I am now 25 years old and have been hunting with my Dad since I was a little girl. We have been hunting in Eastern Washington my whole life, the same unit, the same elk. This place is home to me.
In this video, this was the first time I’ve ever experienced a big bull no more than 15-20 yards from me, totally relaxed and just passing through. I had been sitting in this spot for hours. My Dad and I cow called for a while about an hour or two before and we decided to sit, wait and see what happened. And what do you know….about an hour later, here comes this bachelor.
He never responded to our calls but he sure did hear them and decided he was going to come check it out. My Dad, for years, had been teaching me about these incredible and intelligent animals…after this experience, I said, “Dad, you were right. Just because they don’t answer you…doesn’t mean they aren’t coming to find you.” This experience really proved to me that patience is key and patience pays off. About 3 minutes before this, I just decided to check my phone. A few minutes later, movement caught my eye as I looked up, and all I saw were his beautiful antlers through the branches. I was completely blended in with the tree behind me, thanks to my Under Armour camouflage, so this guy had no idea I was there.
I was AMAZED that I only knew he was there by catching a glimpse of movement (and he was no further than 20 yards). Not once did I hear him crack a branch…he was as quiet as a mouse, despite how large he was. As he continued to move and pass through, he was startled by my Dad (who was not prepared for him to show up, either) who was sitting about 10 yards from me in the wide open (although still camouflaged). The big guy wasn’t sure at first…glanced up at him and decided he was ok…and he kept moving, kept doing his thing. Talk about an adrenaline rush.
I should have mentioned before, that the GMU we hunt in Washington is True Spike only, unless you are selected for a tag (random drawing). As you can imagine, I was bummed that I didn’t get to tag this guy as I easily could have with my Knight muzzleloader. However, despite not being able to take him, my whole body was shaking and I had a huge smile on my face throughout this whole video. These experiences make me feel successful, tagged out or not. The feeling is almost impossible to describe…but every hunter knows what I’m talking about! Being able to share these experiences with my Dad…and now my husband and my daughter…is another reason why I love to elk hunt. #LivingElkCountry
No matter what your definition of Living Elk Country is, RMEF wants to see it. Upload your best video content to Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and use the #Hashtag #LivingElkCountry between now and December 1st for a chance to win the prize package of a lifetime. Don’t have social media or know what a #hashtag is? Use the link below to enter.
The best videos will be featured on Elk Network and available for voting beginning September 15th. Entries will be accepted until December 1st at 11:59pm MST. The video with the most votes on December 31st will win everything in the package below.
Zeiss Conquest V-6 Rifle Scope ($1,799 MSRP)
Browning X-Bolt Hunter 7mm Rem Mag ($1,079 MSRP)
Mathews Halon 32 or Equal Value Bow ($1,099 MSRP)
$500 Cabela’s Gift Card
Sitka Sub Alpine Mountain Jacket and Pant ($468 MSRP)
Yeti 45 Cooler ($349 MSRP)
Eberlestock Team Elk Pack ($329 MSRP)
One Pair Danner Men’s Gila or Women’s High Ground Boots ($200/$190 MSRP)
MTN Ops Elk Fit Combo ($190 MSRP)
One Dozen Bloodsport Arrows ($160 MSRP)
Buck Knives RMEF Team Elk Set ($130 MSRP)
Two Boxes Browning Ammo BXC .300 Win Mag or 7 MM Rem Mag ($89.98)
Alps Outdoorz RMEF Ridge Stalker X Bino Case ($54,99 MSRP)
Bog Pod Rapid Rest ($54.99 MSRP)