Editor’s Note: Forty-seven-year-old David Welch of Woodland, California, is a wilderness hunter, who has worn Mossy Oak exclusively for the last 5 years and is one of the first original Mossy Oak Pro Staff members. Although Welch hunts public lands, he sees and takes more game than the average public-land hunter.
Last year I was elk hunting in Wyoming, wearing my Mossy Oak Brush camo. I had been chasing a big, mature 6x6 bull elk through steep terrain all day long and thought I had lost him. Finally I heard the elk bugle about 150-yards from me. I was able to move to within about 50 yards, but I couldn’t see him since he was in thick dead fall cover. I cow-called to the bull and could hear him coming to me, so I picked out an opening to take the shot. I ranged the place where I was planning to take the shot, and I knew the distance was 35 yards. However, instead of coming through the lane I expected, he came through a different lane. I had to move my bow hand over a little bit. When the bull stepped into that second lane, I released the arrow, but I had failed to see a small little branch between me and the bull. I missed the bull completely. But instead of bolting and running, the bull just looked straight at me. I knew I couldn’t get another arrow on the string and draw without him seeing me, so we had a staring contest at about 40 yards. After the bull had looked at me for a long time, he just turned around and walked off. I don’t know what he would have scored. When I get in close to a bull, I try not to look at the antlers after I decide he’s a bull that I want to take.