Member's Hunt: The Long Wait

by
posted on December 30, 2023
MH Clyncke

By Marvin Clyncke, Boulder, Colo.

Year after year, the application rejections kept coming in. Then, to my surprise, in 2017, a Colorado bull moose tag was awarded. I was jubilant after waiting 32 years. This is when the fun began. Scouting in areas within the unit where our hunting buddy Wayne took a bull in 2013, and our oldest son, Todd, killed a tremendous 51-inch Shiras bull in 2015, we located quite a few moose with several bulls in the Boone and Crockett range.

Opening morning found Todd, me and friend Steve, who also had a tag, glassing the areas where we had found bulls. I went after a very wide bull that was tailing a cow. He didn’t have wide palms, but they were long and he had a lot of points. Todd and I followed them for hours and finally I got into position and Todd circled around to the south where the bull would get his wind. The bull turned and headed right for me. I was down in a 4-foot-deep depression in the willows and when the bull was very close I drew my longbow and released a wooden shaft. The bull saw me draw and whirled like a cutting horse away from me and I missed! I couldn’t believe I missed a very close 4- or 5-yard shot.

That afternoon a friend who was elk hunting called and said he saw two big Shiras bulls fighting along a river to the north of where we were hunting. We immediately moved over there, but the bulls were gone. I decided to be there at daylight the next morning. Todd was tied up until noon and my hunting buddy Duke was the same. I told them I wasn’t wasting a half-day waiting.

The wind was coming directly down the river, so I started up the north side on a trail, and every 50 yards or so I cow-called. Nothing. A mile up the river with no answer I said to myself, “You old guy, what are you going to do with a moose up here if you kill one?” I crossed the river—now very low in the fall—and noticed a lot of moose sign in the thick willows along the stream.

I turned down an old mining road that ran along the south side of the river; half a mile and still nothing. I stopped and did a long cow call and immediately heard a grunt right below me. I was in a thick timbered area and carefully looked down into the willows. I could see a cow and year-old calf about 50 yards below, but no bull. I cow-called again and got an immediate grunt. I saw one antler and knew I was looking at a very good bull. I backed into some short, new pine trees across the old road and called again. The cow and the calf headed up towards me. The bull followed. They stepped up onto the old road 20 yards away, and when the bull stepped up I sank a sharp broadhead from my 50-pound longbow into his lungs. I knew I had him!

They turned back into the willow bottom and I walked over to where the arrow hit. There was a good blood trail. I immediately hiked down to the pickup and drove out to the highway where I could get some phone service. Todd said he would be right up and Duke was already on his way. I called my wife Judy—an experienced bowhunter too—and excitedly told her the news. She said she would get our grandson Owen to drive her up also. Duke arrived and we found the bull. Handshakes and hugs followed as the rest arrived. The next morning there were seven bowhunting friends to help pack out the boned bull and head out the half-mile. The bull ended up scoring enough to not only go well up in Pope and Young but also at the Boone and Crockett minimum. It certainly was a worthwhile wait for this 77-year-old bowhunter. That same day our good friend Steve killed the bull I missed at close range, and his bull scored very high, too.


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