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#6942535 - 10/06/12 My best bull yet - 2012 Idaho Public land hunt (long)
Killertraylor Offline
Campfire Guide

Registered: 03/03/08
Posts: 3040
Loc: Warren, OR
I was invited by some lifelong Idaho residents to hunt elk with them last year with a bow. It's a high country backpack hunt where we park the trucks on the desert floor at 6200 feet and then hike up and camp and hunt all week between 8200 and 10,500 feet. I passed on many nice bulls within bow range last year due to the reality of packing them out, but we never called any 300+ bulls into bow range.

This year, I saw there was a very limited rifle tag for the unit and the chances of drawing were way less than 5%. On my first try, I drew. My bow hunting partners had been putting in for this tag for 25+ years and both have drawn one time (which is about the average).

The hunt began Monday, October 1 and I made the 11 hour drive from Oregon on Saturday with my 75 year old Dad who did not have a tag. I figured there were good odds he would be able to work a cel phone if I fell or had some other issue in the high country. My Dad is in great hiking shape, but unfortunately herniated a disc last year and he can't pack more than about 10 lbs without severe pain. We spent Sunday morning behind the spotting scope with one of my bowhunting partners who only had time to drive over and help me opening day when he expected I would shoot my elk. We spotted several hundred elk up in the high country. We picked a canyon and strapped the packs on Sunday afternoon for a 3 mile uphill pack in 72 degree heat. I not only had my gear, but my Dad's mat, sleeping bag, food, etc. My pack was well over 60 lbs and I developed my usual heel blisters from hiking uphill.

We found a nice sagebrush covered knoll at 8500 ft. elevation with bulls bugling in the canyons around us. We spotted 3 decent 6 points from camp that evening, 1 which I would eventually shoot on Wednesday.

The coolest, and scariest part of the trip happened on Sunday night. My Dad, being 75, had to crawl out of my massive 2 man tent (i.e. barely big enough for my fat ass) every 2 hours to pee. I had just fallen asleep, having listened to the bull I eventually shot bugle every 5-10 seconds (literally) from 9 p.m. until 11 p.m. We were in Grizzly and wolf country, but I forgot all about them with this elk bugling just 500 yards from our tents in the bottom of the draw. Just after Dad crawled back in the tent, we had a bull bugle just 10 feet from the tents. It scared the hell out of us as we thought we would be stomped by his herd. We made some noise and they ran off.

At daylight, the noisy 6 point was on the ridgetop across from us and my buddy talked me out of going after him. I guessed him to be a 310 bull and they had seen a 400 class bull in this same canyon just a week earlier bow hunting.

We hiked to 10,000 feet and covered all of the areas that held elk. We spotted many elk that day, and more than 10 branch bulls, but nothing bigger than the 310 class bull.

On Tuesday, my hunting partner left for home and it was just me and my 75 year old Dad. Dad informed me he would hunt the lower stuff with me, but he didn't want to climb anymore up to the high stuff. I realized at this point that I was really going to have a problem if I killed a bull more than a few miles from the truck. My blisters had opened and I had wrapped them well and was taking pain meds to hunt all day. If I'd have had a few strong-legged guys with me, I'd have held out for a 340 plus animal, but realized I would need to get really lucky to find that class of bull in the lower country.

We spent Tuesday down at 6200 feet driving the desert and checking out the 500+ elk hanging on the private property where the owners didn't allow hunting. Saw a few 340-360 class bulls, but they stayed on the private stuff.

Wednesday morning, I had decided I would shoot the 310 bull if he showed himself again. I drug my Dad back up that canyon and to my luck, spotted a herd of 20 with a nice 6 point at the 2 mile mark. There was no way to get closer to the herd as they were out in the open sage and so were we. I wasn't up for a belly crawl, so hit him with the rangefinder and discovered he was 594 yards away. I looked at my Swarovski TDS reticle sticker on my Z6 scope and saw one of my hash marks was perfect for a 583 yard drop. I got into prone position with the bipod down and let a 250 grain Accubond fly from the .338 Remington Ultra Mag. I was bedded down so solid that I actually saw the bull fall in the scope. It was a true boom/flop and a perfect hit in the front shoulder. I recovered the bullet under the far hide.

