Inherit the Hunt – 2019 Recurve Bow Hunting Elk
Articles Blog

Inherit the Hunt – 2019 Recurve Bow Hunting Elk

February 15, 2020


I have two main loves. Bow hunting elk
and my family. And on this hunt we’re bringing them together. September is the
month that my entire year revolves around. It marks the changing of the
seasons and the beginning of the time when I’m most in my element. Hunting
season is here! My annual pilgrimage to the high country in search of elk has marked this beginning since I moved I to Idaho over a decade ago. But this season is going to be different. This season the whole family’s going! Although Coye and Fen have been hunting
with me many times before, this is going to mark their first extended trip. With the entire month stretched out before us, and no commitments dragging us back there’s no telling how long we’re going to be out Whether an old friend or your own son,
there’s nothing quite like time in the woods to truly come to know someone. Although everyone would enjoy their timen camp immensely, Fen would really
shine in his desire to tag long and his willingness to push himself in order to
do so. But more on that later. For now we have to find some elk. This is the first afternoon out. I kind of just hung around camp this morning. Just wanted to make sure everybody was
settled before I took off. First time Iever came West I was probably 14 or 15. We went to Wyoming for the High School Rodeo finals. and I could remember seeing the mule deer, pronghorn and all that stuff out in those open grasslands
and I thought to myself, my god the hunting would be so easy. Because I
came from, I mean I grew up in the southeast where you don’t see animals
like that. I mean the habitat just doesn’t allow it. But once I moved out here I quickly came to realize that there’s a big difference between seeing
them and getting within bow shot of them! Well I’ve seen a couple of elk scattered around. But nothing that got me too awful excited. I think tomorrow morning I’m just gonna
default back to the plan that I always have when I’m really just at a loss for
what to do. And that’s going to sit in a draw over here across the valley where I
shot the first elk that I ever killed down here. A spike couple years ago. They just kind of filter up through that draw up into their bedding area. Kind of mid morning. The problem with that is it’s a big area and
they’re kind of just scattered and so you know it’s kind of just luck of the
draw if one comes close enough to get a shot. You almost always see elk in there but they might be a hundred yards away. You get up on one of these ridges and
look out across this landscape and glass these elk up from a mile away sometimes
across these valleys. You’re looking at a massive area and
consider that to kill these things you have to find yourself in that exact
intersection where man, elk, and arrow all come together. Then you come out here day after day and things just don’t work out. It can start to get a little depressing. But if you stay with it day after day you know things eventually line up and you find that point. You find that intersection in this vast landscape. You find yourself at that spot. Then you gotta make the shot! THAT was a bugle right there! God, I love that sound! I freakin’ love that sound! As if on cue the first bugle of
the season rings through the timber and that unlikely intersection seems a
little nearer. But still somehow lost amongst the dark timber that covers this mountainside. What is he going to to? Let’s find out! But there is one thing certain. That most ancient of games has begun. This bull bugled only two or three times. and they were all real weak bugles. So I don’t know if it’s a raghorn or a bigger bull that’s just not feelin it yet. You can’t really read into it. I’ve seen big bulls bugle and sound like spikes. I think I’m gonna go back to camp. Come back up here in the morning. Try to get back on this bull. Maybe he’ll be a little more fired up in the morning. Over the next 10 days I put in my time. Settling into that familiar September grind. Up early and out late. Miles upon miles. Thousands of feet gained and lost every day. Rain and snow and the
stillness of the mountain. Despite my persistence I was having a
heck of a time finding a bull that wanted to play my game. Every call, every bugle met with a depressing silence. It wasn’t until later in the season that I
discovered why. Bow hunting elk in the presence of
wolves is a whole different ballgame. It isn’t that they leave but that they up
their game. When all elk have to do is evade sloppy human hunters they let their guard down. But when wolves are around, nothing goes unnoticed. We got Busted! Although I love the heart-pounding excitement of calling in a hot bull, I’m not going to beat my head against the wall if it’s just not happening. Quiet elk call for a page from the whitetail hunters handbook. Figure out where they’re going and get there first. But with a 7 year old, you’ve got precisely the amount of time it takes to eat an apple before you’ve
