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Utah Muzzleloader Bull Elk
Big Game Hunting topics that dont fit other categories
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DallanC
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Joined: Jan 18, 2005
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Location: Utah

PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2016 3:12 pm    Post subject: Utah Muzzleloader Bull Elk Reply with quote

After a long wait, I drew a LE Bull Elk tag this year for the Muzzleloader season. Throughout the summer we had lots of elk visiting wallows and watering holes. It started to get really exciting in August when the different bulls started showing up. Each week a new larger bull would show up. Got some fun videos of them.

My goal going into the hunt was simple, I wanted a nice solid 6x6. Didn't care about scores, just wanted a nice mature 6pt.

I headed down Sunday to camp and as I was setting up I could hear elk bugling off in the distance. As the evening faded it got louder and louder with bulls screaming all around me. The next morning it was just as frantic, with bulls screaming back and forth. I picked what sounded like the baddest bull around and moved to intercept. I got on a hill overlooking a valley with the bull hidden in trees 500 yards out and gave some cow calls... the bull immediately answered and immediately came right towards me. I was dumbfounded when he reached a clearing and I saw BOTH antlers broken off at the skull! I glassed around and saw several other bulls that were all busted up.

I hiked up a ridge overlooking a small canyon and saw a really nice 6x6 high above me, I gave a couple cow calls and that thing made a bee-line right off the mountain stopping across the canyon from me. Should have been a chip shot, I'd been shooting 1" groups at 130 yard zero all summer with this gun. Carefully took aim... and missed. What...? How...? Why...? I'll have nightmares of that miss for years to come. I hiked over and spent a good hour searching the area for any sign of a hit, absolutely nothing. Discouraged I went back to watch a popular wallow but never saw anything come near it.

That evening I could still hear some bugling but it was a fraction of the night before. I counted 8 different broken and busted bulls far above me on the ridgeline. I was amazed just how many bulls were busted up. Still kicking myself about my miss, I returned to camp.

Next morning I was back at the wallow... it was pretty silent with only the rare bugle being heard way way off in the distance. An hour later a shattering scream jolted me out of boredom. I didnt catch the overall location but I knew it was within 400 yards of me. I held tight and 5 minutes later another scream shattered the silence. Ok, I had a direction now. I figured I could wait and see if he came into wallow, or go hike up carefully and maybe, maybe find him in a clearing of the junipers. I decided to sneak up to where there is an intersection of two fences, where I knew I could see at least a bit further and have a shooting lane. I got in position and gave a couple cow chirps. The bull screamed back each time but couldnt move. I couldnt see him, this went on for at least 30 minutes. He finally sounded like he was moving off away from me so I decided to carefully, quietly follow and see if I might catch him in an opening or something.

40 yards in, ran right into 2 cows that saw me and took off. Arrrrggg! I figured they were going to jump the one fence and head back over to the wallow I originally sat on. I hustled back out of there, crossed the fence, and looked down into the wallow area and saw.... nothing. Confused, I went back up to the fence intersection and watched down the one fence line I thought the cows and crossed. Suddenly, I see a cow jump over... and another. Crap, I realized I needed to get closer... ASAP!

I hustled down the fence with as little motion as I could, oddly none of the elk looked up the fence. More and more elk were crossing and I knew with that many cows leaving, the bull would follow them no mater what. I got about 60 yards from where they were crossing and got setup. A few more cows crossed, not in a big rush... suddenly out he stepped, I literally had 2 seconds to decide on shooting or not. I clearly saw his right side was a very nice solid 6, as he turned to jump I saw his left side was unbroken... and *BOOM* just as he jumped. I was looking into the sun and the smoke from the gun obscured everything, I took a quick step to see around the cloud and I saw the bull thrashing on the ground. I quickly reloaded and stuck another one into him and he laid still.

Holy crap. I couldn't believe it. As I walked closer he kept getting bigger. I was ecstatic, way way bigger than anything I hoped to get, especially considering all of the busted up bulls I'd seen. I really thought I was going to end up with a 1 horn bull or something haha.

Anyway I honestly couldn't be happier with how this hunt ended and this DIY muzzleloader bull.








-DallanC
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Azar
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Joined: Jan 04, 2010
Posts: 246
Location: Utah

PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2016 3:20 pm    Post subject: Re: Utah Muzzleloader Bull Elk Reply with quote

Beautiful bull!

Sounds like a great time. What unit were you hunting in, if you don't mind my asking?
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DallanC
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Joined: Jan 18, 2005
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Location: Utah

PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2016 5:31 pm    Post subject: Re: Utah Muzzleloader Bull Elk Reply with quote

Nebo unit. Yea for DIY, I am tickled.

Whats also super cool is about 50 yards down the fence from where I killed it, is a dirt road and a gate. I was able to drive a backhoe right up to the elk and load it with the hay forks then stick it in my truck hehe.


-DallanC
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Suzanne
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Joined: Jun 27, 2009
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Location: Eugene, Oregon

PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2016 6:19 pm    Post subject: Re: Utah Muzzleloader Bull Elk Reply with quote

Ding Dang nice one Dallan!! What could make you even happier is the road being so close! Congrats on the two amazing catches! That'll keep you high for a while. Deer season starts here on Oct. 1st, very very dry around here (looks dry there too) and I haven't seen a darned thing out on the weekends. Should start raining (to some degree) this Thurs. or so but I doubt it will bring out any roamers till later in the season. I haven't been hunting the last couple years, but really looking forward to going this year. Hope some of your luck will rub off on me!


