cameronrhanes cameronrhanes

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Cameron Hanes  You want to be the ultimate predator? Well then, you're going to have to ramp it up. Tag me with #CamHanes

It’d be impossible to appropriately describe what the hunt for this bull means to me and what this photo represents. But I’ll give it a shot...
Firstly, without @13pacificwaves I’d never had realized the dream of hunting San Carlos. The “Tight Bull” would never have been a part of my life.
Kip has believed in me unequivocally for many years now, much like Roy Roth did before he died. I never wondered if either Roy or Kip had my best in mind. And, for me with them, when they succeed, I succeed. And, when they failed or were in pain I too hurt. Not blood, but brothers all the same.
For context, me, Kip and Roy hunted the backcountry of Wyoming together in 2009 and Kip and I were hunting Colorado together on the day Roy fell in 2015. Kip has seen me at my lowest and cried when I cried about losing Roy.
On the flip side Kip has always celebrated my position in the hunting industry and as an original founder of UA, is probably the biggest reason I’ve been with Under Armour so long.
When I hit the Tight Bull high in the shoulder I was sick, devastated at the thought I’d blown a once-in-lifetime opportunity at something I’m supposed to be good at. I seemingly felt the weight of the world on my shoulders.
My #1 goal is to kill mercifully, quickly putting the animal down with one perfect arrow. A high shoulder shot on a big bull is about the worst shot a bowhunter can make. Thick muscle, shoulder blade and ribs almost create armour protecting the animal’s lungs.
While after the wayward shot my confidence waned, however Kip believed. He said, this is just part of the process. You make the shot, react appropriately and finish the job, which is what I did.
My arrow hammered high thru his right shoulder, and two ribs, bouncing off the opposite shoulder blade before backing out and breaking. That first shot wasn’t perfect but it slowed this magnificent beast down enough for me to get on his trail and put a perfect follow up arrow in him, which anchored him in seconds.
Kip, thank you for all you’ve done for me, which includes creating the opportunity to hunt the biggest bulls in the world, but mostly thank you for the love & support.
#sancarlos 📸 @markelliot68

First day back after a month of elk hunting.
We B 🔨🔨🔨
You lift? You good?
💪💪💪
🎥 @outlaw_strength

The shot sequence described in the previous post all happened in the blink of an eye it seems and in my haste my shot was about 5” high and to the right a few inches. I hit him high in the point of the shoulder and got what appeared to be half an arrow penetration. See photo from @markelliot68.

I stared at the timber he disappeared into and listened as he crashed off.
Then I closed my eyes, in pain, in doubt, uneasy, wondering if I had just screwed up on the most amazing bull elk I’d ever seen in the wild? Wondering if I’d let everyone down who’s believed in me, who’s been in my corner for all these years.
I looked back at Chris and Kip waiting for my report as they couldn’t see the bull when I shot. I wanted to give them a fist pump and a point to the heavens to thank God, but I wasn’t confident in my shot so I simply shrugged and looked down.

My mind raced and my stomach churred. I hoped that my heavy arrow and tough, fixed-blade broadhead pushed by my 80# bow would hit hard enough to penetrate the big bull’s shoulder to his vitals? On the positive side the angle was good for a high shot as I was shooting down on him...

❤️❤️❤️ Life

At the moment of truth a bowhunter makes certain decisions that impact success or failure. The line between the two is razor thin. Here is how my Crunch Time decision making went down.
We had what sounded like a good bull bugling, answering Chris Goode’s cow calls as we made our way up hill thru a burn. The wind was going up so I knew we needed to get at least even or slightly above where the bull would pop out of the timber at the edge of the burn. Me, Chris and @13pacificwaves hustled as fast as we could straight up hill. Once we were about 50 yards above the bull, we set up.
I leaned on the shadow side of a big burnt tree while scanning the tree line.
Chris and Kip were behind me about 40 yards. All good so far.
The still unseen bull screamed a bugle…he was close. I estimated where he’d come out of the timber and looked for shooting lanes…it was a mess. The burn had burnt trees and brush everywhere, I got nervous that once he entered the burn I wouldn’t have a clear shot. I had seconds to make a decision…I looked at the tree I was leaning against and saw some good limbs to climb. I quickly scaled the tree as high as I could, maybe 10-feet and got ready to shoot. This elevated positon opened up my shooting lanes greatly.
Seconds after getting set in the tree the bull ripped a bugle answering Chris and exposed himself. It was the Tight Bull, 30 yards away. While we were in his country, we had no idea he was the bull coming in. I took one quick look at his 400” rack, recognized what bull he was and directed my focus to getting a good arrow in him.
Chris cow called and here he came right to me. Before I knew it he was 15-feet from my tree directly below me. I slowly eased my bow back. He caught movement and spooked, running back towards the timber where he stopped broadside looking back at me. I had my sight set on 30 yards, quickly readjusted while trying to stay calm. There was one small limb covering his vitals so I raised up on to my tip toes in the tree, picked a spot, and quickly let an arrow go towards the biggest bull I’d ever seen.
*me in the tree drawing back to shoot. Kip doesn’t know why he stopped filming 😊. We love him anyway.

