Have you ever shot a bull that stunk so bad, that you ended up looking like this?
It reminds me of a halloween costume gone wrong.
(notice the kleenix in the nose!)
My husband shot the source of the stench (aka - bull elk) opening day late in the afternoon. Since we were unsure of where exactly the arrow penetrated the bull, we gave him some time to expire just in case. So by the time we started to follow the blood trail, the hours of daylight were drawing to a close and the tracking party was quickly overtaken by the darkness of night. Searching for drops of blood on the forest floor via flashlight is quite the experience. We ended up marking the last blood marked leaf late that evening with an arrow in the ground and the determination to return in the morning to continue the search. This is where a GPS comes in handy, the arrow location was programmed into the GPS with the label of "last blood drop". It was a sleepless night for my husband knowing that his bull was still out there somewhere.
The next morning we returned to crawl around on hands and knees in a sleuth like fashion. A few prayers were sent heavenward. A thunder storm was brewing above us threatening to unleash raindrops and wash away any traces of blood. So we searched on with new found determination. And a few moments later we realized what was thought to be a threat turned into a blessing. The clouds loosened their load just a little and with a few light sprinkles of rain, the dried blood once again became a vibrant red. Soon there were shouts of... "found one on a twig" or "here's red on this stump". And once we got close enough, all that was needed was to follow our noses. Stinky bull!
It ended up being a deadly shot, but I think the gut was nicked just a little which is all that it takes to put a bad stench in the air. So, I promptly found a spot up wind during this gutting process. After all, it wasn't my elk so I wasn't obligated to join in the quartering. I simply sat back, let the guys do the stinky job, and watched the thunder storm roll across the mountain. I was more than willing to do my share by just packing it out - far away from the gut pile. Load up my pack and I'll just haul the meat, thank you very much.
So, here is to being persistent in following the blood trail!