Trophy elk are this kid’s bag
RIFLE – With every practice shot of his bow during the summer season, 16-year-old Tim LaRose of Rifle daydreams about bagging that trophy elk. For the past two years his dream has come true.This year was special, though. “It was the hunt of a lifetime,” he said. “A perfect situation and everything went right.”This past archery season yielded his biggest bounty to date. He took down a massive seven-point bull in Eagle County northeast of Eagle.And he was quite surprised by the outcome.”I couldn’t really believe the way it happened,” he said.However, coming away with the trophy is something that this teen is getting used to. He’s only been hunting for four years and has bagged a total of four bulls. Last year he bagged a six-pointer with a bow as well to add to his collection. Not bad for being relatively new to the sport.
But for Tim hunting runs in his family.Both his father and grandfather have been hunting for most of their lives and have been bow hunting for 27 years. Tim’s seven-pointer was the biggest trophy any of them have ever seen.”They told me that this would spoil my hunting career,” Tim said. “But I disagree.”Tim and his dad had scouted the area all summer long in preparation for a good season. The day before the hunt, they went back to the area and spotted the herd three miles away from the spot that produced the large beast. Early the next morning, the two hiked back to the same spot they had visited the previous night and began to bugle to attract the herd.”While I was stripping some layers, he (the elk) came within about 300 yards of us,” Tim said. “Then he bugled at us, so my dad bugled for him again and the elk bugled back.”The elk came to within 30 yards of the pair, and that is when Tim took his shot.
“It was a simple broadside,” he said. All in all the hunt lasted about two hours including the hike into the uninhabited area. But for Tim, his father and his grandfather, it was well worth it.The rest of the day was spent preparing the large animal to be carried out. The unforgiving terrain was not accessible by vehicle or horse, so they had to pack out the bounty on foot.”We just took the rack out the first day,” Tim said.They returned the next day for the rest. But being up around timberline and having to hike out the meat turned out to be no easy task.”It was pretty intense,” he said. “It was basically grab a quartered section and hike.”
The first trip wasn’t too bad, but the last five hours they were challenged with snow, too.Tim said that he and his dad aren’t competitive when it comes to hunting, he just enjoys being able to hunt with his father. And not to add insult to injury, the bow Tim used for that particular kill just happened to be his father’s brand-new bow.”My dad drew a muzzle-loader tag this year,” Tim said. “So I got the first kill on his new bow.”This kill sounds like it went down pretty easily, but Tim noted that his continued practice contributes to his success. He practices between 15 and 20 minutes a day during the summer to keep his sights set.Contact John Gardner: 945-8515, ext. firstname.lastname@example.org
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