This bull had a jacked up right side so killing him was never really a goal.
If I’d have planned on hunting him I wouldn’t have been in the sunlight and I’d have had my bow up ready to do work. Chris Goode’s cow call brought him right up the hill and the wind was in our favor...if it was the real deal he’d have been in trouble.
I say I didn’t plan on hunting him but that was just because I was on San Carlos which very well may be a once-in-a-lifetime deal for me. Otherwise, as a bowhunter who just loves to elk hunt, eat elk meat, and doesn’t chase a certain scoring bull, I’d have no problem putting my tag on this unique beast.
But, my hunt was two weeks long and the Tight Bull was out there somewhere so all this ended up being was a cool encounter that @shanedorian caught perfectly on camera.
Chris was intent on us finding a 400” bull, be it the Tight Bull or another of the handful we saw. For a “down year” given the drought, there were some slammers roaming these mountains. Getting to within bow range is another issue but we were seeing some monsters.
A real challenge in country home to a high number of big, older bulls is finding one not broke up from fighting. The morning we found the Tight Bull I did a stalk on a super heavy 6-point bull in its bed closing to 21-yards. His vision was blocked by a tree and his vitals were fully exposed. He had no idea I was within 100 miles. I wanted to shoot him and would have been very happy. Chris was behind me about 30 yards and was shaking his head making the broken motion with his hands as his main beam was broke past just past the 4th on the right side. Being so close to the bull clearly I too could see he was broken but I motioned back with arms wide, “He’s big!” He smiled and shook his head. Reluctantly, I eased out, passing on the slam dunk. The bull would lived to see another day.
#notagoodtrophyhunter #sancarlos #hilltop

Prior to hunting San Carlos I know for a fact I'd never seen a 10x9 bull before in my life. I didn’t even know that was a thing. And, a 400" bull, never had I laid eyes on one in the wild, and to hunt a bull of that world class caliber? Not even a realistic dream for me.
But then San Carlos guide, Chris Goode, showed me this video when I got to camp, and asked what I thought? I said simply, “Incredible!” Chris took this video thru his spotting scope on September 8th and said the bull was living in steep, rugged country and that it might be perfect for me to spot & stalk him which is how I’ve killed 90% of my bulls.
And, while I had a bow in hand and was hunting the best elk country in the world for two solid weeks if need be, with guys who know big bulls as well as anyone, for me still, thinking I'd ever get a chance at a bull like this seemed more than far fetched.
On many of the incredible hunting opportunities I’ve been blessed with over the years, I feel like I don’t belong or really deserve the chance. I’m not sure why this is but I know this perspective keeps me focused on capitalizing and appreciative.
So far as killing this bull with my bow, I honestly didn't even spend much time envisioning the possibility. Instead I told myself that if I could arrow a 380" bull, in dream San Carlos elk country, well even that'd be more than I deserved, but at least such an animal would be slightly more fitting for someone like me.
On the other hand Chris thought we could team up and do something special and as I mentioned he and @markelliot68 have quite the reputation for big bulls on San Carlos. A 400” bull was his goal for us and this beast, which I called the “Tight Bull” because he’s narrow, fit the bill. But, what were the odds of finding him? After all the reservation is 1.8 million acres, it’s big country, the rut is going so the bulls could be on the move and on a hot cow anywhere!
#sancarlos #hilltop #stevensbrothersguideservice

My San Carlos bull quarters hanging in the cool mountain breeze. If there is a more satisfying sight I sure don’t know what it’d be?
#trainhuntprovidehonor
#ieatelk
#sancarlos 🙌

Thanks for the fresh post elk season haircut Kristie and the chocolate chip oatmeal cookies to celebrate a bountiful September.
If you need a good haircut in a friendly environment swing by Kristie’s Barbershop in Eugene,
Oregon at 17th & Willamette.
💇🏻‍♂️😊 portrait-mode 🔥

While I’m extremely grateful for all the hunting opportunity this last month...it feels good to be home. 🔨🏹#illstophammeringwhenimdead

My love for the hunt has always been #1 but there was a time when I was very concerned about being sponsored or getting on a “pro-staff”. Or, I was told I must use whatever products sponsored the TV show I was on (I never have been good with people telling me what to do 💁‍♀️). Even though the pro-staff stuff was self-inflicted, I genuinely hated when “business” impacted my passion. Still do haha.
Nowadays, life is good, I just use what I want, use what I think will help me earn success and not worry about a business relationship or proving my value. Just like back when I first started chasing my bowhunting dreams.
That being said, I used this optic/rangefinder combo all month on four elk hunts and a mule deer hunt and came away very impressed. I was able to find game in big country and range precisely when it came time to shoot. And, in archery this is everything.
Thanks for making outstanding products @vortexoptics.
#notanad 😊.
What’s your go to bino/rangefinder combo? 🎥 @sub7studios

Mid-packout update. This is the easy load...Chris,
@markelliot68, Dan and @13pacificwaves had 100s of pounds of beautiful elk meat from my bull on their backs. We had a two mile pack to get my bull out and I feel privileged to share the experience with them. 🙏 Tough guys! 💪 #sancarlos

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