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Steve Yelton

THE SURPRISE BULL!

After a disappointing archery elk season last year I just wanted to harvest an elk with my Parker Hornet bow. I sat three evenings at the Honey Hole only seeing a cow and her calf along with a couple of small mule deer. The game camera showed a nice 6X7 frequenting the pond, but as of yet I only saw him the second morning of the season and couldn’t close the distance. With lots of afternoon rains the first week, the Honey Hole was not the hot spot it is when the weather is dry and hot. As Labor day weekend started it was dry and still nothing at the Honey Hole in the evenings, so Saturday morning I was sneaking into the Honey Hole right at day break , which takes about 45 minutes to sneak to, as I was about 300 yards from the Hole I was about to entering a clearing on the little two tract road when I saw his antlers through the oak brush. At this point I could see he was a very nice bull and only 75 yards away I was in the open, but he was walking away from me and up wind of me without knowing of my presence. I watch him head towards the Honey Hole, so I thought, but he turned and headed into the drainage just below the pond. So my plan was to go up the road to the south end of the Honey Hole and wait for him to come in and drink. Well as often times elk have a way that changes your best plans. This bull decided to rake his antlers on some small brush in the drainage which gave me plan “B”, stock in close for a chance at a shot. So I inched towards him while he was busy making a lot of noise and I closed the distance to about 50 yards. So I began to setup the tripod for my video camera, using his noise to cover up my noise and movement. I set the camera to view the bull and the little clearing just beyond him. I thought while he was raking his antlers I would close the distance even more. I inched within 30 yards of him, when he heard me snap the littlest twig. He paused for what seemed an hour, and then he went back to working over a willow bush this time, so I positioned myself for a shot. Well you guessed wrong, he stopped and turned back around and stepped up in full view and quartering away at 32 yards. Didn’t know for sure that I was there and I came to full draw without him seeing me. The release was great and right on the target. I couldn’t see my arrow in flight and thus wondered for a moment if I hit him. He trotted about 15 yards and stopped to look back at me, so I kneeled down and knocked another arrow. I was able to knock the second arrow without him seeing me. I started to raise back up real slow to draw for a second shot, when what he then did was a complete SURPRISE! He fell over dead! Is this really happening I thought, then excitement set-in. I did what every hunter does these days when excited, I sent a text message to my wife to say Big Bull Down. Crazy I know, but that is what I thought about while watching him not move a muscle. Well no blood trail to worry about just work fast to get him cooled out before it got hot.

After hunting for 36 years I never dreamed of a kill like this. Thanks to a 4 year old Parker bow that work quiet and perfectly I now have a trophy. To many times archery kills are in the evening and you spend hours tracking blood a trail in the dark and taking care of the harvest in the dark. What a great surprise this was for me on a DYI hunt at age 55. I live in Western Colorado and love the outdoors!

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