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September 15: Sergeant Major Ken Barteau

As told by Sergeant Major (ret) Glen Simpson

SITUATION: 15 September 2010, Colorado, Clear, 40 degrees

MISSION: Seek-out and harvest a Bull Elk with archery tackle during the Colorado Elk season without being detected and without mission failure!

EXECUTION: It’s that time of the year again, Elk season. Ken and I really enjoy the time we spend with Mark Lloyd at Hunting and Fishing World in Walden, Colorado, www.colorado-elk-hunts.com/index.htm. Last year we left with a bunch of great memories and the burning desire to get back on the mountain and chase those monster Elk once more.

Arriving at camp we felt that this was going to be a great hunt as Mark had spotted several good bulls that were really bugling well. We meet with Mark and his son Keith as they showed us the map and places they seen the big bulls and then it was off to bed as the distant roar of bull elk could be heard up on the mountain.

The first three days we had several encounters with nice satellite bulls but nothing that Ken wanted to harvest so it was back up the mountain to over 9,000 feet. The fourth day Keith and Ken called in a nice 6X6 bull into to 15 yards only to get caught drawing his bow. The bull ran off to 40 yards but the video wasn’t what I wanted as the bull was pretty much covered by cedars so I called off the shot. Later that evening another real nice 6X6 came into call only to stay out at 73 yards. Ken moved forward on the bull but was caught by the cows and so it was now or never. Ken drew and launched the arrow and it sank into a aspen tree at 35 yards! The bull started to get nervous but several cow calls stopped him in his tracks for another shot opportunity. Ken drew back again this time sailing the arrow in front of the bulls’ chest, a clean miss! Dejected, it was long walk back down the mountain for Ken that night.

Up the next morning early, we ate like kings as we always do with Mark, and it was back up the mountain again trying to get ahead of the elk heard. This time we were late as the heard was paralleling us up the mountain only 150 yards to our west. The heard bull was bugling and pushing his harem up the mountain to the upper meadow that we were trying to get to. The only thing we could do was sit and wait for them to get up the mountain and then try to backdoor them under darkness With the wind perfect we slipped into the heard as the bull was roaring trying to collect his cows to push them into the dark timber before light which he was successful doing.

Once I had enough camera light Ken and Keith began their regiment of calls that fired the big bull up and made him close the distance. With the big bull now at 25 yards Ken drew as the bull turned head on toward him offering no shot. It was now a stand off…who was going to give out first…Ken at full draw…or the bull at 25 yards looking for the fight? After almost 2 minutes the guide gave a soft cow call that turned the big bull offering Ken a perfect broadside shot. The arrow was loosed striking the bull behind the last rib and exiting behind his opposite shoulder. The bull ran off and dropped just off camera less then 100 yards from point of impact. Gotta love those Rage broadheads!

Mission complete! Until next time… waiting for helicopter extraction and follow-on orders.