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GarMan

Arkansas Elk Youth Hunt - One Of Only Two Tags!

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I thought I'd share a recap and post some pictures from our recent Arkansas elk hunt.

 

My 12yr old drew one of only two youth tags in the state to hunt elk!! What luck!! I've been applying since the hunt's inception in the late '90s. Arkansas only has about 450 elk so the hunt area is very limited. Only 10 bull tags are issued each year and two of those are auctioned. One tag sold for $30K this year!!! Our hunt zone was along the Buffalo National River and in the same area as the $30k tag. Our hunt was for the 2nd week of December. I pre-scouted the area in October and found several old bulls that would have been no-brainers to shoot. I left one of my home-brews out in a remote area along a trail hoping to get a picture of a nice bull. I posted a picture earlier of a nice buck that I got off my camera. I also got several elk pictures on my cam, but no big bulls. I did get one really goofy horned bull, but not the big ones that I desired.

 

Fast forward to the hunt.... With the rut over, the old big bulls disappeared. I spent 5 days looking for them ahead of the hunt, but they had moved to unpressured private land that I could not get permission to hunt. Although the elk rarely get hunted, the deer hunting and squirrel hunter pressure had sent the old bulls into hiding. From daylight to dark, I checked everywhere for the big bulls, hoping to find them in an isolated pocket.. but never found them. However, cows and spikes were plentiful. Once the hunt started, we averaged seeing over 100 elk each day. The other youth hunter, a 16yr old, killed a 4yr old 6x6 that I had photographed earlier and elected not to go after. However, half way through the hunt, my 12yr old decided that a 5x5 was big enough. I guess the old 'bird-in-the-hand' syndrome kicked in. I told him that I thought we could do better, but I asked him if he was willing to go home with a only a cow... and he said no. So... the 5x5 that we had passed up earlier became our take home trophy!

 

I couldn't have asked for more... my two sons, 10yr old and 12yr old, and I were all laying side by side when he took the shot. Awesome!!!

 

Here are some pictures... enjoy!

 

These are pics of a 6x7 that I found in October... a real pig. I wish I could have found him in December!

 

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These are some pictures from a P52/Yeti combo.

 

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This is a picture I took of the 6x6 that the other youth hunter killed. The edge Buffalo National River is in the foreground.

 

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And finally.... Here is my son's Elk... a 3 1/2 year old 5x5... Woohoooo!!!

 

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Definitely memories that will last forever!

Edited by GarMan

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Congrats to you and your son !!! Great pics and story! :poster_kewlpics:

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Great photo! More hunters need to take time to set up their after-pictures so they have a nice background, show off the animal, and avoid the blood-and-guts. Congrats to your boy!

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Way to go........Congrats to you both -- a nice success story that you will never forget :)

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Thats awsome!

 

I knew the bulls were in trouble when I found out that he drew a tag!

 

How far was the shot and how far did he go afterwards?

 

That after picture is priceless.

 

Congrats to both of you... Now its Hustons turn!

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After we decided to shoot the bull, we belly crawled down to the field, then had to wait about 30 minutes for him to finally get clear all the cows. There was about 35 elk in the herd. The first shot was 184 yards. He ended up shooting him 4 times. I wasn't sure he was hitting him well, so as long as he was standing, he kept shooting. He went down after the third shot, then got back up. The 4th shot put him down for good. He did a great job shooting... ended up all 4 shots were right behind or through the shoulder. The bull traveled less than 30yds after the first shot. He was shooting a 7mm Mag with 175gr bullets.

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Thats a lot of gun for a little fella, but I bet he wasn't feeling any recoil with a bull elk in the crosshairs...

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He said he didn't feel the first 2 shots, but laying prone like we were... his collar bone was getting hammered. He said the last 2 shots hurt! No bruises though, so it couldn't have been that bad! :P

 

No pain... no gain!!! haha

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who'd of ever thunk it.. Elk hunting in Arkansas !!

 

Congrats to all involved in the hunt..

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