Bowhunter's Favorite Fall Memory

Nothing in the outdoors compares to the scream of a rutting bull elk as it echoes through the high country on a calm morning. There's something ethereal, almost intimidating about such a raw, wild sound. It can strip you, at least in part, of whatever significance you may have assigned to yourself.

My son, Jason, and I were getting a double dose of that exhilaration as two bulls bugled their way toward my seductive cow calls. Their pace through the Arizona timber was deliberate and committed. Each feared the other would get to the cow first.

Jason lay in wait; arrow nocked, just 30 yards in front of me, with videographer, Larry D. Jones, rolling camera over his shoulder. Though our experience levels ranged from greenhorn to veteran, the three of us trembled with equal excitement. Screaming bulls, at close range, will do that to you.

I simultaneously called and watched through binoculars as the larger bull strolled into our ambush. Then, as if he'd walked into a sinkhole, the bull instantly dropped out of my field of view. Jason's arrow had struck the bull a bit high and severed its spinal cord, dropping him in his tracks.

I rushed to a scene filled with hugs, handshakes and maybe a touch of prideful tears. Jason seemed somewhat stunned at first, as though the moment hadn't really happened, but it was real. He'd taken a beautiful bull elk with his bow and I was thankful to be there to share the experience with him. Father and son moments don't get much better that that one.

Jason is a serious, dedicated hunter/angler. It's in his nature. And I'm proud of that.

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