|A 6x6 trophy bull elk that
scored 342 Pope and Young was the reward for a father and son after a two-day emotion
packed archery hunt on the White Mountain Apache Reservation last fall.
Guy Wolcott Jr. bagged the elk from 35 yards near a spring after
stalking the animal, another bull and seven cows. Wolcotts guide was Joshua Parker.
Doyle Moss, a cameraman who filmed the kill, accompanied them.
The hunt started the morning of Sept. 15, 2000 at Maverick
Elk Camp. Parker had scouted the area a week earlier and led the group to where he had
spotted a 390 7x7, but the area produced nothing that day.
"Nothing, no elk, no bugling, so we moved to a second
area behind a ranch house where elk congregate in the night," Parker said,
"Normally the elk meet and move out into two directions in the morning: south into my
designated area or north and across the road into another guides area. We heard elk
bugling and crossed a couple of fences in the direction of the commotion. We spotted a
nice 6x7 elk and managed to get as close as 80 yards, but an entire group of cows spotted
us before we could get a shot off." Parker scored the bull at 385 BC. The group
followed the herd for about three miles, but never got close enough again for a shot.
Later that morning more bugling and the sound of elk
fighting brought the group to within 60 yards of big bulls, but the animals sensed the
hunters presence and trotted off. As the day wore on, more bulls were sighted but
"nothing worth going after" the guide related. A dead elk which looked like it
might have been gored by another elk was also found. The evening hunt was similar.
The next morning the group started at the ranch house again
hoping to catch the 6x7 they saw the morning before. "The elk were bugling and we
were off and walking, "Parker said. The elk were located, but they were on the wrong
side of the road. "We stood there and waited for what seemed an eternity,"
Parker said. "The elk continued to bugle like mad, but in another hunters and
guides area. We were discouraged, but decided to try the area where I had spotted
the 7x7 a week earlier. That area was combed with no luck and no 7x7.
"Another site produced the bugle of a lone bull elk.
We pursued the elk down to a creek where I figured it would drink and return to its home
area. We approached the river cautiously. There were eight eyes looking like mad dogs
trying to spot the elk, but no elk to be seen. Then as we slowly hiked over a little
mound, like magic the elk appeared about 60 yards away. It was drinking. As we moved in,
the bull started to walk back in the direction we came from earlier. The hunter used a cow
call to try to stop the bull, but the call had the opposite effect. The bull started to
run. We lost him. At 40 yards a clean kill shot was not available.
11 a.m. we headed back in the direction of camp only to be greeted by more elk bugling. As
they appeared to be moving away from us, I told the hunters to get into our vehicle. I was
pretty sure I knew where they were headed-about seven miles north to a spring. We drove
there following the sound of bugling elk, and found seven cows and two bulls. One of the
bulls was walking around, the other, a big one, was lying down under a tree. That was the
one we wanted. We waited for about 45 minutes before the bull got up and began following a
cow elk. The cow led him within 40 yards of where we were poised. He stopped 35 yards away
and presented a perfect kill shot. Guy Sr., the father, encouraged his son to stick him;
at full draw, Guy Jr. let the arrow fly.
The elk ran, leaning to one side as it bolted through the
trees. We found him on the ground facing away from us about 100 yards away. Great elk and
a great hunt!