Realtree Outdoors 2008 Episode 5
Few things thrill Bill Jordan more than taking a big elk, but seeing his sixteen-year-old son Tyler arrow his first bull definitely tops the list.
"My excitement began when we got the call to go on an elk hunt Labor Day weekend with Darell Welty of Limestone Outfitters in central New Mexico," Jordan says. "Tyler had been dying to go on an elk hunt, and he would finally get his chance. My son wanted to do this thing right, so we started practicing with our bows in the early summer. He worked on his broadside, quartering-away and quartering-to shots on 3-D targets, while I showed him the proper shot placement on an elk. We shot together an hour or two every night in preparation for this trip."
Even though Tyler is a huge hunting enthusiast, his only elk-hunting experience was through the hunting shows he watched on TV. Jordan knew that experiencing first-hand the terrain, the rutting bulls and the amount of work that goes into such a hunt would be far different from what Tyler had watched on screen or experienced on whitetail hunts. In fact, those who hunt with Limestone Outfitters must be able to endure extremely steep and rocky terrain that varies from 6,000 to 10,000 feet above sea level, so proper conditioning for the hunter is highly recommended.
"I felt nervous and excited for Tyler," Jordan says. "You never know how someone will do when sharing camp with a number of strangers, but he completely embraced the experience. As soon as we arrived in camp, we shot our bows at 40, 50 and 60 yards with the rest of the hunters. Tyler shot better than many of the seasoned older hunters there, so I felt good about his ability to make a long-distance shot if necessary. Of course, I knew his confidence level could change when he came face to face with a big bugling bull."
His up-close encounter with a large bugling elk happened more quickly than expected, and thankfully all of that practice paid off.
The Jordan guys were hunting the opening weekend of elk season, so the bugling had not peaked. The bulls bugled sparsely in the early mornings and late evenings, but the rutting activity was limited. While Jordan opted to run and gun that first evening in an attempt to call in a big elk, his son sat on a watering hole with friend and guide Perry Ross. They watched as a few smaller bulls came to the watering hole. Finally, a nice 6x6 elk showed up and quartered away from Tyler. Tyler held his composure and made an incredible 53-yard-shot. The bull ran 100 yards and piled up. Tyler had taken his first elk, and even more impressive, he did it with a bow and arrow.
"The entire experience was magical for me and for Tyler as well," Jordan says. "He did what he'd gone out there to do after practicing all summer long. I couldn't have been more proud."
For more information about Limestone Outfitters, call (505) 722-5768, or check out www.limestoneoutfitters.com.