The Roundup -

Everything Must Come Together to Make a Clean Shot


Ryan Dempsey with his 6x6 bull elk.

It was bow hunting season a few years ago when Ryan Dempsey, who's been bow hunting all his life, went out with his friends in hopes of bringing home an elk. The three of them had been watching a 6x6 bull elk come through the same coulee for two or three days, however, they were preoccupied with another, bigger, bull elk, and so Dempsey decided that the smaller of the two would be a good fall back.

As the hunt continued over the next few days, the elk they'd been tracking was spooked by another hunter, and long gone in no time.

Dempsey decided to lay in wait for the smaller bull elk who'd been keeping the same pattern in passing through the coulee each day.

The next morning, Dempsey and his friends hiked 3 ½ to 4 miles in and spotted the bull elk with his cows. When it came off of the cows, it began making its patterned trek through the coulee and Dempsey's friends decided to go in and try to set up a decoy. Dempsey decided to wait, and as he did, the animal came up over the hill where Dempsey was waiting for him; he shot the bull elk at 14 yards and it ran about 70 yards before it finally went down with a single shot.

Then the work began. The elk was hung in quarters and deboned in the trees, and the three friends made a couple of trips, hauling approximately 380 lbs. of meat out in game bags.

"I hunt during bow season and rifle season, but I prefer bow hunting. It's more challenging; you have to get a lot closer and everything has to come together in order to make a clean shot," Dempsey commented. "Of course I'd like to get a bigger animal versus a smaller one, but I mainly hunt for meat and if a nice elk comes along, I figure meat in the freezer is better than nothing."

This is certainly an instance of everything coming together, and Dempsey looks forward to having more of those opportune moments this hunting season, and in the future.


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