When Elk Bugle a Vet Gets his Chance
By Merwin Fuller
Jan 5, 2008 – 9:06:00 AM
|Merwin Fuller on his final day of the hunt and memories he’ll never forget.
I was fortunate to be selected to go on a elk hunt in Colorado as a Purple Heart recipient and a Vietnam veteran. This was a chance for a hunt of a lifetime for me to say the least. The hunt started on the 6 of Oct 2007 when I departed Wilmington NC for Grand Junction Co. arriving that evening.
I was picked up at the airport by Mark & Robin of North Rim Trophy Hunts and arrived at the lodge around 10:30 PM where I Met my guide Rocky also of North Rim Trophy Hunts and settled in.
Day 1. Started with Snow and 16 Degree weather, a big change from the 85 degree weather we had in North Carolina when I left. We started out climbing to a plateau and glassing for Elk. We saw a few but the snow was frozen and it was very noisy so getting close was a lost cause. We headed back to the lodge that night with out having a shot.
Day 2. About the same weather. It was about 16 degrees again when we started out but at least the snow was gone and travel was a little better. The ground was still frozen so still noisy. Climbing the hills was a little tough, coming from sea level to 9500 ft. But we did see Elk so that made the day go by fast. We hunted all day but again no shot.
Day 3. Weather warmed up some as we started out this morning and we got into Elk early. We had several bugling so my guide and Drew Butterworth of Art of Deception TV, who was filming the Hunt started Cow Calling and bugling back. The Bulls started in but all but one of them hung up. The one that was coming in was at a bad angle for a bow shot. When he passed by, my guide told me to move up a little and see if I could get a shot, which I did but the brush was just high enough that I could not shoot while kneeling down. Rocky asked if I could stand up real slow as sometimes they will not spook if you move very slowly. I did as he asked, but when I stood up the Elk was about 30 yards from me. I guess I stood a bit too quickly because he saw me and took off and ran about 20 yards further away.
I had a clean shot at him broad side. I had been practicing out to 60 yards all summer so I knew I could make the shot, but when I drew the bow it went off at half Draw. Still a mystery to me as to what happened, but the bull didn’t stick around to give me a second chance.
After that we ran in to several Bulls but no chance for a shot. We went back to the lodge where I knew I would be the point topic that evening. But they took pity on a old man and did not pick on me much.
Day 4. We hunted all day and using my Nikon Monarch was able to glass several Bulls but could not get close enough for a shot so we went back to the lodge and got ready for the last day.
Day 5. Last day of the hunt. I was thinking I was not going to get another shot after blowing that shot on day 3 but around 8:30 am we were walking up the mountain. ( must be getting used to the thin air not as hard that day) As we were walking we heard two Bulls fighting so we set up and Rocky and Drew started calling. As soon as they called the Bulls stopped fighting and suddenly, out of no where there was a Bull off to my left. I was in the open so I just froze. I knew he was going to bust us but he headed over to where the other two Bulls were. Then he turned back and headed back our way and I knew this time he would see me. Once again my luck held and he kept heading to the left of where I was until he went behind some brush. When he did it gave me my chance so I moved to where I hoped to get a shot when he came out from behind the brush about 40 to 45 yds from me.
I waited until he went behind some more brush and carefully drew my Alpine SILVERADO SABER. I waited for him to come our from behind the brush holding at full draw but to my susprise he didn’t come out where I expected him. Instead he was only about 25 yards from where I was kneeling giving me a great angle. I put the pin where I wanted it to hit and the shot was gone. It was a good shot and got both lungs. Rocky didn’t think it was a good shot, but we found the Bull not far from where I shot him.
I was really happy the way my Saber performed and of course the services provided by Tony Dukes’ Red,White and Blue Outdoors, Drew Butterwick Art of Deception TV, Mark and Rocky from North Rim Trophy Hunts, as well as the support from Magnus Brodhead’s, Limbsavers and of course Predator Camo, made this a hunt of a lifetime for me and I can’t thank them enough for giving me the chance to go on this hunt.
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