When we got within shooting distance of where we expected the elk to be, we eased over a small hill and there, only 100 yards away, was a 6x5 bull feeding next to the stream. It was the first bull elk I had seen all trip and immediately my heart rate quickened. I rested the rifle on my pack, found the bull in my scope, and then began to fall to pieces. Try as I might, I couldn't keep the crosshairs steady on the bull's shoulder. He stood there feeding broadside as the guide tried to calm me down, but with each minute that passed I only grew more frantic. Eventually I decided it was now or never and slapped the trigger.