Tag Archives: turkey hunting

Wagonhound Archery Elk Hunt

My 2017 WY Archery Elk

 

While at the Boone & Crockett Big Game awards I shared a breakfast table with Randy Newberg. While telling him about all my preference points and no idea how to best use them he recommended Wagonhound in WY for an archery elk hunt. Taking him up on it I drew the Unit 7 tag and eagerly awaited my hunt. Spent a great deal of time preparing both physically and at the archery range. Made the 2 day trip out by car to retrieve the meat if successful. I arrived Sunday and my guide Cougar Sanchez and Eric Mares went out that night. We climbed some steep hills and he would occasionally bugle to see if we could pin point a bull. I was admiring two 3×3 mule deer with my binos when Cougar says, one’s coming get ready! I get with Eric down in a strand of timber and wait. Soon I see antler tips emerge over the hill in front of us and soon a bull elk is standing in front of me at 40 yards. No shot but it is so exciting and happens just like you have heard it might. He’s with a cow and as they circle around they wind us and take off. This is pretty encouraging for the week ahead.

 

Lodge at Wagonhound Outfitters

 

The next day we have breakfast at 4:45 and are off to hunt by 5:30 arriving in the elk woods around first light. Each morning usually involves a challenging hike up some steep hills but I find I can stick with my 20 something guides and get to the top with just an accelerated heart rate. This first day finds another bull elk coming and he emerges off to our side at 42 yards. He stops broadside and I let loose, my arrow flies above his back. I used the orange 60 pin instead of my 40! Pretty rattled but glad not to have wounded him. We regroup and decide to spend lunch back at the lodge. Monday night is another incredible experience. We see a monster on the opposite side of the mountains but he’s not coming. We hike up and then down into a narrow draw. This ends up being a great spot as first a bull comes from the wrong side and winds us. Then two raghorns emerge from the upwind side and proceed to feed within 15 yards of Eric and I who stay motionless. Hope to get his video of that. Soon after a 5×5 comes in within 20, I could shoot but he’s too small. We head back down and now the big bull starts coming. He even walks right by where we were set up earlier but now the wind is wrong and he never comes in. After that four big bulls way up top in some aspens start coming to us. I can’t believe it as they are so far off yet with my binos I see one actually trotting down the mountain. We set up and first it’s raghorns again and some cows with the big one behind a large group of trees. We hear him raking but he doesn’t come in time before the elk get behind and wind us.

Tuesday morning starts out the same. A steep hike up the mountain until we emerge into some sparce timber. We set up again as there are bugles in the distance. Eric is right behind me with Cougar set up 40 yards back this time with a Montana Decoy cow. Soon we hear a bull coming but he passes across 50-60 yards in front of us. Eric and I decide to move forward 40 yards. We get settled and soon that big bull comes back to us. He’s facing us with a cow and soon spooks off. I’m thinking maybe this spot is now blown but Eric tells me to get ready, ‘some are coming fast’. He’s not kidding. It sounds like a stampede the crashing coming close and I draw as two bulls literally crash into the woods and stop right next to us. They are both good bulls. I try to shoot the closest one and he spooks a little and I shoot behind him. Amazingly they don’t bolt off. I knock another arrow. Now they are a little behind us. I’m able to draw and rotate my body and shoot the rear one at only 25 yards. My green nockturnal lights up perfectly behind the crease and he runs off. I can’t believe it. We both think it’s a perfect shot. Deep penetration. We just sit still and for the next 45 minutes the show continues. Not long after my shot at 7:17am another bull comes in to my left with a cow. We just sit and video with our phones.

 

 

After 45 minutes we decide to look for blood. He left with my arrow but we soon find a good blood trail. After about 75 yards we crest a rise and see him laying in the distance. I am overjoyed, my first bull elk with a great shot and clean kill. We take lots of pictures and then Cougar and Eric skin and quarter him out. They are intent on packing him out in one trip which seems nuts to me but to their credit we somehow do it. It’s about a mile down to a road that we can bring the truck to. We rest every 100 yards or so with them doing the lion’s share and me with only a shoulder precariously on the bow holder of my day pack.

