Monday, December 10, 2012

Arizona late bull elk in Unit 1

The 2012 late season found the BTO crew in Arizona hunting Unit 1 for late bull elk with new found friends Gary Walker of Booneville, Mississippi and his good friend Keith Phillips of Maryland, who came along to see Arizona and keep Gary awake for the long drive.

The opening day found us seeing a lot, and I mean a lot of elk. With Devin and Daniel seeing over 300 elk and Gary, Keith and myself seeing 150+ elk.  It was a great start to the hunt. We did put a play on two great bulls that Daniel watched go over a ridge but we ended up bumping into the bulls who had joined up with several other bulls for a noon day nap. Opening day came to a close with a lot of elk being seen and sore feet for some of us.

Day two brought unseasonably warm weather but again alot of elk were seen.  Devin and Daniel spotted one of our shooter bulls that we were able to bed, but around 10 AM all the elk were spooked by something on the ridge they were bedded on and they moved up and over the top not to be seen again. The highlight of the day two was when Gary, Keith and myself got to see up close and personal a collared Mexican Grey Wolf that we watched at less than 100 yards for more than 5 minutes. It was amazing to see how big of a predator these things really are. We also heard howling from camp one of the nights which was cool too.

Day three found us chasing bugles, yes I said chasing bugles.  We heard bugling everyday on this hunt and this day was no different. We finally glassed one of the buglers with a group of cows and watched the bull until he bedded for the morning. We moved the group to within 358 yards and sized up the bull for Gary. With the bull getting up to reposition himself the decision was made to take the shot. Gary put an incredible 358 yd shot with a 20-25 mph crosswind and couldn't have put it in a better spot.

A big thanks to Gary and Keith for making the long drive out and congratulations on a great late season Arizona bull...

Gary's bull bedded at 358 yards
Gary with good friend Keith and a great late AZ bull elk

The BTO crew which made for an easy pack out

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