Home Forums Campfire Forum 7 year spike

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    • Clay Hayes
      Member
      Post count: 418

      Hit the arrows to the side of the photo to scroll though. The first few photos here are from earlier this September. After the 4th photo it just turns into work related stuff. Anyway, had a great season with the cherry topping being killing the spike I’ve been chasing for the past 7 years with my selfbow. Well, not the same spike of course, Metaphorically speaking I suppose.

    • Charles Ek
      Moderator
      Post count: 563

      In addition to the spike, yer killin’ me here. 😉

      Thanks for sharing!

    • shreffler
      Post count: 69

      Awesome picture of camp, and an equally awesome pick of you with the spike. Congrats.

      Have you ever tried your hand at astrophotography? Something I recently picked up this summer and it is incredible once you get the hang of it. Your picture of you standing in camp has some awesome night sky elements to it.

      Alex

    • James Harvey
      Member
      Post count: 1130

      Great pics Clay. Even your work stuff was interesting 😀

      Jim

    • Alexandre Bugnon
      Member
      Post count: 681

      Great pics, Clay! Thanks for sharing!

    • skifrk
      Post count: 387

      Awesome pics Clay and congrats on the elk with the selfbow, that is never an easy one.

    • Bruce Smithhammer
      Post count: 2514

      That’s a fantastic camp pic, Clay. And strong work on a job well done with your selfbow!

    • David Coulter
      Member
      Post count: 2270

      Congratulations on the spike! Excellent hunt. Your photos are really nice. Beautiful country, shown well. best, dwc

    • paleoman
      Member
      Post count: 918

      Some pics of heaven there. Nicely done and enjoy the gift of the elk.

    • Patrick
      Member
      Post count: 1148

      Sweet pics and congrats on your 7 year spike!

    • Arid zone A
      Post count: 39

      Great night photo,,Looking south, can’t miss ole Orion’s belt.

      My favorite group of stars.

      One of the best eating elk there is. Congrats.

    • David Fudala
      Post count: 224

      Congrats on your success, Clay! Fantastic photos too!

    • bruc
      Member
      Post count: 476

      Congrats Clay !!!

      That first picture reminds me of Don Mclean and Vincent,

      I can hear the words !!

      Bruce

    • blacktail
      Member
      Post count: 49

      great,great work clay…i beat the old osage preformed very well..john

    • Ptaylor
      Member
      Post count: 579

      Congrats Clay! Especially after working at it for 7 years. One of the aspects I dislike about most hunting magazines and books, is they are mostly written by veterans who have forgotten or chosen to omit their learning years, and focus on their successful harvests. Not enough information about the learning process. Its great to hear about a long-term hard won goal. Looking forward to the story.

      Nice job!

      preston

    • Clay Hayes
      Member
      Member
      Post count: 418

      When I first started hunting elk I was in a good area. Lots of opportunities to mess things up. I was able to hunt down there for 3 years and had some truly awesome experiences. Thinking back, I should have killed a few of those elk. Several times I can remember the thought of actually shooting didn’t occur to me until the opportunity was gone. I suppose I was just awestruck at being that close to such a great and big animal after hunting whitetail my whole life.

      Then I moved to the dense conifer forests of north Idaho and those ample opportunities turned into maybe one real chance a season, and that’s if I was lucky. Hunting in a game poor region where you can’t see more than 40 yards most of the time makes you hard on yourself when you screw up that once a season chance. But that’s exactly what I did last year.

      I had a nice 6X6 walk by at about 15 yards, came to full draw, and put the arrow right behind the shoulder. A little low but it looked good. Complete passthrough, two streams of blood like it was poured from a bucket. But try as I strained, I never heard the crash we all listen for. That was at around 8 in the morning. At 7 that evening, the light began to fade under the closed canopy timber so I broke off the trail which, by that time had dwindled to pure sign, tracks and rearranged vegetation, confirmed only by a pin speck of blood every 50 – 100 yards.

      Went back next morning with my partner and together tracked him until dark again. Close to 2 miles if I remember correctly until the track merged with a bunch of other elk that’d been there overnight and obliterated the bulls track.

      When I saw where the arrow was, I was sure he’d be down within 50 yards. I couldn’t, and still can’t, figure it out.

      So with that lingering in the back of my mind we decided to head back down south, to fresh country. I was pleased to get back into an area where you could bump into multiple elk in a day instead of maybe one a year. They weren’t bugling yet when I killed the spike, not responding to calls much either. So it was down to ambush, whitetail style. Find where they are and where they’re headed and get between. I was after this group the evening before but they gave me the slip after hanging out on a ridge all day waiting for the thermals to switch. But I knew where to be in the morning.. And that, as they say, is the rest of the story.

    • grumpy
      Member
      Post count: 962

      Great story. Good to see you can share your failures along with successes. We need more of that. In any endeavor, the experts suffered through all of the failures you have and became experts through persistence. Learning from their mistakes, and having the courage to go out there and make more mistakes. Those who tell us only the successful stories are not telling the whole tory.

    • Ptaylor
      Member
      Post count: 579

      Yeah thanks for sharing. Tough spot you were in. Great story.

    • wojo14
      Post count: 325

      Awsome pics Clay!

      I am jealous of the areas you guys live in.

    • Vintage Archer
      Member
      Post count: 276

      CLAY

      Great story ❗ Great PIctures ❗ Great Trophy ❗

      Once in a while every thing works out but when it does not the true hunter does not give up but keeps hunting.

      It would be nice though if it did not take seven years for those “great ” moments. :lol::lol::lol: Been there done that:D

      CLAY CONGRATULATIONS

    • Clay Hayes
      Member
      Member
      Post count: 418

      Tuffhead worked great as well..

    • Anonymous
      Post count: 124

      Clay,

      Picture one of your camp is Valhalla. That is where we all dream of being.

      Picture four of you with the spike is, to me, the truest image of what it means to be a hunter that I have ever seen. That captures it all, perfectly so.

      Thank you.

    • Bunyan Morris
      Member
      Post count: 135

      Beautiful photography, excellent compositions, and excellent writing about a successful hunt… Clay, is there anything you can’t do and do well?:D Thank you for sharing the beauty of where you live and congratulations on the long awaited kill.

    • Clay Hayes
      Member
      Member
      Post count: 418

      Broadhead wrote: Clay, is there anything you can’t do and do well?:D

      Golf… and knitting.:roll:

    • David Coulter
      Member
      Post count: 2270

      You should learn to knit and put up a video for us! I’ll pass on the golf though. Dwc

    • Clay Hayes
      Member
      Member
      Post count: 418

      A video on either could be hazardous to myself and anyone surrounding. Last time I tried golfing (my brother is addicted) I planted a ball squarely in the hood of a car traveling down a highway adjacent to the course. 😯

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