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September 19: Dustin Whitacre

Well for part three and the final act of our Bow Madness Season 8 Elk Redemption episode I was filming good buddy Dustin “Shed’ Whitacre of Mossy Oak with Dave Garrett Trophy Hunting Adventures. I could not have scripted his hunt any better. Shed has been a long-time friend, as I have been filming for Drury Outdoors for 21 years now. We go way back to say the least and I was really hoping to get him on the bull of lifetime.

So….after being rained out in our Big Game Redemption ground blind, after having a prairie rattler tried to join us in our blind, and after a couple days of not seeing any elk while hunting in 90 degree weather, we finally put it all together on Saturday September 21st.

On the morning of the 21st we got on the bull that I had an encounter with the first evening of our hunt. He was heading up the mountain early in the am, as we watched him through our Nikon spotting scope. We could see right away that he was an absolute Giant 8x7 bull. He was large and in charge and would bugle about every 2 minutes. Shed and I quickly formulated a plan to run up the opposite side of a wash out (well go as fast as we could) and try to meet him at the rim and our plan worked to perfection, which rarely happens. Once we hit the rim, we found rubs and elk sign everywhere. We were in his bedroom. We picked the perfect location to film and shoot at less than 150 yards from the bull was at before I ever made a call. Once we settled, in I began cow calling with chirps and mews and worked up to some estrus calls and the big boy could not take it! He came in on a string and when he first popped out at 60 yards, I could not believe how big he looked. Then he let out a super loud bugle to show off for the camera and marched right in! At forty three yards Shed drew back his PSE and said “stop him”! I cow called and he stopped immediately. Shed hit him with the Rage tipped PSE carbon force arrow going in at the last rib and exiting the second to last rib on the other side. The big bull went down in less than thirty yards. What a rush!! It was all hugs, high fives, and hand shakes all around! Rarely does an elk hunt come together so well, especially for a bull of that magnitude!

It was the biggest bull I have ever called in and filmed! It was the second biggest bull I had ever seen and it was Shed’s biggest bull to date! It was also the largest bull ever harvested with a bow for our outfitter ever! The footage is awesome and the experience was off the charts!! A HUGE thank you goes out to Dave Garrett, Mike, Mark, Chad, Tom and everyone else in camp with Trophy Hunting Adventures, as we had the Trophy Adventure of a lifetime! I would also like to thank good friends Nick Anderson for helping run camera and Shed for coming along on this hunt and running camera as well. It was a true team effort.

As a side note there were two other bulls taken during the week that scored 343” and 357”. Two others were missed that were 300” plus! It was a great elk camp to say the least!

You won’t want to miss Bow Madness Season 8 next summer on the Outdoor Channel to check our epic adventure in the Land of Enchantment for some Elk Redemption!

And the really great news is that we will be back again next year, to do it all over again and this time Reisner might get to come along! :)

Be Safe and Good Hunting!
John