September is an amazing time to bowhunt for elk. Why else would archers gladly sleep in the dirt and wake up at 4 a.m. to reach a ridgeline by daybreak, then climb for miles on end in rugged, punishing country for hunts that, admittedly, end in failure more often than success? Because September is when elk enter the rut. It's when they lose their inhibition and become generally chatty, reacting to mews, bugles, and grunts. It's when bulls, juiced on adrenaline, pick fights, giving you the chance to sneak wildly close. And it's when I wanted Anthony to venture on his first elk hunt so he could experience the physical, mental, and emotional rush.