Colorado Public Hunt

"Two years ago I called and spoke with Garrett. I told him that my hunting buddy and I only get one week off to hunt elk (we're both Soldiers and are not stationed out west). That translates into 5 or 6 hunting days with travel. We have to maximize daylight and shot opportunities. We also can't risk trying to draw a tag, because if we draw, we may be overseas or on a mission. So, we hunt public land in Colorado, purchasing over the counter tags, there's plenty of elk, but they're under a lot of pressure. Over the last couple years we've had opportunities that didn't work out. Twice our only shot was a quartering to almost full frontal on a bull, both times we passed and let the elk walk. Once on a nice bull, I bounced, yes bounced, a 400gr total weight arrow with a fixed blade broadhead, going about 290fps, off the front leg that bull. I'm not sure how it happened, but I watched him shake it off and trot away, no blood trail. The arrow had a little blood and hair on it, but obviously bounced off the leg as I found it on a weird angle different from the line of fire. So, by 2012 I was searching for a better solution and found Alaska Bowhunting and GrizzlyStik. I called and Garrett answered. I discussed, sometimes almost arguing, weight, weight forward, single bevel vs. normal fixed blades, Kinetic Energy (KE) vs. Momentum (P), and why a tapered shaft penetrates better...plus a bunch of other stuff. He convinced me to have two test arrows made and buy a pack of test field points. He said to shoot them, try different field point weights, and you'll find the one that works for you. Well he was right. I tested them, liked them, and called back and bought a set of custom Momentum Arrows and some Massai broadheads. Total weight was 624gr. I was confident a bull elk would not - "rub some dirt on it and walk it off" if I hit him with this. Day 3 of our hunt, Sunday morning hunting on my own, a bugle within a quarter mile stopped me in my tracks. Bugling bulls are rare in the area we hunt. The over the counter tag units have a bunch of elk, but the pressure of "run and gun" hunters makes the bulls very call shy. It's nothing to see other hunters, have your tags checked by game wardens, and/or see lazy hunters driving the roads - get out - call - get back in their car. The bull bugled again and I thought, "He's way above me, already done feeding and headed toward a bedding area. I cannot catch him, so what the hell I'll call." I gave two soft cow calls, he responded, and came running. Shocked, I dropped my gear, ran up the draw to a meadow/water hole I figured he would come to, and hid behind the pond dam. I caught my breath, drew my bow, and popped up from the cover behind the damn...no elk. I stood there dejected, laughed at myself, and then he popped out. I thought, "Man I'm dumb, now I'm busted." Well he didn't see me and kept coming from about 200yds away. I dropped to my knees behind the pond damn and tried to control my breathing. By the time I could hear anything but my own heartbeat I could hear the bull drinking. I drew my bow again, from me knees and popped up over the damn to shoot. He was surprised but didn't run and stood there facing me straight on. I knew he was a legal bull, but didn't dare look at his antlers. I put the 20 and 30 pin low and high on the front of his shoulder and let the arrow go. He exploded out of the water hole, ran and stopped broadside. I guess he was checking his back trail to see if he was being chased. I picked up my rangefinder, he was at 54yds. My hands started shaking now, because I could see now he was a huge bull and he was standing there bleeding. I nocked another arrow and put one low in his chest. I watched him stumble into the woodline, marked the spot, and went to get help. We found him not far from where I saw last. The first shot was 26yds, I ranged the spot he was standing after I watched him walk into the wood line. Upon quartering the big 7x6 bull, I found the first arrow still in him. The arrow passed all the way through the center of the huge front shoulder, the chest cavity, the guts, and the entire ham! You could actually feel the point underneath the hide of his rump if you pressed against the hide from the outside. ALL the way through! Now my arrow broadhead combination is actually light for the folks at GrizzlyStik, but it was more than enough to punch through him from the "rooter to the tooter". The second shot, broadside at 54yds, was a clean pass through and we found that arrow as well. My wife ordered me two more sets of the same arrows for Christmas."

Here is my bull after he made it home. ~ Michael A, Abell

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