It was the thirteenth day of Montana’s elk season when I first found the split G5 bull. I knew right away he was a shooter, but I wasn't able to get within bow range of him that day. I wouldn't even lay eyes on him until three days later.
I hiked into the area well before daylight, hoping he was in the same place. At first light, two bulls began fighting below me. The fight only lasted a few minutes, and when it was over the larger bull began working his way in my direction. It was still too dark to determine how big he was, but I knew where he was headed, so I made a loop and got in front of him. As I crested the last ridge, I found him in my binoculars. It was the split G5 bull.
But to my surprise, I saw that he'd broken off his right main beam just above the third tine. Had he broken it in the fight I just witnessed? I decided to let him pass at a mere 30 yards. When I walked down to where the bulls had been fighting, I found the missing half of his main beam. I immediately regretted letting him walk, especially since I had to return to work for the next four days. All I could think about was how badly I wanted another go at him.
I cut out of work early and headed back to my hunting spot. I knew the odds of finding him again on public land were slim. But as the first light of the morning began to fill the darkness, there he was standing guard over five cows. I circled around to get the wind in my favor. This time I wouldn't let him walk.
And with a little duct tape and a tent stake, he was as good as new!