My Elk Hunt
On October 26, 2011, I shot my first bull elk. This was not only my first elk, but my first big game animal. This was the third year that I have hunted. The first year, I drew the same tag, but did not have much luck. Last year, I had to go general, and again did not have much luck. This year I drew the tag again, but it started out somewhat frustrating. The area I drew in messed up the regulations and the archery season was a no go. This was hard for me to take, as I archery hunting is my first love.
Wyoming Game and Fish offered refunds since this was their error, but I went ahead and hung onto the license and waited for October 20, the opening of rifle season to come around. I did not have the opportunity to head up on opening day, but was able to go up the next evening. The intention of this outing was to just drive around and see what was out. All three of the kids were with us, so we didn't think much would happen. We were far from wrong. On the way to the area, about 60 elk crossed the highway right in front of us. We were able to get out and get about 400 yards away, but it was too dark to take a shot. This definitely got my adrenaline running.
The rest of the weekend turned out to be similar, with seeing lots of elk, but not getting close enough. On Monday morning, we were out sitting on a rock pile. We hadn't seen an elk in this spot, but sign lots of sign the night before, My husband and I were sitting talking about where we should start hunting the next weekend. During this time, my father-in-law started calling use his bull call.
Believe it or not about ten minutes later, my husband said there is an elk. I asked if I should shoot it. He said it was a cow with a calf, but I could shoot, just don't hit the calf (my license was for any elk). As I was getting set up, he said wait there is a bull coming right behind them. The cow and calf came in at an angle, but the bull came in completely broadside. By good luck and grace the bull stopped between two big pine trees, completely broadside. He was at 100 yards.
I was almost show shocked it took me a second to realize that this could be my first big game animal. I put the cross hairs over the vitals and fired. My shot hit him right in the heart. He stumbled and walked about 10 yards. I shot him again and this time he went down. He flailed around for a bit, so I moved closer and shot one more shot. This was the final shot. It was at this moment I couldn't believe I had shot my first elk.
I was jumping up and down screaming just like you see on all the hunting shows. I was definitely being all girl in that moment. Keep in mind that I stand 5'5" and am right at 100 pounds. Here I am, all girl and took my first big game animal. Not only did I take one, but it was a beautiful, symmetrical 5 by 5 elk that I shot. I couldn't have been more ecstatic.
Once the picture taking was done, I got right in there and helped with the butchering. The one thing I couldn't do was pack the quarters out. I quickly found that the packs were bigger than me! I can't wait for this upcoming year for my next big hunting adventure. Only this time, I hope it is with my Mathew's Bow, not my rifle.