TULE ELK

I have been diligently working on taking the North American 29, so with this in mind I needed to find a good spot to hunt Tule Elk. Boy did I ever find the spot the Twisselman ranch is 80,000 acres of private ground in some of the best Tule Elk Habitat you could ever find. Did I mention its 115 degrees by 11:00am? Hunting in August is usually reserved for the mountains which I love but unfortunately as most things go in California they rarely cater to hunters. So off my wife and I where to hunt the blistering heat of the high California desert country on August 1st. We flew into San Luis Obispo where Nolan picked us up and we made the short couple hour drive to his family’s ranch. He has a great guest house with all the modern conveniences and air conditioning! After we got settled he got the guns sighted in and decided to head out for a quick look to see what the next day would hold. It didn’t take long and we spotted several hundred elk feeding in a large valley with one absolute giant bedded way in the back. This was the bull Nolan had seen previously during the spring and we wanted a closer look for sure! We waited till the next morning and at day break we began to work our way down the ridge and spotted this giant bull in a herd of 9 other bulls bedded on the hillside watching the large valley they fed in the night before. There where elk everywhere, we quickly backed out and got lined up and when we crested the ridge the giant 9x7 Tule was only 200 yards from me, we waited for almost an hour in the blistering heat for the heard to finally stand up. One of the bulls got up and the giant cleared the heard and I made a great one shot kill on one of the largest bulls Nolan has ever taken scoring just over 301, in fact the bull made the top 40 for Tule Elk ever taken. We were ecstatic and couldn’t believe how large he was. It was a real quick hunt but one I will surely never forget.


We spent the next few days shooting a few coyotes and focusing on a large irrigated field with hopes of getting my wife a big hog, unfortunately with the brutal heat the hogs were only showing up way after dark on trail camera. So unfortunately she never got a shot but it was still a great trip with an amazing outfitter!


By Brian Smith

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