Mexican Stand-Off

As I catch my breath, the bull that’s been screaming for the past hour is finally in sight.

I’ve raced to cut off the herd and get into position. His cows have passed and a slight breeze is blowing right to left, which is perfect for my setup.

I’m in New Mexico hunting in the Gila National Forest, and the bulls are ramped up. If this big bull continues to follow his cows, he’ll end up about 50 yards to my right, but I’m not sure I can wait. The past few mornings the wind began to swirl mid-morning, and I know this favorable breeze won’t last forever.

I’m rock-solid on my Bog Pod shooting sticks with my back against a tree. At 140 yards the bull stops to bugle, and I have a crystal-clear view through my Swarovski Z3 4-12X50mm scope, but I’m uncomfortable with the shot. The bull is quartering-toward me, with a tree covering his chest. On a tough bull like this and a T/C Omega muzzleloader in hand, I’m looking for a broadside or quartering-away shot. If my instincts— and his—are right, he’ll follow his cows and my patience will pay off.

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