The pack was a bitch to say the least. Got my Dad to carry my gun out on the first pack as I took the antlers and front shoulders (85 lbs). I then made 2 more trips to get a hind quarter each time and my Dad was a trooper carrying the straps and loins out for me. It was a great hunt. I could hardly move the day after but it was worth it. The bull green scored 312 5/8's. He has a broken G4 on his right, or he would have been really close to 320. I'm already excited for my Oregon elk hunt in 2 weeks!

Good luck to all of you still out chasing the big one!




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#6942542 - 10/06/12 Re: My best bull yet - 2012 Idaho Public land hunt (long) [Re: Killertraylor]
AB2506 Offline
Campfire Guide

Registered: 07/31/07
Posts: 3727
Loc: Calgary Alberta, Canada
Congrats!


Edited by AB2506 (10/06/12)

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#6942544 - 10/06/12 Re: My best bull yet - 2012 Idaho Public land hunt (long) [Re: Killertraylor]
KCBighorn Offline
Campfire Ranger

Registered: 02/28/08
Posts: 2038
Loc: Oregon
Very cool, great bull!

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#6942559 - 10/06/12 Re: My best bull yet - 2012 Idaho Public land hunt (long) [Re: KCBighorn]
bgold Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 11/17/06
Posts: 493
Loc: Missouri
Nice one!

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#6942588 - 10/06/12 Re: My best bull yet - 2012 Idaho Public land hunt (long) [Re: bgold]
GreatWaputi Online   content
Campfire 'Bwana

Registered: 11/07/02
Posts: 11872
Loc: Land of liberals, hippies, and...
Great write-up and great that you got to spend time with your dad.

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#6942594 - 10/06/12 Re: My best bull yet - 2012 Idaho Public land hunt (long) [Re: Killertraylor]
Mark R Dobrenski Offline
Campfire Oracle

Registered: 04/19/01
Posts: 28277
Loc: Bozeman, Montana
Awesome and congrats. Score smore that's a wonderful bull and experience. Got any pics of the bullet?

Dober
_________________________
"True respect starts with the way you treat others, and it is earned over a lifetime of demonstrating kindness, honor and dignity"....Tony Dungy

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#6942608 - 10/06/12 Re: My best bull yet - 2012 Idaho Public land hunt (long) [Re: Killertraylor]
luv2safari Offline
Campfire Kahuna

Registered: 12/31/06
Posts: 15069
Loc: NW NV & Far NW MT
Great account and story!

Congratulations on a very nice bull. Anyone would love to take that big guy. cool
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Hunt with Class and Classics

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#6942611 - 10/06/12 Re: My best bull yet - 2012 Idaho Public land hunt (long) [Re: Mark R Dobrenski]
Killertraylor Offline
Campfire Guide

Registered: 03/03/08
Posts: 3040
Loc: Warren, OR
Thanks, all. Dober - here you go. Crappy iPhone pics, and I'm out of town and not near my scale to tell you the retained weight. Excellent bullet performance though. The 250 Accubond left the barrel at 3010 fps. Can't remember the grains, but it was real close to a maximum load of Retumbo.








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#6942619 - 10/06/12 Re: My best bull yet - 2012 Idaho Public land hunt (long) [Re: Killertraylor]
Mark R Dobrenski Offline
Campfire Oracle

Registered: 04/19/01
Posts: 28277
Loc: Bozeman, Montana
Awesome Plus P, I love those big 33's for slapping things around @ long range.

Dober
_________________________
"True respect starts with the way you treat others, and it is earned over a lifetime of demonstrating kindness, honor and dignity"....Tony Dungy

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#6942622 - 10/06/12 Re: My best bull yet - 2012 Idaho Public land hunt (long) [Re: Killertraylor]
Kentucky_Windage Offline
Campfire Tracker

Registered: 02/06/09
Posts: 6155
Loc: San Antonio
Congratulations. Nice bull!
_________________________
If you're fixin' to put a hole in something,
make it a hole to remember.

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#6942754 - 10/06/12 Re: My best bull yet - 2012 Idaho Public land hunt (long) [Re: Kentucky_Windage]
BobinNH Offline
Campfire Oracle

Registered: 01/28/07
Posts: 30714
KillerT: Great bull and story.Thanks for sharing the pictures. Congrats!
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You can't say very much on here without pissing at least SOMEBODY off-get used to it.

