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Posts posted by CatfishKev


    Part 2. 

    We get settled in the blind and spend  about an hour just trying to organize gear and have everything ready just in case an opportunity presents itself. Set our breakfast burritos in front of the buddy Heater to start warming up our breakfast.  After it starts to get light start seeing and hearing critters emerge. Muley doe and her fawns come to the tank and keeps us entertained for a few minutes.

    730 ish rolls around and here comes the co OP hunter.  I'm kind of thinking to myself why do they meet at 5am and still show up so late.  Dave the other forum member who just killed said the same thing when he hunted his spot.

    I see him glass my blind and I get out to go greet him. I let him know I'm happy to share the spot and encourage him hes at one of the best spots. Since he showed up I told him I would only ask for dibs on first shot and told him I would use my bow to increase his chances by not blowing out the herd if they show up. He agreed and I continue to tell him about what my trail cams showed and assure him it's a good spot.

    We get back in our blinds and the wait begins..

    Well about 8am or slightly after I see a bull coming in from the North, what? That's freaking weird I for sure thought they would come from the south.. I tell my boy Bison Bison! Immediately adrenalin starts flowing, I try to quietly alert the co OP guy.  Behind the bull another then another and then an entire herd and they are moving fast and with apparent purpose. I was truly surprised how quick they were there.  The water tank was mostly iced over and they just come crashing in breaking the ice it was totally nuts. There all in line along the water and one bull seems to ram the herd sideways pushing them all like dominoes splashing and just making a total ruckus.   Now I have my bow in hand and already pre ranged certain spots. I'm holding my binos and constantly scanning bellies for that penis sheath. I see a cow and draw back... she moves.  I wait and draw back again and another pops in front of her. Same thing a third time and have to draw back down... wow this is frustrating.  Calm down kev just wait for your chance.  A lone bull comes over in front of us to the salt and stress at us, does he see me? Anxiety is creeping in with the adrenaline now. 

    Finally a confirmed cow heads over to the salt and my heart starts pumping faster... this is it dude make this shot count. She gets to the salt but has not pulled her right leg forward, still slightly back and I know I should wait but the panic sets in and I let the arrow fly.. hit but not in the heart where I wanted it. Just slightly back barely catching a back lung and angled out through her stomach. I'm already mentally kicking myself in the face.  You freaking idiot why didnt you wait?! The herd is immediately alerted and half start trotting off. She turns opposite direction.. now I'm even more jacked up and  not having the chance to correct my bow I try to make a follow up shot and completely forget I'm shooting left and fling another arrow. Thump right into the shoulder blade. Jeez kev you are totally blowing this shoot.. it penetrates but not enough. She's still more or less staying in place as the first shot hurt her and now the all the remaining herd bolts except for two other bison.

    This is where I start to notice something interesting. After speaking to another hunter he mentioned that after a bison is killed sometimes the herd will come back to mourn there fallen herd member. I dont know if I believe that but then the two other bison come and stand on either side of her and start sniffing the arrows sticking out of her.  They stand around her seeming just to keep her company and watch over her. It's a very surreal moment, but still I am here to try and fill this tag. At this point they have worked out to 40 yards or so. Finally she turns and the other two give me a shooting lane. She is quartered away from me facing the right. I draw back and aim for the boiler room, again completely not remembering to compensate and sure enough right in the guts and anchors into the front left leg. Kill shot yeah but I'm still kicking myself in the face.

    Now I'm wondering why the co op guy hasn't shot the other cow yet. I nock my fourth and last arrow and wait for a boom for the other hunter or another shot opportunity. Finally she turns to the left about 45 yards. I attempt one last double lung finish shot and let her rip.  Again to the left and now that she's farther away it's even worse. Bam, right through the neck and I hit the jugular and blood starts spewing out and I feel a tidal wave of relief pass over me.   She starts to wobble and falls over in an amazing cloud of dust.  I'm extatic and me and Caliche are quietly celebrating but quietly to offer the other hunter his chance. I say to my son why is this guy not shooting..  I hear the co OP guy say "is that a cow" and im like yeah dude I'm pretty sure that's a cow. BOOM! the whole area echoes like thunder and the animal falls while the other bull runs off into the woods. 

