Was this my last chance or do Bulls stay in the area?


New member
Sep 17, 2018
This is my second year archery in Colorado since we moved here and just doing OTC archery as three zones are close to where I live.  I have n er shot an Elk, only deer from where We moved.  I saw 3 cows last year which I didn?t get a chance to shoot and this year three solo spikes and 2 cows to which I missed my chance too.  My last full day of hunting was last Sunday and at noon, I stopped on top of this ridge with my quad and decided to bugle.  Low and behold I got a call back.....first time in 7 days.  I assumed it?s another hunter because I thought the bugling was as terrible as me.  Long story short.....we called about 20-30 times going towards each other and low and behold I got goose bumps as the bugling was really starting to sound like a Bull and not another hunter.  Again....long story short, it was a 6x6 bull that stoped at 35 yds in front if a 2? diameter tree with front showing.  I thought this was my only chance so I pulled and he saw me. I tried for his left lung and arrow deflected off the small tree and I?m still so sad.  I tried to cow call as he ran away but spooked him too much.      My question is.....do bulls stay in the same areas typically or when spooked like this, will they ever return?  Also, would a frontal shot be ok as I?ve read negative and positive?  I am goin back every evening after work this week to see if he?s there.

Elk Noob

Aug 15, 2016
In my experience, which isn't a lot, they will come back, how quickly is up to the Bull. I've seen them back in the same area the next night, but other times they haven't come back for a week+.

I haven't shot a bull, or elk, with a frontal but have taken some Whitetails and it is a deadly shot, but the target area is small. I passed on a bull 4 years ago that presented a 35yard frontal shot. For me, my max distance on a frontal is about 20 yards really.


Ol Arky

New member
Aug 5, 2017
Frontal shots are effective BUT if your not 100% confident you know the spot to hit and can hit that exact spot at the range of the shot 100% of the time, DONT' TAKE IT!!!!!!


New member
Sep 17, 2018
Much appreciated everyone.  After calling in my first bull ever.....I?m so hooked.  You just can?t explain the feeling.  Can?t wait to get my 12yr old son hooked as well.  He drew first rifle season in a southern Colorado zone this year and is excited.
Sep 27, 2017

I have called in several bulls multiple times after blown setups. As early as the next day. I like to change diaphragm calls to get a different "voice" because I think (I have no proof, just a feeling) they remember voices and patterns. I have called one bull in 3 times in 5 days.

So, yes bulls can be called back in after being spooked. Will they stay in the same area? Depends on other variables and factors like the other rutting bulls and cows in heat moving. I don't think one encounter freaks them out so much that they head to the next county.

I'm not a huge fan of frontals because there are very few people that can execute it properly and too many people that have read about it and are just "willing" to try it, often with disastrous results. It is a devastating kill shot, but just as devastating for a wounded animal. Frontals should only be taken at short yardages by someone that has solid knowledge of the anatomy, body shot positions and total confidence in their shooting and ability to make the shot.
On a personal note; To me, the above is the same prerequisite for anyone taking a broadside shot as well. Though the target size for a killing shot is more "forgiving" on a broadside elk, a responsible and ethical hunter should be proficient at placing their shot at the optimum spot for a quick and efficient kill. If someone doesn't have that skill set and confidence, then they should head back to the range and get ready for the next year.

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