got to get moving! You see all these big rocks here? Where do you think those came from? That’s right, they came from up there. So do you think it would be a good idea to stay in here and sleep in here? No! Big rock might fall on ya. Hey Buddy, did you get an elk? No, we saw them. What did you see? We saw two big elk. A bull or a cow? um, a bull. Two bulls? Why didn’t you shoot? Too far away, and it was getting too late. What else did we find? A CAVE! No you did not! Dad, show them! Was our bear in it? Was there a mountain lion in it? No! Mice! mice? There were pack rats in there! Finn and I had so much fun exploring those caves we decided to hike up to one
of the lakes the next day to see if we couldfind some trout. How ar you doing? Good! On the way back down from the lake I
happen to see a few elk emerging from a known bedding area. Betting that they
would feed on the open slopes all night and return there in the morning I got up
super early and, taking advantage of the early morning thermals, slipped into the
area and waited. I can see my arrow laying there, covered in blood. It looked like a really good hit. That is no bueno! Well, I thought when I saw where that
arrow went, I thought that was a perfect behind the shoulder, double lung. But
there’s frickin gut all over this arrow. I cannot freaking believe that! My guess is she’s gonna be bedded up. [frustrated mumbling] So there is pretty much no blood. I found a place where she was when I heard her down below. She was just stopped down there. I could hear her breathing. She dropped a bunch of blood right there and clotted up. And uh, I’ve tracked here probably, I don’t know, half a mile or so. And she went into a little patch of timber here. It’s only been… little over two hours since I shot her
and so I’m just gonna chill up here for a while before I get down into that
patch of timber because I hope that she’s bedded down there. I must, I just… [sigh] The only thing I can think
is she was moving when I shot I just didn’t lead. just hit her a little too far back. All right so change plans. I’ve been
sitting here thinking about it and you know, I don’t know what to think about
the hit. She could be sitting down there in the draw dead. Or she could be well alive. So it’s a long way down to camp and a long way back up. but I don’t want to take any chances of bumping this cow out and having her go who knows
where. I know where she’s at now and so what I’m gonna do is go back down to
camp, grab Liz and Chuck, I’m gonna bring Chuck back up here I’m gonna set him in
this saddle right behind me so when I check when I track this cow into this
patch of timber I suspect if she is still alive she’s gonna try to come
through this saddle right here and so I’m gonna have Liz go over this next
knob if she happens to go a different way or get past Chuck I’ll just have her
sitting up there watching and just seeing where she goes so I don’t have to
spend the next eight hours tracking this cow down. So that’s the plan Dad, did you get one? I shot one but it didn’t make a very good shot. We gotta go find her. Can I go? You can walk up there but don’t get
close to her. You see that down log right there with all the stuff inside of it? no up here, uphill from her. Don’t go past that okay! Next one. What do you think about that? It’s cool! We goingn to eat tenderloins tonight? Yeah This big cow keep us in healthy organic
meat for a while and we’re thankful to get it. By the time we finished the
cleaning, a hands-on lesson in anatomy, and filming from a field dressing
tutorial it was getting pretty late. We packed out what we could and hung the rest for the next day. Hold on tight! Dad, what is that? What is that, those are jays. What do you think they’re doing up there? Eating our elk. You think they’re on the
carcass? Yeah! Look here, you see how the all the soil around it is kind of wet a little bit and then there’s dry right here? So what do you
think, why do you think that is? Because something just went through here. Something just went through here. What do you think it was? An elk. Who just went up in front of us? Lil Lilly, those are Lilly’s tracks. Look, see where she just walked? See all
that dry dirt that she got out? That’s because it was raining last night. Elk hunting isn’t generally thought of
as a family-friendly endeavor and honestly I wasn’t quite sure what to
expect. But despite things taken a little longer it was time well spent. For in the end time is our most precious commodity. And I couldn’t think of any better way
to spend it! [music playing]

