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Re: AZ Bull Elk Hunt 2019-Beating the Odds [Re: huntinaz] #14341850 12/05/19
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Great story, can't wait to hear more.

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Re: AZ Bull Elk Hunt 2019-Beating the Odds [Re: huntinaz] #14342142 12/06/19
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Great job guys.

Re: AZ Bull Elk Hunt 2019-Beating the Odds [Re: huntinaz] #14342449 12/06/19
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great story & pics.........

gotta love AZ high country.......

Re: AZ Bull Elk Hunt 2019-Beating the Odds [Re: huntinaz] #14343488 12/06/19
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Jeremiah Weed is the perfect celabtory drink in elk camp..however, a bottle doesnt last long between 8 celebrating dudes!

Re: AZ Bull Elk Hunt 2019-Beating the Odds [Re: huntinaz] #14343654 12/06/19
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Thoroughly enjoyed! Great story and pics, congrats to you guys.

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Re: AZ Bull Elk Hunt 2019-Beating the Odds [Re: huntinaz] #14345571 12/06/19
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Day 4

And so it was down to Tate. This was actually my little brother's first bull elk tag. He's always put a late cow hunt as second choice and he's killed a pile of cows, but four years ago I convinced him to hold out for a bull tag and this was his year. To be honest I genuinely hoped he would kill the biggest bull and with the last four days completely dedicated to him I had zero doubts we'd be filling this tag. It was just a matter of when, and how big.

The morning found us further down Beech-Nut canyon looking for a bull. Moose slept in, Casey and Clark joined us for the morning. Another beautiful sunrise and the spot seemed likely, but all we found were cow elk:
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

Mid day we were making our way down the canyon rim, trying to find a bedded bull on the north-facing side. We were not successful with this effort but we did stumble right into a herd of cows we had seen earlier in the morning. They were all asleep! I've only seen this a couple times, where I could tell a deer or elk was sleeping. We were able to get within 100 yards of these sleeping elk and we watched them for about 20 minutes. It really was a good learning experience. I could see one cow in particular very well I set up my tripod so I could watch her sleep. She moved her ears periodically, she turned her head once in awhile, she chewed her cud. She appeared mostly alert, except her eyes were closed and she was zonked out. Her eyes never opened the whole time. and at one point she layed her head down and curled up with her head near her tail like a dog and was completely racked out. She should probably have been fired from her position as sentry. Anyway as we watched the elk for the better part of half an hour I was fairly overcome by something that I think about a lot; I love elk. I love them. I love to see them, I love to watch them, I love being out where they are and being part of their game. And what is profound for me is just business as usual for them. The sun, the rain, the wind, the snow, the cold and the chase and the blood. This was day 4 of a truly epic hunt for me, epic for the time spent with my dad and brother and best friends, for the experience and the success and the failures and for the nature of the business... and for them it was just another day. Same game, different sides of the food pyramid. I think there's a lesson in there somewhere. That's what I was thinking as we made the walk back to the truck. Here's the sleeping sentry:

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

Casey, Clark and Moose had to leave mid day and they did. It was now up to me, Dad, Tate and Paulie. I had a new spot in mind to check out and the only little wheel rut road we could find into the country hadn't been driven since the storm. 500 yards down the road revealed that many animals were traveling the canyon bottom so we decided to park right there and start hunting the canyon. As soon as we got to the top my dad spotted an elk and the Swaros revealed two bulls, one 4-5 point raghorn and one 6x6 bull about the size Clark and I killed. They were feeding in the thick cliff rose and pinons and junipers on top the the ridge two canyons over. Tate and I crossed to the next ridge and got within range but between the different angles, elevation and their position on the hill, we could not see them.

