I slept in my truck to save two and a half hours of driving out then back for the morning hunt. Given the bugling of that 2nd bull last night, I figured they must’ve been bedded fairly close so it would be a good place to start in the morning.
I made the two mile hike back up the canyon in the darkness, listening for bugles as much as I could. I didn’t hear anything until I got closer to where I was last night. A bull sounded off to the east so I started that direction. In about 10 minutes I was at the top of a thickly wooded ridge. Conditions were tough… Loud and crunchy ground with zero wind. The bull answered me a couple times but I couldn’t see where he was. Another bull then bugled to the north. I crept along the ridge towards it and to try to get a look at the first bull. Then, 200 yards to my east across the valley stared the first bull. I looked him over with the binocs knowing the gig was up on this one. The loud crunchy ground have me away as the bull was closer than I figured! He was a shooter, probably 320 class 6×6 at least.bnice to get a good look at him. If this was a muzzleloader hunt, it would’ve been game over.
I pursued the other bull for a half mile north but he only bugled one other time and I lost again.
As I neared the end of my hike, a bull suddenly jumped from his bed! He didn’t know what spooked him so he stopped and stood broadside at about 30 yards! The little ridge I was partially hidden by allowed me to nock an arrow and get ready, but this was not a shooter bull. He was a cool young bull in the mid 200’s with a couple brow tines that swooped down instead of the usual up. He actually calmed back down and just started walking along at 40 yards. Neat encounter.
My back’s feeling a bit painful right now so my plan is to spend the day up here near where that spring is to avoid the long walk down and back up. I’ll sit the spring again this evening hoping a bigger one will do what that 5×6 did last night.
Sat same remote spring as last night. At 5pm a bull bugled at the top of the canyon, just like last night. A few minutes later I could hear him making his way down the steep, rocky slope. But it was too early! The up drafts were still in effect and I soon heard him run off. Nothing the rest of the sit. Walk out took an hour, drive out took an hour twenty. Back at camp for dinner around 10. Going to try it around camp in the morning.