September 12: John ODell

On Friday the 12th of September I headed out to New Mexico “The Land of Enchantment” to hunt with Dave Garrett Trophy Hunting Adventures Bow Madness style. It had been a LONG year waiting to get some elk redemption from the previous year, where I had an encounter of the unfortunate kind with the biggest bull elk I had ever seen in my life. So when I finally arrived in NM we did not waste any time getting out for the evening hunt.

For the first time in a long time I was not going to be hunting with my long time filming/hunter partner Dave Reisner, as he was going to be up in Manitoba Canada with Jared Lurk hunting caribou and moose for Bow Madness Season 8.

On the first afternoon right out of the gate, we get on a giant bull! He was with two immature bulls and a cow and when we called, they immediately came within easy bow range. Dave Garrett was positioned perfectly behind us to do the calling and I was very careful where I chose to set up, so that there was no way that the big boy could get past me without taking an arrow from my PSE! Well as the cow started coming the big 8x7 decided to turn around and go back to a pond and make a wallow. The cow and the younger bulls eventually figured out something was up and returned back to the big bull. Then they all walked off together. Little did I know at the time that this was not the end of my story with this bull.

That said the next day we were back after it in a different part of the ranch. Once again we were right into the elk! We located a great bull on the side of a mesa about 800 yards away. My Nikon EDG binoculars showed that he was a big 6x6 with two sticker points on one side and he was a very mature bull. We quickly got into position with Dave setting up behind us to do the calling. To my amazement the big bull worked straight to me. I began ranging cactus and cedar trees with my Nikon Pro Staff 7 rangefinder. At 75 yards he stopped and let out a loud bugle right in our faces! I could not have scripted this any better. When he got to 60 yards he turned broadside and I clipped on my Tru-Fire Hardcore release on my string loop and drew back my PSE. I took careful aim and I was fortunate to make a lethal shot with my Rage Hypodermic broadhead. We watched the bull bed and so I snuck up and put another arrow in him at 30 yards just to make sure he was down for good. Wow what a hunt! It was definitely Elk Madness and Elk Redemption all at the same time! It was also my daughter Macy’s 6th birthday so I decided it was her birthday bull!

Now I was just waiting for my good friend Dustin “Shed” Whitacre of Mossy Oak to join me in camp, so I could film him try to harvest a big New Mexico bull elk and I was going to be chasing after my first velvet mule deer. So stay tuned to the journal to see how the rest of our hunt turns out at Trophy Hunting Adventures in New Mexico!