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I have been hunting archery elk for 10+ years and never had the privilege of harvesting an animal, and the odds of this being my year were stacked against me early. I found out in the spring, right after applying for the draw, that a good friend of mine would be getting married the Saturday of opening weekend in Lake Tahoe, and it was the first time I found myself actively rooting against drawing a tag. About a month later, I saw that my CC had been hit for elk & the strategizing commenced. I decided that I would hunt opening day, fly out to Tahoe for the weekend, work the following week & then come up the 2nd weekend for 3-4 days. Regardless, I would have only about 5 days total to hunt. In addition, my dad also drew a tag, so I was hoping to help him along the way as well. We all got up to camp the Wednesday before opening day, and put in all the effort to scout and have a good gameplan going into the hunt. Friday morning came along & we were headed to a honey-hole of ours where we had seen big bulls in the past. We decided to stop along the way to listen for bugles at another favorite spot, when 4-5 bulls were sounding off. We chose to hunt this location for the morning. As the bulls were bugling we worked really hard to get out in front of them. At about 7:00am, we got in close enough to start closing the distance on the bull that sounded the best. My dad circled left, I circled right. About 5 minutes after separating, I heard some crashing and hooves moving rocks. I looked left and saw elk-after-elk running through this opening, and toward a meadow roughly 100yds in front of me. I tried to hurry up but before I knew it, this monster bull was running through the clearing with about 10 cows right behind him. This was one of those bulls that you didn't have to score in your head, you just say "holy sh**" to yourself as you first see him. As they all ran through, I heard another bugle coming from up the hill and I looked to see another satellite bull following the same path these elk just went through. He was just slowly feeding & working his way down the hill. I got setup & started running through some scenarios in my head: "If he steps in front of this bush, he's about 35 yards, the next bush is 50, and if he goes behind the same bush it's about 60." Well, of course, he goes behind the furthest bush & I draw back. There's a pretty large opening where he's about to step out, so I'm not worried about any obstacles in my way. He starts feeding out into the clearing, but it doesn't look like he's going to stop, so I mewed real lightly to get his attention. I put my 50yd pin about 6" over his back & let it rip. My lumenok was really visible because it was still pretty early & the sun wasn't fully up, and this arrow was on a perfect line! Then halfway there, the bull jumps the shot & begins to take off, my only thought at this point was "miss cleanly!".. next thing I know, it sticks him right in the ham! I'm devastated. I get my brother & dad to come over. Tell them the story & I begin to track my bull to follow up the shot while they continue to pursue the big bull that had just passed through/was still bugling. I walk the first 100 yards in the direction my bull was heading without seeing a drop of blood, a single track, or even a freshly turned rock. I started sweeping the area all over for any type of sign, nothing! Right when I was about to start walking into the thick area the bull had run into, I see 3 hunters walk out about 100 yards away. They see me & walk over. "Did you just shoot a bull?" "Yeah, I hit one in the a$$" "Dude, you got him!" I told them I hadn't seen a drop of blood & they told me that once I got into the tree line, it was hard NOT to see blood. My belief is that I barely missed the femoral artery on the shot, and as he was running away & started clipping trees, the blade moved enough to knick it & he bled out like crazy. It looked like someone was taking a paint brush & just throwing paint everywhere. I was extremely lucky to have harvested this bull on opening day, but as I've always said, "better lucky than good". I want to thank my dad, brother, uncle sam & those 3 hunters for all your help (one, or all, of which might be on this site)! I'm very pleased with this bull & the meat's already in the freezer!