Nearing dark I finally glassed up an antler moving above some cliff rose. After a minute the whole bull came into a small clearing and this was the bull we had been looking for all hunt. He was not one of the original bulls, he was bigger. A nice wide, tall, heavy 6x6 clearly bigger than anything we'd seen. We were 340 yards from him and Tate's rifle will do that but the tip of a juniper tree was just covering what was important. We just didn't quite have the right angle. Had we been twenty yards to our left we'd have had the shot (we found this out later). As he came into this small clearing he looked in our direction a long time, apparently assessing our side of the hill and the open country below him. He then started eating again but always being careful to look around as well, making it impossible for us to move on him. He was being smart. Finally he took a few steps out of it and we got the angle we needed should he step back into that clearing or the next one but he never did. He stayed up in that thick stuff never presenting a shot. We also had confirmation from Paulie and Dad that the original bulls were still around but they stayed out of shooting lanes as well.

We decided not to gamble on still-hunting and spooking them with darkness approaching and instead we backed out hoping we'd be able to catch that bull in better country nearby in the morning. So it was we spent all afternoon in range of two different shooter bulls but never got a shot. Perhaps the next day would be better...




Re: AZ Bull Elk Hunt 2019-Beating the Odds [Re: huntinaz] #14345640 12/07/19
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Day 5

We were back to the same spot first thing in the morning trying to locate the bulls from last night but they were nowhere to be found. We moved our way down the canyon, looking for elk and assessing the new country. Tate mentioned to me his standards were slipping, maybe he wasn't ready to settle for a spike yet but almost any bull would do. I said that's fine but I'm ready to hunt the whole time to find you a bull. He agreed but he was ready to kill one.

By 10am we'd made it to the point we wanted to make it to and we'd seen nothing. We wanted to spend all day in this area given the elk sign we were seeing, the lack of human sign we were seeing, and the bulls we'd seen the night before. We made a plan that Paulie would go back to the best glassing spot we'd found that morning and we would wrap around and still-hunt a thick bedding area we'd seen some fresh bull tracks heading into. But first, we just had to go check out further down the canyon. The vegetation opened up dramatically along the north side of the canyon but there was enough vegetation on the north facing side that allowed shaded bedding. We decided to go maybe one more mile down and see how it looked. The problem was it was to wide open to move slowly along the rim so we had to get way into the flats and travel and then sneak up to the rim at intervals. Walking quickly in wide-open country mid day doesn't always seem like great elk hunting practice but in some circumstances it makes sense;)

About half mile down we were sneaking up to the rim behind a juniper tree, being careful to look at everything we could see before advancing every few steps so as not to spook out our glassing spot before we got there. We were almost to the rim when Tate said I've got an elk. It's a bull. I could not see it from my angle, the juniper tree we were using as cover blocked my view which was good. Dad stayed there to keep an eye on the bull. As we eased up to the tree and cleared past it to the right for a shot I ranged the bull at 310 yards. It was bedded in the sun and appeared to be looking our way but didn't stand up. Tate set up on sticks and dialed up to 300 yards. I looked the bull over quick and knew it wasn't big, appeared to be missing a lot of brow tines, so I said hey do you want me to try and find any other bulls before you shoot that one? His response was a flat "nope." He was gonna kill that bull. It was time.

He set up and aimed and just as I was about to whisper that he had plenty of time and not to rush the shot, he ripped one off. Clean miss right over the top. The bull leaped up and stared hard at the torn up dirt that had just sprung up behind him. Judging by what I'd seen the day before, I truly believe this bull elk was asleep and the bullet hitting behind him and the shot woke him up. He appeared to be looking our direction before the shot but the noise he would have heard first was the bullet impact behind him, not the report of the rifle, and that's where he was looking. Anyway Tate racked another and I heard him exhale. The next shot found its mark and the bull's legs gave out and he fell over backwards. Tate's first bull, our final bull, was on the ground! I said you did it buddy, you finally killed a bull elk. You waited four years to draw this tag and you filled it. He said to me "I've waited 32 years for this moment, Jacob"

My little bro's first bull elk, turned out to be a funky 3x5. His right antler base is bent forward, a gene we've seen once in awhile, and he's busted a brow tine off his full 6-point side:
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

Ready for the pack out:
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

The pack out wasn't too bad. We got back to camp well before dark and we tied one on. We figured there was cause for celebration. Four bulls in five days was a good feat for us. I love hunting the Arizona high desert. It was certainly tough to get snowed out of our normal spot but beating the odds and going out and having a fantastic hunt anyway was special. I just love to hunt, and lining up on a bull elk is right up near the pinnacle of it for me. So much of my life is wrapped up in elk. I've been cutting meat for two days now and though my freezer is filling up fast I know that it'll be emptying faster than the next tag will come and I can't wait to go chase them again. This was a long-winded post but I wanted to try and tell it as grand as it was to all of us, so I can go back and read it and remember how great it was. These aren't the biggest bulls around but they are special to us and this hunt will be tough to beat. I'm excited for what the coming years will bring. Happy hunting.




Re: AZ Bull Elk Hunt 2019-Beating the Odds [Re: huntinaz] #14345664 12/07/19
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Post script:

I really missed Ben on this hunt. He would have loved it.

It was great to see Clark. We only ever see each other when we have the same tag, I hope he starts putting in for deer with us.

Casey has put me in good coues hunting spots and I’m glad I was able to put him on an elk. I hope he visits me soon, maybe we can eat steak and drink bourbon.

I hope Tate keeps putting in for bulls with me but I understand if he can’t wait between tags. Eating elk consistently is important to us. I’m super glad I was there for his first.

I owe Paulie a bull elk and we learned some good stuff that will help when he draws that archery tag he’s waiting for. Can’t wait for that.

Moose is welcome in camp any time. Especially back county elk camp. I hope to see that guy again.




Re: AZ Bull Elk Hunt 2019-Beating the Odds [Re: huntinaz] #14345752 12/07/19
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Congratulations on a great hunt with family and good friends.. Thanks for sharing it with us.


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Re: AZ Bull Elk Hunt 2019-Beating the Odds [Re: huntinaz] #14346181 12/07/19
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What an awesome hunt buddy! We don't do it nearly enough, but we made up for lost time.

Thanks for all your help!

IC-B

Re: AZ Bull Elk Hunt 2019-Beating the Odds [Re: huntinaz] #14346242 12/07/19
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Great job guys...


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Re: AZ Bull Elk Hunt 2019-Beating the Odds [Re: huntinaz] #14347126 12/07/19
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Congratulations! Hard to beat that hunt!

Re: AZ Bull Elk Hunt 2019-Beating the Odds [Re: firstcoueswas80] #14347246 12/07/19
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Originally Posted by firstcoueswas80
What an awesome hunt buddy! We don't do it nearly enough, but we made up for lost time.

Thanks for all your help!


Good to see you man




Re: AZ Bull Elk Hunt 2019-Beating the Odds [Re: huntinaz] #14347411 12/07/19
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great write up. thanks for posting the story & pics I enjoy it . they don't have that kind of critter down here

Re: AZ Bull Elk Hunt 2019-Beating the Odds [Re: huntinaz] #14348661 12/07/19
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Great report! Thanks for posting and congrats!


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Re: AZ Bull Elk Hunt 2019-Beating the Odds [Re: huntinaz] #14349887 12/08/19
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Congratulations.

Re: AZ Bull Elk Hunt 2019-Beating the Odds [Re: huntinaz] #14351289 12/08/19
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👍

Re: AZ Bull Elk Hunt 2019-Beating the Odds [Re: huntinaz] #14351877 12/08/19
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Awesome job all the way around!!!


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Re: AZ Bull Elk Hunt 2019-Beating the Odds [Re: huntinaz] #14351880 12/08/19
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Great story and nice elk. I love hunts like that, with family and great friends!

Re: AZ Bull Elk Hunt 2019-Beating the Odds [Re: huntinaz] #14352033 12/08/19
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Good work boys! And nice write up. Lots of work accomplished in a few short days

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