The Elk Hunt That Took PSE’s Marty Henrikson 10 Years
Editor’s Note: Marty Henrikson of Tucson, Arizona, has been shooting PSE bows for 36 years. Henrikson, an avid bowhunter, competed for many years on the 3D archery circuit and also won the Arizona Cup in the compound division.
Question: Marty, tell us about the elk that took you 10 years to hunt.
One of the prime units for taking trophy elk in Arizona is Unit 10, and I had made up my mind that I was going to hunt this unit. Since Unit 10 was known for having giant elk, I decided that regardless of how long the hunt took, I was going to hunt the unit. For 10 years, I put in to hunt this unit, and finally on the 10th year, I was drawn. When I finally drew the tag, I was more than excited. I made a point to scout the unit before the hunt. On the second day of the hunt, I was up and moving long before daylight. I went to a spot where I thought I could hear elk bugling, and I bugled before first light. I had elk bugling all around me. I could tell there was a bull in the distance that was moving my way. I was hunting with a friend of mine, who stayed behind me to do the calling. Just at daylight, my friend made three cow calls, and we watched the bull come in until he was about 30 to 40 yards away from us. I drew the bow and was at full draw, when I think the bull spotted me. The bull expected to see the cow that had been calling, and when he didn’t see her but saw me instead, he turned back and went in the direction from which he had come. However, when the bull was at about 60 yards, he turned and looked back, giving me a broadside shot. I took the shot with my PSE Mach 6. After the elk went down, I went over to him, and my buddy went to get the truck. We spent 3 hours skinning, field dressing and butchering the animal. Fortunately, we didn’t have too far to carry the meat once it was quartered, since my friend was able to bring the truck fairly close to where we were. This bull had a 52 inch wide spread and scored 135 inches.
One of the advantages of shooting tournament archery is that you have the opportunity to build a lot of confidence in your ability to shoot accurately from many different distances. In the West where I hunt, most of the archers practice shooting out to 100 yards. Our terrain is so open that most of the time you expect to have to take a shot at more than 30 yards. If you practice at distances from 0 to 100 yards, you can build your confidence to know you can make a 100 yard shot. Then, if an animal shows up inside 100 yards, you will feel confident in your ability to make a good shot, and the arrow will fly true. Because of this 100 yard practice shooting, I felt really confident that I could make a lethal hit on an elk size target at 60 yards. That was a great hunt, and this is the biggest elk I’d ever taken.
Tomorrow: PSE’s Marty Henrikson Has Bear’s Teeth and Claws at 15 Yards
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