    We get out of our blinds celebrating. We are in sheer disbelief that this all happened so quickly.  Me and Caliche go look at the cow and I'm in utter amazement. Then we walk over to the co op hunters bison. Oh shoot this is a bull! My heart immediately drops and I am overridden with guilt, he asked me for verification and I was certain it was a cow and now I feel like a total asshole.  Here's the thing, my main objective for ID was the penis sheath and when we checked this animal the sheath had a small amount of mud which made it matted up against the belly and it totally looked like a cow and since it was young the head was still small. In retrospect the horns were a giveaway but I know theres exceptions to the rule which is why I focused on the sheath.   

    Well he calls the guide to report it and I head back to the camper ro round up the crew for help. I come flying into camp honking the horn like a madman when I start getting close. My daughter informs my wife apparently "oh its dad honking the horn, he probably just needs to take a crap".  Lol what!?!? and as I pull up I see the door open and my wife pops her head out like no way... I jump out and yell Bison with my bow first day!!!  She bursts into tears and starts hugging me and screaming with excitement.  I then tell her about the other hunter and what happened and were all feeling awful about it.  We all jump in the vehicles and head back to break the animal down.

    When we get back I apologize to the guy profusely and tell him I swore that was a cow.  He didnt hold me at fault, he thought it was too and he pulled the trigger. I still feel crappy that my good luck was somewhat tainted by his bad luck but that's what happened and I just cant do anything to change it.  In the end game and fish took his tag and confiscated the bull. He does at least have a chance to bid on it at auction which I hope he does...

    Eventually the guide shows up and offers to winch my cow into the back of my truck to get it and myself out of the area for which I gladly oblige.  The rest of the day is spent doing the dirty work.  





    • Like 8

  2. 7 hours ago, trphyhntr said:


    well obviously searching for it the day after the season is the right thing to do. and if you found it alive and had to put it out of it misery thats also the right thing to do. talking about it on the internet, wrong thing to do. 


    We did spend all day. Hiked miles around and down to the nearest tank.  Even came back for 2 of dale and Heathers dogs and went back out to search but came up nada.  Found a tiny piece of lung I think but that was it.  I'm pretty sure it clipped the upper corner of one lung and she will survive so I guess that's reassuring at least.  

    • Like 1

  3. 8 hours ago, 654321 said:

    I'm curious when an animal is wounded on the last evening of the hunt do you have to call the AZGFD and ask them if you can recover the animal?  What happens if you find the animal and it's not dead?

    To be honest not exactly sure.  I think if we are walking in with a rifle we are poachers so were not doing that. . Someone please correct me if I am wrong. I'm actually not sure on this one.  

  4. Well what can I say, this season has been a ride.  Started with the bison card hit then pondering whether to do the co op or not. In the end.. decided not. only had a handful of dates between hunts to check things out and set cams.  A big shout out to many previous tag holders on these hunts. Heat, Notags, Idgaf, Mt sourdough all had info to pass along to me. 

    Flew up on short notice with my wife and checked a handful of areas and set cams.  Ran short on time when my battery light came on in the f250, had to call it a day and spent the afternoon in Kanab at the napa parking lot changing out my alternater. Got back and finished what I could before the hunt that started the next day.  

    Fsst forward.. The downside was 2 of my kids had elk tags the same time. We made plans with Dale and Heather in Young AZ (Wild Heritage Taxidermy) to take my kids out and stay with them while my wife and oldest son joined me on the bison hunt. That plan changed because I wanted my kids to have the opportunity to see the kaibab and see live free ranging bison up close and personal. The plan now was if I didnt fill my tag quickly momma was gonna zip them down to young and I'd stay with my oldest boy Auggie and hunt the bison.  

