Monday, October 1, 2012

Samantha's 2012 Archery Bull (By Toby Gangler)

Well...the day after I took my bull we had a storm front come in to the area and the wind was blowing a hundred miles an hour and Samantha and I were debating on even heading out for an evening hunt as we were still a bit wiped out from the hunt the day before.
Reluctantly we decided to go and head to a spot I had thought could hold elk and just check it out for the next days hunt. As we drove into the new area we both said out loud "this place should hold elk!"
We could see one drainage in particular that had a thick north slope and looked like it should have water it so we decided to check it out.
We walked over the first ridge and didn't see much for elk sign, but we were optimistic of the area ahead of us.
As we topped out we seen a really neat old tree stand that someone had built out of lodge poles way back in the day and Samantha saw it as a cool photo op. While she was taking her pictures, I decided to walk over the hill and sound off a bugle into the canyon that I was most interested in. Mind you, the wind was ripping like crazy and I didn't expect to hear a bull, even if he answered, but boy was I wrong! Right after I pulled my grunt tube away from my mouth I heard the faint sound of a bull. I looked over at Samantha to see if she heard it. Apparently she did, as she was running at full tilt in my direction!
Since we had a very definitive wind direction, we both started in the direction we need to head to attack the bull.
As we dropped down off the ridge, I bugled again to get a better idea of where the elk was. He answered back instantly so we devised a plan of attack and proceeded.
We moved down into the canyon slowly and got to a point where we felt comfortable setting up. I began to call after Samantha was ready and the bull responded like we hoped. A few minutes later I looked up and about 220 yards away I could see the bull come out of the trees. I put my Minox glass up to inspect him and its like he knew I was watching! He began to put on a show that every archery elk hunter loves to see, tearing and ripping apart an old rotted out stump and bugling up a storm. We watched with excitement and hoped the evening light would hold on.

After what seemed like an eternity, the bull started to walk back the way he had came and we knew we had to do something to get his interest. I started making a show myself, breaking limbs, racking and stopping around like a rival bull, bugling aggressively every so often. After this we moved forward another 50 yards or so and when I happen to look up I seen that my display had worked to regan his interest and that he was coming fast!
We found a small opening in the trees that would give Samantha some room for a shot and I set myself up to try and bring him to her. In just a matter of minutes I heard some brush breaking to the left of Samantha and I could see tines! At that point she drew her bow and the bull came into the opening we had hoped for. The problem was he was walking straight at her so she had to hold at full draw for a bit. At about 9 yards the bull turned broadside and stopped to look for me. At that point, Samantha's arrow was on its way and the bull had no idea what had happened! He ran down the hill 30 yards and I was able to stop him with a bugle. He stood in one spot looking for the elk that had just sounded off and then started the stagger all archery hunters hope to see after a well placed shot and took off down the hill in a crash and was down about 65 yards from our set up!
The recovery was made in the dark of night and was not the easiest we'd ever had, but the feeling of knowing we had just taken 2 elk in 2 days was as good as it gets!

Toby and Samantha Gangler