My elk hunt last season was epic with lots of surprises. We were hunting close to home – up Skalkaho in Montana’s Bitterroot Valley. We had permission to hunt some private property so we knew we needed to stay within the fences. When we got there, my brother and I started walking. My dad told us we’d be walking for a long time, but as soon as we got over this little hill, on the other side were hundreds of elk bedded down. They were all just lying there looking at us.
So my dad stayed there and my brother and I got down and started army crawling through this ravine and up over the other side. We got to the fence and crawled along the fence line. Of course most of the 250 elk were sitting on the other side of the fence, just staring at us. It was crazy.
So, we crawled a little further and then there was this bull that was so big it was literally standing with its legs on both sides of the fence. He just turned and looked at us and watched us not worried a bit.
At that point, my brother and I split up. He went high and I went a little lower. I found these two big rocks with a tree between them. It was perfect because I could hide behind the rocks and set my gun on the tree and get in a good position. I was a little further from the elk than my brother so I decided to wait until he shot. He was taking forever it felt like so I had to tell myself to be patient.
He shot and his elk went down. The best one for me was about 400 yards away. It wasn’t an easy shot, but the bull stopped and looked my way. I shot and hit it but it started moving and curved back around stopping again. I jumped up and started running closer and then was able to make a second shot. This time he dropped and actually rolled down the hill where we needed him to be. It made my life a lot easier.
My dad was so happy and had watched the whole thing. My brother and I started gutting our elk and it was a lot of work. We have a friend who has a paraglider. He was out riding around nearby so we called him. It was the coolest thing because he flew right to where we were, landed and helped us process our elk. That was the coolest part of the whole day.Garic Hawkes