Colorado is a popular destination during the elk seasons for many Oklahoma big game hunters.
Archery season is currently open in Colorado and Melvin Hart, a taxidermist in Yukon and experienced bow hunter, makes an annual hunting trek to Colorado. He recently returned to Oklahoma after taking another outstanding Colorado bull elk.
“I was hunting lower central Colorado back in some really rough country,” Hart said. “Sitting on one side of a canyon in the late afternoon I saw a cow and bull come down out of the timber above the other side of the canyon. The bull dropped down in the canyon and came back up with mud on his legs so I figured he went into water.
“He stood over there and bugled non-stop at all the other bulls sounding off in the area. I had never seen or heard so much elk activity. I dropped down into the canyon and went around and came up on the edge in some brush and waited on him to move.
“I kept talking to him like a cow and small spike bull. Sometimes these big bulls think there is cows with a spike so they will tolerate the small ones around since there is no threat from them. The bull kept moving around and looking for me and bugling until he finally went around some brush and walked out and stood broadside for the perfect shot at 21 yards (which I later stepped off to make sure I was guessing the yardage right.)
“He ran about 75 yards and stopped just past his cow and stood there for a little bit. He started to lay down but started to move again and turned uphill but died on his feet and piled up in a forward lunge. I am glad he went down in sight cause it was getting late and its no fun tracking in the dark with no moon to help.”
Hart was hunting alone so he skinned, caped and deboned the animal by himself.
“It was many pack trips to get him out to camp,” Hart said. “This was a tough one since I had to drop into the canyon and come back up the other side. And with a heavy pack on it is a rough one coming back up out of there.”
The bull was a 6×7 and Hart rough scored him in camp at 363 Pope and Young.
“The main beams have a lot of mass and the 5th points are 13- and 14-inches,” he said. “He is a really old bull with his bugle teeth worn down to nubs. I do not have a good guess on his weight but it was in the 800 to 1,000-pound range.”