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Elk Hunting New Mexico’s Youth Season: Nate’s 6×6

October 12, 2010 by  
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Here’s an awesome elk hunting report from a father and son team, Jeff and Nate Cox from Ohio. Jeff is an avid hunter and has taking his son Nate for several years. Jeff loves to go out west and chase elk around the mountains of New Mexico, looks like Nate has learned a thing or two from his old man. Congrats Nate on a great bull!

2010 NM Youth Elk hunt

Nate and I flew out to El Paso, TX the morning of his 15th birthday and drove into New Mexico.  This is the second year in a row that he was fortunate enough to get drawn and by pure coincidence the same two boys and their dads that were at camp last year, all got drawn again this year.  The only difference this time around was our guide, Danny.  Danny and I hunted together about 5 years ago so it was good to see him again.  We finally arrived at STC Outfitting base camp around 3 pm just in time for my son to make sure his gun was still sighted in from the airplane ride.  Danny had scouted the area that we were going to be hunting the next day so we were pretty excited about getting out the next morning.

We walked into the area that was new to me immediately climbing to the top of this mountain.  The plan was to get above the elk, thinking that they were going to be grazing in the bottom ground.  As daylight started to come we continued to sneak up the rough terrain.  It did not take long before we all stripped down a layer from the work out that we were getting.  At this point it was just about legal shooting time and finally we heard our first bugle.  Fortunately, he was just about in the same area as the day before and we were where we needed to be.  We continued up the mountain a little further looking for the elk and place to set up, hoping to call them in.  It was hard to believe that a 800 pound animal can hide so well.  As we were sneaking up the mountain, Danny managed to take out his shooting sticks for my son to use.  We knew we were getting close so we bunched up a lot closer in single file.  The wind was good, but for some reason they saw us before we saw them.  They were just below us.  At first we saw only cows. Fortunately, they were making their way up hill instead of back down presenting windows of opportunities.  The bull was the last one up following his 6-7 cows.  This is the second elk trip with my son.  The last time we went he had a shot opportunity on a small 4×4 the first day, the first hour and I wouldn’t let him shoot.  I wanted him to experience more of the hunt. Of coarse this time was no different with his luck.  When the bull stepped out both Danny and I were waiting on Nate to shoot, but instead he looks back and ask CAN I SHOOT?  I should have probably said something earlier but there was no doubt in my mind, I would be shooting.  I said YES, YES shoot him.  He fired off the first shot hitting the bull back a little far at maybe 100 yards.  The guide kept is binoculars locked on the bull as he made his way up the mountain.  In the mean time I repositioned Nate up the hill where the cows were, hoping the wounded bull would follow.  Sure enough he did, stepping into one of the small windows that we had to shoot thru.  Nate fired off the second shot this time clipping him high in the back and dropping him, paralyzed on the back half, the front half was still working just fine.  We made our way towards the bull, excited and anxious only to find him up on his front legs trying to get away, Nate rushed an offhand shot and missed, his scope still turned out to 12 power.  I’m sure he was very excited as you can imagine, shooting just over his back.  Realizing the bull was not getting away, we got him back on the shooting sticks, calmed him down, & encouraged him to take his time.  The forth shot took out his heart and that was all she wrote.  Nate was so excited that he could barely stand up!  Amongst high fives and hugs we managed to snap a couple pictures while we gave the bull a few minutes.  We were quite pleased to find that he was around a 290 inch 6×6 and it was only 7:15 am on the first day!

We had to make two trips to pack the meat out taking to almost 12:30 before we got all of it out of there.  It was a great trip and I doubt Nate is going to have much trouble remembering his 15th birthday!

Jeffrey J. Cox


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