Hunter: Jared Griffith
Date: December, 2014
Trip Taken: Elk hunt in New Mexico
Consultant: Russ Meyer | OUTDOORS INTERNATIONAL
While in Croatia for work, I received a text message from my miracle worker Russ Meyer from OUTDOORS INTERNATIONAL. It stated I needed to call him. This always brings a twinge of excitement; I always know something good comes from these calls. It was the best phone call I have ever made.
I called Russ, and he stated he had a Christmas present for me.
He wanted to send me on an elk hunt in New Mexico with a new Outfitter they were bringing on. He wanted to get the clients perspective, of what this Outfitter had to offer. They had a hunting voucher in a hard-to-draw unit, but the only catch was it was a late season elk hunt and was happening in six days, and it was going to be professionally filmed.
This was going to be crazy, it was December 20th. I was in Croatia and lots had to happen to get this done. Of course I said Heck yes! Trying to set up logistics with cameraman, flights, outfitter and family from Eastern Europe was tough.
To add a complex amount of misery to the situation I threw my back out Christmas day shoveling snow. My good friend Dr. Vranes came to my house and put me in after dinner, and the next morning before I left. So when you see the video and the back brace you’ll understand why I moved slowly.
I met the cameraman, Bryce from OUTDOORS INTERNATIONAL, in the Albuquerque airport.
He was awesome! He proved to be amazingly talented, insightful and wise for his age. In the end Bryce captured moments that will be dear to me forever. I want to thank him for this. The hunt started at 5:00 AM on December 27th, not really till 6:00 am but I couldn’t sleep filled with excitement. Our Guides were Matt, Frank & Roy. These guys were on top of it, they had great accommodations, great personalities and a handle on what the elk were doing.
After a 30-minute drive we were at the ranch where we would be hunting.
This is where we met Roy, he already had elk spotted and the chase was on. We found 8 cows and 3 bulls in a transition between the bed and feeding grounds. All three bulls were too small to take. This is when the fog moved in on us. We had to deal with 30-yard visibility until 11:00 am. This left us with about 5 hours of getting to know one another.
Frank had split off from the main group to go scout a different part of the ranch. While we were waiting for the fog to clear, we got a call. Frank had spotted some good bulls bedding down, and we were on our way.
Roy picked up Franks tracks and it wasn’t long before we found a few bulls.
Then we saw my bull. He was 900 yards away, and the hunt was on. We covered the first 400 yards, through a couple of draws and then ran out of cover. If we made one more move we would be made. It was going to be a 500 yard shot or nothing.
The problem was I had no rest the angle across the valley didn’t allow for a prone position. I couldn’t stack backpacks high enough. We had to make a rest in a pinion pine tree, using a trekking pole. We got the cameras set up, and I took the shot. The first shot hit him in the boiler room causing him to fall and stand again. I shot the second time putting him down for good. This was amazing!
The valley blew up with elk from their beds. It was a who’s who of how big these bulls were moving through the pinions. I only saw one bigger than mine. This means I will see him again during archery hunting next season.
We covered the ground to the downed bull. This was the biggest elk I had ever taken, later I would find he scored 326 inches green. He had amazing whale tails, G4’s and daggers that turned up. His mass was amazing! The coolest part was that his antlers weren’t broken from the rut. He was a big mature bull, and you know he fought hard for cows.
We celebrated, quartered him up and packed him out. This was an awesome hunt and opportunity from Outdoors International. I promote Russ Meyer all the time but he is an amazing hunting consultant and hunter. Just the other day I heard someone refer to him as the Chuck Adams of Idaho. I believe it to be true. Thank you Russ and Outdoors International for all you’ve done for me again!
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