John's Journal...

The Monstrous Scent-A-Way Bull Elk with Wayne Carlton

No Sight, No Shot – The Almost Miss

Click to enlargeEditor’s Note: Wayne Carlton, host of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation’s “Elk Country Journal” TV show, has hunted and guided for elk for more than 32 years. He recently took a bull elk that unofficially scored 410 points on Boone and Crockett. This bull was the biggest he’d ever taken with his bow and the biggest bull elk ever filmed by Hunter’s Specialties “Primetime” video crew. This year, Carlton has been on a mission to learn more about elk hunting than ever before, and some of his insights will change the way we all hunt elk.

About 6:10 pm, we spotted the first cow coming to the waterhole. Phillip and I were about 20-feet up in the air. We could look across to the ridge from where the elk were coming. The cows came into the waterhole and started to mill-around. Suddenly, we heard this huge roar, and the bull was right under us. The cows and the bull were walking right under our tree where we’d been working, but because I’d sprayed the ground with Scent-A-Way, they couldn’t smell us. I could spot parts and pieces of the bull’s antlers, but I never could see Click to enlargehis entire rack or his body. My back was to the bull, so he would have to walk past Vanderpool and me to reach the water.

As the elk came in, all the cows funneled under our tree stand, but there was one cow that stayed under our tree and sniffed around it. However, she never picked-up our odor. All the cows got into the tank and started coughing and moving. When the bull came to the water, I heard him splashing, but I couldn’t see him. Phillip and I didn’t cut all the limbs down away from us, so the tree in which we hunted resembled a telephone pole. We had left some limbs up to help hide us, and the bull was hiding behind one of those limbs we’d used to break-up our silhouette. Phillip was a little higher than me in the tree, videoing the bull and getting parts of his antlers, but never seeing the entire bull. After the cows finished drinking, they walked on top of the dam, milled-around for a little while and then started walking back into the timber.

I thought to myself, “Oh, Lord, I’m not even going to get a shot at this big buClick to enlargell, because even though he’s right below me, I can’t see him.” Now that the cows had left, I peeped around the limb and saw that the bull was still watering and quartering-away from me. I deliberately didn’t look at his antlers. I just concentrated on the place I wanted my arrow to hit, leaned back so the bull couldn’t see me and went to full draw. Then I eased my way out to the edge of the tree stand where I could see the bull. Because the bull was quartering-away, I aimed just in front of his left hip. Then my arrow would travel forward and through the vitals. When I shot, the arrow hit where I’d tried to place it and came out right behind the bull’s right front shoulder. The bull blew out of the water tank and went through some cedar trees. Then he turned and came straight toward us. The bull ran-up the hill from where he’d come, made a hard left and then ran dead away from us. We could hear him running and breaking trees as he ran. Because Phillip had on the headset he used when filming, he was actually able to hear the elk fall. When we climbed down the tree stand to start tracking, we found a lot of blood and disturbed soil. As the blood began to run out, and darkness started to envelop us, I suggested we back out of the area, take the camera and review the film to see what kind of shot I’d made on the elk. As we looked at the footage, we could see that I had made a devastating shot. Some of the Hunter’s Specialties’ pros were in camp not far from us. After they reviewed the tape, they agreed we should go back that night and try to find the elk. We went back to where we’d spotted the last blood and starting trailing the elk again. I saClick to enlargew him about 75-yards away piled-up. Last year, on the same ranch, I took a bull that scored 370 B&C points, which was the biggest bull I’d ever taken in my life until I took this bull. Unofficially, this bull should gross about 410 B&C points.

Question: Wayne, what does it mean to you to have taken the biggest elkyou’ve ever bagged in your entire life?
Carlton: I’ve been so busy and had so much to do that it was 3 or 4 days after the hunt before I had a chance to sit down, relive the hunt and experience the shot again. I’ve finally realized this is probably the biggest bull I’ll ever get in a lifetime, and I’m very appreciative that we videoed this hunt. I’m 64-years old and am thrilled to have made a clear shot. This entire hunt will be on “Hunter’s Specialties Primetime Bulls 7” video, which will come out the first of January, and air on the Hunter Specialties’ TV show in 2009.

Question: Wayne, since the hunt, there’s been a tremendous demand for this DVD. Should hunters pre-order this DVD from their local dealer now, so they can get it as soon as it’s released?
Carlton: Yes, there’s been a lot of interest in this bull since pictures of him showed-up on the internet. A number of people want to see exactly how we took this Scent-A-Way bull.

Tomorrow: Time to Reflect

Check back each day this week for more about "The Monstrous Scent-A-Way Bull Elk with Wayne Carlton"

Day 1: Elk Pie
Day 2: Leave the Bull to Take the Bull
Day 3: No Sight, No Shot – The Almost Miss
Day 4: Time to Reflect
Day 5: More Lessons Learned from Carlton’s Big Bull Elk


Entry 478, Day 3