Editor’s Note: Mike Magrew of O’Fallon, Missouri, is a ProStaffer with Mossy Oak, who loves to hunt big-game animals.
I was hunting in southwest Colorado just outside Montrose. I had been sitting by a waterhole off and on for several days. I didn’t hunt this waterhole every day, but one evening I slipped-down close to the waterhole, because the weather had been very hot. I thought the elk would have to come in to drink. When I got close to the hole, I found a nice spot to build a blind. I wanted to break-off some limbs around the blind to create more shooting lanes. As I was breaking the limbs, a bull bugled. I had been hunting this area for a week and a half, and this was the first bugle I’d heard. The bull was close enough to me that he heard me breaking the limbs and thought there was another bull at the waterhole, battling a tree with his antlers. I estimated that the bull was 85-90 yards away, so I backed-up and sat-down on a stool in my blind.
In less than a minute, a nice 5X5 bull came into the waterhole and was looking for the bull he thought had been breaking the limbs. He ran all the way into the wallow, 30-yards from the blind I had built. What I didn’t realize was this bull was creating a new wallow about 30-yards further out than the one I had ranged. I drew my bow, put my 30-yard pin where I wanted the arrow to hit and missed the bull. He flinched, tightened his muscles and started looking around, since he didn’t know what had created the sound. Then he started pawing the wallow again. I nocked another arrow and realized the bull was further than I thought. I adjusted my aiming point to compensate for more distance. By this time, the bull was lying in the wallow, and the only shot I had was through the belly as he laid there. He was rolling around and never knew he had been shot. He started to stand-up, and by that time I already had nocked another arrow and shot him again. This time I had a perfect shot and delivered the arrow right behind his shoulder. After the third shot, the elk realized he really didn’t need to be where he was and took-off running. I decided not to track him until after dark. He only went about 120 yards.
I was shooting a BowTech Captain with a G5 Striker broadhead and wearing Mossy Oak Brush from head to toe. I’ll never forget the day I missed a bull but was finally able to recover him. Most bowhunters hope to get one shot at a bull elk, and after a week and a half of hunting, I took three shots at one bull.