Well done, Sir.Due to a series of friends not drawing and family obligations, I wound up solo this year. Missed the campfire talk with good friends, but did allow me to hunt harder. 6 days of close encounters, lessons learned, applying them, and a little luck — paid off.
Finally got a day where I had a consistent strong wind midday. Used the opportunity to hike over 8 miles and call allot. The rut seemed to peak, die off, but today it was on again! Almost used my tag on a cow that came bounding in to a yard. I was tired and beat down and just wanted to fill the freezer at this point. But she was just moving too quick (bounding in at 15+ mph) and only provided a frontal shot, I drew, but did not fire.
At 1pm I let out a series of cow calls and immediately got a bugle. Very close. I sprinted downwind 50 yards and set up where I had a 30 yard shooting lane. Sure enough he did exactly what the other bulls I learned from did. Circling downwind to catch my scent. I saw him coming up the hill, several cows in tow. As he walked behind a tree at 20 yards, I drew. He saw me, stopped suddenly and shuddered a bit. He’s now frozen staring me down at 20 yards, completely broadside, only issue is there was a very small sapling completely covering his vitals (prob 1/2” trunk) — I wanted him to take one more step, but I didn’t get it. In a split second I evaluated my situation, he’s about to bolt, there’s a sapling, but it’s right against his body and he’s at 20 yards. I picked out what looked to be the thinnest branch of the sapling and released. Broadhead cut the branch in half and plunged 16” into the boiler house. In a whirlwind it’s over.
I watch him run 60 yards out of sight. I mark my shot location, take a picture from my shot location, mark up that picture with where he was standing and last position I saw him at. I backed out and gave him an hour. I was confident in my shot placement as I saw my arrow sticking out. But was concerned about finding him.
An hour later I returned and there is very little blood. I spend about 45 min trying to blood trail him but with the light fading I decided to start grid searching. I was very thankful to have the picture to reference on last position I saw him. From that picture and my last point on the blood trail I got a line to follow. I walked 400 yards, nothing. Cut 50 yards over and started making another line back uphill. I couldn’t believe it when I saw him laying there. Such a rewarding end to this hunt. Packout was brutal and may take a week for my legs to recover. Freezer is officially full!
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Using a muzzy trocar.Cool story man, I’ve given up on waiting on buddies to pull trigger. Headed out solo myself this year. What broadleaf were you using?
Any tips on the solo pack out?
A havalon blade lightly worked around the joint cutting the tendons and connective tissue as you bend it allows the knee to pop off with a light twist. 2 minutes max for each knee.If I were to do it again, I’d have brought a stouter serrated blade for dealing with the knee joints. That extra foot or so sticking above the pack catching on tree branches and stuff can really take the wind out of your sails.
Yeah this would have made life much better. Definitely spending the time to do this next time.A havalon blade lightly worked around the joint cutting the tendons and connective tissue as you bend it allows the knee to pop off with a light twist. 2 minutes max for each knee.
I was wondering. I think that’s a point in the pro column for fixed blades.Using a muzzy trocar.
Not sure I have much advise on the solo pack-out other than — just embrace the suck!
But make sure you get loud when returning to the carcass for multiple trips. My last 3 trips were at night and it’s not dense Grizzly country but they are still out there. Really gives you that needed adrenaline rush mid pack. I probably sounded like a crazy man yelling and talking extremely loud to myself on return trips, but… I didn’t want to quietly walk up on something that might have found the carcass.
If I were to do it again, I’d have brought a stouter serrated blade for dealing with the knee joints. That extra foot or so sticking above the pack catching on tree branches and stuff can really take the wind out of your sails.
For P&Y, you can have him measured anytime after 60 days of dry time. So if it is 5yrs or 61 days they can still come out and measure. It wasn't too bad when I went through the process last year and those stud bulls deserve the recognition I think! Well done!Thanks fellas! definitely a rewarding experience. Didn’t even occur to me at the time, but he may have been a P&Y bull? Oh well I’ll never know and don’t need my name in a book anyway. Wife wanted an antler chandelier, so she’ll get one… just may take a few more years.
I cut the antlers off the baseplateFor P&Y, you can have him measured anytime after 60 days of dry time. So if it is 5yrs or 61 days they can still come out and measure. It wasn't too bad when I went through the process last year and those stud bulls deserve the recognition I think! Well done!