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Chad Parsons’ First Bull Elk with a Bow


The bull I was hunting with my bow was what we call a raghorn - smaller than a 5-point bull. The bull that I took was a 4x4. I had passed on numbers of raghorn bulls in the past, but I soon realized that I needed to harvest a raghorn bull with my bow to get the monkey off my back about not having taken a bull elk with my bow. During this relatively easy hunt, I took a bull elk from a tree stand I had set up on a trail system. To be honest, I was hunting deer because I didn’t think any elk were in the area where I was hunting. My hope was to try and take a nice mule deer buck. 

I’d discovered a spot where three trails came together out of an old clear cut. As I sat in my tree stand, I saw two huge mule deer bucks moving out of the clear cut. But as they came closer, I realized that they weren’t mule deer bucks but elk. 

The two elk kept coming, and they stopped at 28 yards. I waited for 2-3 minutes for the elk to turn broadside to me. Once they did, I drew my bow. I held my bow at full draw for what seemed like an eternity but was only about 30 seconds. When I released the arrow, I saw it fly exactly where I was aiming. 

When I field dressed the bull, I saw I had made a prefect heart shot. At first I thought I had missed the bull, because when he took the arrow, he slowly turned and started walking back toward the clear cut from where he’d come. He walked about 15 yards, stopped, reared up, stood on his back legs and then fell over. 

I can’t describe how excited I was when that bull fell over. I experienced a huge adrenaline rush. I was shaking so hard in my tree stand that I really was afraid I might fall out of the stand, and I was 18 feet off the ground

Before I tried to come down out of the tree stand, I radioed my wife Rena, who was hunting about a half mile from me, and said, “Rena, I've shot a bull and I need you to come to me.” 

I told her where I was. When I had spotted the two raghorn bulls coming to me, I had already decided that I would try and take the first bull that presented a shot, which I did. 

When Rena got to my tree stand, she asked, “Where is the bull?” I pointed him out to her, and she walked out to the downed elk, lifted his head and then walked back to the tree stand. By that time, I was finally calmed down enough to climb down. 

Day 2: Chad Parsons’ First Elk Ever

Tomorrow: Chad Parsons’ Biggest Bull Elk


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