Bowhunt or Die Prostaffer, Dustin DeCroo, checks in with a report on his WY bull elk…
A bull elk tag was finally in my pocket. And since it was the first archery only tag that I’ve drawn since 2007, I was pretty excited just to have a tag. As an outfitter, finding time to hunt for myself is a challenge of it’s own. And with my wife, Jen, due with our new baby in a month, finding someone to film on short notice is tough. But a little over a week ago, my good friend, John Herrmann, said he had a three day window to come and film.
The hunt began on September 23rd. As we drove into the mountains, the temps dropped and the rainfall grew in intensity. We arrived at our parking spot around 5:30pm and had a two mile downhill walk to where I thought we would find elk. As soon as we arrived we could hear the mews of some cows. The rain provided cover for both sound and sight so we slipped to within 75 yards of the cows. A couple soft cow calls pulled a young bull into range but I let him walk. The clouds and precipitation were cutting our daylight short, and as we headed back up the hill, the rain was turning to snow.
The next morning we awoke to a complete blizzard with a solid 6″ of snow already on the ground. In an effort to stay dry, we drove forest roads looking for tracks but found nothing. That afternoon we set out in the ranger to where we had been the previous evening. The snow was deep and wet. We arrived at the bottom of the drainage and the wind was terrible, so we climbed into the rocks on the far side and did some calling. About 30 minutes later, the bull appeared out of the snow and clouds and walked right where we had expected. I stopped him with a cow call and sent an arrow his way. However, the shot only shaved hair off the bull’s chest below the heart. The bull stood still looking for his lady, and I quickly sent a second arrow on the way. The Black Eagle blew through the shoulder taking both lungs and the top of the heart. The bull traveled about 100 yards and piled up. After a round of high 5’s, some photos and some handy knife work, we were headed up the hill with heavy packs and wet clothes, ending a hunt John and I will never forget.