Our family hunts near our cabin not too far from home. My big brother, Joe, is a great elk hunter, so he offered to take me out on my first elk hunt. It was toward the end of the season and there was snow on the ground. He picked me up from school at 2 p.m. and we got to the mountains by 3 p.m.
We saw a deer walking across the draw and he asked me if I wanted to shoot it since I also had a deer tag. But that morning, I had told him and my twin sister that today was the day I was going to get a 6×6 bull, so I had to stick with my plan. My brother told me not to be cocky, but I think I was just being confident.
So I passed on the deer and we kept hiking. We came to a herd of cow elk, which would have been an easy shot, but I only had a bull tag. My brother wanted to check his trail camera but on the way there, he stopped and said, “I see something.”
On the other side of the draw, he and his friend Tyler could see elk antlers, but I couldn’t see anything. We hiked to the other side of the mountain through the trees and the snow. It was crazy and very exciting. We kept getting closer and closer, but I still could not see the antlers, only cows.
We kept walking until we came up to some downed trees and my brother said it would be a good spot to set my gun.
I kept looking and finally told Joe, “I think I see him. I think I see antlers.”
He told me to focus my sites on the first bull since there were two near each other. I squatted down with my gun on the tree. I saw that huge bull’s rack and pulled the trigger. My gun dry-fired. As we watched the big one walk away, my brother hurried and put a new bullet in my gun and I put my sites on the smaller one. I shot once and it was a good shot. The bull dropped and then rolled down the hill toward us.
I couldn’t believe how big he was and I couldn’t believe that an even bigger one had got away. But I still felt good because my brother and his friend had only got 5×5 elk before and I shot this 6×6 – just like I had planned.
We didn’t score the elk as soon as I got it. But now, it dry scores at 303 inches. My dad thinks it was a 320 bull at the time I shot. It’s really nice and symmetrical.
It was a lot of work to gut and process the elk. We had a huge game cart to haul it out.
This summer, my brother found the shed to the big bull and recently, he saw him again near where I got my elk last year. You can tell it’s the same one because a beam on one side is really thick and different.
As soon as volleyball season is over, I won’t have games every Saturday and I can go hunting with my brother again. I have plans for that big 7×7 bull.
It’s fun and exciting to go hunting. I usually go with my brother and really like that we have time to hang out – just the two of us.