A few different bulls sounded off in the hour before daylight that I sat listening for where to start… Nothing very close and the only ones going hard were already on private (or so close that I figured they would be by the time I got there and it got light)
A bull bugled from right about where the one I chased yesterday was so I started after him but never heard him again… Everything went silent minutes into first light. I decided to head south to the general area I’d heard another one before daylight. A few stops to rest and a couple miles later, I was overlooking a small valley, about to call it quits. It was 8:20. I decided to get out a different cow call I hadn’t used much yet, for practice more than anything. Darned if a bull didn’t answer right across the valley (probably about 500 yards)… Seems close after looking at them from miles away! I snuck across the valley and got to where I figured was about 150 yards and cow called again. He answered with just a slight bugle, like maybe he was bedded.
Over the next hour, I called a little and waited, and waited… Crept a little closer and waited… Nothing. The wind could’ve got me and he must have vacated without me hearing him. I covered another half mile or so of that ridge and got no other responses or sightings.
With it hot and there having been no significant rain lately, and also because the bulls just aren’t talking, I headed east to sit some water. Tuesday night I’d glassed a couple bulls in some water in a meadow way below my lookout, so I did some map study and plotted a waypoint and route on my GPS. On my way I checked out another known water tank that a hunter had been sitting Monday, but I didn’t like the sign I saw, so I took my chances on the one I’d mapped. It was about a 2 mile hike up a valley, but easy walking. The problem was, no more water! Things dry up fast out here. With it getting to be evening, I figured I’d sit it anyway. Maybe a big bull didn’t know it was dry yet either. No such luck. Beautiful evening, but no elk. I did have a great sounding bull bugle right above me after I was about 100 yards downhill from my spot after dark.