|Jennie with her hard-earned Limited Entry Elk|
With a coveted elk tag in my pocket and locating several giant bulls prior to my hunt I was anxious to get on the mountain. I had my sights set on one bull in particular a giant 6×8. It is an accomplishment to find a bull that you want to harvest but when the rut is in full swing it’s tough to keep track of them. With our gear ready and our hopes high we headed out. We hiked in and started glassing, My husband Riley, had him spotted within 5 min after first light about ½ mile away. We had to close the distance and fast. The adrenaline rush began. It felt like we ran the whole way, I was so nervous anticipating the moment that was to come. I knew Riley could get me in on “The Bull” but could I make the shot? We got to within 400 yards of him and I thought this was it! As I set up to take the shot with my heart racing and hands shaking the bull moved into the pines. I had that sinking feeling that I had just missed my opportunity. Riley assured me that if we were patient I would get another chance. It felt like the longest afternoon ever. Finally around 2 pm the bugling started and I perked up and couldn’t get enough of all the elk talk that was going on. We decided it would be best to move to a different vantage point. Sneaking 100 yards and crawling another 50 yards we felt like we were in the perfect spot. I unloaded my pack and set up my Gunwerks 7 LRM. The cows started moving and so did the bull. I caught a glimpse of him through the trees but the clear shot just wasn’t there. I thought we were going to lose him as we watched him disappear in thick trees for what felt like was hours. About 20 min later the cows started filing out “babe, get ready he is going come out with those cows.” I felt like my heart was going to pound out of my chest as his horns slowly moved out into the open. It was him! I settled my crosshairs on him as he followed his cows straight away. He was 357 yards away. Overwhelming thoughts flooded through my head. I had a top of the line gun loaded with a Barnes 168 gr. LRX bullet and one chance, that was it! I held steady breathing slow reaching for the trigger and hoping for that small window that he would angle just enough to give me a clean shot. Boom! I smacked him! I couldn’t believe I had accomplished this feat. With emotions running high and tears streaming down my face, my proud husband congratulated me and we headed down to see our awesome bull.
It never gets old, that huge feeling of accomplishment when harvesting an animal so big and beautiful. I have such great respect for these majestic creatures. This is that proud moment that you get to keep, reminisce about and share over and over again. After lots of pictures the real work began. Our friends/spotters (Trevor, Tyler, Brian, Clay and Angie) helped spend the next couple hours cutting up and loading meat in our packs. We are grateful for our friends and couldn’t have done it without them. It was a long grueling night with many obstacles to cross. We trudged along laughing and cussing at why anyone would hike into that hole. As we all crawled over that last ridge and headed down the final trail I knew that this would be a hunt that we would all long remember. I could see the glimmer of a truck in the moonlight and checked my phone 2:41 am!
Victory was ours we had harvested a huge Elk and made it out. I love this sport and the memories that come with it. With a deep love of the outdoors and great local support we not only get to enjoy hunting as a hobby but through our business – named “The Bow Shop” here in Nephi, Utah we are making a career.