Scenario: Bull elk bugling on the edge of a meadow with a bowhunter hidden in adjacent edge cover
Bow: Mathews HALON 32
Range: 45 yards
Conditions: Overcast; 55 degrees; 15-mph wind, left to right
You’ve been waiting for this moment your entire life! After a long stalk while listening to distant bugles, you finally slipped up to a Colorado meadow edge. Seconds later, the entire elk herd spilled out in front of you. This bull is busy chasing cows and unaware that you just snapped to full draw with your Mathews. Do you drop the string? Check out the possible aiming points A, B or C shown below, then take your best shot.
A. Do you see the bull’s near front leg where it joins the body? That’s your clue to put your pin right beside it and tight. Hit that mark and you’ll blow out both lungs. To ensure double-lung success, keep your aim lined up with the far front leg.
B. Play it safe? You can move your pin further back on the body to guarantee you won’t hit a heavy leg bone, but then you risk missing the far lung. Think twice. This bull is slightly quartering toward you.
C. Aim high? That’s tempting because it erases the leg bone obstacle and gives you a bigger target. On second thought, don’t. Your arrow could slide right over the lungs and through the “no zone” where nothing resides but meat.
After careful consideration of these three options, I suggest taking one more look at the near cow. Assuming she stays out of the way, push “bull fever” aside and stick to option A. Aim above the bull’s far front leg and then send your arrow on a memory-making mission that will rack up the “Likes” on social media.
Image by Mark Kayser