Well, I hunted deer the first two weekends unsuccessfully in the trinity alps but on the 3rd
Wednesday of archery deer season my Northeastern California Rocky Mt. Elk season opened. I drew the tag from within the company I work for as the tag is a private landowner tag which restricts me to staying on a specific land ownership my company manages. I had previously done lots of scouting, had 8-10 trail cameras up at various times from about a month before season with only 3-4 elk to show for it (2 nice bulls). Day one I had a good friend out with me ready to call an elk… guess what never heard an elk so calling was useless. Day 2 full moon (bad in my opinion, I feel it keeps restricted to being active at night and not at all during the day.) Over the next 3-4 days I called here and there/ tried raking antlers with no response so on day 5 the I stopped calling and I stopped hiking several miles a day. I decided it was best to stay put and either hunted ground blind made of sticks or a tree stand. My tree stand had 3 separate wallows 2 of which I could not see. Lots of bears coming to the ree stand(1-2 a day). Anyhow day 6 or so I heard lots of crashing around down there for ten min shortly thereafter a bear come walk under my tree, and thrashing continued and I was stuck in a tree!! Anyhow 30 min after the crashing stopped I got down went to investigate and see another bear coming down a tree quietly and a new wallow created in fresh mud!! Crap opportunity lost, moved tree stand to new wallow. Left tree and went to ground blind at other location to fine new sets of elk tracks near by. Hunted ground blind morning of day 8 I believe and wander off at 10 am to look for elk, coming back to my truck around 11:30 find fresh tracks and follow them right in front of my blind!! DOH!! Made a major decision that night that I was going to stick with one spot and only one spot. I decided to stick with the ground blind area as there was much more activity of elk in that area as oppose to the tree stand location. Day 9 in ground blind around 5:00 Am well before light hoping to hear some sort of elk talk...nothing heard. Around 7 AM I hear grass swooshing in the meadow then a ca-splashhhhhhh into the creek. For the next 10 min I listen to water being thrown every direction but cannot see the animal although I was failry positive it was a bull elk!! Five min after that I see willows moving so I get ready and see antlers moving by out in front of me, then I see him turn quartering to me and when he steps behind a tree I draw my bow and he stops so I hold and hold and hold for about 2 min before I finally catch him look down at the meadow and I slowly let down my drawn arrow. A min later he walks out so I draw again and let out a cow call and he puts on the brakes, I set my 30 yard pin on him and whack dead nuts on shot arrow fully penetrated!!! An hour and a half later I begin tracking when buddy arrives follow little blood trail for about ¾ mile- blood has bubbles so I know I hit lung.. Around mile one I see him and stick an arrow in his ham as it’s the only shot I have, he bleeds for another half mile a drop and splat here and there then no more blood. Mile 3 around 6 PM I bump him and call it a night as I didn’t want to push him to much and was getting frustrated. Day 10 September 7th I walked to where he was last seen and began tracking as soon as it was light enough to see... Forty five min later and about a half mile further I see where he either bedded or fell over, then I spot two more beds withint 20 yards so I get ready to fling another arrow and out of the corner of my eye I spot him, I had walked right past him at 5 yards and not even seen him!!! He was a much bigger bull than I thought!!! Did not think I would find this bull dead thought he was going to just keep on trucking. That was the shorth version of my story, persistance pays off both in hunting (eight days before I even saw an elk!) and tracking, I figured as long as I could track him I would just keep on going, he went 3.5 miles as a crow flies. Just thought I would share as I’m a super happy guy with my first elk tag ever!!!