Editor’s note: In the last issue we ran a story on local women who successfully filled their elk tags. We heard about Linda’s successful hunt after going to press so she has written an account of her experience. Congratulations Linda!

My husband, Will, talked me into applying for an archery elk tag. I have shot my bow for many years but have never hunted with a bow. He said I had a good chance of being drawn for archery instead of rifle. He also told me if I got drawn he would buy me a new bow – so I said I had nothing to loose!

I did get drawn and we went and bought my new n pink camo. He found me my bright pink arrows to match.
So, for the first time I took all my vacation (2 weeks) for this hunt, which I was glad because it took me my whole time before I got this one. I was vigil about getting up at 4am every morning and hiking into areas trying to get into them. We had a lot of rain so sometimes it made it a little difficult. Every time it seemed we were finally getting into them we were picked up by the cows or ran into hunters. It was sometimes very frustrating.

On this morning we were driving into an area where there was a water hole and we’d seen elk before. We had come upon a hunter with his daughter who had a cow tag and we had seen elk but went farther up the road to as not to disturb them. As we were driving we spotted a bull and decided to go after it. As we were getting close to them, the cows busted us and they took off. About that time we heard another one bugle not too far off so decided to see if we could get close enough for a shot. As we were walking down the side of a mountain, Will said he heard him coming and to get ready. I stopped and tried to get to a good spot where I could see him. We finally heard him behind a tree in front of us. As soon as he came out from behind a tree Will glassed him and said he was a shooter. He ranged him for me and said he was 60 yards. He came out and Will cow called and he stopped and looked at us broadside and I pulled up and shot. As soon as I shot I saw him take off down the mountain and Will said,

“You got him.”

I started shaking so bad after the shot. We waited for a while then went to the spot where he was standing when I shot him. We found my arrow and his tracks so we walked down the mountain following his tracks but couldn’t find any blood. We decided to go back to camp and get my son Cody and brother-in-law Danny to come help us look. We each took a side of the mountain to try and find him. I was getting discouraged and Cody and I were headed back to the truck to see what other options we had. About that time Will radioed us and said he found him. Luckily he had ran up the other side of the canyon and was right by a road that we drove right to. It was really only about 200 yards. I was so excited I was hugging Cody and crying. I couldn’t wait to get up there to see him.
It scored 316 and he is a 6 X 7.

This was a great hunt and I owe it all to my awesome husband. Without him I know I wouldn’t have gone the extra miles of getting up early and not coming home till after dark. It is also great being able to have my son with me. He has been with me on all my hunts helping out. Not many 55-year old women can say they got to go on an archery hunt with their husband and son and come out successful. This one is by far my most memorable one.

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Barbara Samples was born and raised in Phoenix, AZ and has called Heber-Overgaard home since 2008. She is married to Larry Samples, who is co-owner with her in L & B, Inc., owner of the Mogollon Rim News. They have four (grown) children and two grandchildren. Barbara serves as the Editor.