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My hunt starts on Nov. 26 2007. I have a mule deer buck tag and a bull tag, both rifle tags (needed for crossbow hunting here in Colorado). I was really trying for an elk because my elk tag was only 12 days and my buck tag was good for several more months. I started my morning at a small property where only archery is allowed. I was the only hunter there because not too many here get a rifle tag and then limit themselves to archery like I do. My morning started off a little later than I had planned and I saw several smaller bulls moving off the property onto land that I couldn't hunt. I decided to get up a bit earlier tomorrow.
 

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This is a beautiful area and I'm blessed to live right in the middle of it. Well, after I missed my chance at the bulls in the morning, I decided to check out another property that I hunt and as I was pulling up to the property, a buck trotted across the road in front of me. I couldn't tell how big he was but decided to check him out and try to get a bit closer. I quickly parked the car, cocked and loaded the crossbow, and started tracking him in the snow.
 

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Well, after a few hundred yards, I looked ahead and here he came, right back down his tracks. He was obviously on the trail of a doe, but I think he was confused about which way she was going. He had his nose to the ground and he was coming right at me. I had my right foot foreward and he was moving to my right. I tried to reposition my feet for the shot because I shoot right handed, but he noticed just the little movement that I made so I stopped and froze. He went behind a tree and I raised the crossbow and twisted my body to the right and waited, he took a few more steps but there were some branches that I had to shoot under. I was already twisted up in a uncomfortable position but I then made it worse by crouching a bit to clear the branches. He was slightly quartering toward me at 20 yds. and I knew I had to make a great shot to get his lungs. I shot and watched as the arrow hit the exact spot that I was looking at. He took off leaving a great blood trail. This is what I found at the end of it.
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I was actually a little disappointed in myself. I had planned to hold out for the big one this year. My buck was a big-bodied deer but didn't have much for antlers. I just got a little over-excited when he came trotting back up the trail right at me and of course, with his big body, he looked like a great deer. "Oh well, I'll have to just shoot a bigger one next year", I thought. He did give me lots of good meat.
 

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So, I had a pretty good Monday. Got close to some bulls in the early morning and shot my buck before 12. Now I had to get serious about a bull. After shooting the buck, I quartered him and got him back to my house in time to hunt the evening but didn't see any more bulls. I did see some cow elk in a small herd though. On Tues. I got out to the same small property again and again just missed getting close to some small bulls before they moved off the property. When I say small bulls, I mean the 4x4, 3 or 4 year old bulls that are nice and I would be happy to take one if they would give me a chance. That evening I was able to spot them high up the mountain where I couldn't hunt, but they were moving down to the property where I could chase them. I positioned myself in a likely spot and waited until dark but they were just too slow getting down. They sounded like they were just a few minutes from getting there when it got too dark to see.
 

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On Wednesday I hunted hard all day checking several areas that I hunt but I didn't see any elk. I did find some big mountain lion tracks that went along a trail that I was walking and it made me just a bit more alert as I walked under rock overhangs and bigger trees. I decided to see if I could wake up real early on Thursday to try to get in on that small property that I had been hunting before light. As my alarm went off that next morning I almost decided to sleep in, but finally decided that I could sleep in after the season was over. I got to the property about a half hour before it got light and worked into what I thought was a good position. It had snowed yesterday so I could tell if anything had been there but as I slipped in it was too dark to see. After the sun came up, and I hadn't seen any elk, I was surprised to not find any fresh tracks on the property. I circled the property and was just about back to my car when I decided to check out a corner of the property that I had passed in the dark earlier. There were fresh tracks!
 

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I followed them until I could just see antlers through the trees about 75 yds away. Glassing, it looked like a good bull but it was hard to see through the branches in the way. The wind was not good and kept swirling different directions so I decided to creep straight at the bull since I didn't have any idea which way the wind was going to go. As I moved closer, I noticed 2 more bulls bedded with the first one I saw and they were all really good bulls. I told myself not to be picky if I could get a shot as all of them were better than I had hoped to take. I was at about 55 yds when I felt the wind swirl again and they stood up and looked my way. They were acting really spooked and looked like they would bolt. I decided to let them see what they were smelling and see what they would do. Sometimes with elk, they will let a feller walk right past them if they don't think you can see them. It actually started to work at first but as I quartered toward them, they started to get too nervous and started moving off. I reached back to my backpack to grab my camera so I could at least get a picture of them before they jumped the fence onto the property I couldn't hunt but when I stopped, they did too. They looked at me for a few seconds and then turned the other way. I took the opportunity to take a few quick steps foreward, raise the crossbow and shoot. It seemed to take forever, but the bolt flew true and passed through the closest bull, a little high, but still in the chest. He took off, but I knew he was hurt. The blood trail was amazing and I could tell was coming out both sides of him. I gave him some time and then took up the trail. On fresh snow, the bright blood was easy to follow. He went about 200 yds. and piled up around a tree. This picture makes him look small but the tree is actually fairly big.
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Now, I'm sure my avatar gave it away that I took this big bull, but I hope you enjoyed reading about a great week in November.
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GREAT STORY
I felt like I was there with you.
That first picture is great.
Sometimes the camera catches God's creation in very moving ways.Being from Florida we dont see the snow.

Congrats on thos finee kills.
Well done sir:)
 

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Awesome, and awesome area to hunt. It's tough to hunt those mountains of Colorado. Us low landers can't breathe!
On the buck. An old man in the same bear camp as us in Canada told me one day when I enquired as to why every year he shoots the first bear he sees for 15 years straight was " One in the hand is better than two in the bush". I think that pertains to your hunt as well.
 

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Thanks guys. It's been fun sharing with you all. Urban, this is actually the second elk I've taken with a crossbow. The first was a nice big cow. There have been a few people that I've heard of that have taken elk here in my area with a crossbow, but not many. It's much easier to use a compound bow (with the same trajectory and range) and have a long season during the rut. I like the history associated with the crossbow, though.
 
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