Well my boy who turned 12 this year and got to hunt Big Game for the first time has had a HECK of a first year. He shot his first Mule Deer with a .50 Cal Hawkin Muzzleloader, then followed it up with two doe Pronghorn Antelope. That was alot and he was ecstatic with his success and we thought we were done for the year but "Grandpa" surprised him with a antlerless depredation Elk tag for family property as a early birthday present.
We went down Saturday and within a short hike we heard a bull bugling. We quickly crossed over to the other side of a hill to see THREE different herds of elk coming from 3 different directions all group up 350 yards below us in a meadow. Must have been easily 75 elk with one bruiser bull still screaming. We were trying to figure out a way to close the distance when they suddenly turned and started crossing a hillside only 200 yards across from us. My boy settled his rifle on a fence post and waited for a clean shot while dozens of elk were crossing his field of view. Finally one stopped in a clearing broadside and he took a shot knocking it down. I had him put 1 more shot into it to keep it down. The rest of the herd milled around across from us for another 10 minutes which was pretty cool.
High-fives all around for him! He did a great job with his shot, we'd been working on his trigger control and it paid off. It was a huge cow, butcher shop said it was the 2nd biggest they had in so far. Getting it on the ATV was pretty easy with my "tip up" trick
I hiked back down for the ATV and passed at least another 60 elk in 2 different herds with 2 more big bulls bugling. I've never seen so many elk on the property.
His Savage Axis Youth model 7mm-08 (lefty). The more we use this rifle the more impressed I am with it. Fantastic gun for youth.
Happy Dad and Son
Happy Mom and Son.
My ATV Elk loading trick, turn off the gas, tip the ATV on its end, use a hand winch to pull the head and front quarters up.
Now swing the hinds over and tie them up as best you can. The higher you can get them the better.
Now just tip the ATV back on its wheels and wala, Elk is loaded. Strap it down for transport now and you are GTG.
Walked it all down to a road. Easier than dragging it!
1.5 hours later, its hanging at the butcher shop ready for processing. Elk are too big IMO for home processing... I'll do a deer at home but Elk I leave to the pros.
Great years hunting for him, I told him it would be a long time before he ever has another year like it. I've rarely had years like it! He did great and is definitely hooked. Now I gotta go shopping for a second freezer hehe.