This story was sent to me by an attorney from Chicago I met two years ago at Sun Canyon. He’s hunted elk for only about 5 years and up to this time had never been close enough to a bull elk to shoot. Josh Carlbom told me he had his first close encounter this fall accompanied by guide Paul and choked. I wrote Peter to tease him and received this reply. It’s so well written I thought it ought to get into the Bowhunter. Aye, Bob, the story be true. But, before ye judge too harshly, I ask ya’ to please hear me out.
‘Twas the 5th day of the hunt. Snow greeted us at 5. ‘Twas the kind of soft snow which piled high on the fence posts. The snow clung to the trees & branches, almost as though it ‘twer an early Christmas. The day called for a t-shirt & baseball cap. We went out. Paul chose to play hard to git with a bull across the river. Paul used 13 (count them 13) cow calls over the course of 3 hours. We played the wind, & soon heard the footsteps.
I was told to knock an arrow. I knocked an arrow. I was told to draw. I drew. Soon, over a rise he appeared. He looked as though God just placed him there for all of us to see. He was 20 yds. from us, & my bow was at full draw with the pin on his heart. Paul told me to shoot the bow.
My mind left my body. I looked down on the scene & recognized perfection. Absolute, unadulterated perfection. While admiring perfection (&, Paul getting a little antsy), people began to speak to me. They were telling me to shoot (as was Paul). I held the bow and arrow on his heart for enough time to have the snow pile high on the arrow. Then, the show fell of the arrow (movement) & the bull left.
Paul asked me if I had “any ****ing idea what the **** I had just done?” I replied “I am not sure.” I sat down for about 1 hour. Paul collapsed in the snow, face up & began mumbling. I was later told he was a 340-350 bull elk. A day has not gone by when I have not dreamed or thought of the scene. There ‘ya have it, me friend. It ‘twas me out of body experience. It just happened to be on a 340-350 bull elk. Otherwise, I have fared well in elk therapy. I hope to be released soon, in order to join my family & practice. My best to those still at The Knock.
— Robert Burdick, M.D.
The Washington Bowhunter Magazine