After my hunt great hunt at Gardner Ranch Outfitters I had a few hours before departing and decided to join my good fiend Doug Gardner and Minnesota client Mark Watkins for a short elk hunt.
While scouting we saw a small bull as Doug worked his way to a remote canyon where we parked the suburban to hike near a series of springs to call and hopefully tease a bull into range. We had no longer slammed the truck doors when Doug's bugle spurred a bull into answering. Seconds later the bull answered again without a call from Doug's bugle. This bull was serious and closing fast.
We quickly hatched a plan. Doug would go above us and call. Watkins and I would find some cover between Doug and the bull and wait. My role was to range for Watkins in case the bull wandered before closing the distance.
Within minutes Watkins whispered he spotted the bull and soon I saw him from my hidden location. I eased up to Watkins as he prepared to draw on the incoming bull. When the bull crossed a small wash Watkins drew an arrow and as the bull stepped into a small opening I ranged and whispered "20 yards."
The bull stopped as if on cue and Watkins made a perfect shot. It was so perfect that the bull raced up the hill to a still bugling Doug and tipped over less than 8 yards from him. Doug let out a victory whoop and we all raced over to admire the big bull.
You couldn't have scripted a better hunt. In fact, the entire event took approximately 15 minutes from the time we started our hike to the point where we were back slapping over the expired bull.
Sometimes the planets and stars do align. I hope they do for me while bowhunting elk in Wyoming.
Congratulations Mark Watkins!
I planned it to work that way!