The encounters and experiences we find in wild places are what fuel our passion for the hunt. The things we see wild animals do are often hard to comprehend, much less believe if we hadn’t seen it with our own eyes. That’s why we love to hunt with a video camera – to catch the unexpected moments on film to share with the world. Such was the case for my friend and bowyer, Jim Neaves, of Centuar Archery. Jim was hunting elk and deer from his treestand in the river bottoms of Montana recently when he encountered a large herd of elk hanging out around his treestand. Early snows had pushed the herd down into the river bottoms, a perfect scenario for Jim as he sat waiting in his treestand with a longbow in hand. Jim waited patiently as the herd began to filter through the woods in his direction.
When a big cow finally got in the right position for a shot, Jim turned an arrow loose. The shot was good, and she didn’t go far before laying down. But what happened in the final moments of this cow’s life is what makes this hunt so unique. Check out what happens at the 8:52 mark of the video below as a bull encounters this dying cow, and watch how he responds.
Why did this bull respond like this? Frustration? Anger? Sex drive? It’s not uncommon to see animals attack their own after they’ve become wounded or are dying. There’s a variety of theories out there as to why they behave like this, but I tend to think it’s their natural instinct to finish the wounded off as a means of survival and protection.
We see it every spring as turkeys attack a flopping bird after the shot. I’ve watched a pack of coyotes attack a crippled coyote that was whining after the shot. They attacked that coyote until it was dead, then went on their way.
Animals seem to be built with an understanding that a wounded or crippled member of their crew will only attract predators if they cry, hop, and flop in their final dance before death. These other animals seem eager to put them out of their misery and silence the situation, preventing any predators from being alerted to the scene. It’s a harsh reality to the survival that plays out every day in the wild.
A big congrats to Jim on his Montana cow elk with his longbow!
We want to hear from you. Comment below and let us know the craziest thing you’ve ever seen while hunting.