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Archery Out of Mind, More In Sight

Out of Mind, More In Sight

closeup of elk focused on the eye.
Sighting Elk…

My Invitation to You

Would you like to go on an adventure with the Bow Bully? You know it’s going to be fun…right? Of course it will be because you’ll be there! First thing’s first, I’m not asking you, “Where do you want to go?” so you can then say, “It doesn’t matter, where do you want to go?” One of my biggest pet peeves! That leads to a circle of pointless conversation and frankly, wasted time! Really, we could be adventuring by now and I’ll pick the spot. 

We’re going to Idaho and what kind of game animal would I love to harvest in Idaho? Elk of course! The season is from August to December depending on the zone and weapon, but we’re here in March because we’re on an adventure hoping to find more than potatoes with no intent to harvest anything but memories.  

In March it’s still a bit chilly, so you’ll want to dress warm but not too warm because there is plenty of walking, well, hiking to do. That’ll warm us up. 

Lace Up Your Boots

Here we are at the Salmon River Mountains and the view is beautiful! Let’s unload our packs and set out! Is that a Rambo Krusader on the back of my truck? I know it’s intended for off road but, where we’re going is a little more than off road. I think at least this time it’s best to lace up your hiking boots, sling your Allen Terrain Crater Multi-Day Pack on and hoof it!

The Bow Bully: “So, you like the outdoors?” 

You: “Bow Bully, that’s a silly question, I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t.”

The Bow Bully: “In case you didn’t know some people will fake things just to be written about, you never know. I had to ask. So, do you like the outdoors?” 

You: “YES!!! Oh wow! Check that out! Two wolves admiring each others’ fur, round and round they go. They really like each other. That’s not something I see everyday in Miami!” 

The Bow Bully: “ It is that time of year, soon they’ll be whelping, that means having pups. So anyway, what do you like about the outdoors?”

You: “I guess my favorite thing is it’s unpredictable and you never know what you’ll see or experience. It’s always different. Like this rock I just found, it looks like a turtle and that one like an arrowhead!” 

The Bow Bully: “That is an arrowhead and this rock is a perfect table, it’s a sign! Let’s eat!” (The Bow Bully does like to eat, especially after a long hike). 

At the Table

brie on a red and white checkered cloth, next to a piece of bread with a slice of brie, a dollop of marmalade, and some walnuts.
My marmalade sandwich didn’t look like that!

With the smell of the cedar trees, and fresh air we’re enjoying lunch together on a rock that seems to be here for exactly this purpose! While I’m pondering a move to the Salmon River Mountains here in Idaho, I see movement in my peripheral vision. To my right, is a bull elk and he’s found the perfect place for a meal too! Mostly perfect because you and I get to see him!

I glance over at you, hoping to share the moment, but you’re lying on the table, well the rock, resting your head on your pack, buried in your Paddington Bear marmalade sandwich trying to convince the red squirrel that he would like it too.  

When I looked back at the Elk, I realized he was not alone, there was a herd of elk about forty yards from our picnic table, now that required some Interruption to your romance with the squirrel…

The Bow Bully: “Hey you, (cause I don’t know your name yet) how often do you see a whole herd of elk that close?” 

You: “Because I live in Miami, never!!! And that’s why I love the outdoors!” 

Fast Forward a Few

Let’s fast forward a few months, it’s now September, we’ve each got an elk tag and we’re back in the Salmon River Mountains. This time we intend to harvest one elk a piece. Let’s get geared up! 

Not only did I bring my Allen Terrain Crater Multi-Day Pack with a marmalade sandwich, (yours looked pretty good so this time I brought my own), I also have my Bear Archery Adapt Compound Bow

I see you’ve got the Bear Species EV Compound Bow (we must be shopping at the same place). We’re all packed up and we set out. This time we don’t do much talking because we’re not “adventuring” right now, we’re on a mission to kill. 

Familiar Doesn’t Mean Success

Although we are passing by some familiar scenes and expecting familiar sightings, what we expect is definitely not what we’re getting. So far nothing except a fresh pile of scat. 

You: “Who made that?”

The Bow Bully: “I’m not a scat expert but it is pellets, so I’d guess a deer, an elk or a really big rabbit. We’re on the right path.” 

After hours of trekking through this gorgeous terrain full of a multitude of species, you and I have sought and have not found. While having high hopes for success with our previous experience in this same location and having none, our discussion might go something like this…

You: “Wow! I expected to see something?” 

The Bow Bully: “Yeah, you and I both, otherwise we wouldn’t have been here right!”

You: “Why do you think the only thing we saw was a pile of hot, steamy scat?”

The Bow Bully: “Out of mind, more in sight!” 

You: “What does that even mean?”

Intent Equals Intense

hiker with backpack and bedroll looking into the trees on the trail ahead.
Relax and adventure!

The Bow Bully: “Last time we were here, we weren’t looking/hunting for anything in particular. We were on an adventure, relaxed and enjoying the things around us. This time we’re on a mission, on the hunt and focused. The animals can sense intensity or the intent to kill, therefore; in your mind, less in sight. 

Moral of this story is to train yourself to hunt like you’re on an adventure, relaxed and enjoying your surroundings. Even though you know you are carrying a Bear Species EV Compound Bow for one purpose, nothing else needs to know that information, so relax!

author avatar
The Bow Bully
The Bow Bully discusses a variety of archery topics and offers tips, advice and the occasional nudge to make you a better bowhunter. With years of experience, and an attitude to match, you'll find the Bully has something to offer both beginners and seasoned hunters.

6 thoughts on “Out of Mind, More In Sight”

  1. Hey TBB,

    Never have seen green leaves on deciduous trees in Idaho in March! I suggest you get some snowshoes or Back Country skis and skins.
    Up on your WINTER CAMPING?
    The Elk stay “low” until late April in most years.


    • Shootski,

      Thanks for the facts. I hope to get there one day and when I do, I’ll be better equipped.

      It was fun tale. 😉 with an honest point. Oh you know, “you” were there! 😉


      • TBB,

        Don’t forget Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, and Utah for nonresident Tags.
        Colorado currently has the biggest herd of Elk in the world.
        Just be prepared and equipped for the weather to be changeable; i have been snowed under in the Uintas in July and August right after a week of shirtsleeve weather! I always carry Norwegian mesh base layer: https://www.brynjeusa.com/product-category/base-layers/super-thermo/

        The Rocky Mountains are always calling me; especially in the dead of Winter.


        • Shootski,
          Oh how I love the Rockies, I actually grew up in that area. I moved between Roosevelt and the outskirts of Salt Lake City Utah, beautiful country!

          Until next time!

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