Saturday, October 8, 2011

Rod's Archery Elk Hunt Opening Day

I had the pleasure of hunting the first week of the archery elk hunt with Rod Pue Bicare and his friend Rick. Like most of us who draw an archery elk tag in AZ, Rod had waited a long time for this opportunity and was willing to pass lesser bulls for the chance at an Arizona Legend.
Opening morning we were after a bull we had glassed just before dark the evening before. The first bull we got on that morning we called "Goofy". While he had gathered a fair amount of girlfriends, his left antler came out of his head funky and his eyeguards on that side were extremely short. At 50 yards we decided to pass. It was a great way to start the hunt.

After our encounter with "Goofy", a big herd of elk with several bugling bulls drew us down into a deep hole. We eventually caught up to the herd and watched in amazement as they filed through an opening about 150 yards in front of us. After watching over 80 elk go by without a bull over 300" we were feeling a bit down, however there was still one bugling bull coming that we hadn't seen. That bull finally came through the opening and looked pretty good.

We did get a little footage of him, so we decided we should go back to camp and take a closer look at the footage since the elk were all headed to their beds.
After checking out the footage, we decided to sneak in and try to find him again. We were fortunate to find him in his bed and spent quite a bit of time watching him in the binoculars at about 150 yards again.

We decided he was just a bit too small for the first day, so we walked away from him in his bed.
We continued to chase bugling bulls for the rest of the afternoon, but did not find any shooters.

Notice the same gene this bull shares with the Goofy bull.....

This 5x5 came in to 20 yards!

On our way back to the truck we swung by the spot where the shooter from earlier was bedded down. Sure enough, he was up and feeding with over 50 cows! As luck would have it, we were able to sneak within bow range of him and captured some great footage.

What a way to end the first day of our hunt! I have got to hand it to Rod. Not too many people could have stuck to their guns and let this bull walk. Can't wait to see what he looks like next year!
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