Elk has always been
my favorite of all big game hunting. In 1990 I drew a Nevada tag
for the Ely area. You could have heard me yell with excitement
acrossed the state the day I received my tag in the mail.
The first thing I did was contact Steve Roberts from McGill. I worked at one of the mines with Steve and I knew that growing up in the Ely area there was no one that knew the area better than him. After a few chosen words about how lucky I was and how many years he's tried to get a tag he agreed to help me with my scouting and my hunt.
I spent every day off from work in the Ely area from the time I received my tag until the start of the hunt. I don't remember ever spending that much time scouting an area that hard. All I knew was that this was a once a lifetime hunt and I was not going to blow my chance at a trophy bull.
Over the next couple of months I video taped and took more pictures of elk than I have ever seen. The problem was it was only a couple of weeks until hunting season and I had not seen a bull that would go over 350 B&C points which was my cut off score. I had seen plenty of bulls that would go between 320 and 340, but nothing 350+.
Finally the last week end before the hunt we found the bulls. Not only did we find the one I wanted but there were 19 bulls in the same area and 6 of them were going to go between 350 and 370. I thought I died and went to heaven.
The next week at work was the longest of my life. Steve didn't help much either. He would go out ever evening and check on the elk, then he would call me and tell me were they were and what they were doing. I think he was having a little fun at my expense calling me and making it hard for me to sleep. I cussed him for it, but he'll never know how much I appreciated him and all his help. Anyone that knows Steve and his dedication should thank their lucky stars to have such a good friend.
Friday the day before the hunt found Steve, Tony Carone, and myself were heading into the canyon we spotted the bulls in. Steve had not seen anyone there all week. We would put the bulls to bed and in the morning I would conclude my hunt. I knew it was too good to be true. When we arrived in the canyon to look at the bulls there were two other parties of hunters already there.They weren't any happier to see me than I was to see them. We all introduced ourselves and made a plan where everyone knew what bull they wanted and how we would hunt the area and try not to interfere with each other.
Opening morning found us waiting for daylight, the other hunters were in their spots. With fingers crossed all I could do was wait. As daylight came and elk started to show up the bull I wanted was no where in sight. Standing on the hill right in front of me was a big 6x6 that had a lot of deductions, but would go over 350. When we finally spotted the other bull he was a half mile off and heading out of the country. Decision time, go after the one I wanted or take the one in front of me. It didn't take me long to decide I could not walk away from the bull in front of me.
At the crack of my S.T.W. the elk scattered. I knew I had hit my bull good but he never even slowed down, a second shot and over the hill he went. I knew I hit him a second time but was not sure how well placed the second shot was.
Steve told me to go after the bull and he would follow up on the blood trail, Tony would follow with the packs. I was gone before he finished talking. When I came over the hill there was my bull standing there but not moving. A third shot and I had my trophy.
Upon walking up on him I could not believe how big he was. Then disappointment hit. When he fell down the hill he broke his main beam on the right side. This could be repaired but would disqualify him from the record book.
I did have my bull scored so I would know how big he really was. He grossed 372 with 23 4/8 deductions his net was 348 4/8.
Although he's not in the record book that doesn't take away from the fact I finally got my trophy of a lifetime. Thanks to Steve and Tony my Nevada elk hunt was the best it could be.