What exciting, anxious moments there must have been for Montana elk hunter Kristie Barnard of Hinsdale. That bull was not going to float away or sink!

As is true of many hunters, there is reluctance to divulge exactly where they were when successful. That's okay, let's go with it and check out some of Kristie's account of an intense hunting story that we're sure she'll never forget:

"My brother, John, and I were glassing first thing in the morning and saw elk come over the ridge from the lake side. It was still a little dark. We walked out on a point and watched the bull. Waited for him to feed around the bottom of a coulee out of site.

"We made our way closer and sneaked up a hill. We knew he was around the corner because we could smell him. As we sneaked a bit further up the hill, John saw antlers and he was laying down. He ranged him and he was at 30 yards. John grabbed a rock and flung it to get him to stand up. He stood up, but I still couldn’t see him. He finally ran up other side, and I shot him at 40 yards. Thought I hit him pretty good behind the shoulder but he wasn’t bleeding real good, and he took off for about 2 miles across the flat before laying down again.

"We got close again before he bolted and went and sat in the lake, so we knew he wasn’t feeling real good.  Even when a boat went by, he still sat there. Shot him again at 40 yards. He tried to swim, got tired and tried to come back. Then he went under and we didn’t see him again for at least 10 minutes. John and I were both waist deep in the water trying to figure out just how deep it was. About then, he floated to the top, and I jumped in and didn’t care–I was not letting him go at that point!

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"By the time I got to him, I couldn’t touch bottom. But I grabbed him with one hand and paddled with my other until my feet could touch bottom."

So, Kristie, where was your brother during this part of the ordeal?

"John had already fled back to shore so he could get pictures of me! Ha!"

And the guess here is you're glad he did, Kristie!

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