Elk season ends quickly for local family

Scott Swanson

Of The New Era

The Cochran clan had a very good bowhunting elk season this year.

“I guess the wind must have been blowing our way,” said Mike Cochran, manager of Ranier Wood Products and a lifetime hunter.

Mike and his son Zac headed out the first Saturday of elk season in the Quartzville drainage area.

“We walked in about a mile and a half on opening day. Zach and I split up and Zac got a 5 by 6 bull 15 minutes after he left me,” Mike said.

Mike hunted into the bottom of the draw, then called his son on the radio. Zac, who at 17 is a veteran with five bulls under his belt, decided to come over and help his dad, who had gotten onto a 6 by 7 bull.

“Zac got below me and did some calling. It all happened pretty dang fast,” Mike said. “It was really convenient.”

That’s when the real work began, as Mike said it took them the rest of the day and six hours on Sunday to get the animals out.

“Usually, we hunt our tails off till the end of the season,” Mike said.

Meanwhile, Mike’s cousins Shane Cochran and Guy Smith also tagged bulls 6-pointer bulls on the first day of the season, then headed off to southeastern New Mexico, where they both bagged another bull each.

“The elk hunting town down there was tremendous,” Smith said. “All day long the bulls were bugling.”