with Mark Hanson
Henry Zipf, my hunting buddy, also had drawn a tag for Unit 27. Henry had allowed me to leave my camper at his cabin and to plug in to his water and electricity. He’d also gone with me to help carry out my elk. Six days later I went back to my camper, planning to hunt with Henry without my bow. I wanted to help Henry look for a bull and call one in for him. Henry was fairly new to elk hunting, and was even less experienced in archery hunting for elk. Henry wasn’t particular about having to take a monster bull. I knew some smaller bulls were in the area where I’d taken my bull elk six days earlier. As soon as we reached the place where I’d taken my elk, I started cow calling and had a bull answer me. I set Henry up where I thought he would get a shot, and I backed off about 100 yards from Henry to try to call the bull within bow range.
Henry’s stand was only 50 yards from where I had killed my bull elk. On this same mountaintop, I’d either taken or called bulls in for people I was helping, We'd harvested eight bulls near or where I had Henry set up. When the bull came in, he was 47 yards from Henry, a somewhat long bow shot for him. At that time, Henry was shooting one of the PSE Dream Season X-Force bows, and I’d helped him set it up and sight it in. Henry had an opening to shoot through, but he failed to try and stop the elk before he took the shot. At that time, Henry didn’t have enough experience to know how far he needed to lead a bull before he released the arrow, if the bull was walking. He realized he’d made a bad hit.
But when I went to the spot where Henry had hit the bull, I saw we had a fairly good blood trail. We backed out of the area and waited an hour. When we came back to start blood trailing the elk, Henry said, “When I shot the bull, he spun around. I wasn’t sure where I hit him, but I quickly nocked another arrow and shot. I'm pretty sure I missed him with that arrow.”
When we started blood trailing the bull, we found Henry’s second arrow. The arrow didn’t have any blood on it, and it didn’t have any other sign that Henry had hit the bull with his second arrow. As we trailed the bull, we hadn’t gone very far before we found Henry’s first arrow, and that arrow had blood on it. As I studied the blood, I could tell it wasn’t lung blood, but it might be artery blood.
We went about 400 yards, and I heard some cows down in the canyon calling. So, we stopped and waited. When the cows quit calling, we followed the trail about another 200 yards. The blood trail turned and went downhill toward where we’d heard the cows calling. We went down the hill about another 75 yards and located Henry’s bull. A big tree had fallen over and left a hole where the roots came up out of the ground, and Henry’s elk was in that hole.
When I looked to see where Henry had hit the bull, I discovered he had hit the inside portion of the elk’s back leg on the opposite side of the animal from where he was shooting. His broadhead had cut the elk’s femoral artery. The elk was a 6x6 that would score about 280. We skinned the elk, put the meat on the frame packs and carried him out. Henry was really excited, and I was excited for him.
Tomorrow: Mark Hanson’s Biggest Muley