The Sound of a Bugle – My First Experience Elk Hunting – Shannon Giusti – Badlands
May 26, 2014

The Sound of a Bugle – My First Experience Elk Hunting – Shannon Giusti – Badlands

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The air was crisp, the ground wet, and my feet aching. It had been a long few days of climbing steep terrain, eating nothing but wild huckleberries and peanut butter, and looking for elk sign… any sign. It was my first time Elk hunting and at this point of the trip my boyfriend was defeated, fearing I would not be able to experience the joy and rush of a Bull elk in close proximity.

It was the 3rd evening of our Archery Elk hunt. I was exhausted. My body was worn down and my mind was getting blurry. Honestly I was bored. I had no idea why he loved Elk hunting so much because I had not seen anything exciting other than the beautiful country we had explored. I convinced him to sit down for a while and throw out some cow calls, and I just prayed that we would hear something so I did not have to get up for a while. At this time, I did not even know what a bugle sounded like, so I did not know what sounds I was praying for.

Shannon jogging

The sun started to set and the woods were increasingly getting darker. We decided to back out while we still had some light because we were in known wolf territory. Just for kicks, my boyfriend decided to throw out a few cow calls as we were making our way back to camp. Not before he even took his lips of the reed, I heard my first bugle. And it just so happened to be less than 100 yards away. The bull’s powerful vocals echoed through the trees and sent shivers up my spine. I can’t explain the way I felt, but anyone who has heard a bugle would understand.

We quickly set up as a monster bull made it’s way through the timber heading in our direction. His horns were thrashing against the trees and the ground was breaking underneath him. I hid up the hill, as my boyfriend drew back his bow waiting for the elk to come out of the timber into a small clearing. As luck would have it, the bull spooked. Still to this day, we don’t know why.

Shannon with elk

Although we did not walk away from that hunt with meat on our backs, I walked away hooked. Since then my heart starts pounding at just the idea of Elk season and every year I look forward to tearing down my body just for the chance of hearing that sound and possibly walking away successful.

He was right, there is nothing like the sound of a bugle.

Shannon Giusti

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