Suz

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Pumpkinslinger
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Joined: Sep 22, 2007
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Location: NC foothills

PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2016 7:27 pm    Post subject: Re: Utah Muzzleloader Bull Elk Reply with quote

Very nice! Congrats!

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moose2
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Joined: Mar 19, 2005
Posts: 707
Location: North Idaho

PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2016 8:18 pm    Post subject: Re: Utah Muzzleloader Bull Elk Reply with quote

What a dandy bull. Congrats on a very successful hunt. Some really good eats there. Very Happy

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slimjim
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Joined: May 16, 2009
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2016 8:21 pm    Post subject: Re: Utah Muzzleloader Bull Elk Reply with quote

Dallan, congrats! Do you have space on the wall for that trophy? European?

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Elvis
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2016 10:45 pm    Post subject: Re: Utah Muzzleloader Bull Elk Reply with quote

that is an absolute ripper Mate.....long and even with good weight to the tines...
all those busted up bulls either mean a really big angry bull is around or someone has read 'point of impact" and got ideas
congrats and enjoy the steaks.

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Aloysius
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2016 11:56 pm    Post subject: Re: Utah Muzzleloader Bull Elk Reply with quote

slimjim wrote:
Dallan, congrats! Do you have space on the wall for that trophy? European?

SJ, why "European"? Here whe they get older, they get a "crown". But they are not my speciality as I missed when I should have harvested mine. On the other hand: cows and calves are cleaner and, in my opinion, better food on the table.
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tikkat3
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2016 12:15 am    Post subject: Re: Utah Muzzleloader Bull Elk Reply with quote

Congrats Dallan
Great pic with his feet still up on the wire
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Vince
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Joined: May 25, 2005
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2016 1:56 am    Post subject: Re: Utah Muzzleloader Bull Elk Reply with quote

That is a damn fine looking head Dallan. Congratulations mate, you have done yourself proud.

Do the small points at the junction of the brow tine and the main beam count mate or are they too small to figure in the overall scheme of things?

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DallanC
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Joined: Jan 18, 2005
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Location: Utah

PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2016 8:56 am    Post subject: Re: Utah Muzzleloader Bull Elk Reply with quote

Thanks everyone, I am still elated with it.

slimjim wrote:
Dallan, congrats! Do you have space on the wall for that trophy? European?

I am doing European on him, I don't have the space for a head mount, and pedestal mounts are too pricey.

tikkat3 wrote:
Congrats Dallan
Great pic with his feet still up on the wire

He actually caught one foot in the wire as he fell, kicked a bit and thrashed the fence in general. I need to go back and repair it (i was told to hold off on repairing it until the rut ends, the elk like to pass through that area anyway so this can funnel them a bit).

Suzanne wrote:
Ding Dang nice one Dallan!! What could make you even happier is the road being so close! Congrats on the two amazing catches!

Yea, it was amazing how it all worked out, certainly the easy way to recover them, easier on the back. My butcher loved it, he said "why dont you skin them before you bring them in?" I said "so it doesnt have hair and dust all over the meat". He replied with "ah good point":

www.huntingnut.com/ima...bull6l.jpg
www.huntingnut.com/ima...bull7l.jpg

Quote::
Deer season starts here on Oct. 1st, very very dry around here (looks dry there too) and I haven't seen a darned thing out on the weekends. Should start raining (to some degree) this Thurs. or so but I doubt it will bring out any roamers till later in the season. I haven't been hunting the last couple years, but really looking forward to going this year. Hope some of your luck will rub off on me!

Our ML deer started yesterday, I got back up at 5:30, popped some Tylenol for the aches and headed up for the deer opener. I was the sole person on the mountain and there were deer EVERYWHERE. I couldn't believe how many I was seeing. A small veal buck walked out and stood on the road in front of me... I thought to myself, a young and tasty deer would offset that tough bull elk, and hes right on the road so I don't have to drag it an foot... and if I shoot it I can sleep in tomorrow... *BANG*

Very Happy

Good luck to you! Maybe a turn in the weather will bring them out of the woodwork for you.

-DallanC
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Aloysius
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2016 10:32 am    Post subject: Re: Utah Muzzleloader Bull Elk Reply with quote

Thanks, now I understand this "European".
Are you doing it yourself?
For deer you need a rather great cooking pot. All my roebucks go in such an (old) electrical fryer. For french fried you need to fill it with oil. For roebucktrophees I fill it with water, let it cook for 30-45 minutes (depending on how old) and then I put on old clothes, take the high pressure pump and that's easy cleaning.

Afterwards a little time in the H²O² (hydrogenperoxide), let it dry in the sun and it's ready for mounting.

The trick with the high pressure cleaner I learned many years ago, it goes fast and easy. You only have to pay attention not to boil it too long and even then be carefull with the little things as teeth and small bones.
Try it and you will like it.

Note: and this old clothes is for when you spray the brains out as the fly in all kind of directions...
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DallanC
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Joined: Jan 18, 2005
Posts: 3151
Location: Utah

PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2016 10:56 am    Post subject: Re: Utah Muzzleloader Bull Elk Reply with quote

My brother is a great taxidermist, he does fantastic euros that turn out perfect white. He is going to do it in trade for the cape.


-DallanC
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Elvis
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Location: south island New Zealand

PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2016 11:26 am    Post subject: Re: Utah Muzzleloader Bull Elk Reply with quote

great call on the smaller tasty one.....you dont pass up the easy ones.
that back hoe looks like it could tell a tale or three. great way to do the carry.
man that 2nd photo with bull on tray of ute could well have been taken here in N.Z. up in the mackenzie basin... the geography is almost identicle.

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