This grand story of one man’s adventurous hunting trip was sent to us by a fellow sportsman and dear friend of Rocky Mountain Decor, Vince Temperino. Enjoy…
The quest for a Bull Elk started six years ago when Mersch Ward first introduced me to Elk hunting. My first hunt was in the Gunnison, Colorado area and we hunted for 7 days with no success. But just like all hunts, I took away some great memories. The next hunt was in the Craig, Colorado area with Elk Horn Outfitters and was a 6 day hunt with no success. Last year I hunted near Sula, Montana with Todd Renz and we had a great time, though I was not successful in harvesting a Bull Elk.
My hunt began on the morning of 10/10 at 7:00am when I left San Martin, CA heading for beautiful Croyden, UT. I made the approx. 12 hour drive to Wendover, NV, which included the obligatory stop at Cabela’s and an hour and a half later and$350.00 poorer I was on my way again, with some new hunting toys in hand. Wendover is approx. 5 miles from the Utah border. I spent the night in Wendover and headed out the next morning to complete the balance of the drive to Croyden which was approximately three and a half hours.
I got to the spot where I was to meet my outfitter in Croyden, UT 2 hours early, and used the time to explore the area. What amazing countryside, I watched as wild turkeys, mule deer, cattle, sheep and horses grazed amongst the lush valleys. Towering sage, juniper and grass coated the hillsides as the Aspen lined ravines shown bright with their yellow leaves, a symbol of the coming months.I met the outfitter at 1:30pm and headed to Elk Camp, and I was in the woods hunting by 3pm. The first afternoon hunt we spotted several bulls approximately a mile away as the crow flies, though we did not have enough daylight to complete the stalk and make a successful harvest. We attempted to stalk a Bull that was about 1000 yards away and were able to get within 450 yards before he winded us and took off. We also saw a Cow Moose with a calf and a Bull Moose, my first time ever seeing a Moose in the wild. We noticed a particular Bull that was a mature, large bodied Bull with good mass and a 6×6 frame with some points broken due to fighting in the Rut. My guide, Darius, said we have to name him and suggested calling him “Chip”.
We went back to camp that night and decided that the next morning we would make the stalk on “Chip”. We began our hike before first light to glass the hillside where we had seen Chip the previous evening. We spotted him as well as another Bull that was a couple of canyons away on the same hillside. Darius said that the “non Chip” bull was one of the best Bulls he had seen in the area. This Bull was with 25 Cow Elk which provided for the extra hurdle of evading all of those keen eyes, ears and noses. Darius asked me what I wanted to do. I decided to go after Chip as I felt the probability of a successful stalk was greater. He agreed and off we went on the brutal hike, downhill, uphill, downhill, uphill… my heart was beating out of my chest and my legs were sore. Darius is 30 and I am 41, but I was keeping up. We stalked within 300 yards and Darius suggested I take the shot. I told him I was not comfortable with the shot and he agreed we would work to get closer, all the while Darius was checking the wind. We set up for the shot at 200 yards, and at this time we could not see the Bull as he was in a ravine one canyon over. Darius’s strategy was to set up here and call the Bull over the hill and into our canyon for the shot. He said we would sit for up to an hour if needed. He set up his spotting scope tripod for a stable shooting rest while I set up for the shot with my cross hairs fixed on the spot where we thought the Bull would show.
At this point we were in place for a good 20 minutes, when Darius bugled, the Bull did not respond, however within 3 minutes we could see the Bull cresting the ridge and was now in view. He stood facing us and went on full alert, looking our way, we thought he had heard, seen or winded us. Luckily he went back to an at ease position and bugled at us. What an unbelievable sight to see the Bull bugle through the twelve power scope of my rifle. Darius said to wait until he was broadside for the shot. At one point he said, “take your time making the shot, if you make a good shot, you will have the rest of your life to look at him on your wall.” The Bull turned broadside, I took a deep breath, began the exhale, steadied my cross-hairs on the Bull. Darius had pointed out a brown leaf that was in front of the Bull and said to use that as the aiming point. We had discussed the location of the vitals and the best shot placement on the first day of the hunt. I slowly squeezed while exhaling even slower. My admiration of the beautiful, majestic Bull interrupted by the loud report of my 30-.06 sending a 180 grain B. Temperino round (I named the rounds B. Temperino as my Brother Brian hand loaded them for me, thus making the shot of the Bull, even more special). The shot hit the aiming point and the Bull dropped in his tracks. Darius said “you got him, nice shot”. I was ecstatic and the high fiving, shaking hands, laughing began as the occasional “YEAH” was unleashed. This was one of the best moments of my hunting lifetime.
We went over to the Bull and closely admired what an amazing Elk he was and took in the beauty of the surrounding wilderness, the shooting situation, the overall hunt and I said thanks inside my head for having the opportunity to be in that exact spot at that exact moment.
Thanks for allowing me to share this phenomenal hunting experience.