Ghost Bugles

Dad and his friends have their hunting spots nicknamed so they can talk about them in public. For example: Jeff’s Rock, Hunter’s Meadow, Clint’s Tree etc. Okay, Clint’s Tree isn’t actually a thing yet. But it probably will be. Because the boys are obviously super good at naming things. Obviously. I do think when I shoot a monster bull, we will need to call that place something much cooler, like B.O.B.’s Last Stand* or Perfect-Shot-Shallary Park. I don’t know. I haven’t decided yet.

*In case you don’t know, B.O.B. stands for Big Ol’ Bastard, which is exactly what I will shoot one day. The Big Kahuna. The King of the Mountain. The ever so elusive, Great White Buffalo. You get the point.

Anyways, this time out, we decided to go out with some other hooligans: Dad’s hunting partner of over 30 years, Bill, his kid, Hunter, and his friend Reb. (Yes. Bill named his kid Hunter. He’s very committed to this life, apparently. What can he say.)

We go to the mountain (past some rocks, trees, and other mountainy vegetation), and we’re there. We decide to walk in just a little ways together, then we will split into two groups and meet back at the truck later. They do this method a lot, apparently. This way they can play off each other and maybe get some elk talking, and it’s useful to cover more ground when we haven’t found a herd yet.

So Dad and I go the route to Jeff’s Rock, and the boys go off somewhere over there to the right. (You heard me. They went right. Not east or west. Right.) So they went right, and we went left. Of course, the wind started picking up rightttt about the time the elk should be venturing out to start grazing for the night. So that’s special. Wind, and not much else.

Dad has had to work around loud noises for a long time, so he has a harder time hearing quiet bugles in general. So it’s up to me, the kid that knows nothing, to point us in the direction of the elk. In a tornado.

Well, this was about the time I started hearing phantom bugles. I don’t know if it was how the wind was, or if it was wishful thinking, but I kept thinking I was hearing a bugle off in the distance. The trouble was, Dad couldn’t hear it, and I couldn’t tell exactly which direction it was coming from. It would sound like it was coming from one direction one time, and another direction the next time. Now, I know what you’re thinking. Maybe I was hearing Bill and the boys. That’s a strong negative, Ghost Rider. They were off in the opposite direction, I do know that much.

So since we couldn’t hear jack and had some time to waste, Dad told me about another time he was hunting in the same meadow. They were up against a big ol’ boulder, and they could see out into the meadow on their side of the rock. They were calling and waiting, calling and waiting. Welllll a bull came in silently and was standing literally on the other side of their rock trying to find them. Can you imagine?! Being a few yards from a bull, and not knowing it’s there!? HAHAHAH. Oh, boy. These kids crack me up.
So anyways, I can’t even remember what happened, but I think Dad eventually turned and saw it. Maybe they shot it. Maybe it got away. I can’t remember, but I can just picture the boys. So determined and focused, and completely oblivious that there’s a bull on their doorstep. 😂

So I should also tell you about Jeff and his Rock since we are here. Jeff’s a pretty fun guy. He has also been hunting with Bill and Dad for over 30 years. They all went to high school together and wreaked havoc back in the day. Jeff is also like 7′ tall. No really. 7′ tall. Imagine a 7′ man trying to be sneaky in the woods. It’s not easy. Needless to say, Jeff has a heck of a time hunting. The time that they named his rock, there were elk about 200 yards out in a meadow, and he was perfectly hidden behind his little boulder, a perfect gun rest, and yet couldn’t get a shot.

Poor Jeff. He has terrible luck hunting. Although, not worse than me I guess, because he has at least shot an elk or two, and I’m still at zero. Zilch. Nada.

Anyways, the wind is a howlin’, the ghost bugles are out in full force, and we met back at the truck having seen zero elk and nearly freezing our butts off. Supposedly the other group “heard a few bugles, but that was it.” They were probably just making it up to make us jealous, because ain’t nobody hearin’ any elk that day. And that’s my theory, and I’m sticking to it.