Did I have the right setup?

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Elkman
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Did I have the right setup?

#1 Post by Elkman » Tue Sep 11, 2018 11:02 pm

It was early in the evening this last Sunday. I knew Elk were in the area.

I know were there is a muddy cooling wallow and as warm as it has been I thought I would setup in the area in hopes of a Bull coming in close enough for a shot.
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The last time, in past years, that I had tried this at this particular mud hole, the Bull came in too late. So this time, knowing about where they come from, I decided to climb the ridge and setup just on the back side where I may get lucky.
I found a trail just inside the treeline that had fresh tracks on it going down hill. There was also a fairly fresh rub on a small pine near the trail. I looked around and found what I thought to be the perfect spot to setup. The wind was out of the Northwest. While facing into the wind I had very good shooting lane pretty much straight in front of me. 15 yards off the trail. Another shooting lane up to my left on the other side of a small pine. To the right of my main shooting lane there was a larger fir tree, then a very small shooting lane. Just right of that I had a large group of misc brush and small trees. That would be the place where the draw would most likely happen. I hoped that I wouldn't have to hold very long. To the right of that it was open again, but I figured that was quartering too much for me to shoot. A place to see the animals before attempting to draw. Down to the right even more was a 15 yard wide opening with a big fir at about 25 yards. About 15 yards behind me was a large bunch of brush. That's where my wind was going.
Okay, all setup. I stood there for about 1 hour and 15 minutes. It was starting to get darker when I realized I still had my sun glasses on. I knelt down, got into my pack and swapped glasses. Okay not so dark now. I had 30 min of legal light left. The wind was blowing pretty good and after about 15 more minutes I had 5 grouse rummaging around in front of me at about 20 yards. They, for some reason, were pretty noisy. I was watching them when out of the corner of my eye I see movement. I turn my head slowly to see what it was. :o It's a Bull! Standing there looking up the hill towards the bushes behind me. He started walking again but goes to my right. :x :roll: What? Why not the trail? Dirty bugger! :?
I was setup for a shot straight out or a little bit to the left. Now I have to get shooting side turned almost 180°. Not easy to do without getting caught. I couldn't move till he gets to the brush behind me. That's where my wind is. Time to test scent control. :? When he gets to the brush I drop down and turn slowly. I can still see his head and thought for sure I would get caught.
I made it. I got turned around. I raised the bow he is approaching the upper side of the brush. This is it, it's go time! 😃
What does he do as his head hits the open again? He stops and looks right at me. Only his head and neck are in the clear. :( It took him maybe 2 seconds to bolt. I cow call immediately and he hits the breaks and turns and comes walking back around to the right to re-analyze what was going on. He comes around from the right, in the trees, till he catches my wind and then takes off for good. :(
Okay that was fun. Now for a mile walk back down to the truck.
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I have thought about that setup for awhile trying to figure out what I could have done differently or better?
I didn't hear a thing when he came up. The wind and the birds were on the noisy side.
I could have cow called now and then as I waited. Maybe he would have bulged back to give me warning. But these guys are notorious for circling to catch scent of what they can hear but not see and are not sure about.

The only real thing I can think of, would be put the first opening I could see at the trail to the front left. That maybe would have helped. It is a lot easier to shoot further left when you are a right handed archer.

I get to go try again soon. It's all fun, even without the harvest. :D
Calling Elk - Awesome! !€

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Graps
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Re: Did I have the right setup?

#2 Post by Graps » Tue Sep 11, 2018 11:55 pm

Sounds like it was exciting.
As you slide down the banister of life, may the splinters never point the wrong direction.
Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows. Matthew 10:31
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Carpdaddy
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Re: Did I have the right setup?

#3 Post by Carpdaddy » Wed Sep 12, 2018 5:20 am

Wow; that sounds like an great time! Who knows how why they always come from the place they are not supposed to, but they do! That made me nervous just reading through it, I’m sure it got your heart rate up! Hope you connect!

Flemish Dave
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Re: Did I have the right setup?

#4 Post by Flemish Dave » Wed Sep 12, 2018 5:44 am

man that is exciting
Nothing clears a troubled mind like shooting a bow.

Captainkirk
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Re: Did I have the right setup?

#5 Post by Captainkirk » Wed Sep 12, 2018 8:47 am

Tom, you can't second-guess yourself on this one. Your setup was good. The bull left the trail because animals are unpredictable. Sounds like you did your homework and did everything right.
Aim small, miss small!

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Elkman
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Re: Did I have the right setup?

#6 Post by Elkman » Wed Sep 12, 2018 9:06 am

I added some pictures to my post here. Totally forgot to add them last night.
The one with the cool looking high peak....that is Trapper Peak. The highest peak here in the Bitterroot Range. It is just over 10,000 feet.
Calling Elk - Awesome! !€

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Graps
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Re: Did I have the right setup?

#7 Post by Graps » Wed Sep 12, 2018 9:51 am

Nice pictures, thanks for adding them
As you slide down the banister of life, may the splinters never point the wrong direction.
Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows. Matthew 10:31
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Shadowhntr
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Re: Did I have the right setup?

#8 Post by Shadowhntr » Wed Sep 12, 2018 4:25 pm

That was awesome! Thanks for sharing I actually got a lil rush! Sometimes game just see ya no matter how good it seems. Other times I've wondered if they were blind...why cant they see me??? 🤯

funny....I always tend to set up on trails for deer, and have noticed in many many cases they are hardly ever on one... Nearby yes, but not on it. I've often wondered how the heck them trails get beat like that....years of travel every so often? Idk....but it's weird.
The element of surprise can never be replaced by persistence.

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Dan
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Re: Did I have the right setup?

#9 Post by Dan » Wed Sep 12, 2018 6:38 pm

Sounds like you had a good plan. Seems like every time I get a deer in range still hunting they always look at me as soon as their head clears the shooting lane, if only they’d take a couple more steps before looking up.

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