachelor group of small bulls walk by I heard that infamous deep grunting bugle from behind me. I took off running in that direction trying to keep my balance on the steep slope. He would scream every time I did, but I wasn’t gaining ground. I knew he would be in a clearing soon so I kept on trucking. Finally, when I heard him singing I knew he was close. I got down and began looking around and there he was! Massive antlers. I didn’t even count points, I didn’t have to. He was huge!

I waited and waited for a shot trying not to be seen by his cows. Finally, he stopped in between two trees that gave me about a foot wide shot at his vitals. I took the shot. The sound and smell of that old Win 270 filled the air. I watched the bull react. He was confused but that was all. I couldn’t get another shot in. He turned and followed his cows up the hill and if he wasn’t hit then he had one heck of a funny walk.

This was Monday morning at 0930. I spent the rest of that day and every daylight hour until Thursday noon looking for him. Not a lot of blood and no bull. They had walked into the thickest stuff I have ever walked through. I was cutting branches and ripping out bushes. I literally went insane those few days. Not even magpies and crows gave me a clue as to where he was. I hope it was a bad shot and he made it for next year’s archery. I puked several times knowing the biggest bull I have ever taken aim at slipped through another season.

After a long drive home and a lot of coffee I grabbed my family and we headed out to the desert. About 6pm my 6-year old son says, "Dad, elk!!" I look and see cows 50 yards ahead. I hop out and sure enough there was a bull, a small 5x.

I got back in the SUV and both my kids said, “Shoot it Dad. Shoot it.” I said it’s not big enough. Then Hunter, my kiddo said, “Are you kidding me?! He is huge.”  Ha.  That’s when I realized where the true trophy in this hunt was. After several pictures that "trophy" bull is now hanging in my son’s room. I guess trophies come in all kinds.

All in all, not what I wanted from my Super Hunt, but what I needed. It was great!   - John Thornley