We have discussed at times how too many of the mature bulls have been taken. It is often mentioned that bull elk may travel long distances, which makes it difficult to protect them by increasing the size of a No Hunt Zone. This point is true to a certain extent and a case in point is a monster known to many as “The Test Hill Bull”. He was taken in 2006 far away from Winslow Hill where he was frequently seen during the rut. It is true that an expanded no hunt zone would not have saved him.
There are several examples however of bulls that would have been saved by this proposal. These include up and coming young bulls that showed great potential and outstanding mature bulls.
An excellent example is bull number 57, which I first recorded and photographed in 2006. He frequented the meadows along Winslow Hill Road during the rut of 2006 and I had several encounters with him.
The most notable was on a rainy evening, in late September. There was heavy rain that afternoon, but the elk still appeared in a meadow just up the ridge from Youngmark Road. In time the rain stopped and the meadow exploded with rutting activity. Bull 57 soon appeared and walked toward the road, which was lined with tourists. He proceeded past them and went to a nearby apple tree, shook his antlers in the branches to dislodge apples, and proceeded to eat several.
“Lammy Wheeler”, a respected local elk enthusiast was sitting in his truck only a short distance from the bull and either photographed or videotaped him.
Soon the animal walked past the tourists again and roared a challenge at other bulls that were in the center of the meadow, bugling, and chasing cows.
He avoided the largest bull there, but became involved in a sparring match with a smaller bull, which lasted ten minutes or more.
Bull 57 and Raghorn Sparring:Sony HVR-A1u Camcorder:
Bull 57 Bugling: Canon 10-D 500mmF4
He would best be classified as a young bull with great potential, as he had a much larger rack in 2007. I had no chance to record him that year as I only saw him once at the Gilbert Viewing Area and it was too late for either stills or video. Billie Cromwell did get to photograph him early one morning in the same meadow where I recorded him in 2006. He was not able to get a facing shot as the bull was focused on feeding, but Billie and others said the spread was much larger than last year.
According to reports he spent quite a bit of time at Dent’s Run in 2007. He went to Winslow Hill for a period during the rut, but then returned to the Dent’s Run Area where he was taken on the second morning of elk season. The area he was taken in, was in Elk Hunt Zone 2.