If you are not up for a long story I guess you can just look at the picture,
First day I saw nothing but 5 red hot cougar scratching's. Hiked a long ways and my knees did not feel top drawer this morning so I ended up getting a little late start. It was just breaking daylight as I pulled out of the driveway. About a quarter mile down the road there is a small field, 5 acres or so and I saw a pickup slow down and stop there. As I drive by I see a herd of elk in the field and what looks like a legal bull. I park a quarter mile down the road on a FS road.
The field is posted and the owner lives behind on another 10 acres, posted also but across his driveway there is a wedge of FS land. The pickup that had stopped left and I walk back. The elk went in the wedge of FS. All this country is a jungle but I head out and pick up their tracks on the FS land.
I track them through the FS land to private timberland ( different ownership, not posted) I follow the elk in a semi circle right back to the posted property. So what to do? I decide to circle the posted land and see if the elk leave it. On the other side of the property I cut their tracks again and the chase is on. Flat country and a bit swampy I am over my shoe tops in water. Can't see much so I am hoping they go back through to FS land. Still brushy there but better then what I am in.
I finally break out into the FS land. Been on their tracks maybe three hours. Track them out into some thinning and make a lose. Takes me a while but figure it out and they go back out of the thinning.
An unusual thing happens. The elk break out onto an old road and I make another loose. I walk back to where they came out on the road to start over and there is a Canada goose walking down the road. Picking around in the leaves. This is not open. Trees are probably 60 feet high. I stood there and watched this goose as it fed towards me. Finally it is about 5 feet from me and decide I got to get back to the elk. I talk to the goose and it looks up startled and it starts walking the other way. Never did try to fly.
Anyway back to the elk. I track them through to a small patch of timber. Best visibility I have come to and all of a sudden there is a cow looking at me. I have a good rest but a small window to shoot down. Finally the elk take off and I see 7, no horns.
I'm sure there is a bull because at one point during the day he had horned a tree along the way. I pick up the tracks and actually don't go far and there is a cow lying down but looking at me. Back in the brush and about the only place I can see is this corridor where the cow is. Eventually she gets up and I see some more to the side through a veneer of brush. Then horns but no shot, too much brush to shoot through. Finally they start to go and they are crossing the corridor. No chance for a rest but I aim at the spot they are crossing and when the bull crosses I pull the trigger. Down he goes. I reload and the (This word is unacceptable on Trapperman) thing gets up and takes off. No chance for a second shot because of the brush. Choice words were spoken at this point! I run up and get on the tracks and follow them out maybe 600, 700 feet. I was hoping maybe he peeled off sick but see nothing.
So then I think well I am not catching them soon and I keep thinking about the bull maybe dropping out of the herd so I decide to walk back to where he went down and see what I can see. I get back there and look, no blood or hair. I then look off maybe 200 feet down another little corridor and there he is. Broadside but his body is behind trees and actually his head has a sapling right in front of it too. I aim at his neck and boom. He goes right over on his back. Still trying to get up I give him a finishing shot, actually two because I guess I missed the first with all the head flopping around. It is 11:30 and I get back to the pickup by 1:30. Was able to get back and hang and skin him. Tomorrow the work begins.
Looks like the first shot was high in the shoulder. Right below his spine and above his lungs. Terrible shot but luck was with me today. Not much to look at but I am happy!