Letter by Jordan Schroeder.
The first day we were out, we didn’t get much accomplished other than a bunch of hiking. We couldn’t find a whole lot of sign and they were not talking.
That same afternoon my buddy and I had a 5×5 come in at 42 yards. Another situation where we weren’t really ready for him. We were walking/hunting an old logging road back early afternoon to the wheelers so we could pack up and move our base camp, when that bull responded to a bugle. Next thing we know he’s crashing through the trees and is looking right at us. We only had enough time to split up and get on each side of the logging road and range a few trees. Neither one of us had much backdrop, so once the bull came through the trees, he pretty much stopped in his tracks.
Day two, we decided to go check out another spot we thought looked good on Google Earth, and we were right. It was loaded with Elk. My brother was at full draw on a herd bull at 25 yards, but was never presented with a shot. He had a cow and calf with him and my two brothers pretty much stumbled on them, so they were not really able to get set up in front of anything, so they tried to work with what they had.
One mistake we made was not having a plan as to who would be the shooter in that situation. We had all agreed pretty much if anyone has an opportunity, take it, and nobody would be upset. Just as I was getting ready to draw, I saw my buddy out of the corner of my eye draw, so I stopped. Come to find out, he didn’t have a shot at that time, and I had an open broadside shot, but neither of us knew each other’s shot situation. Sucks knowing that now, but having that opportunity was incredible.
The rest of the week nobody was able to get in position for a shot, but saw Elk every day.
After the first day at the new spot, we made sure to have a better plan of attack with multiple shooters. I was calling (attempting to call anyway haha) for one of my brothers one afternoon and had one bugle back so we started moving pretty quick down the mountain to close the gap. He was talking back to me quite a bit, whether it was responding to my bugle or cow call. At one point he went quiet for several minutes, so I did too. Is that the thing to do, or continue to call?
If I had to guess, at that point we were probably 100ish yards away from him. After probably 10 minutes, I cow called and he sounded off immediately. It didn’t sound like he had really moved, but at that point we saw his cows, but still hadn’t seen him.
We had to be within about 50 yards at one point because one of his bugles sounded awfully close. He was chuckling and almost sounded like a gurgle a couple different times. He sounded pretty aggressive at that point, which was awesome! Unfortunately, we never did see him but, wow, that was fun! My initial thoughts was if we had a more experienced caller with us, a few, if not all of us could have tagged out.
We all learned a boat load for the next go round! Thanks again for all the info. One thing that we all got out of it was some pretty incredible memories and views.