3 Bulls. 3 States. 3 Species. In less than 30 days...
As I take the time to sit and text this blog, my emotions are still at a high level. It is hard to put into words the roller coaster ride I am just stepping off of!
It was just a few short weeks ago that I realized I had the opportunity to try something that probably few bow hunters have had chance to accomplish.
My personal goals where to harvest one each of the 3 North American Elk species with my Xpedition bow. And a bonus to the goal would be that all the bulls would score above the P.Y. minimum.
My tradition of planting a "Lucky Buckeye" after each trophy animal harvested was carried out with pleasure.
I had agreed to do this blog for the Nebraska Bowhunters Association to help promote the good work the club has done and bring more attention to a great organization that I feel every bow hunter in this great state should be a member of.
If everyone that is a member would share this blog and ask a nonmember to join the NBA I would be thrilled.
Thanks for following along and good luck!
At the end of day two, I have yet to here a bugle. The terrain is fare steeper than I had envisioned. The timber is steep and dark and we are seeing elk in the clearcuts in the early morning and late evening.
My attitude is still positive and only time will tell as we try to figure out these bulls. I have seen 16 spike bulls and about 30 cows.
With less than ideal weather conditions and temps in the mid 90s. I shot this bull after he had cooled off in a wallow and was heading for cover at 4:00 in the afternoon. With very little elk movement I got lucky to catch this bull on the move in the daylight.
Nebraska residents are very fortunate to have such quality elk. And bow hunters are able to hunt them first during the rut.
As a customary tradition I plant my lucky Buckeye after each trophy animal harvested.
Follow along this weekend as I travel to Oregon to hunt Roosevelt elk...
Last night I sat in a cedar tree hoping this 6x6 and his cow would wonder my way. .NO DICE
The bulls rack floats as walks with his head held high traveling through the corn .. I called him into 80 yards and then he left not wanting to leave the hot cow he was with.
Today I have not located a good bull. Hopefully this evening he can be found again.
Tomorrow is opening morning for a limited number of resident archery elk hunters here in Nebraska. I am one of the lucky tag holders and I am very excited about what the next few days well bring.
My prescouting and trail cameras have pinpointed several good candidates. The landowner permission has been granted on several great locations. If the weather cools down it might be a great hunt.
I have the next 5 days to fill my tag. So follow along and I will try to keep you updated.
Tonight I am hunting over a food plot of turnips and white radishes. The mosquitoes are terrible but I still sit with a smile on my face.
Thanks to the NBA and NGPC we now have an extra 14 days to pursue deer here in the great state of Nebraska. In 2014 , more than 300 deer were tagged before September 15th.
I personally will again benefit from the early elk season this year that the NBA also proposed the the Game Commission. Bow hunters can pursue elk about 10 days ahead of the rifle. hunters. The NBA and NGPC have had some rocky roads in the past, but I fell that the relationship between the groups is at an all time high. Of coarse that is my personal opinion. ..
These two photos are from yesterday taken as I walked out of my morning stand location. I am fairly certain this deer was killed by a large cat. I forwarded these pics on to the Game Commission's mountain lion biologist and he agreed that it was highly likely a larger cat. So hopefully my trail cameras will catch a pic of the killer. Keep watching for my photos!
It is 11:45 as I peek over the jagged edge. I am on a 200 foot tall boulder outcropping overlooking an oak flat. As I quietly crawl to peer over the edge. I can see antler tips and the top of a nose of a buck. He is bedded 60 yards straight below me out of my range and I dare not crawl forward for fear or falling to my death.
I crawl back away from the edge and wait for the buck to make the first move. Around 1:10, the buck appears walking below keeping close to the rocks until he is well out of range. The buck is heading to feed on the acorns on the flat.
The breeze is blowing up the canyon and it is now my turn to make a move. I make a wide half circle above and out of the bucks line of sight. I have covered more than a mile in distance and am approaching from the side. I have located him on the flat eating leaves while standing on his hind legs. I close the distance to 63 yards and notice two other bucks that are smaller also feeding closer. Suddenly, all three bucks turn and head back to the shade of the huge outcropping. As I cautiously retreat and make my way back to the boulder lookout.
My predator instincts have kicked in and I feel like a mountain lion waiting for the bucks to make a mistake.
Checking my phone as I wait it shows 3:45. Waiting patiently, the bucks appear from their beds at 5:15 and walk directly away from the rocks to a side hill below me about 500 yards away. At 6:20 I see the largest fork horned buck bed under an oak tree. Near the tree, are three large pickup truck sized boulders. The wind has started to change as the thermals pull the air down the valley.
It is my move once again! Climbing down the back side of the outcropping and then approaching the boulders has taken 45 minutes. I range the truck sized rocks and I am 40 yards from them. Hoping the deer are within range of the boulders when I close the distance of the last 40 yards. There happens to be a large colony of gray ground squirrels living among the rocks and have provided small trails for my footsteps during my final approach.
I have approached slowly hoping the squirrels will not warn the bucks. I peer through a 12" gap between two of the boulders and see my bucks 30 yards away with his butt facing my direction.
Anticipating the buck to turn broadside I draw my Xpedition and put the pin on him. As he starts to turn, I see deer hair 4 yards in front of me and then a bucks head fills the 12" gap with his head and bulging eyes! _ _ _ _ ! BUSTED! !!
As the near buck bolts the sight pin settles on the fork horn and the arrow hit home. Within seconds it is all over and I am spent.
It has been an exciting week for me and I hope that you have enjoyed following the blogs.
Enjoy your own seasons and don't forget to notice and enjoy the little things Mother Nature has to offer.
I find myself with a few days left here in California. And like any good bow hunter, with extra time to spare.
I went to town, bought a tag and asked around until I had a ranch to hunt. I have two days to hunt for Columbian Blacktails. I have never had the opportunity to hunt this species of deer and have been warned they can be tough.
This hunt will be a spot and stalk hunt in very dry conditions. My plans are to hunt near oak plateaus and the shady side of some large rock formations.
This is beautiful country so just spending time in new habitat will be enjoyable.
Mike Lutt has been bow hunting since 1976 and has been a member of the NBA for 30 years. He has been married for 32 years to Rhonda and they have three children that are out of the nest! Mike spends hours scouting and bow hunting in Nebraska and any other place he can find.