Bobby Joe's second bull Elk!
6x7 Bull, he is magnificent
I was very fortunate to harvest him!
I have saddle sores, sore knees, and can't sleep on soft beds any more, but that is all OK. The adventure I just had was worth it. I was camped under a tarp/lean too 3 hours by horse from the truck for that time and that was to short. It is a beautiful canyon valley in the Greybull River drainage.
I was up for 3 days the first trip where I woke up to wolves howling the first morning, so I made coffee and listened to them until they stopped. Saw some Elk but that was all the time I had, so I didn't get one.
I hunted with a bow for the first 8 days plus 3 from the first trip. Saw many animals, including the ones I was hunting, ELK! The most magnificent animal I have ever hunted. They climbed hills that are almost a 45 degree grade and hang above where the mountain sheep live in the rim rocks, which is where I spent some time.
I had no close enough shots during archery but had some wonderful experiences. There is no feeling in the world like trusting your horse to follow the trail home after dark through country where bears and wolves live. All you can do is look up and watch yourself go through the trees and the only reason you can tell that is the stars going by the trees. Another fantastic sensation is hunting in a canyon another 2 hours by horse from camp, all you have for protection is your bow, knife and maybe bear spray, if you remember to take it, and out of the heavy black timber walks the biggest bear you have ever seen in your life and the horse are not tied to the tree. The question is, What do you do? Well you quickly take care of the horses because the walk is long and darkness is close and then you take pictures of course! Unfortunately all I had was a little instamatic and the pictures did not come out since it was dark. Oh, well, better luck next time. Fortunately there was no bear incidents on this trip, none the less, you always respect that they can be anywhere at anytime and you don't let your guard down even for a moment.
One morning we were traveling up the trail when we saw a young elk that had been killed that morning or late in the night by wolves. We know this because another 5 minutes up the trail, they started howling across the creek in the heavy timber. They didn't know we were there, and there were about 6 or 7 adult wolves howling. It was very cool but talk about making the hair on your arm stand up. WOW!!!!!! When we returned that evening a big black wolf was on the kill.
We had moose run through our camp while we were there and only the dogs know what went through camp when we weren't there and they are not talking.
I saw young Big Horn mountain sheep running and playing (butting heads) on the rim rocks like it was nothing, and to watch them it was nothing to them. I sat and watched them for about an hour and forgot about elk hunting for that time. It was way cool and very relaxing too.
Well this was just a few of the more exciting things that happened during my stay in the mountains. Oh, wait, the most exciting thing that happened, how could I have almost forget to tell you the most exciting thing that happened. The sound of the magnificent Bull Elk bugling near or in the distance is a sound you start dreaming about the day after your hunt is finished until the first chance you get to go and chase them the next year. Another words, you hear them in your sleep all the time. Sometime they have such a loud bugle they sound like they are just over the next hill when in fact they are 1/4 mile away. Unlike the wolves this sound makes the hair stand up all over your body. WOW!!!!
I harvested my bull the 2nd of October at 8 AM. It was a 458 yard shot and I hit him twice in the left shoulder. By the time I had him ready to load on the horses, walked down the mountain and retrieved the horses and got him loaded on the horses, it was noon. A lot of work by yourself. You have to constantly look over your shoulder because of the size of the bear tracks we saw in this particular drainage and not to mention the fact that I had blood on me up to my elbows. All this makes you appreciate your harvest even more.
I only wish I grew up in these mountains so I have a lot to learn about being apart of them, but I think I'm learning pretty quickly and loving every second of it!!! One thing is for sure, like electricity, never ever take the mountains for granted or they can and sometimes will take you forever! Quite frankly, there would be no better place to end up than the mountains.
Now please take a moment and say a prayer for god to give me a new pair of knees!!!!! hahahaha
Hope you enjoyed the story and the pictures!
Bobby Joe Long
Email Bobby Joe at: firstname.lastname@example.org