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Joe Kauffman

Awesome 2015 season so far!

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Holy busy Fall & Winter! My wife, son and daughter hit the jackpot this year pulling their first choice tags and the season has been better than we could have anticipated. First time I've ever been happy about getting skunked, but more fun than it could be if these tags were mine.

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We started out the season in August with a limited draw archery deer tag for my son who had his mind set on a solid 4pt in full velvet. After numerous scouting trips we found a good shooter buck and were lucky enough to get on him the afternoon of the first day. Running with 2 other bucks, we bedded him about 1.5 miles out and the stalk was on.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w4CgjjAUijI

My son wanted to take this on by himself, so after talking strategies for a few minutes I stayed behind the binos and watched him make the almost 2 mile trek around behind the buck. Putting himself downwind and hidden in the treeline right above them he was able to make it within 40 yards and the waiting game began. Luckily it was only about 15 minutes until the larger buck stood up and my son make a perfect shot, dropping the monarch 70 yards later.

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Next up was his very limited archery bull elk hunt for my son 2 weeks later. We had scouted and located a few decent bulls but nothing that he wanted to pursue for the first week so we went to a spot with very few elk but that we knew held some great bulls. An hour before daylight opening morning we were about 1/2 mile in the trees listening for bugles when we heard him. A deep growler bugle 5-600 yards out. Although it was still dark, we knew he was most likely feeding and chasing cows in an old burn so we made our way to the treeline we thought he would head to once the sun came up. With the orange glow coming up over the burn his bugle was closer than ever and we knew we had placed ourselves right in his path. A few calls to him and he was fired up, raking trees and wallowing in the mud. About 10 minutes later he came trotting in looking for the cow he'd been hearing and presented my son with a perfect broadside shot at 60 yards. The arrow smoked right through the pump house and he piled up less than 50 yards from where he shot. Perfect, clean, ethical kill #2!

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3 weeks later was my wife's early muzzleloader bull elk hunt that I was extremely excited for. We had found the bull, dubbed "Curly Bill" because of the unique 6 point he had on both sides and were anxious to get after him. Three days before the hunt, we located him in the same spot we had before and hoped he would stay put for opening morning. Opening morning found us straining our ears for a bugle, glassing every tree, drainage and rock but Curly Bill was nowhere to be found. Being that this was a 7 day hunt, we weren't too concerned and ran over to another spot that we knew held some good bulls. Right away we had 6 bulls bugling and picked the largest sounding one and the chase was on. While making out way towards him (through the thickets, gnarliest stuff I've ever elk hunted in) we called in 4 of the other bulls and my wife patiently passed each one, some of them at under 20 yards. Seeing the excitement in her face each time was priceless, this was the hunt she'd been waiting for.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bvkFtV5YsUQ

 

Two ridges later we were positioned right above the bull and finally got our first glimpse of him. He had 6 cows and was definitely the herd bull in this area. He was busy protecting his cows and chasing a handful of smaller bulls off so we were able to stalk within 250 yards of him. My wife setup with the shooting sticks and her friend that was helping film got the video ready to go. Now, while he was definitely interested in my cow calls, he was seriously concerned with loosing the ones he already had so I decided to get as aggressive as I could with the call hoping to change his mind. The 3rd serious of aggressive calls did it and he came in, broadside at 100 yards. My wife made a perfect shot and dropped him in his tracks. Another opening day kill was in the books!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pU2qYH3tjeQ

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One hunt left and that's my daughters late December muzzleloader hunt. Can't wait to see her get a great buck this year!

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Congrats to whole Kauffman family!!!

WOW. . . sounds like you all had a great year and no doubt your daughter will finish it off in the same fashion. That's what I call a full freezer. Kudos to getting that bull for your wife to come in, and I bet you enjoyed the stalk your son did through the binos. I love to watch it all come together!!! again.. congrats on the great season!! Doug

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