First time experiences, missed shots, and a memory made

This year I was very fortunate. My Dad and I drew the North Sixes cow hunt. The hunt runs from about the first weekend of December until February 28th. With so much time to hunt, we decided to take it easy and try and finish up some projects we both had at home. We didn't start hunting until early in January. We spent several weekends out glassing and searching for these mythical Roosevelt monsters. but all we ever seemed to find was old sign.

Well last Friday I get a phone call from my Dad, "I am watching a herd of 15 elk and you need to get here." So I bail out of work and head as fast I legally can in his direction. Only to have the elk gone when I finally get there...or so we had thought. Dad is in the process of taking me down the road to the last place that he had seen them when we come around a corner and there they are standing in the clear cut about 350 yards below us. Well me being the great hunter that I am in my mind I think to myself, "I can get closer". Only to have the elk file off into the timber with their noses in the air mocking me. I jumped them 3 more times walking through that maze of woods, which seemed to be plunged into an eternal state of dusk. They led me in a full circle goose chase about 100 yards from the main road we had driven in on. I had almost given up hope when I see something move just uphill from me. The herd had cut back across the hill and were standing about 30 yards away from me right smack dab in the middle of the only shooting lane I happened to have. I even have a cow standing broadside just waiting for me. I fire my rifle, the woods erupt in a thunder of elk intent on getting the heck out of there, and I broke rule number 1 after shooting....I got up and moved.

By the time I realized what I had done I was to turned around in the commotion to find where I had shot. Dad makes his way to me and we begin the search. We canvased about a 400 yard grid around the whole area. No blood. No body. Only a highway of a trail headed down the hill and out of my sight. It was then that it hit me....I had missed. We spent a good 4 hours looking and then daylight started to disappear on us. We backed out of the timber with the intention of looking again in the morning, and I went home with my confidence shaken.

The next morning dawns and we get back to our spot. Only to find the fog socked in, and a grey shifting world located where I swear there used to be a clear cut. So I go back in to the timber to where I had shot and continue my search. This time I follow the trail after the escaping elk deeper into the timber. I find the same thing that I did the day before. No blood, no body, only their fleeing tracks. The trail took me back up to the main clear cut where Dad and I decided to go and check out a couple of other places with about as much success. We didn't see anything all day.

We had decided to go back down to the main road and eat our lunch from a view point that gave us access to a couple of nice clear cuts. If nothing showed up then we were going to chalk the season up to another missed chance and some good memories, since this was the last day that either of us had to hunt. We turn a corner in the road, about 1/4 of a mile from where we are going to park, and I look up to what is the backside of the clear cut that had been covered in pea soup fog earlier that morning...and low and behold there are the elk. All 15 of them just waiting for us.

After a quick drive, a short walk, and a talk with my nerves I was in position at a nice stump rest about 300 yards from the elk. Poised and ready. My first shot nailed her right in the lungs, but she didn't go down. Then my Dad fires and she falls.

This year I had the amazing opportunity to harvest my very first Roosevelt elk with my Dad by my side.
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What an excellent story. Made me feel, like I was right there. And cheering you on!
What a great way to end the season! Thanks for sharing the adventure with us, too.
Thanks guys! It was an amazing experience I am hoping to repeat several more times.
Drew the Upper Siletz cow elk tag this year too. Shot a young cow on my second trip out. Fairly young but it eats good! Great story man and great Rosie!
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Hiked up a travel management road near Wildcat bridge on the Siletz. Spotted her all alone on a landing, ranged her at 213 yards and the 7mm put down its second elk.
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Great photo and congrats! I have yet to cook up any of the steaks, that is planned for dinner tonight.
excellent, nice shooting and good eating!
300 yards? Wow! I have never hunted but that seems like a heck of a long way. Nice shootin Tex , and your Pops too :thumb: Awesome you could share that together, enjoy your time with him! Lost my Dad a couple of years ago, I miss him.
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