My guided Nevada antelope and California Roosevelt elk hunts have gone really well this year.
In August, I spent a week out scouting for my Nevada mule deer hunts. I spent all of my time in central Nevada. The deer population is down from last year due to a fairly severe winter. I did however see some really nice bucks. The fawns from last year did not do well and many of them did not make it through the winter so there was a noticeable lack of forked horn bucks.Â After that, I had three antelope hunters to guide in Nevada on a private ranch. I had bought these Nevada landowner antelope tags from this ranch for the second year in a row and was really looking forward to a fun hunt and wasn't disappointed. This ranch has more antelope than anywhere I've ever been. In twenty minutes all three hunters were done. Last year we chased one antelope for four days before we were able to take him. You just never know when you're hunting.
I guided three California Roosevelt elk hunts this year. My first guided California elk hunt was on the Del-Norte hunt (hunt 414) and my hunter took a nice 6Ã—6 bull that I was able to call in to 15 yards and he was screaming the whole way. We had seen a bigger bull that would easily make Boone and Crockett but this bull was too nice and way too exciting for my hunter to pass. The bull got to 15 yards and then without any warning, turned and ran away and my hunter made a difficult running through the trees shot at 20 yards.Â My second and third California elk hunts were on the Northwestern elk hunt (hunt 483) which was a new hunt last year. I was able to obtain a very good piece of private property (about 20,000 acres) to hunt on and was able to take a very nice bull and a huge bull in less than two days of total hunting. I called in 5 bulls and saw several other bulls in that time.
My first hunter took a nice 7x7 at about 180 yards. I actually called the bull in and it came on a dead run through the trees right at us. When the bull finally cleared the trees, I cow called and stopped the bull at 15 yards and he was staring right at us. The bull whirled around and left before she could get a shot. I cow called and stopped the bull at 180 yards and we moved over about 10 yards and she was able to make a good shot and take the bull. What a hunt, we had bulls screaming all around us.Â My last hunter is one of the luckiest people in America. He drew the one and only nonresident elk tag in the entire state. Talk about hitting the lottery. I called him when I finished my first hunt because he was not scheduled to hunt for 4 more days. Jim August is a taxidermist in Portland and said he could come down early if the elk where vocal and they were definitely vocal. The next day I met Jim in town and we got settled into camp about 3 p.m. That evening we went out and in 45 minutes I called in a bull that we passed up and then called in the bull he ended up taking to 50 yards. I think it caught both of us by surprise. He had said that he wanted to take a record book bull and this fit the bill. Jim asked me what I thought and I said he's a book bull and was glassing him from only 50 yards trying to make sure he had all his points. I told Jim he was a 7Ã—7 but I didn't see the two devil points he had coming off his brow tines. After about 60 seconds of discussion the bull turned and took off down into a draw. Jim and I walked over the edge and when he went up the other side, I cow called and stopped him and Jim shot. It turns out we both underestimated the bull, as it gross scored a little over 350 and will net around 337 or 338. Boone and Crockett minimum for Roosevelt elk is 290 so it will make the record book by over 45 inches. Congratulations Jim on a bull of a lifetime.
Check out the photo gallery for the newest pictures from these hunts.Â Next up are my Nevada mule deer, Rocky Mountain elk and wild chukar hunts. I'll let you know how that goes when I get back in late November.
Posted in: Big Game Hunts
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