Contributed by Prostaffer Ron Niziolek
The canyons and ridges in the rugged Wyoming backcountry remained silent during my early morning hike. On a morning this calm, bugles should have been echoing everywhere, making my bowhunt a little easier. I conceded that I would have to rely on my calling skills to create some action. I eased my way westward, still-hunting along ancient elk trails, slowly gaining more elevation. Suddenly, I heard some branches break ahead and slightly below me. I paused, listening to stirrings of elk moving through the forest.
Brittle tree limbs cracked and shattered into pieces as the bull plowed his way toward me. He was mad as hell, huffing with every breath and coming in fast, trying to intimidate the bull that had just challenged him. I caught glimpses of chocolate colored legs and ivory tines as he snaked his way through the dense blowdown. He paused briefly and I could tell he was looking at the decoy. He screamed a challenge and continued toward the decoy. When he passed behind a large uprooted tree at 40 yards, I drew my Hoyt to full draw and prepared for the pending shot, but couldn’t stop the gentle shaking at the tip of my arrow.
The full story detailing Ron's hunt for his 2012 Wyoming bull will be featured in an upcoming issue of Extreme Elk Magazine.