    Well the day came, left with the boys and the camper and momma was to follow the next day... then the whole turbo intercooler fiasco took place and that basically cost me my day of checking cams and scouting.  Once we finally hit the north rim we set camp in a dash and went to check cams.. the boys were already over it. I had asked quite a lot of them and they delivered but now on minimal sleep and food it was becoming less fun. While checking cams I'm noticing most the spots that seemed hot the activity had pretty much completely dropped off. This sent me into a mental tailspin and I started freaking out a little bit. By this point Auggie and Enoch my oldest and youngest sons were spent and started napping in the truck.  Next cam spot my middle boy wanted to continue with me. Hiked down to a spot recommended by Idgaf and checked the cam. Looked at pics Whoah!  We missed a herd by a half hour.  After looking through pics I figured I had a chance that a herd would show up every 3 to 5 days. It was decided, this is my spot I'm gonna hunt.. 

    Opening morning.... chewing on what weapon to bring. I really wanted to take a bison with my bow as first choice.  Alternatively my wife has a marlin 30-30 that her pap had bought for her dad when he was young back in PA. I thought to myself if not a bow to take such a historic animal what better then an old historic rifle..  well I decided to bring both.  Get the bow out in the dark and have my boy shine a flashlight in it to illuminate the pins. I take 2 practice shots and its shooting four inches left. At this point I'm worried about the co op hunter potentially getting to the spot before me and decide to come back at lunch and zero in my bow. We gather up our gear and throw it in the truck and zip down the road.  We park a good 300 yards or so to not spook anything and we load up heavy.  2 nice lawn chairs with hi tech pistons, the blind, 2 packs with a rifle and a bow, 2 down bags stuffed inside and a mr buddy heater and some snacks and drinks etc.  We get down and set up the blind before its light out and I check the co OP blind and its empty... a sigh of relief.  

    Now we wait....

  5. 19 minutes ago, AZHunter1 said:

    Dang your luck is questionable this year. Smooth as 60 grit sandpaper.

    This is true.  On the phone with my wife I said I killed a bison on day one, brakes didn't lock up on the highway with my kids in the truck and we are all safe and alive. Son killed second day and daughter had a shot. Heck I'm just happy to fill my bison tag.  Even after all the bad luck I still feel lucky to have a once in a lifetime harvest and all my little ones safe and sound.  

    My oldest baby girl has true grit when it comes to hunting, I'm proud of her regardless of what tomorow brings.   

    • Like 6

  6. Well as per usual Aurora has to suffer on her hunts.   Got on a herd last night and blew it, didnt realize I was that close and they blew out.  Same herd this morning glassed from way high and as soon as a verify location start heading down.  Ad I'm going through the last gate I glass one more time to verify and spot another guy with his kid moving in on them and they are closer. Sucks cuz we were in there earlier, he just parked closer.  

    Got a bull bedded with cows I was gonna maybe go after but then my brakes went to crap and I'm now sitting waiting for the part to show up. Should be here soon. Hopefully we can make it happen in the 11th hour.

    • Wow! 1

  7. Well I'm in another vehicle jam. My passenger side caliper is fubar and my truck is undriveable.  Theres one available in payson if someone could potentially grab ot on there way. I'm stuck in young right now at Dale and Heather's place, (Wild Heritage Taxidermy). Figures theres gotta be someone on the way with a hunt starting tomorow.  

  8. Nice job Dave.  Just so you guys know Dave felt so guilty he got one and the wounded warrior did not.  But he was there first and they didnt show up until after sunrise. He also offered to leave And they told him to stay, and when He decided to stay still gave them dibs on first shot opportunity (which could have cost him his shot). They missed, he gave chase and filled his tag. I pretty much told him empathy is a good thing and more people should have it. But he has zero reason to feel guilty. 

    Dave, you are a man of character and you deserve that bison. Congrats dude! I'm super happy for you!

    • Like 3
    • Confused 1