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Early rifle bull

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Drew an early rifle tag this year! Had written and tried to post but it kept fighting me trying to post pics. 

My first rifle kill. Only my 2nd elk tag. 
My brother in law Scott and my wife came up to help me.
  Went to a spot we know on opening day. Bulls beat us there. We tried to follow but they can cover a lot of ground when just walking. Hit another spot on the backside of the hill. Heard some bugles going away and getting distant. Back to camp for lunch and then took a drive to check out some canyons and possibly glass some. No luck glassing up any bulls. Decided to just chase bugles. That afternoon we went to a spot hoping to hear some bugles. None heard. Got lost on the way back to the truck. I had forgotten my gps in the truck and google map sucks butt. Sent a pin to a buddy and he was trying to help out. Then a couple dudes out getting wood stopped. “You see a white F250?” They laugh and said yes. Gave us a beer and a ride!  They were young dudes, I was thankful for the ride and being handed a beer that wasn’t bud light 🙃 Back to camp in bed around 11:30. 
  Saturday woke up a bit late. Bulls were on the mountain already.  Bugle up a different bull. They moved thru a draw below about 137yds. Nice 6x6.  We passed and moved on. Been windy both days. 
  My wife felt ill with altitude like sickness. She tried to stick it out but had to run her home Saturday evening. In bed after 11 again. 
Scott said some chick was coming up Thought he was kidding. Got to camp and there was a Nissan Sentra!!?? How the heck she drove in there without tearing off and oil pan or something?! 
  I get up a bit late don’t wake Scott. Coffee, heat up the burritos and boogie. Back to where we seen the 6x6 because I lost my cow elk call. Took 15 minutes and finally found it. Walk down in the draw a bit and sit to listen for bugles. Blow my bugler(Phelps easy metal bugler awesome call for people that can’t use mouth reeds), a cow comes from my left moving down towards the draw we spotted them in before. A couple minutes later another. A few minutes and another. Then nothing. I decided to move down around a little finger where they came from. Catch a glimpse of elk color in the shadows to my left. Like under 60 yds but can’t see antlers. 15 minute stand off. Even through the scope I still can’t see. He’s feeding and I move to my left. He turns but still can’t see antlers. A minute goes by and he puts it in overdrive and I see a giant bull running away…gone. Sickening!

  Hit up another spot where I killed my first bull Walking in I heard a bugle but sounds far. I quickly move towards it. Slow down and scan the forest. Spot a cow, then a few more at like 40 yds. It’s really windy. He bugles then beds down. 6x6 with a broken #2 on the right side. I back out and head to camp.  No more encounters that day. 

A cold front was supposed to hit on Monday with a high of 62 deg. And moderate winds. 
I had rented a room for a couple days for my wife and I. Left Scott with his skank after dinner and said I’ll see ya in the morning. She was supposed to be leaving in early am. 
  Showed up to camp she was leaving. Scott had coffee ready and we headed out. With the full moon the elk were up on the mountain early every morning. Today there are a few bulls bugling we drive to a spot to cut them off. Hiking up the mountain we bump a heard and they spook. Make a big loop following. The bugles were strong this morning! Back to the truck as the bugles are really faint. Drive a couple miles to the west. Head into the hills chasing bugles. After a mile or so we get into some. Wind is swirling changing directions. I thought for sure they would bust but the kept doing there thing. We flanked them seeing several small bulls and a herd bull. Never get a great look at him. It seemed as a few small herds joined because there were a lot of elk running around! We flanked them for a long time bumping them occasionally but not spooking them. They bed down 40-50 yds from us. We sit and wait. Herd bull bugling like crazy from his bed. Across the draw up on a ridge another bull starts screaming! Bugling and chuckling! He sounds big! The other bull is bugling back but gets up and takes his herd with him. We follow. We get to the road and the elk were way in front of us. Still bugling! I am getting discouraged and not thinking we can catch up. I am sore, tired and everything hurts! I tell Scott we’re not catching them, we blew it. He ignores me and pushes on! I follow begrudgingly. Bump a muley doe. Spot a spike! A little boost for my mind. We get to a little hill with a good saddle and the bull we followed was just over the hill still bugling! It’s just after noon. We been on them since 9 or so. Scott says shooter bull! I see 2 bulls! I look at one bull and don’t think it is. “Dude that’s a shooter all day!” The other bull was shreading a tree and started walking towards the other bull! I thought they were going to fight, but he slowly walks by him. I look through the scope and see how long he is with an extra on the left side! 
  I had forgotten my shooting sticks in the truck rushing to go after the bugles! He stopped broadside! I was afraid to move! Thinking I will blow it! I decided to shoot offhand! Put the gun to my shoulder, put the cross hairs on his shoulder. Take up the slack on my trigger, let out a long breath and boom! He flinches, but starts slowly walking. Scott says “you hit ‘em”. I put the cross hairs again on his shoulder. Heart rate is out of control! Rush the shot and hit his stomach! Rack another quickly as he is still walking slowly! This time tried not to rush, good breath squeezed and boom he was down! 
 Having doubts he was as big as I thought! Gave him a couple minutes and walked over to him. I could not believe he was as big as he was! It was like a dream!

Somewhere along our expedition I took my game bags out of my pack for god only knows why??!! Quarter him up andwe pack out 2 quarters and the head. Haul but back to camp grab extra bags and pillowcases lol. Found a closer road and the last part wasn’t too bad. 

Really surpassed my expectations! I was not really hunting a number but wanted a mature bull. 

372 1/8

Sorry for sideways pics







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You'll have to build a house for your trophy!😂


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