|Jackson Clark with an Idaho 6 Point Bull Elk|
Like most hunters, this hunt for me didn’t just start on opening day but instead it started months earlier when I found out I drew out on the late bull elk hunt in my area. This hunt is a pretty rare one to draw out on and is often a “hit or miss” opportunity depending on the weather. The fortunate part for me was that I spent most of the summer working up around the area I was going to be hunting so I was able to get to know some of the area pretty well. When hunting season came around I was getting excited and nervous hearing about everyone’s success or failures while I waited patiently for the general season to end so that my late season hunt could begin!
It was a cold foggy morning with 6 inches of snow on the ground when I had the opportunity to get to the mountains. As my friend and I hit the saddle we knew it was going to be a cold wet day as it had already dumped about 7 inches of snow the day before while continuing to snow. Without being able to see more than 100 yards ahead we decided to travel as slow and silent as we could on horseback. As we made it half way up the mountain we spotted a herd of elk! My heart was racing as I tried to make out the distinction of the silhouettes walking through the storm. Once we were able to get our optics to focus in on the herd of elk we saw that this herd was full of cows and a few smaller bulls, but nothing we were looking for so we continued up the mountain. My heart rate still hadn’t returned to its normal pace by the time we were sneaking through a nice draw when all of a sudden we spotted a nice bull making its way across a clearing. By this time my heart felt like it was stuck in my throat stopping me from breathing. I reached for my gun and before I knew it I was off my horse with a 6 bull centered in my cross hairs. As I watched him in my scope he was standing broadside looking at me just like I had been dreaming about for 5 months since I drew out on this tag. The bull turned his head to run but I wasn’t about to let this opportunity pass me by, there was no way I was even going to give this guy the chance of getting away. Just as I pulled the trigger and saw his body buckle underneath him as he hit the ground. When I pulled the trigger, my horse spooked and took off running about 40 yards away then slowed down… My friend and I got my horse and then waited about 15 minutes before going up to the elk. The feeling I got when I walked up to my elk was just the way I had hoped I would feel when I first drew this tag. I didn’t want to settle for a small bull when I knew what I potentially could put my tag on in this area. We celebrated for a good while before field dressed him and figuring out how to get him out of there. The snow turning into being a blessing in disguise allowing me to drag this guy out behind my horse. It was easy going for the most part except for when we would have to tie up the horses and drag him through the random rock piles. When we finally got to the trailer we were exhausted from all of the work and excitement but knew that all of our efforts had paid off exactly the way we had hoped they would!
|Draggin him out!|