Ed's Elk Adventures: Where adventure finds you.

Moo - The White elk

We had just left camp and was on the road in hopes of being at our intended site before daylight. When out of the uphill side of the road jumped a big bull and stopped in the middle of the road in front of us. Out of my front widow I could only make out this was a huge animal and it was not afraid of any little station wagon. As we stared each other down it was evident that this bull carried a large rack on his head as well as being a massive elk. I told my passenger that it was time for me to get out and hunt this dream bull. He would drive on to our destination and I would meet him later in the day. So off I went my old LSD Bear bow and a Larry Jones bugle. I hunted down an old over grown skid trail expecting at any moment to encounter the monster bull. I would every half mile or so bugle like a spike. It wasn't until I was turned around and heading back that my second call must of hit a nerve. Out of the drainage below me came the distinct moo of a milk cow and as each call that followed the first became more violent. I quickly got off the road and started my sneak down to this strange sounding elk, only hoping I would not meet up with a moo cow instead of the elk I hoped for. With each step I could hear the animal moving closer to my location. Without warning the bull stuck his massive head out of the brush not twenty yards away and made his unusual bugle. He did this three more times before he went completely quit. Little did I know that this bull and I would battle wits for another five years before it would end? I remember the time I had listened to him in his home territory the evening before. He bugled with the now familiar bugle of a moo cow bull. I got up at 3:30am and headed down the canyon on a well establish elk trail hoping to get in before he pushed his cows down the canyon. This would put them into a deep hole that would make it almost impossible to bring a downed elk out of. Half way down I heard the bugle of the big boy about 100 yards away, but it sounded muffled, like in a box. I snuck slowly ahead expecting to see a piece of him at any second. Then he let loose with a great thundering bugle within what should have been eye sight. It was then I realized why it had been so hard to pin point him. There in a deep depression on the hillside was Moo and his herd. I snuck up and peeked over the bank getting within 30 yard of the big bull that was now tending his cows, head down running around sniffing each of his ladies. The vine maple trees were very thick and were preventing me from taking a shoot at the moving bull. The maples were constantly moving a crossed his vitals stopping me every time I attempted to draw my bow. All of a sudden he did something that I have never seen before or sense. He bulldozed a cow into the air and threw her into a cluster of vine maple as if to say get into line or else. The cow moved off and joined the rest of the herm. Then as if on queue the wind switched and there was branches breaking every where. I realized that the morning breeze had switched and gave me away like a common thief. I hunted this bull at every oppertunity and always lost. He traveled in a brush filled canyon that the over growth was ten feet high. Many times I would brave the brush only to see his rack within yards of me, but not be able to shoot because of the thick surroundings. Then there were times he would be in the opening of a clear cut only to head back into his brush pile about the time we would spot him. The only good shot I had at him was one morning my family including my sister and brother-in-law were at the head of the drainage he lived in. I had bugled a couple of times, when that praticularly familiar bugle sounded out. There at Four hundred yard and closing was Moo headed our way. I told my brother-in-law to move down hill and setup as I continued to bugle him our way. After a long wait and not hearing any bugles I softly call down the hill to my brother-in-law to move alittle bit forward. No one answered my calls, so I moved down the hill to see if I could find him. As I rounded a brush pile there stood three big branch bulls. One on the left broadside and one on the right broadside each only twenty yards away. Between the two stood Moo facing me. So imagine three large racks right together not twenty yards from this suprised hunter. I drew in an instent and fired. The arrow flew true and pasted completely through all three sets of antlers missing every bull. I was shooting at what I had aimed at the antlers. Of coarse all three disappeared without harm and I without an elk.