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#6943768 - 10/06/12 Re: My best bull yet - 2012 Idaho Public land hunt (long) [Re: Killertraylor]
Shag Offline
Campfire Tracker

Registered: 09/27/04
Posts: 6488
Loc: Cowlitz County
Congrats on a dandy bull!!!
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2015 AFC West Champions
Oakland Raiders

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#6943969 - 10/06/12 Re: My best bull yet - 2012 Idaho Public land hunt (long) [Re: Shag]
30338 Offline
Campfire Tracker

Registered: 08/31/05
Posts: 7179
Loc: Denver
Wow, great adventure. I wish I had that kind of luck on draws in Colorado.

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#6944013 - 10/06/12 Re: My best bull yet - 2012 Idaho Public land hunt (long) [Re: Kentucky_Windage]
Proud_Dad Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 03/27/09
Posts: 1387
Loc: Hutchinson, KS
Very nice! Congratulations! Thanks for sharing your pictures and story.
_________________________
"Idiocy is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results." Albert Einstein

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#6944050 - 10/06/12 Re: My best bull yet - 2012 Idaho Public land hunt (long) [Re: Proud_Dad]
NJelksmacker Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 03/23/11
Posts: 1311
Loc: New Jersey
Super bull, congrats!

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#6944073 - 10/06/12 Re: My best bull yet - 2012 Idaho Public land hunt (long) [Re: NJelksmacker]
K_Salonek Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 05/11/09
Posts: 868
Loc: Base of the Rockies, Colorado
Now that is what I call Show n Tell !!!

Thanks for sharing your well earned pride in success !

Really surprised at your green score. Impressive all the same, I just would have guessed larger. The true brutes have that effect over a tape measure with me.

Tipping my hat!
_________________________
Clinging to my God, and my guns!

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#6944126 - 10/06/12 Re: My best bull yet - 2012 Idaho Public land hunt (long) [Re: K_Salonek]
ribka Online   sleepy
Campfire Guide

Registered: 03/11/10
Posts: 4841
Nice write up

That would a great tag to get. Have not drawn it yet.

Great bull

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#6944172 - 10/06/12 Re: My best bull yet - 2012 Idaho Public land hunt (long) [Re: ribka]
spence1875 Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 02/12/05
Posts: 885
Loc: NO, LA
Well done, great write up.

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#6944282 - 10/06/12 Re: My best bull yet - 2012 Idaho Public land hunt (long) [Re: Killertraylor]
George_De_Vries_3rd Offline
Campfire 'Bwana

Registered: 02/19/04
Posts: 11130
Loc: Iowa
Great bull and hunt. Sold my .340 B but the truth is I miss the big hammer. Looks like you drained his tank.

Came back to edit: got to love the big 33s (I know, I know, J Burns does it with 264s and 7 mm mags--and more power to him grin).


Edited by George_De_Vries_3rd (10/06/12)
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Target shooting is a man's version of golf without the bad clothes.

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#6944468 - 10/06/12 Re: My best bull yet - 2012 Idaho Public land hunt (long) [Re: George_De_Vries_3rd]
rdd Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 06/12/07
Posts: 540
Loc: Nebraska
Congrats! A great bull and story.

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#6944579 - 10/06/12 Re: My best bull yet - 2012 Idaho Public land hunt (long) [Re: rdd]
kunas Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 07/10/09
Posts: 763
Loc: va
great story and great bull congrats Ron

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#6944592 - 10/06/12 Re: My best bull yet - 2012 Idaho Public land hunt (long) [Re: rdd]
hamr56 Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 05/15/08
Posts: 974
Loc: Wyoming
Love that Bull really cool thirds on that one. Congrats that is a dandy!

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#6944913 - 10/07/12 Re: My best bull yet - 2012 Idaho Public land hunt (long) [Re: hamr56]
Killertraylor Offline
Campfire Guide

Registered: 03/03/08
Posts: 3040
Loc: Warren, OR
Thanks for the kind words, everyone. 3 days later I'm still feeling the rush. We spend so much time all year reloading, upgrading our backpacking gear, reading ballistic charts and reloading manuals, debating calibers, bullet choices, boots and gear. It's really nice when it all comes together.

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#6944993 - 10/07/12 Re: My best bull yet - 2012 Idaho Public land hunt (long) [Re: rdd]
7mmMato Offline
Campfire Ranger

Registered: 01/26/09
Posts: 1521
Loc: Northwest Missouri
Good Job

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