I’m a forester and that day I had been out burning slash piles, it was one of those drizzly, foggy fall days in Montana. The ones that usually happen right before it decides to turn into winter. My daughter Haley was two, so my husband and I had a deal that we would trade off nights to hunt and the other would stay home and watch Haley. We lived within a ¼ mile of Forest Service ground so it only took a couple minutes to get into some good country. It was his night that night but when I got home he said it was too nasty and he didn’t think the hunting would be any good. Since I was already soaked to the bone and in cloths that smelled like smoke and drip torch fuel I told him I would go then, nothing to lose. I grabbed my 270 and my orange vest and headed for the hills, I had about an hour or so until dark. I had walked for about half an hour and all of the sudden I heard what sounded like antlers banging together. It sounded like bucks sparring so I headed towards the noise. I snuck into some small trees next to an opening and to my surprise there were 5 bull elk. Two small bulls were fighting, two others watching and my bull was feeding. I was within 100 feet of my bull. Because of the fog and rain there wasn’t any wind, they never knew I was there. I took the shot and he dropped immediately. The other four just looked at him, not knowing what had happened. They didn’t run away until I came out of the trees to take a better look. I was really excited at this point, that was only my second elk ever, so once I knew he was dead I took off running for home to get my husband and daughter to help take care of the bull. I burst through the door and said “I got a bull” he said “how big” and I said “big, but I don’t even know”. He ended up being a 7 X 7 with a green score of 336. It was an afternoon I will never forget!
Photo Credit: Amy Helena