Only registered users can comment.

  1. Clay ,,thank you for this wonderful film,,definitely very inspiring, your family is Awsome, wish everyone could experience your little version of paradise, you definitely make me want to also get back into bow building because your recurve style is inspiring me too pursue instead of just custom glass bows,,witch I love also,but your starting to grow on me,,just wish I lived in your part of the country ,instead of up state by were all I got is hunting pressure and just white tails,,don't get me wrong,its still nice but,,Gods country is more of what you have and the variety of specimens,,thanks clay

  2. Living the life that’s meant to be lived, good for you brother I hope that one day all of us can enjoy this at least once in our lifetime.

  3. Your best yet! You make the best outdoor videos. Yes, the wolves are there and decimating the elk and moose population. The grizzly also make it very interesting.

  4. Clay, you need more kids!!! Excellent video. I've always loved hunting but being able to take your family takes it to the next level.

  5. GREAT video Clay! Loved seeing your boy out there with you. He wants to be just like you, I can see it. And that is the best part of this whole thing! 👍👍

  6. Always loved your videos, that was until you said " i'am seeing elk, but really nothing to get excited about". Any animal with a stick bow is something to get excited about. Thanks for all the good videos you did put out.
    Victor

  7. Very nice, man. To take your family into the adventure with you. They will never forget this. The hunt is very exciting. I also like, that it is realistic and you're showing the frustration too. It's very important to let this be a normal part of life. So the success is more joyfull.

  8. Excellent video Clay even if the shot was not what you hoped for, you stayed with it and finished up. You are a rich man in your Love of the outdoors and sharing with your Family. Wonderful video and sharing with us is very special.

  9. Finn gets around those hills like a 65# Mountain Cat! Good on ya for gettin the fam out! Did the same when my kids were young. Love lookin back and seein pics of my daughter in a pack on my back… she’s 20 now.

    Same with my boy… he’s now 18…

  10. Great video! Your kids are really lucky to have such a knowledgeable dad and to live that kind of experiences with him. Keep it up really inspiring.

  11. Great job Dad!!! My kids are grown and gone, but the memories of taking them hinting when they were young are the best. And better is going hunting now that they are older!

  12. Loved your video could not be any better then having the family out with you I killed my elk with my daughter by my side this year

  13. Watching your video again while I’m working at the bench…Clay, I have to say this is one of my favorite vids of your thus far. Your audio is superb, video is on the mark and the music is just right. The content speaks for its self and your story is…awesome. Thanks, again, man for sharing.⚡️🤘🏻🇺🇸

  14. Great film!! Your filming skills and editing skills have become amazing! Thanks for making me want to Chase elk one day even worse!

  15. Feel the love in that family. reminds me of my younger days with my brother, Dad, and Mom except Mom never returned having seined a snake one night getting shiners (bait) with my Dad. Then it was just the 3 of us – and we loved it.

  16. I myself live in Idaho. Such a great place with beauty, not sure if the lake was Palisades maybe. I so connected with this as my wife and boys go hunting with me and she is one of my hunting partners. Great job bud

  17. Clay, this was a great video, very inspiring and entertaining. It appears that you have a great family that really enjoy the great outdoors that God gave us to enjoy. God Bless you and your family.

  18. I am jealous. Since my kids have gotten older this reminds me of the enjoyment I had of watching children experience the beauty and wonder of the natural world. The wolf footage was also beautiful. Thanks

  19. i couldnt wait for this to drop and then i went on a a surprise deer hunt out of state and am just getting to watch it. great stuff as usual.

  20. Another epic adventure clay! Glad to see the family sharing it. While im watching this a sika stag is roaring behind my house…..next season!

  21. Time well spent with family is always a good investment. Your boys will remember this experience forever. Years from now when they have their own families maybe they will take them out and relive the adventures they had as kids. Memories of life's experiences are free. They can make you smile or make you cry. I hope one day they thank you for such great memories.

  22. I could feel your disappointment. However, glad you stuck it out to find her. It really didn't look like such a bad shot. Great video!

  23. Nice. Did ya see the pictographs? Great family outing! The wolf footage isn't from your elk hunting trip though…

  24. The hunt is so much more than the harvest. You portrayed that beautifully here. Thank you. Excellent vid, life shots & narration.
    Reminds me of the days my ole man took me out some 45 years ago. Beautiful memories.
    Brought tears to my eyes. What a marvelous journey with your loved ones.

  25. Clay, you and your wife are showing the world that true happiness comes from living a simple life. May God Bless you and your family immensely!!!!
    I absolutely treasure your videos!! You are an unbelievably great spokesman for the hunting community!!
    Thank you very much!! As fellow hunters we need to support videos like this, I will be visiting Patreon today.

  26. Watching your videos really reminds me of what my everyday grind is for, that it will all amount to something in the end, and you are a great example to all of us trying to find our way back into the wilds.

  27. Sadly, this is a special family bonding time, that few kids will ever know. Nothing beats it, in my many years of outdoor experience.
    Thank you very much, for sharing this with us all.

  28. I know it a cut video but I love this, my son is only 2 years old but I can only hope I can have this kind of experience with him, I can hang my hat on that…

  29. Good stuff! I’ve got three boys and am hoping they will enjoy hunting as much as I do. Trying to go out with my oldest (9) this weekend going after Blacktail.

  30. The way you react about that gut-shot shows what kind of hunter you are… That sympathy makes a very good hunter out of you. Cheers and Waidmannsheil

  31. I hope I raise my brother like this one day especially with the archery part where you and your son shoot arrows.

  32. What a fantastic video, Clay! I miss the mountains and I'm rather jealous that your kids get to grow up in ID. What a perfect place to raise a family!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *