Wednesday, November 30, 2011

One tough bull!

Alright, tonight I have another elk to show you, and what a story to go with it!  Some of you that may read this may think that some details may sound a little far-fetched, but I want to assure you that the details checked out perfectly with three different individuals involved.  Besides, have you ever known a hunter to stretch the truth?  I mean seriously!
The bull was taken by my cousin, Matt Morgan, who is from Panguitch, Utah but currently lives in northern Utah.  Matt was fortunate to draw a late-season rifle bull tag this year, a hunt that I was very excited to be a part of until I came down ill for almost 3 weeks!  What perfect timing, right?   Matt was accompanied on his hunt by a great bunch of guys when it comes to elk hunting; Zach Owens, Mike Marshall, Randy Dickinson, and Joe Griffin. 

Matt tells us “we left camp and headed up the mountain; myself, Mike, and Zach in one Rhino, Joe and Randy following in another.  We came out on a bench where we spotted a bunch of deer.  We glassed them and saw only does, so we started getting ready to move on.  As I said lets go Mike said “well don’t you think he is worth another look?”  I looked up higher on the hill and there was the bull, way above the deer!”

Zach and Matt left the Rhino and started to put a stalk on the bull as the others stayed behind to spot for them.  They worked their way down in towards the bull in the heavy, snow covered, downed timber.  Matt recalled how hard it was to walk through the mess, slipping and sliding over the tangled logs.  They finally worked into a good position 264 yards from the bull.  Matt struggled to find a shooting position on a snow covered log, and finally opted for a free handed shot that he felt comfortable with and touched off his shot from his .300 mag.  Zach quickly responded that he was hit, and hit good in the chest.  But tell the bull that!  The bull took off through the timber, going hard uphill.  After some time had passed the group began what would become an amazing pursuit of the bull’s blood trail; through the tangled mess of timber, up a very steep lava rock slide, and leading them all over in circles!   Now the bull had made his way out on top of the mountain.  Matt tells of how this bull would mingle with other herds of elk and wander all over through their tracks, then head out and walk circles again…a very difficult trail to follow had he not been leaving blood as well.  Everywhere the bull bedded down were huge puddles of blood, yet he kept going!  After a day spent trialing him across the rim they finally decided to back off and let him go down.  They took the next day off, and began their pursuit again the following day.

Matt said they had no problem picking up the trail again, 3 days after the shot.  They trailed the bull across the rim, down another lava slide, then down off into a canyon.  Again the bull moved back into a thick tangled mess of timber.  Things were looking up as the trail looked fresh!  Soon there was the sound of branches breaking.  As they worked down into a nasty timber pocket Zach spotted the bull, and whispered to Matt “there he is.”  Matt was able to work into about 50 yards where he had a great position on the bull.  He had switched out the .300 for his 45-70.  This time there was no doubt.  Matt fired again and the bull finally took his last steps.

So the final report?  Zach said that his GPS unit registered 15.4 miles of wandering the bull’s blood trail!  And there were parts he did not hike himself as he skipped ahead to different roads to find the trail.  15.4 miles!  Incredible!  What a great bull to make it worth it!  The bull scores 350, and just look at those amazing swords in the pictures!  Good job Matt! 

Matt wanted me to thank his good friends and family members that joined him on his hunt.  Matt says “Zach, Mike, Randy, and Joe made my hunt.  My hat is off to these guys!”  I also want to thank you Matt for sharing a great story with us!  Here’s hoping you have some more great ones for us down the road!

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