Article and Photos by Gabe Forrister

 

chads bull

Chad Christie and his heavy-beamed 5x5 Roosevelt Bull

The sound of a bull’s echo in the distance  (1500 yards to be exact), starts the adrenaline that warms you up on a still, brisk early morning trek in TrinityCounty. “Do we pursue or do we wait”? I asked the hunter. The hunter, Chad, and his father, Darrel (Buzz) Christie, consult quickly and decide; let’s do it!

 

The hike alone would take us quite a bit; down a steep canyon through the bottom, back up, through a draw or two, and down to the bottom of a big brushy hillside where we would then begin our climb. The outfitter, Mike Haigh of H&M Outfitters, stayed behind with Darrel, as Chad and I began our pursuit up the hillside to the ridge where we knew the bull was waiting. When we got to the top we waited a minute to take back our breath from the steep climb to the ridge top. I then let out a soft estrus whine; not just one, but  three bulls piped their notes…the breath that we had taken back left us again!
Before I continue let me explain … I have this walking stick that everyone pokes fun at, because it’s actually an umbrella, with a picture of a buck on it. I use it as concealment or blind. This umbrella was made and patented by Cory Gabrielson and Jeff Ervin of Elk Mountain Gear Inc.
So I opened up the umbrella and we hid behind it in the wide open. As soon as I called, we were soon being stared at by a monster cow elk at 20 yards for what seemed an eternity; she soon lost interest and went on her way. Now the hunter and I (close to hyperventilating)  had to calm down for the bull, because he was near, we could see his rack over the buck brush.

With all of this excitement, the cow began walking toward us; she was now at 15 yards and closing. We looked up the ridge to an opening where the bull was headed and got ready for the bulls’ demise. I told the hunter, Chad, that I would cow call in order to get the bull to stop so Chad could shoot him. The bull continued to the opening, I cow called and he stopped at 40 yards. The rest is history; the bull made it to about 50 yards before he met his fate.

gabe and chad
                                                  Gabe Forrister (left), and Chad with his awesome Northern California Trophy Bull
This will be one my best hunts ever, and will always be remembered.  For me the hunt is all about the experience in God’s creation, and to have the memories of a job well done.
I felt like the elk could hear our knees knocking and our heavy anxious breathing, but what the elk couldn’t see was the two guys behind an umbrella.  Without this easy pop-out walking stick umbrella we would have probably gone home to eat tag soup. So big congratulations to Chad Christie and a big thanks to Elk Mountain Gear Inc. for allowing us to use this amazing product, it saved our stomachs and our butts!
Gabe Forrister is an experienced elk hunter and guide currently living in Trinity County.  You can contact Gabe, and Mike from H&M Outfitters, at the numbers below:
H&M Outfitters: Mike Haigh: (530)917-0631
Guide (Caller & Writer) Gabe Forrister: (530)227-8608