It is not quite the crack of dawn. You are following your guide into the forest with a million thoughts of what might happen today. It is early in the season, and it got cold last night. Really cold. Perfect. This is what you wanted, as you know this can throw the rut into overdrive.
Despite the cold, you are warm. Your blood is circulating through your veins like never before as you picture yourself coming face to face with one of these adrenaline crazed beasts.
As every minute goes by the darkness starts to leave, only to be replaced by a dense fog, keeping it difficult to see. Now the forest is starting to liven up. The silence has been broken by a couple of birds in the distance. A short moment after, a squirrel has a few words for you as you walk through his turf. "Quite the little character", you laugh to yourself. A few birds close by join the song of those in the distance, and a pack of coyotes begs for permission to trespass.
It is now dawn, and the elk are bugling. They are everywhere!! Still a thick heavy fog hovers the ground. Your guide just grins as he sees your excitement with every bugle. As it gets more intense by the minute, you wanna stop. Maybe try to call one in, but your guide keeps walking, and it is probably in your best interest to follow.
Finally, your guide decides on a spot to sit. He pulls out his call and challenges every bull in the area. Your adrenaline is already through the roof, but yet it still manages to escalate when each reply seems to be getting closer. You've got two for sure, maybe three bulls coming in.
The fog has pretty much lifted now. "Shouldn't be long and they'll be visible", you think to yourself. Not two seconds after the thought runs through your mind, your guide points out a bull peeking through the trees. You are clueless as to how he managed to see it, but yes, it is there. Tough to see, just a small piece of antler and the side of his head sticking through the trees.
The bull shows no interest, and disappears into the thick aspens, but the other two are still getting closer. Your guide continues to challenge them.
Within minutes both bulls are right up close and personal. You are immediately confused, as both bulls are monsters. Your guide gives you direction on what to do.
You are going to have to belly crawl with your bow in hand. It's about 75 yards to the bull on the right. The guy on the left was a bit closer, but obviously your guide didn't like him. As you make your way to your bull, your guide stays off the call. The bull just stands there thinking that he is hidden in the trees around him. You don't have long. In just a matter of minutes, maybe seconds, he might lose interest and leave the area. You are now on your own as your guide stayed back where you were sitting, so the decision is yours. Do you get closer for an easier shot? Or do you just stand up and shoot before this monster gets away? You are starting to sweat. You have to decide quickly...