 

Scene of my 2017 WY archery elk

 

We get my elk meet back and hanging in the Wagonhound cooler within hours. Am so pleased as getting the meat is a big part of the experience for me and I know it will be perfect. Many times in archery if the shot is not perfect you need to leave the animal overnight which would have made a big difference for the meat. Am so pleased with this experience, greatful for Randy’s advice, all the great help from Wayne and Roger at Archery Only, without them I would not be a bow hunter. All the people at Wagonhoud. I leave Thursday morning and spend the night in Wendhover, NV. Up early and back to Los Gatos Meats & Smokehouse by 3pm. They know me well there and wrap up the tenderloins for me to cook that night. So grateful for another incredible hunting first. Now turning my attention back to rifles and prep for my California Desert Sheep hunt in December.

Wagonhound Elk Hunt

Spring Turkey at the Diamond C

My annual turkey hunt was looking like a bust. Usually I wait for a nice sunny weekend but this late April Saturday was cold and a little damp. The Toms were not talking. We couldn’t get a gobble anywhere out of the shock calls and started to use a hen call to see if that might work. At one stand we started to get a lot of hens talking back quite loudly but no gobbles. We waited a long while and finally moved on. Well the new spot was no better but walking back towards where we were, sure enough there is a Tom coming to our old stand through the woods. I took a bead on his bobbing head and when I had a lane between the trees took my shot. That did it, nice Tom in the bag yet again. 100% last four years. Then it was looking for pigs. Seemed like great weather for the pigs to be out but no luck there.

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My second mission was to retrieve my 2010 trophy bucks that I had been keeping at the cabin. The first huge non-typical buck I took in August that year and the second in November, a typical 4×4 that make the Boone & Crockett all time book. I finally moved my elk head and other smaller bucks to storage and am going to display my 4 Boone & Crockett bucks in my study.

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My 2010 Trophy Bucks

My 2010 Trophy Bucks

Spring Turkey at the Diamond C Ranch

Was able to get away for Turkey again this year. Met Dylan Sunday morning and he and his son Clayton and I headed out to try and locate some Toms. Our first stand proved unsuccessful as the tom would answer us back but must have been with hens as he never came in. Our next spot some toms answered and came so fast we barely had time to set up. I propped the ole Mossberg on a rotting stump while Dylan and Clayton set up behind me. It wasn’t long before three toms came straight towards the hen decoy. They were all in a tight group. As they came closer one separated back and fanned out. I shot him but he just flew off. I think I shot over him. The other two trotted back and forth so I shot the larger of the two dropping him. We had fun chasing a band of five pigs that night and the next morning. We would locate them far off but could never find them once we got in position to make a stalk. All the while hearing turkeys gobbling. I took a second turkey Monday afternoon.

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Spring Turkey at the Diamond C Ranch

Back to try turkey hunting again with Dylan Carr at the Diamond C Ranch. I stopped at Rio Dell on my way to pick up my Remington ADL custom rifle Fred at Grundmans had been putting together for me. My original first hunting rifle, a bargain basement ADL, now transformed with pacnor stainless fluted barrel, jewel trigger, robar coated with NP3 on the bolt, and topped off with a 4.4-14×40 Leupold VX3 with CDS turret. Looking forward to sighting it in. My inspiration was an article from Hardcore Outdoor where he gave his 30.06 a similar treatment.

Friday we tried calling in some Toms with Harley and Dylan doing the calling but the wind made it difficult and the birds weren’t moving. Saturday morning Dylan and I drove back down to where we’d been hearing them and immediately got a gobble back to our crow call. We found a good position behind a rock above them and proceeded to call them in.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We had expected some birds to come up on our right but before we knew it two toms arrived off to our left. I had to re postion the gun over Dylan to be ready. Dylan saw the first and told me to take the second one. Waited for them to get into range. Finally the second arrives and I shoot him. The other bird immediately comes over and starts tearing him up, standing over him. Eventually slipped off my gloves and got my iPhone out for a little video. We then slipped out there not wanting to spook them so that Dylan’s daughter Ashley could try for them later.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning we hunted with Ashley, Dylan’s 10 year old daughter to try and get her first turkey. We had several stands and toms come in but it was never quite right or too far to shoot. She was shooting off of sticks. She did great though exhibiting great patience and not taking a bad shot. I’m sure she’ll have her bird later this month. Was so fun seeing different hunts unfold and the toms coming in to the calls. Really enjoying turkey hunting and looking forward to doing it again each Spring.