Three miles into the interior of gated private forest land in the Saddle Mountain Unit, Pete let out a bugle. Many people are under the assumption that Roosevelt Elk are a quiet bunch, vocalizing only at night. This morning proved that assumption wrong.
A few moments after his bugle finished echoing off the mountain side, he heard a response. He quickly gathered up his gear and headed up the gravel road in the direction of the elk. A few minutes later the bull bugled again, and again. It then crossed in front of the road just ahead of him.
Pete dove off the edge of the road and got next to a stump and watched the bull come screaming every step of the way. He heard other bugles off in the distance coming closer as well. When the present bull crossed ten yards from Pete, he arrowed it with his recurve bow. It spun and retreated in the direction it came.
As Pete waited for the bull to expire, another bull, bugling every step, came in and stood 15 yards away looking for a fight. Pete stared until the bull lost interest and walked away, but Pete was still stuck in his location as another bull, also bugling without pause, came thirty yards from him and passed on by.
All the while, Pete could hear other bulls screaming and roaring in the distance. When Pete was finally able to pursue his bull, his search was delayed for another hour as he stopped to wait for screaming bulls to clear the area. It was utter mayhem, something only seen on big production hunting videos. Yet, it happened right in Oregon’s north coastal mountains.
In the right conditions and on the right day, Roosevelt elk will thrill a bow hunter like any Rocky Mountain Elk hunt.