Whether they’re in the woods or on the podium, Hoyt’s Pro Shooters represent Hoyt to the fullest. And Hoyt.com is the only place where you’ll find behind-the-scenes info about their recent success stories, their travels, their favorite Hoyt bows and accessories, and other details that any true Hoyt fan needs to know.
Four thousand dollars worth of over-the-counter, out-of-state Idaho elk tags and licenses over the last seven years, countless trips, bivy camps and spike camps, lots of trail cutting and setting trail cameras, four missed shots, one well-hit bull that I couldn’t recover ... the list goes on. I ate tag soup for the last six years, but I finally punched my tag! Northern Idaho is full of public land and high numbers of educated bulls. They get pounded by hunting pressure. You need to find a single-track dirt bike trail, ride it very deep, and then drop down the deepest holes you can find. Riding up steep single-track in the dark is extremely challenging. I always change into my camo once I park the bike at the top of the mountain. The brush is thick - you can call a bull into 10 yards and never even see what he looks like. Steep, you betcha, and the weather is always fickle. But I guess every year I wasn’t able to connect on a bull, I learned more and more valuable information that led to this bull’s demise.
My new technique is simple: Put the calls away, leave my big pack with my dirt bike, and go deep ... and silent. I run feverishly at any bull that bugles. I don’t care where he is, I close hard and fast. My heart rate never drops below 160 from the vertical or from the adrenaline.
I had two herd bulls screaming at each other in the bottom of the hole. I flanked them for a mile along their trails, closed the distance to about 50 yards and then stalked. Every time a bull sounded off, I moved about five yards through tangled brush. Once I got in close, I’d scramble to find a shooting lane. I pulled back on the biggest bull I’ve ever seen in Idaho and held for 30 seconds, but no shot materialized. He slipped quietly away and I let down. Then I sprinted up 600 vertical feet to the other herd bull. Cautiously, I side-hilled as his cows fed all around me. The bull kept on bugling in the basin until he could barely even let out a chuckle. The wind was blowing down to me and I could smell that rutting bull. Man, I love that smell!
I picked my lane and held my ground. The bull read the script and started down the trail. At 30 yards he stopped behind a tree and bugled. I was already at full draw. He took two more steps and stopped as I cow called with my reed. The arrow was gone. I hammered him just above the heart. One hundred yards later, I had my hands around my first 7x7 - my most coveted bull to date. DIY. Public land. Just me and my Hoyt. A truly epic adventure.