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James Blankenbeckler “the other guy ” Colorado Bull Elk 2014

Bryan Clark of High Voltage Outfitters invited me out for second rifle elk season in Colorado. I was a little nervous about the hunt because with my new job I was very limited on vacation time so it was gonna have to be a weekend hunt. I had zero doubt that we would be on elk with Bryan. I killed my first elk ever with him in 2012. We hunted less then an hour before I let an arrow fly and watched him drop in sight. 
Hunter picked me up in Denver the night before season and it was gonna be a short night. We got into town around midnight and had to get the gear ready. 5:00am came way to early but I was excited to hang out and hunt with Bryan again. The weather was perfect calm and about 20°. We set up on a high spot were we could watch the alfalfa fields come to life as the sun started to rise. In the distant as the light came through we could make out a couple elk then 20 elk then 100 elk!!!! I had never seen so many elk in my life.  There were elk everywhere strung out across the fields. We spotted a group of cows with a couple good Bulls in the herd. We circled around and got on them and slipped to 150yrds as they fed through. The smaller Bulls and cows were in the front and were putting on a show fighting and bugling but the big boys stayed back just over the rise out of sight. Suddenly out of nowhere the elk bolted and went over the rise away from us. What happened did they see us? Why did they run? All the questions running trough our heads then as we Looked around we saw the neighbor checking his cows in the next pasture. Bryan had a plan and we quickly went through a draw popped out on the other side and was back on them again but this time they were in a big group all together.  I laid my CVA Apex on my pack and settled the cross hairs of my scope on the biggest bull in the herd, a beautiful 6X6 with whale tails that swept up. For ten minutes I followed the bull and never got a shot because there was always another elk in front or behind him and I never had a clean ethical shot. That evening we went back to the same fields hoping to catch the herd coming back out to feed but no luck as they came out on the neighbor and never made it to us.  Bryan had been watching this herd for a couple weeks and said they would be on him in the morning.    The second morning we went back to the same vantage point and exactly what Bryan said happened the elk were back on him but today they were moving to bed faster so we had to make a move quick. Once we got to the herd the bulk of them had already went into the timber. We quickly got set up on a nice bull but by the time the cameraman got set up and on him it was to late I didn’t have a shot. I was sick to my stomach thinking we blew our only chance since I had to fly out that night and couldn’t hunt the evening. Bryan looked at me and said its not over they cross a sage flat on their way to bed we just have to beat them there. We quickly made a loop to the flat and sure enough the herd was coming out of a draw they stopped to drink in. A nice 5X6 cleared the herd and I settled the cross hairs on him and squeezed the trigger. The shot took me by surprise. I missed judged the yardage and shot right under him. The elk had no clue with the wind where the shot came from so they bunched up again. Bryan never flenched and kept scanning the herd. All I remember hearing is big bull pushing through the back. Once Bryan and I was clear on the bull he was talking about I once again settled the cross hairs on him. He went about 80yrds and stopped clear of the herd. I slowly squeezed the trigger and BOOM the gun went off and I watched him crumble to the ground. I couldn’t believe it. I never focused on the size of the rack at all. I fully trust Bryan when he tells me to shoot something. As we walked up to the bull he just kept getting bigger and bigger. I had always wanted a 300″ bull and now I had one. He scored 311″ with a broken eye guard and is a dream come true for this Midwestern boy. I can’t think Bryan enough. He constantly proves to me why he is just an amazing outfitter. He knows his animals and his land and watched them year round. Not to mention is a great guy and a blast to be around. Once I got home and watched the footage from the hunt I realized I shot the bull I was on for ten minutes the day before with the sweeping whale tails. It never dawned on me until then cause we were so focused on getting the job done and so happy after wards.  God has truly blessed me again as he as done my whole life.  MAKE SURE YOU CATCH THIS EPISODE IN FALL 2015 on the pursuit channel 


Outfitter: Bryan Clark High Voltage Outfitters 1 (970) 987-2220
Equipment:
Rifle: CVA Apex in .300
Scope: Vortex Viper 6-24X50mm
Binos: Vortex Razor HD 12X50
Pack: Badlands Diablo 
Boots: Lacroose Quickshot 8″ 
Camo: RealTree Max-1
Scent elimination: Dead Down Wind cause it work. Boot and Storage powder is a must when spot and stalking.