Elk Camp Day 2
I was still riding high when the alarm went off on the morning of Day 2.
I was eager to hit the hills again, this timing filming for my buddy, Randy Malcore, of Trophies of Grace. Randy’s a good dude with a passion for chasing big game throughout the country. Randy heads up Trophies of Grace, a traveling whitetail display with replicas of the biggest bucks in the world for outdoor expos, wild game dinners, and sportsmen’s banquets. Randy had helped me pack out my bull the day before. Now it was his turn to get behind the trigger.
Day 2 started out in a sage flat where we’d stand and listen for bugling bulls on the surrounding hillsides…
And before the day even began to break, we heard what we came for. There were several bulls bugling on the far end of the sage flat, a half-mile away. We quickly made our move to cut the distance.
The wind was perfect, allowing us to stay with the herd as they began their march back up the mountain.
We broke from the timber as daylight came on giving us our first glimpse of a big bull with a handful of cows across a small creek drainage. Dave told Randy that the distance with nearly 400 yards to the bull. It was more than Randy wanted to tackle in the high winds and sketchy terrain. We pushed on across the creek and got on the same side as the herd. We were moving up the mountainside when we herd the bull bugle close. We all smiled at each other knowing it was about to happen.
When we crested the next ridge we could see cows and a young bull side-hilling 100 yards in front of us. We stopped and searched for the bull. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, the bull was standing staring at us at 100 yards. Randy scrambled to get his gun on the shooting sticks while I maneuvered the camera over his shoulder for the shot. The bull stood still just long enough for Randy to make the shot, sending the bull crashing up the hill. A few seconds later, all was silent.
We looked at each other with wide eyes and disbelief at what had just happened so quickly. We made our way up the hill to where the bull crashed and watched as Randy laid hands on his prize. Two great bulls in two mornings of hunting. Could it possibly get any better?
We shot some photos and got straight to work quartering out Randy’s bull. Randy and Dave are from the Green Bay area of Wisconsin and were working extra fast on the skinning process in order to make it back in time to watch the Packers play their Sunday football game.
With the elk quartered out and hung to stay cool in the shade, we hiked back down the mountain to the truck to retrieve frame packs and some backup help in hauling meat. We grabbed a bite to eat and then headed back up the hill with fresh legs and plenty of help to get the meat and antlers back to camp.
The Meat Men, preparing to haul elk quarters off the mountain.