Jun 10

The day was Sunday October 30, a day that was fairly early in the Montana rifle hunting season.  My dad brother and I headed out to our hunting spot that we have hunted at for about 15 years now, well for me 15 years my dad who knows how long.  The day started out how most days do get to the bottom of the mountain we call it the canyon, unload the four wheelers, get ready and head up the canyon road for about a 15 minute ride.  We have a routine that we typically do once we get to the top of the mountain, my dad heads up one road and my brother and I head to the other side of the ridge and head down a different road.  We had hunted the area hard that morning with no luck, we saw a few deer no shooter bucks and no elk to be found. We decided to head to the truck about noon, and I had decided that I was going to walk this gated road out then down the backside of the mountain down to the truck instead of riding down the canyon.    I am about 20 min in to the hike when I reach the end of the road and I need to start heading down the backside of the mountain. I start heading down taking the route that I take every time (Lots of good glassing points and good feeding areas ect.) and I start hearing something below me about 100 yards or so. I must have walked about another 50 yards when I looked down and saw this rag horn bull feeding broadside about 75 yards below me. About that time he noticed me coming as well took a couple of steps forward leaving me with only a shot at the front shoulder area forward.  So I then took the shot smoking him right in the front shoulder, he jumped then took off in the direction that the truck was parked.  I waited a couple of min then I started to track him.  Unfortunately there was no snow and not a good blood trail, so it made it a little bit difficult. I tracked him for about a half an hour before I jumped him out of his bed, he started to take of directly away from me when I put the final touches on him with one in the back of the neck.  After field dressing him I was walking back to the truck when I found a pair of sheds that were later scored in the 360 range, which made it a great way to cap off a great day.  We were able to get the four wheelers to it and get it out whole.  Enjoy the pictures.   See  you in September!

Tanner Kahler

Tanner and Taran

Tanner Elk

May 20

 

Montana Elk Hunt

 

 

I spent a good part  of the last couple of week in August scouting western Montana looking for elk.  There was a spot we found last year where a nice heard of elk always seemed to hangout early in season while the weather was hot.  It was perfect, easy to get to a lot of water and only twenty min from my front door.  I had spent enough time watching and hunting this heard that  I felt confident in our chance.  The way that we had hunted them before was to just ambush them.  They weren’t very vocal in this area.  Most likely because they lived so close to people.  They would make noise before light but then would shut up.  We hunted them hard the whole first week of the season.  Having a lot of close calls but nobody getting any shots.  It was the morning of September 11 my alarm went off at 4:30 and I yelled out and my buddy Tanner Kahler do you want to do this?  He said I don’t care its up to you.  My reply was I got a good feeling about today.  So boom we were in the truck stopping for coffee and on our way.  We  got to the gate about an hour before sunrise and started on our twenty min walk to the top of the ridge.  We hit the spot where we always sit and wait for the sun to rise and listen for elk.   It wasn’t two min when we heard the first bugle, nothing sounds better then a bugle in the morning dark.  It was from way down in the bottom which meant that we had plenty of time to cut the heard off.  So we sat there waiting for the sun to rise and see if we could spot them coming up.  As the sun rose we could still see the whole heard in the bottom and they were acting really funny.  All the cow were acting like they wanted to head up the hill but the heard bull wouldn’t let them.  Didn’t make any sense until we heard the other bull below up bugle.   Tanner and I decided that we wanted to make sure that we stayed in front of the main heard but to keep an eye out for other bull below us.  As we worked our way up the road we spotted that smaller bull paralleling the heard just like we were.  The problem was the heard wouldn’t come out of the bottom with him in the way.  That heard bull would chase his cows all the way back to the bottom every time the satellite bull bugled.  Finlay after about an hour things seemed to calm down and the heard started working their way up.  So as we move trying to say in front.  We spotted the smaller bull again doing the same thing again.  This time we decided that we would try and cut him off.  We both ran down the road to a little opening hoping to see him cross.  After about five min of waiting Tanner decided he was going to continue up the road and see if he got in front of us.  I waited about another five min and figured that he must have gotten by.  So I started my way father up the road.  About ¼ of a mile up the road I spotted Tanners pack sitting in the middle of the road.  Which meant only one thing ,  That he took off running up the road.  So I did the same thing running into him about  200 yard up the road.  He told me that the bull went in a thicket of trees that was right below us.  So he decided that he was going to sneak down a trail and see if he could catch him crossing.  I decided that I would sit on the other side of the thicket and do some cow calling trying to get him to come out.  I hadn’t left Tanner more than a min and only got one soft cow call out and I could see the tips of his horns coming up the hill side.  Trying to stay calm I reached for my range finder and tried to get an range on him.  The first time I ranged him he was at 33 yard and I was shooting at a fairly steep downhill angel.  I drew back my bow and cow called to stop him.  He stopped in a perfect opening and I put my thirty yard pin right behind his shoulder and let her go.  I heard it hit but wasn’t sure exactly where it hit. He spun around really quick and ran down the hill about ten yards stopped and looked back to see what had happened.  By that time I had another arrow knocked and put another good shot  in him.  He turned and ran down the hill the same time I turned just in time to see Tanner coming up the trail looking at me like what the hell happened.  All I could do was put both hands above my head and say I smoked him.  After about half and hour  of waiting and a really good blood trial we found hill piled up in a small group of trees.  It was a moment that I will never forget.  And I hope that this fall is just as fun.

Arrow

 

Elk

 

Horns