Wednesday, July 23, 2008

An Outdoor Article Submitted By Guest Blogger!


When Kenny invited me to write a guest post on his blog, I
was worried because I didn’t have many tips to offer - and
I’m not real great at writing about my fishing adventures
because I generally leave that to my brother. So, I hope you
all won’t mind reading about a hair raising adventure that
takes place in appropriately named, Hell’s Canyon!

The place cannot be described in words or photos - its
majesty as North America’s deepest canyon is best left
for the human eye to see for itself. Often overlooked
because of the Grand Canyon, Hell’s Canyon is actually
deeper, wider, and in my humble opinion,more beautiful -
but, I may be biased! My family grew up hunting Hell’s
Canyon and the tales of long, rough packs and steep,
rugged terrain filled my heart as a youngster. But,
perhaps, the most thrilling of all those tales were of the
animals that called this place home - the magnificent
wapiti, the royal majesty of the mountains, the Rocky
Mountain elk.

In 2005, I had my first opportunity to hunt this place during
the September archery season, and it’s a trip I’ll never
forget. As my eyes took in the sights I was seeing for the
first time - and my memory was finally able to put a scene
to all the names I’d heard about growing up, I was
astonished at how much this land had become a part of
me without ever having been there myself. It’s a land so
enriched with my families’ history, that I’d come to accept
it as part of who I am before I ever saw it for myself.

I was new to bow hunting that year, and I was full of
excitement when, after our twelve mile pack in to base
camp, I was excused to go for an evening hunt. What I
experienced that evening is something that I’ll be able
to take with me for as long as I live.

I found myself near a herd of unseen elk as it neared
dark in a strange place, and I was by myself. The cows
were mewing and I tested the waters with my own
call - an estrus call. The unseen bull, who had up to
this point been unheard as well, erupted from his
silence in some sort of growl mixed with a scream
that set my heart racing! I slipped further into the
canyon and continued to call. The bull, still unseen,
would answer back in his screaming growl. I knocked
an arrow as I began to realize he was coming closer.
His screams were made even more awesome due to
the fact that I had not seen him - and when I saw
the tops of his antlers bobbing through the brush
a few minutes later, I knew that nothing could possibly
be more exciting than archery hunting for elk.
His dark antlers threaded their way through the
brush and occasionally would stop and tilt back and
then I’d hear that piercing scream. His distinct
bugle was that of a true herd bull. It held a challenge,
commanded respect, and announced the presence of
a mighty animal. Finally, his head and then his body
materialized through the brush and I began to realize
I was going to get a shot at this magnificent animal. I
came to full draw as he passed behind a pile of brush
and waited till he stepped into the clearing and he
turned his head toward me and gave out a mighty
bugle that seemed to happen in slow motion. This
bugle, so close and so loud, caused my brain to short
circuit and I lost all semblance of sanity. The message
flashed through my brain that the elk had to be fifty
yards away - and when I released my arrow, I
watched pitifully as it sailed way over his back.
The range finder later told me he’d been just 23 yards
away. No wonder my knees had been shaking and my
heart had been trying to make a daring escape through
my esophagus! The pure thrill of having a screaming
bull come that close to you is something I wish every
outdoorsman - hunter or not - could experience. It’s
an experience that is hard to put into words - a mixture
of fear, excitement, and respect that I have not found
equaled anywhere. The adrenaline rush of having an
animal that so portrays majesty come so close and
scream in my face was such that it has left an imprint
in my life that even time itself will not erase.

This article was submitted to Kennys Great Outdoors
by Tom Sorenson, Managing editor of Base Camp
Legends, LLC

4 comments:

Kenny Breckenridge said...

Thank you so much, Tom, for this exciting and interesting article, I could see the old bucks breath and hear the shrill bugle . Thanks for the post and the adrenilin rush. I can see why this is going to be a memory for all your life. Better luck with range finder next time maybe? LOL!

Tom Sorenson said...

Thanks, Kenny for this opportunity. Yeah, hopefully I'll be better at remembering the range finder!! I had to go back the next day to get the reading on the distance...oh well, such is hunting sometimes! If anyone is interested, here is the trackback to our site: Basecamplegends.com

Hope you get to feelin' better, soon!

Kristine said...

Great post Tom. I don't think I've ever heard an elk bugle, but it sounds like it would be something to hear.

Kenny Breckenridge said...

Thanks Tom and I apologize for not putting a link back in you post. I want to recommend to all of my readers to visit Tom at Basecamplegends.com and go through his archives . Tom is a very humble person and says he is not a talented writer, (right)Please go to his site and check it out for yourself. Also Tom you have an open invitation to post any article you want. Anyone who would like to make a guest blog post is free to submit your articles and photos attached to email to kenny54@wildblue.net