Guide Dennis Stienhower
Hunter Randy Homegrin
After three days of jumping bulls in the most unlikely of places without
a good shot opportunity, my hunter Randy thought it best that we try posting up in
a stand of spruce that juts out into a large meadow at the top of the
Late that afternoon we dropped our horses in the timber at the edge of the
meadow and started to skirt the clearing that leads to our post. I
distinctly remember the steady breeze that brushed our faces as we crept into the
lush stand of Engleman, the angle was perfect and our cover was dark, things began to feel
In the time it took me to shed my pack, and Randy to uncover the
lenses of his scope we were snapped to attention by the unmistakable clamor of
antlers. Literally minutes into our hunt, not more than 150 yards
away, shrouded by the pale evening light and the thick cover of timber two bulls were locked in battle
Mixed with the sharp dry cracks of branches and dull stomping, the sparring
was continuous and definitely moving our way. Deeper in the stand of
spruce than Randy, I was able to get enough cover to lift my binoculars
and peer cautiously into their arena of sparse timber and deadfall. Nothing but legs, lots of
The clamor grew louder and our hearts raced as the first elk broke
into the clearing, a cow trotting confidently, reassurance that our wind was good. As
she dipped her head to graze, her slender neck snapped upright as two thick five
points crashed into the clearing a mere 125 yards from the end of Randy's Barrel.
Taking advantage of their preoccupation, Randy raised his rifle to his chest,
grabbed some footing and began preparing for a shot. Wait! It seemed like I yelled as another
bull entered the meadow reeling and eventually falling to his side before regaining
his footing. Randy peered around the tree just in time to see the fourth and biggest
bull emerge from the darkness.
Snorting head down and intent, his hide was much lighter than the others, his neck swollen and powerful, by
all definition a heard bull his thick rack begun with bases like tree trunks and maintained their heft to the
very tips of their ivory tines. No time to count, if all goes well, we
can do that later.
By now, we were pinned down by the careful eye of the cow that had
grazed to within about 60 yards, but the bulls paid little attention. At 150
yards, I doubt if they heard Randy's safety click with precision, or saw him as
he sidestepped the sapling that masked his presence but there is no doubt that the huge bull
felt the shock of Randy's slug then heard the roar that shattered the evening.
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