Close Doesn’t Count!

Published 2008-10-08

The Author watches as the first sunlight reaches the high country. Photo by Tyler Johnerson

Well, I can’t say I didn’t have my chances. I hiked into a completely new area and spent a total of 2 days scouring for elk. I saw 18 different bulls with only 2 being shooters. I had an opportunity at a smaller 5 x 6 on the first evening but he wasn’t what I was after. I had one of the shooters at full draw Wednesday morning at 50 yards before he winded me and wheeled out not giving me any shot. Pushing on I relocated the herd bull, four satellites and 18 cows. They were 2 basins away and this was the last morning of my fall archery hunting season.

It was freezing cold throughout the night and into the next morning. Above treeline, the wind was brutal….. but that is where the elk were. I waited about an hour for my opportunity to develop. Laying there freezing for about 30 minutes in one spot, I let at least 10 cows and three of the five bulls leak by me at 10 to 50 yards away. I was perched in the cliffs in what resembled more goat country than anything else! I was wearing every piece of clothing I had with me and kept thinking, “Can I make the shot with this jacket?” “Yes”, I kept saying to myself, you have your arm guard on, it’ll be fine….it wasn’t fine!

When my moment of opportunity presented itself, it was almost too good to be true. It was my very last hunt for this year with a bow and it came down to this….. 25 yards and the bull had no clue I was there…perfect situation. When I let the arrow go, my string caught my sleeve up in my bicep area! The rest is left puke over!!!! A clean miss and I was truly sick!! All that effort and then it came down to the last hour, literally, and BOOM, it blew up in my face!

Oh well, that’s why we hunt. I can’t complain…. it was a great ending hunt for my bow season! Being the eternal optimist I am, maybe I didn’t kill the bull because I’m going to run into a bigger one during rifle season!

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