7AM Bull of a Lifetime

October 15, 2017 | By: Tiffany McQuisten

My dad put a .30-06 in my hands when I was 13 and taught me how to shoot. Every year since, we've drawn deer tags in different counties of South Dakota. At age 15, I started to put in for an elk tag in the Black Hills. After 14 years, my name was finally drawn and I received my elk tag a few weeks later. My husband, father and I started our trip west to meet some cousins that own a cabin in the hills. It was decided that one of my cousins would hike with us and take me to some of his favorite public hunting spots.

Opening day, we parked on a fire road and started our hike just before sunrise. We reached the top of a ridge at sunrise and we started to hear the bugling of an elk that we figured to be a few ridges over. We followed the bugles for about 40 minutes and, before I knew it, the last bugle was so close that my adrenaline instantly kicked in. I spotted a small herd of elk about 150 yards out and we stopped to take a look. My scope was set on a decent 5x5 bull, the safety was off and my finger was on the trigger. Seconds later, I saw movement to my right so I dropped my gun and looked to see a large 6x6 and a few cows trotting about 60 years in front of me. I whispered, "He's bigger, I'll take him" and, before any of the guys had time to say anything, I pulled the trigger. The first shot was a perfect heart shot, the bull stumbled a few steps and I put a second shot in, this time a lung shot. From the time I saw the first bull to the time I heard someone say "he's down", it was only about a two or three minute time-span. 

By 7 AM on opening day of elk season, I had tagged the elk of a lifetime. 


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