Editor’s Note: Scott McGann from Emmett, Idaho, is part of the Mossy Oak Western States’ Big Game Pro Staff. “My wife, Kami, and I are both on the Mossy Oak Big Game Pro Staff and have been for 9 years,” McGann says. “At the beginning of elk season, I do the calling, and Kami does the shooting. Once Kami fills her elk tag, I get to hunt.” Together this team has taken 17 elk. Kami has been bowhunting for 8 years and has harvested four elk. Scott has been hunting 25 years and has harvested 13 bulls.
In 2010 my son, Micah, was 2 months old when my wife, Kami, and I decided to go elk hunting together. We took Micah to elk hunting camp with us. We had set-up tree stands on trails. So, we traded off staying with Micah. One of us would hunt out of one of the stands in the morning, while the other one stayed with Micah. The one who stayed with Micah in the morning would hunt the other stand in the evening. We hadn’t seen anything from the two tree stands where we were hunting. So, we decided to take Micah with us and drive to a new spot.
Kami, Micah and I were riding up a forest service road and spotted a nice 5-point bull running across the road in front of us. I stopped the truck and asked Kami what she wanted to do. She told me, “Take your bow, and go see if you can take the elk. I’ll remain in the truck with Micah.” So, I got out of the truck and went up the hill about 500 yards from where we’d parked the truck and started calling. Three different bulls bugled back to me. I continued to call. A nice 5x5 bull came right down the trail where I was standing, so I stepped behind a big Ponderosa pine. When the bull was at 18 yards, I drew my bow, and the bull still didn’t see me. When he was 5-yards away from me coming down the trail, he stopped and looked straight at me. I leaned out from behind the tree, shot him right through his brisket and got a perfect heart shot. The bull wheeled and went running down the hill. When I got to the bull and touched his horns, I looked and saw the tailgate of my truck 100-yards away. That was the closest I'd ever taken a bull to the road.
I went ahead and field dressed the bull and then decided I’d better go tell Kami what had happened. As I walked to the truck, I saw Kami out of the truck, standing in the road with a bow in her hand. I thought to myself, “I wonder what’s happening?” When I reached Kami, I asked, “What’s going on?” Kami looked at me and said, “You're not going to believe this. I was in the truck breast feeding Micah. I heard you bugle, and then I heard another bull bugle. All of a sudden a 6-point bull elk stepped right out in the road where I was sitting in the truck nursing Micah. I can’t believe I didn’t get a chance to shoot that bull. He was in easy bow range.” If Kami hadn’t been nursing Micah when she heard the bull bugle, she would have gotten out of the truck with an arrow nocked. More than likely, she would have shot that 6-point bull. Then, we would have had two bulls to butcher, and we would have tagged out. Anybody else who had ridden up that road wouldn’t have believed there were three shooter bulls less than 500-yards from the road.
To learn more about hunting, check out John E. Phillips’ new eBook and print book, “Bowhunting Deer: Mossy Oak Pros Know Bucks and Bows.” You also can download a free Kindle app that enables you to read the book on your iPad, computer or Smartphone.
For information on making jerky from your deer to provide a protein-rich snack and recipes for cooking elk and mule deer, you can download free books from http://johninthewild.com/free-books.