Sunday, September 30, 2007
Bill Van Ness
Occupation: Owner, Steamboat Carpet Care
Years hunting: 28
Guide/outfitter name: The only help I had was my wife, Ashley, packing out the quarters.
Club measurement: 6-by-6 bull elk, rack measures 253 1/8 gross. Not quite in the books, but still a decent bull.
Weapon used: Mathews Switchback Bow with Easton Full Metal Jacket Arrows and Slick Trick 100 Broadhead, plus ScentBlocker clothing (very important on this hunt).
Distance out: 20 yards
Time and date: About 6:15 a.m. Sept. 9
Area: Buffalo Pass public land.
Hunt details: I spent three days hunting the same group of elk and had stalked to within 50 yards on the previous morning, twice. Both attempts were broken up by cows that saw my movements - this guy had six gals with him, and they would keep a sharp eye out. Walking in to where I thought the elk might be on this morning, I came right into the herd in the pitch black. Dropping down in the ferns, I knocked an arrow and waited for light, which seemed to take forever, but maybe it was only 10 minutes or so. I had at least three elk within 15 feet behind me, but the bull had bugled in front. So, as slow as I possibly could, I drew my bow and rose above the ferns and there was the bull, head down, feeding twenty yards broadside.
At the shot, he bolted but stopped immediately when I cow called to him - he had no idea what had just happened. Five seconds later, he just dropped. It is never that easy, but I'll take it after walking and sneaking for miles and miles the previous days. Bow hunting for elk is absolutely addicting, and I would like to thank my wife, Ashley, and daughters, Lily and Allison, for putting up with my disappearance every September. I can't wait for next year! Congrats to Edward Watson on a magnificent Routt County public land bull. Congrats to Michael Sisk on his monster bull as well.