2017 Utah general season bulls

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ridgetop
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2017 Utah general season bulls

Postby ridgetop » Sun Apr 08, 2018 1:46 pm

Here's a story about the bull I got last fall and one I helped out with.

Oct. 10th
I decided to try my go to spot again and take a 16 year first time elk hunter (Justin) and his dad (Mark) up with me. The wind was blowing from the North but not nearly as hard as the day before. While we were driving in the truck to the spot we would start hiking from, Mark commented that “he didn’t want to put any pressure on me but they really needed to get a bigger bull than their cousin’s 320” bull”. I about swerved off the road at that point and made it very clear that was a top end bull for a general season tag and although I thought we had a good chance at getting a shot at a branch antlered bull if we’re patient enough, it may not be quite that big but we can only hope for the best. There’s a pretty big competition between those cousins. We had only been sitting at my glassing/shooting spot for only about 5 minutes when Mark pointed down canyon. From my angle I couldn't see anything, so I got up on my knees and then I saw a very nice bull walking in our direction. I instantly recognized the bull from one of my more recent trail camera pics. He had a very unforgettable droptine on his left G-1. I knew Justin’s 300 win. Mag. was zero’d in at 200 yards and the bull was about to hit a clearing at around 310 yards. While the bull was passing through a small group pines, I hurried and took my shooting V off my mono-pod/ walking stick and put it on my tri-pod that was used for my spotting scope. I adjusted the height so he could shoot while kneeling. He had a bi-pod but the legs were not long enough to clear the brush in front of us. Just as the bull started to come out into the open, I ranged it again and got 312 yards. I whispered to Justin that I would cow call to stop the bull and to aim right at the top of its back and he should hit it perfect. I had three calls in my pocket (two reed calls and one hochie moma). I grabbed the hochie and gave it a squeeze and it only produced a little squeak. So I squeezed it again and again a little squeak but suddenly the bull looked right up at us and I said as comely as possibly to Justin, “take the shot, RIGHT NOW!” Right then his rifle sent a 180 gr, bullet in the bull’s direction.
As the shot echoed across the canyon, the bull lunged forward and ran into a thick clump of oak about 10 yards away. It seemed like he stood the an hour but it was only about 2 or 3 minutes. I told Justin to shoot again when the bull came out in the open again. Just as the bull was coming out of the oak, it stumbled and fell over dead. He had made a perfect double lung shot. I was able to contact someone in our group and they went to get us more help getting the bull out. It turned into a long day but I was sure happy for these new hunters.
Now that I had fulfilled my promise to help out the youth in our group first before I hunted for myself. It was time for me to try and put some meat in my freezer.

Oct. 11th
I decided to go back to my stand again and be there at first light. I hoped that someone would push a bull in my direction. I was a little worried about not seeing anything because of all the activity in the canyon the day before but I knew this canyon was used as an escape route when the elk get pressured. The first hour of daylight went by with no sighting of any elk or deer. Then I heard some shooting high up on the mountain. A short time later I saw a line of about 15 elk, including a couple mature bulls, a raghorn and a couple spikes. They were coming from the area where the shooting had been earlier. The elk dropped out of sight behind the top of the ridgeline of the canyon I was watching. A short time later, I heard a shot in the area the elk had been heading. Then I hear a member of our party say over the radio that he had a bull down. A few minutes later, I started to see some elk slowly coming over the ridgeline into my side of the canyon. They stopped near the top in a stand of pines and began to mill around. Knowing that a few others in our party would be on their way to help get the downed elk out and they would be coming up the bottom of my canyon to the head of this canyon before going over into the next canyon. I decided to stay put and watch and see which way the elk went after they got spooked from the guys going through the canyon. I continued to watch the elk with my spotting scope and some of them bedded and others just were feeding. An hour later, the rescue party arrived and headed up the canyon. At one point they passed within 150 yards of the elk but the elk held tight and didn’t move at all. With the trees being so thick, neither the elk or hunters could see each other. For the next two hours, the elk stayed right in that same spot. The elk were about 600 yards from my location but I had forgotten and left my rangefinder back in the truck but without my rangefinder, I didn’t know how far they were for sure and I was really nervous about taking any shot across the canyon without knowing truly how far the target would be. Finally the guys started coming back over the ridgeline bringing out the elk. Instead of sneaking away from the hunters or staying put. They had had enough and started running in my direction. I did know the distance of Justin’s gut pile from the day before and I was just hoping the elk would come close enough to that same area, so I could judge the distance correctly. The elk were angling a little further down canyon than I hoped but there was a mature bull coming straight down the hill right at me. I dialed my scope to 320 yards and got it in my crosshairs. I also cow called hoping to stop him for a minute but that didn’t work. The bull did slow down a little and turned slightly, quartering towards me. Right when the bull was on the same horizontal line as the gut pile, I fired. I hit the bull high in the back, which dropped him but he tried to get back up a couple times before giving up and bedding down. I couldn’t get a clear shot because a big tree limb was in the way. So I moved downhill a few yards to where I could get a clear second shot. After a second shot, he died right there in his bed. When I got to the bull, I noticed that he was exactly 20 yards from Justin’s gut pile. So it must have been a 310 yard shot that I made. It was pretty awesome to be able to kill two really nice bulls in the same spot within back to back days. I think this escape route will be producing for years to come. I also noticed my bull was the same as one I had trail camera pictures of from the summer in which I had named him “the court jester”.
There's always next year

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Re: 2017 Utah general season bulls

Postby ridgetop » Sun Apr 08, 2018 1:57 pm

2017 bull.jpg
Here's my bull
There's always next year

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Re: 2017 Utah general season bulls

Postby 9er » Sat Apr 14, 2018 9:34 am

congrats ridgetop

awesome bulls and even better that you helped out a young hunter
Watch your top knot!


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