We lived in the Willipa Hills in Pacific County, Washington, just a few miles from the Pacific Ocean.
My dad was a great deer and elk hunter, but a poor farmer, mainly because whenever hunting season would arrive, he'd drop everything and we'd head into the woods in search of whatever quarry we could find.
This particular time, it was the beginning of the 1945 elk season, and we decided to hunt in an area of Willipa Hills neither of us was familiar with. We didn't have a tent, so our plan was to sleep in my car until we either killed an elk or the season ended!
When we arrived in the area, the fog was as thick as soup and it was raining very hard. As we were driving, we spotted a new logging road that had just been built that summer. We decided to stop and walk the road, not expecting to see anything with the weather being so bad.
The hills surrounding the road are very steep, and as we rounded a sharp turn we were stunned to see a bull elk standing above a high cut bank near the next turn in the road. As soon as we spotted him, however, he took off up the hill and into the timber. I figured that was the last we'd see of him. The banks were so steep, we had no idea what was above us on the hill, but luck was on our side. Moments later, the bull appeared at the head of a small, almost barren draw above us. I quickly shouldered my rifle and knocked the bull down with my first shot. He tumbled down the hill, but stopped approximately one-third of the way from the road. We quickly started hiking up the hill after him, but it was so steep we had a hard time finding enough brush to hold on to, and several times we lost our grip and tumbled back to the road.
When we finally got to the bull, we managed to roll him down the hill (don't ask me how), and he ended up only feet from the car. After dressing him out, we took one of the headlights off my car and managed to roll, pry and pull the bull onto my car's fender, denting it from front to back. It was a hunt that will live in my memory forever, as not only did we luck out on the first day of the hunt, but I was never so proud of any dent that had been left on my car!