by: Hunter Jay Williams, Bowtech Pro Staff
Hunter Jay Williams, Bowtech Pro Staff shares his passion for hardcore backcountry DIY public land bowhunting for Oregon Rocky Mountain Elk.
September – one of my favorite months of the year affords me the opportunity to pursue my passion as a hardcore backcountry DIY public land bowhunter. This is a very memorable hunt that occurred during the 2014 Oregon General Elk Bow Season in Eastern Oregon on public land. This is my hunt and several tips used to seal the deal on this respectable mature Rocky Mountain 6×6 Bull Elk officially scoring 253 6/8 inches P&Y.
It was the third week of season and the public pressure was extreme, elk were call shy, hunted hard, and heavily pushed. Despite these common challenges of bowhunting public land, I persevered with my quest to kill a mature bull having several close encounters, which ended with bulls failing to commit and or falling victim to the inevitable dreaded swirling wind.
On this day I decided to depart from elk camp during the heat of the day planning to work my way up into a deep remote canyon holding a pocket of elk I hunted previously with the hopes of going after a monster bull. He was pushing 300 plus inches, named the elusive Herford bull for its distinguished bugle, which had given me the slip in a close encounter acquaintance several days prior at a wallow.
It was after traversing through several miles of blowdowns and lodge poles known for its attributes of providing relentless leg fatigue and navigational challenges, I continued to slowly weave my way through the surrounding obstacles, stopping periodically to deliberately break a small branch or twig while I sat attentively listening before proceeding further. At this time I had not made any calls or heard any elk.
It wasn’t long after continuing I heard a noise. Not a bugle, chuckle, chirp, or mew, but a faint noise sounding more electronic than animal. Not convinced it was an elk I proceeded with my same tactics as the unfamiliar noise repeated itself, but this time ending with an UH-UH-UH. The bull revealed himself and his location through his unfamiliar noise and was bedded within two hundred yards of my position appearing to be vocal to the sporadic snapping of small branches and twigs emulating elk movement.
I made a soft cow call and waited several minutes before the bull responded. After a few cow calls the bull’s unfamiliar noise metamorphosed into a chuckle and then full blown screaming bugle. I continued to engage the bull by making one soft cow call and then repositioning myself 30 yards upwind in anticipation of the bull doing the same.
As the bull closed the distance I made one last very soft cow call and my final move 30 yards upwind while I waited for the bull to emerge from the dark timber making its way across the blowdown and through the lodge poles. In a matter of seconds the bull appeared and was on a string headed straight to my last call location providing me with a 28 yard kill shot.
I came to full draw and the Bowtech Insanity CPXL executed flawlessly as I drove a perfectly placed arrow behind the bulls shoulder. The bull spun and ran out 60 yards before stopping providing the opportunity for me to drive a second arrow through its vitals. The bull took off on a death run crashing hard 40 yards away. It was an epic experience and incredible hunt – thanks to all those involved, hunting partner and meat packers, it was a long and joyous night.
If you would like more information regarding this hunt, Oregon DIY Public Land Hunting, or Bowtech’s leading products and services please contact me at my social media links listed below. Friend requests, followers, and likes are always greatly appreciated. Challenge yourself – hunt public lands the payoff is huge!
About The Author: Hunter is a twenty year old full-time college student at Southern Oregon University and has been on the Bowtech Pro Staff since 2013. He is an accomplished bowhunter with multiple public land record book kills to his name and has been recognized by Eastmans’ Bowhunting Journal for his DIY public land hardcore backcountry bowhunting prowess. Hunter also enjoys competitive target archery when time permits and holds an NFAA Pro card.