Hunt of a lifetime is all I have to say Chuck Paddock

Chuck Paddock
Chuck Paddock Elk 2014 San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation

Hunt of a lifetime is all I have to say for a poor kid from Indiana. It is
amazing how life’s twists and turns are and in this case it was amazing whathappened for me on this hunt. I had no idea when I went to the Mathews Show in WI last Dec I would meet a future friend and get to go on a Elk hunt of a lifetime.  It all started with me standing in the Watson Airlock booth helping my friend Chris out. He doesn’t sponsor the show we are just friends and while I was standing there a couple Apache Indians stopped by and we gotto talking and they went on then I was at the ATA Show at the Dead Ringer Booth and one of them stopped by there and we talked again then the crazy part is when we ran into each other at SHOT Show it was almost like Fate. To make a long story short we made a date to come hunt the San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation in San Carlos AZ for the Second week of Sept which is the heart of the rut for Elk. All the plans we made and I was in disbelief I was actually going to be hunting there but when we arrived they were getting a lot of rain in the mountains from a hurricane that started in Mexico. Ivan Stevens  his dad Bill and Jay had the tents setup 55 miles from town deep into the heart of The Apache Reservation. The first day we had a great bull at 10 yds but I was told I was told it was to small which is something I would hear a lot hahaha all of them looked huge to me hahaha . Well after it dried out a little we could finally make it up the mountain to a place they call Jurassic Park which is a perfect name for this place you could not dream of a more amazing place to hear bugling bulls. What’s crazy is the fact that I had passed some 380″ to 390″ bulls the days prior trying to kill a 400″ bull. As we drove up the mountain that morning I had no idea what I was about to experience no one could you couldn’t dream of what I heard we step out of the truck a a literally screaming bulls in all directions and at least 20 bulls together just non stop screaming it was crazy. As we got into position I remember thinking they can’t hear us calling because they are making to much noise hahaha. There was one bull in particular that all he did was growl so we went after him because typically older bulls growl more so as we hiked up the mountain getting above the bulls because they were going up as well we got into position again and started calling and wouldn’t you know it the old growler started answering then I realized he was actually coming. I say there thinking this is it this could be the moment of truth so I have got to stay focused. Aim small miss small I kept telling myself. Then it happened I saw his legs coming right toward us on a fast pace and then I saw his rack it looked huge and when he turned the mass was insane. He was headed right toward us and I kept asking Ivan is he big enough which he could tell I was wanting to shoot bad but he was still sizing him up but know when he stepped behind a tree at 25 yrds it was my last chance to draw so I drew my bow and then he gets to 15 yds and sees something and stops now at full draw it is getting intense and I know he is about to run and sure enough he runs but stops in the only opening I could shoot frantic I am asking Ivan is he big enough he caved into to me and says yes and I shoot. The arrow hits it mark and I know u just arrowed the biggest bull of my life. As I watch him going down that trail it was 13 sec later he was going down on film and my hunt was over it felt like it was all going in slow motion I was so excited I was full of emotion. As we all began to celebrate and walk down to see him we were pumped then when we got to him, Ivan looked sick and his dad did you this bull was the wrong bull he was not 400″ he was 360″ now for the rest of us in the elk hunting world it is hard to believe my bull is small but to them it was but I told them his mass has character and it was special to have everyone there on the hunt from camp 7 people total haha yes 7  in end end we had a lot of laughs and Back straps that night and great memories and the best They have and how beautiful the terrain is and how different from desert to mountain pines they have it all from 100 degrees in the bottoms to snow in the mountains they have it all on 1.9 million acres. I am going back to play golf on their golf Course this summer just to hang out and enjoy it.