MORNING HUNT: Big Bull Meadow
Friday, August 31
After the hour drive down the back road in the moonlight, we once again reached the spot. The lodge pole pines on the edge of the road mark the location where we unload and enter into the dark timber. We know that just on the other side, the pines reaching to the sky will open up to a meadow on the other side. Our "Big Bull Meadow" is just off the beaten path, yet seems to be a crossing area for the elk from one side of the mountain to the other, and we planned on being there in the first light to catch any passing through.
We walked in by the light of the moon around 5:45 AM and immediately spotted elk in the first corner of the meadow. (Actually, I spotted them) We snuck up another 50 yards to the edge. Troy was on one side of a big pine and I was on the other. Pointing to my eyes with my index and middle finger, I let Troy know I could see elk above us. They were making their way down into the opening. I fumbled with my range finder and couldn't get a good read, but I figured the bull was about 50 yards. I went to full draw and as I was settling my bottom pin at the quartering away 5x5, I heard Troy's bow go off. The lead cow let out a bark and I saw the bull take off. I was sure that Troy nailed him because he doesn't miss at that range. All summer long he was drilling the center of the target at this distance. So when we found his arrow buried in the dirt, we questioned what happened and began to replay the scene over and over in our minds.
Since it was still early (7:00), we decided to move to the top of the mountain. If we hurried, we may still have a chance of getting in on some other elk. However, it wasn't meant to be. The elk at first light was the chance of the day.
While sitting against the aspen on the top of the mountain, Troy continued to replay the scene from the morning over and over in his head. Let's just say that he was not in the best of moods after that shot. A pine cone was then tossed at my head. With a quick look up at my husband to see what prompted the pine missile, I saw him frantically waving his hands for me to come up by him. As I reached him he was holding out his bow and pointing to the limb pockets. His bow had backed out a full turn! He had been sitting there going over his bow trying to figure out if he simply missed the shot, or if something on his bow was truly off. Relieved and annoyed all at once, at least now he had an answer... but he wasn't happy.
EVENING HUNT: Nonexistent - Rained out!
Our afternoon consisted of egg burritos, Troy changing his brakes, picking up firewood at vacant camps before the labor day weekend crusaders arrived and waiting out a rainstorm in the camper for the rest of the evening. Midnight and 2:00 A.M. marked the time when the rest of our "pack" rolled into camp. Tomorrow would be a busy day with everyone here again, recharged and ready to get after the elk.
I closed my eyes and dreamed of the continuing hunt
that the next day would hold...
From the Draw
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