David Petersen - October 2012

In more than 30 years of bowhunting elk here, I’ve never had such a tough season. Nothing even close for prolonged dead time. Wound up hunting seven weeks, missing only three days in all that time. And in all that time not a single elk of any description presented me with a maximum 20-yard shot, which is as far as I trust myself to shoot accurately with a longbow.

But I love the process and being outdoors in autumn and stayed with it and at 10 this morning a whole herd of elk appeared and I selected a yearling cow – trophy meat – and made a heart shot from 20 yards.

She ran 25 yards downhill and fell over dead, maybe five seconds start to finish. The clean kill is what I’m most grateful for and have come to demand of myself if I’m going to keep hunting.

Note the huge wound the big Tuffhead 300 broadhead made in the heart.

And more: Going in at first dim light I walked up on the biggest and fattest bear I’ve ever seen on this mountain, just 15 yards. I was able to shoo him away but at first he didn’t want to go and sat down and it was for a moment “pucker time.” I put a trail camera on the elk remains and hope to get some good bear pics across the next few days. And finally, after a month of no bugling and no elk nowhere, this morning there were four bulls going crazy all through the morning. Just one of those magical days we patiently suffer through weeks of rain, heat, wind, lost sleep, cold, etc., to experience. I couldn’t be happier if it had been a monster bull, and when Caroline and I sit down to the table we’ll be much happier than if it had been. Life is good.

Dave P.S. There is more to the heart shot story – the wood shaft broke off an inch behind the head after slicing through the thin edge of the back of the scapula, but the head kept going on it’s own momentum apparently and got the job done.
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