Rocke Fournet Thursday, November 7, 2013 0
Ricky Manuel with his 5x5 bow kill. AIAIEEEGH!!!

Ricky Manuel with his 5×5 bow kill. AIAIEEEGH!!!

Words can’t describe how good that felt. The first cool snap of the year just blew through, bringing much-needed relief from the uncomfortable tropical heat and pesky mosquitoes. It’s enough to get you up and moving.

Now that this first front has cleared the way, successive Pacific fronts should be en route. These cool, low-humidity air masses help energize the many who enjoy their leisure time in the great outdoors.

Just to get things kicked off this season, try this on as an example of starting a great hunting adventure a la 2013.

The brotherhood of bow hunters is a union of dedicated hunters and an exclusive club. It’s hard enough to score a wild animal with a firearm. But this group ups the ante and must figure out a way to close the distance and get in close proximity to their chosen game. It is a tough task to prevail, but when you succeed, it makes all the effort worth it.

Local bow hunter Ricky Manuel made a road trip out west to Pagosa Springs, Colo., in search of a mature elk. His timing couldn’t have been better, as the mating season was in full swing and the bulls were in search of Lady Love. It was peak rut and the bulls were fired up and responding to cow calls.

Ricky was hooked up with a local outfitter who knew the lay of the land and was very effective at his chosen field. Playing the wind just right, he sat upwind and slightly diagonally to Ricky’s position. When the bull approached, he would be locked in on the source of the calls, giving the shooter an opportunity to draw his bow.  It didn’t take long.

Ricky was on the ground in a kneeling position when the caller began a series of soft cow calls. He picked up the volume and began raking a large bush, mimicking bulls sparring. It was show time!

The mature bull immediately answered with a bone-chilling bugle. He was approaching fast. Ricky readied himself and tried to calm the adrenaline rush — to no avail.

The bull was wild-eyed and had one thing on his mind. He was hell-bent on finding the cow elk he was zeroed in on.

At 32 yards, broadside, and ground level, the bull looked as big as the side of a barn and way more menacing.  Ricky picked a spot, settled his sight pen in, and let go with a smooth release. The arrow connected at the sweet spot with a resounding whop that is music to every bow hunter’s ear. The scenic mountains reverberated with the kill call perfected by Cajun hunters.

It was a dead-on, fatal shot and the 5X5 bull piled up at under 50 yards. These are magnificent animals, and a just reward for all the work and practice involved in harvesting one.

The bonus comes later when the meat is processed, providing a freezer full of some of the most healthy and tasty steaks with gravy ever prepared.

We are on the eve of hunting seasons, and anticipation, as always, is at a fever pitch. Most everyone who’s serious about it has prepared their area and is anxiously awaiting the starting gun.

What does a true coonass do when the government shuts down? If you answered, go hunting or fishing, give yourself a pat on the back.

Happy hunting!