BELLY UP TO THE BULL!!! by Montana Grant
By angelamontana

Posted: September 28, 2023

Big Bull Elk are monstrous critters. A mature bull can weigh over 800 lbs. For you eastern deer hunters, that’s like 6-7 whitetails in one pile. Most eastern deer average less than 140 lbs. When you are lucky enough to tag a Big Bull, the real work just begins. 

Most elk hunters rarely harvest an elk close to the truck. Oh sure, there are a few lucky enough to be able to haul a complete elk body, but most of us need to quarter and haul our elk one 100lb. bag at a time. Generally, this means 6-7 meat sacks. This is when you appreciate help!

The Stovall Clan is always willing to help. They will take the shirts off their backs to assist a fellow hunter, with the arduous backpack haul out. This bull was tagged by a father son duo. The dad Erik Chidester and his son Alex were able to double team this bull near West Yellowstone. 

Their early season bow hunt was typical, for this seasonal warmer weather trek. On the first day, they logged 12 miles without seeing much sign. The next outing was half the distance. After calling a few times, a bull answered back. Alex was the shooter in front and the dad was behind him calling. Erik also raked a tree with a huge pine branch to mimic the bull’s reaction. 

While the bull was raking a tree, Alex put on the sneak and was able to get within 15 yards for a broadside shot, just behind the shoulder. The bull stopped at 30 yards and Alex was able to hit the bull again. Both arrows were pass through shots through the lungs. After the second shot, the bull ran off. 

Next came the Stovall reinforcements. Jesse Stovall, youngest son Bronson, and clan quickly found the blood trail and were off to the races. They found the bull piled up 200 yards away. This 6×6 bull would be Alex’s first bow bull. After the celebration and pictures, it was time for the work to begin. 

The crew began the quartering, bagging, and transporting the bull back to camp. Once to the truck, the bull was at the butcher shop and on ice by 2 pm. 

The shirtless pictures may not be the most flattering, but I am sure that any elk hunter would be happy to see a shirtless mob show up when there is work to be done!

Montana Grant

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