After dinner one day with my uncle, my kids commented that Colby’s elk steak was nice and tender. I explained that the elk we were eating was a young bull. I then coined the term “Cash Money Bull” to denote a bull that is “Legal and Tender”.
Western Wyoming, September 2015. Transcribed from Colby’s tale…
In the late afternoon on our third day of hunting, Jace, Paul and I left camp and headed east up the creek basin to the southeast when we spotted a bull elk about a mile away up on the rocky face of the continental divide. Jace in his awesome hunting spirit decided to give him a bugle, just to see if he would hear it. First bugle…nothing; second bugle….I’ll be damned if a bull didn’t chuckle in the timber to our south about 500 yards away (guessing).
We immediately set up with Paul on the east side of a row of trees and Colby on the west side watching the back door. More of Jace’s bugles and the chuckler was moving west. Just before dusk, the elk started coming out about 400 yards away on the opposite side of the meadow……a cow, another cow, yearling, cows & calves, and three young bulls, the best of which turn about half way into the meadow and retreated to the timber.
Since the sun was setting in the west and I was scoping in that direction the sun blocked out my scope ever time I tried to get my sights on the bulls. By this time the elk made their way down toward the creek in behind a small stand of timber. Something spooked them at that point and back they went toward the dark timber. One young 3 x 4 bull stopped to take a look at the us across the meadow. His horns stood tall for a young bull.
Jace asked “Do you want him? He’s about 200 yards.”
“You bet” I responded as I rested my Model 70 against a small pine tree.
Just as he turned near broadside I squeezed the trigger….boom, good double lung shot just above the heart, but that didn’t stop him. Off he ran quartering away at about 250 yards. The second shot dropped him in his tracks. While there was some mild ground shrinkage as we came up to the downed bull, I recognized that I had some great eating elk steaks as no meat was spoiled by the shots.
The flask came out and we toasted the harvest of a majestic elk. The downed bull was only about a mile and a half from camp, so Jace went back to camp to get the pack horses while I dressed out my bull by using the gutless method under Paul’s supervision. It was late by the time we got back to camp, but the taking of an elk is every bit worth the effort and energy to hunt, field dress and packout a prized bull elk from the wilderness at over 10,000 feet…..spectacular country, spectacular elk.
Colby displays the celebratory flask as he and Paul break down his bull by lantern light.
The Retrieval Crew. From left to right Paul, Sally (pack horse),Jace, Colby, Wes, RC (pack horse)