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Topped last year. (Updated with Video)
cramerhunts posted a topic in Elk HuntingI somehow managed to draw early archery tags back to back. I absolutely couldn't believe it but wasn't going to give it back! I was having a little bit of a hard time getting pumped up as the hunt drew near with being so busy with work, my daughter's activities, and chasing velvet coues around the hills. That quickly changed when the time came to get packed up and head north. Once camp was set we (rut and I) took off to check cams and see what sign was where. Our other buddy Keith came up to lend a hand as well. It was a rather uneventful first few days but I did end up passing a few really nice bulls sitting water in the evenings, one of which I figure would push the tape to around 350". Things slowly started picking up and soon the bull I was looking for was located. A heavy, tall 7x7. The next few days were spent tip toeing around trying to get in on him without bumping him out of the country. I was pleasantly surprised when Chef and his better half were able to join us in the elk woods for a few days. One morning while watching my target get settled in for a mid day nap a bull that I had earlier passed and his cows came storming over the ridge. What happened next was the most unreal fight I've ever witnessed in the wild. I'll try and get some of the videos up when I have them all downloaded. Anyway I was a little too late by the time I crossed the canyon and missed a golden opportunity to get a shot. The 7x7 narrowly won the epic battle and escaped with all of the cows and out of sight. The next day we all were surrounding the area looking for the bull when some distant bugles caught our attention. Keith and I took off in hopes of getting in on the action before they made their way to the bedding areas. It was one of those mornings in the elk woods that just can't be described unless you are there living it. Satellite bulls sounding off giving away the herd's location, sneaking in on bulls raking trees, wading through the small bulls closing the distance on the big boy. We were finally able to catch a glimpse of the herd bull and although he was not the 7x7 I was after he was a great bull that I immediately wanted to get close to. We were able to sneak in and I ended up with a narrow window of opportunity to get a shot as he pushed his cows up a canyon. It was a hard quartering away shot between a tree and his cows that I decided I could squeeze an arrow through. At the release I knew it was further back then I would have liked but the angle looked to be enough to get into the vitals and fortunately it was. I can't thank my hunting partners enough for all of the help on getting this bull which happens to be my best to date. Keith and I were able to keep our tradition of being together when either of us takes a bull and I got to share it with some of the best friends a guy could ever ask for. So thankful that I have a loving wife at home that can take care of things when I'm out chasing critters around the country. My bull ended up measuring 378" and change. I really didn't care what the total came to be as I love the whale tails and have always wanted a bull with them. A great hunt with great people and memories to last a lifetime.