I’ve often heard hunters speak of the highs of hunting, as well as the lows. I think sometimes the magnitude of this emotional transition is forgotten after a tag is notched.
A good friend of mine had a similar tag late last year and came home empty-handed. His biggest regret wasn’t necessarily coming home empty handed, but rather, letting himself cave to the pressure of passing on lesser bulls that he would have been very happy to hang his tag on. I didn’t want that to happen to me. I purposely didn’t set a “score” for the bull I wanted to kill — I said if I liked him, I would take him. I had trained my mind for just that occasion. I planned on passing a bull or two, because I knew I would have my chance at multiple smaller satellite type bulls.
Anticipation had me laying awake at night dreaming of large racked bulls tilting their headgear to maneuver between trees as they responded to calls and moved ever closer. I must have played it over a thousand times in my head. As the bulls head moved from my view behind a tree, I would draw and wait for his vitals to clear. I would stop him with a quick chirp and send my arrow on its way. I couldn’t wait!
Scouting trips had me drooling over big bulls. I wanted to hunt bugling bulls so I postponed the majority of my vacation days from work to hunt the last 2 weeks. My brother, and good hunting partner Ben, accompanied me and we arrived with high hopes. Our first day out resulted in no bugles and no elk. But as the sun rose on day 2 elk were found. A bull we named “Main Beams” showed himself and the hunt was on…
Stay tuned for part 2.