If a hunter is lucky and skillful, maybe once in a lifetime nature provides an opportunity at an amazing specimen of animal. Brad Witherell of Dinosaur, Colo., got that opportunity during the last weekend of the third big game hunting season this year.
Witherell harvested a bull elk without paying big bucks for a private land hunt or guides. His bull elk scored 390 points and was taken on public land near the Piceance Creek area, north of Meeker
The day of the hunt, Witherell's adrenaline began to pump as he saw eight cows moving up a draw about 100 yards from where he was hunting. After the eight cows came there were two spike bulls and finally a mature bull.
"I got bull fever," said Witherell. "I knew it was a big bull."
Even with "bull fever" Witherell was able to calm himself enough to make one clean shot that put the bull down.
The elk had antlers that measured 13 inches in circumference at the base and was estimated to be 12 years old by taxidermist Dave Samford in Rangely.
"It took me 25 years of hunting in Colorado to find a bull like this," said Witherell. "It was just a hell of a season."
As far as what he plans to do to top this next year, he would like to see his son, who hunted for the first time this year, take a nice bull.
"He is going to have a hard time beating this one, though," said Witherell.