Wild Kakwa Outfitters
Wild Kakwa Outfitters Hunting Stories

Pete Sohlden, 2006 Elk Hunt

There was one hour of daylight left on the last day of a 6 day hunt. Mel and I were walking up a cleared pipeline. He planned to find a spot where we could see for some distance both ways, and then sit and do some calling until dark. My mind was reflecting on how long could my bad luck continue. However, I was pleased that my partner, Wayne had an opportunity that morning. He had to take a rushed shot at a 5x5 who saw him first and turned, leaving Wayne a split second decision. He wounded the elk but after 2 hours of tracking, had to give up when the blood trail was lost, and it became apparent that the wound was probably not serious and we would never catch up to him. Well, at least we had some action. Too bad Wayne didn't get a better look at that elk.

As my mind wandered, suddenly Mel whispered "Elk", and we both dropped to the ground. "There's a cow with a calf 200 yards up on the left edge of the woods. There could be a bull behind them in th woods, Get Ready!" As Mel scanned intently with his binoculars, he suddenly stopped, "There's a bull behind them and he's coming out!" I swung my rifle off the cow and on to the bull, who was now almost fully in the open. "He's a 5x5" whispered Mel.

By now my heart was pounding. Again, I felt bad luck was about to strike. We were stuck right out in the middle of this cleared pipeline. The cow looked right at us, and I expected all 3 elk to spin at any second and disappear back into the woods. Mel again whispered, "I can call them out. Just make sure you're ready to shoot!". By now, I was down on one knee with the sling strapped around my left arm. I had no rest available. I didn't dare move. I had to keep telling myself to breath deep and try to relax. Don't blow the shot if it is there. Just don't.

Mel gave some soft cow calls, and the elk looked at us but didn't spook. The bull took another step completely into the open and I locked on him. Again, bad luck! There was a single tree between us-right in his kill zone. I said "Mel, I can place a shot just to the left of the tree and take him," Mel replied, "No!, Don't do it! I'll call him out for a clear shot. If you wiggle and hit that tree, we've lost him. I'll get him out."

Suddenly, the bull poked the cow in the butt, and they came running out. The pipeline was about 100 yards wide at that point with an uphill slope. They turned and quartered up the slope. I made up my mind that I was not going to rush the shot. I placed the crosshairs on his shoulder about 6 inches below his back, swung with him and fired. He dropped immediately, pawing the ground with his front legs, but unable to get up. I knew he was paralized and was going nowhere. However, Mel did not want to take a chance, and after two more rounds, he lay still.

I'm not sure who was more excited, Mel or me. He gave me a big "bear hug", we did "high fives" and whooped it up. As we approached the bull, I asked Mel the distance of the actual shot, he said "About 270 yards". I felt a little sad as I approached this majestic animal, I always do. But, it's the hunting experience I cherish. It's natures beauty, the wonderful people I meet, and the physical and emotional challenge that keeps me coming back.

Rick, Rita, Mel and Ron - Thanks for the memories.

Pete Sohlden, Wisconsin

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Wild Kakwa Outfitters
Wild Kakwa Outfitters
Rick Houweling
RR 3 Site 3 Box 13
Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada T8V 5N3
Phone 780-513-1338

Contact Us By E-mail:rhouweli@wildkakwaoutfit.com