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November 2023
Story by Trey Larson
Hunters: Shaylee Larson
State: Arizona
Species: Elk - Rocky Mtn

My wife is an amazing woman. She killed this bull after a heartbreaking story during this hunt. For two weeks, we hunted this freak-looking bull with his 50"+ split main beam. We were 50 yards from this bull five times but couldn’t get a shot. The last time we saw him, we were closing in on him mid-morning when a small helicopter flew right on top of us and the bull and cows, causing them to scatter. I called to report the incident to the Game agency and was told they were flying the area doing surveys. We then spent five days trying to relocate that bull with no luck.

Down to the last day, we decided to try something new. We went into an area blind and bugled a few times and got a response. We climbed up high to try and get a look and found 2 bulls with 15 cows on the move. We took a long detour to try and get closer. By 3 p.m., we were about 100 yards from the herd. We got into a bugle standoff with the herd bull for two hours as he raked a cedar tree. During this time, my wife was sneaking closer and closer to him. He then decided to make his move, and rather than playing the wind, he came straight to me. I shut up and held still as he walked on the backside of the same tree I was in.

As luck would have it, the second bull got up from his bed 200 yards from where my wife was waiting and let out a bugle. It was just enough to make him step back, turn, and walk directly between my wife and me. At 40 yards, all I saw was her arrow passing through his vitals and I knew he was done for. I’m so proud of her for keeping her cool and making that shot after all the disappointing events during the hunt.

We knew of another guy who had a rifle tag, so after she killed her bull, we contacted him with all the info we had on the whereabouts of the freak bull. He found that bull four days later and killed him in about the last place we thought he would have gone. Congrats to him!