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  1. #76

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    Quote Originally Posted by WildWill View Post
    Sucks about your binos.
    Yeah no kidding! I talk about how NR tags are expensive, then I lose a piece of equipment that cost more than the tag. FAIL! We still have hope it is just hiding in one of our gear bags.

    Up next is a Colorado Unit 10 first rifle cow elk hunt. FireTiger picked up this tag off the re-issue list a couple of weeks ago, so this is definitely seat-of-the-pants hunting. I've been putting in for the hybrid draw for the archery tag for this unit, so we're treating it like a scouting trip to learn parts of the unit. They only give out 65 cow elk tags for this hunt, and there is a TON of huntable land, so it should be pretty good. I'm planning on manning the digiscope and hoping to catch some of the big bulls the unit is famous for.

  2. #77

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    Most of the gear is packed and we'll be driving to New Castle, CO tonight to spend the night at my parents. I'll work from their house in the morning, and then we head to Rangely. I'll help FireTiger for the first two days, and if necessary she will drop me back off at my parents house (about 100 miles) on Sunday night, then return Monday for the remainder of the season. I'm going to really try to get some good photos and video of this hunt.

    We had a pile of friends over and made a nearly 8 pound elk roast last night.


  3. #78

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    Yum that looks tasty!

  4. #79

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    Quote Originally Posted by Crumb View Post
    Yum that looks tasty!
    We were nervous, but it was pretty darn good. The inner most meat was like prime rib.

    ------------

    When we were in Wyoming, we hit a ...something... hidden in the "road" with a rear tire. I didn't think much of it at the time. Last night on I-70 someone flashed me, and I started to wonder. When another person honked at me and flash his lights, I pulled over. Sure enough, no taillights. Whatever we hit must have severed the wires just to those lights, as everything else is working fine and the other equipment on that fuse is still operational. Not sure we'll be able to solve this out here, so I'm prepping myself for a lot of flashers ticking for the rest of our night driving. :/

  5. #80

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    Ghetto? Maybe, but it totally worked.




  6. #81

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    We're home from the trip with no further incidents. FireTiger cannot seem to make a normal face when I take her photo. Trip report will follow after we get this place in order.


  7. #82

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    After picking up the red lights at Walmart in Rifle, we followed that with an uneventful drive to Rangely, fueled up, dodged a few dozen does in the road and hit some BLM for camping at around 11PM. The plan was to alternate driving and glassing with short hikes and glassing, since we didn't really have a clue where to hunt. FireTiger had marked some places on the map but we didn't really know. Approaching the second location, we glassed a lone elk making his way across the hills and disappeared into the terrain. We drove over there and glassed over a mile's hike, finding two spike bulls.



    With the terrain being fairly open, we decided that if there were herds of cows around, we probably would have seen one, and moved on. Heading north, we found some interesting country but nothing that got us super excited. Eventually we had to turn around.





    A freak snowstorm moved through as we continued our scouting.



    And just as quickly it was back to blue skies.



    I noted to FireTiger that we had only seen one other hunter the whole day. Its opening day and while there aren't that many tags, surely if we were in the right place we would have come across other hunters? Granted, it was nice to not be combat hunting, but 3 small bulls wasn't what we were looking for. Moving further west, we finally spotted a wall tent on one of the BLM roads, and then another. Hmm ... interesting. Are we finally in the right area?

    We drove in a ways and pulled out the glass.



    Hey now, this is what we're looking for! ( there were hundreds spread out across the ridge. )



    But you may notice something...



    That marker you see is the boundary to DNM. These elk aren't dumb.

    Still, it was fun to watch them, especially since some were VERY large bulls ( video later ).



    They appeared to be making their way down the ridge towards us, but being 1.5 miles away and only having 30 minutes of shooting light, we hatched a plan for the morning.
    Last edited by vanish; 10-17-2017 at 03:53 PM.

  8. #83

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    Sunday morning, we awoke early and hiked into position on a ridge top above the valley we had seen the elk move into the night before. Bulls were bugling down below. We just needed daylight.

    A critical error was made during our planning. We failed to check if there was any way for a vehicle to simply drive over to the valley. As the sky started to lighten, so did the two tracks. Vehicles moved in from all directions. We weren't the only ones who had seen this herd the day before. As trucks started parking on the skyline, the elk moved up the ridge quickly.

    Well, that was a big ole waste of time. As we walked out through the sage flushing dozens of sage grouse ( cool! ), we determined that while the old adage of "Don't leave elk to find elk" is a fine one, it didn't apply in this situation. It was time to get back to scouting other locations where there might be elk but less people. She'd save this spot for a last ditch effort, if it came to it.

    The second spot we decided to check out had a couple leaving just as we were entering. They graciously told us that while they had tags for later in the season, it was a good spot, but there were a "bunch" of camps up there. On our way up the 4WD road, we passed three more trucks leaving, as well as a CPW officer checking on them. Upon hitting the end of the road, there was only one camp left. Good, or bad?

    As we prepared some food and the rest of our gear for the hike in, the CPW officer caught up with us. The other trucks had all filled their tags on opening day. We were indeed headed in to a good area. He pointed out 4 or 5 spots on the map and let us know if he saw FireTiger later in the week he'd check back in.

    We were heading in at not the best time of day - around 11am, but I packed in like we were going to kill something with FireTiger's pack inside my own. We both had a good feeling about the area and wanted to cover country. After three or so miles through alternating sage, oak brush and aspens, we came to a heck of a glassing spot. FireTiger found us a good luck shed, which Hank later ate.





    We didn't find any elk while glassing, but FireTiger determined the aspen covered ridge shown in the first photo looked like an elky spot. It would be a two mile hike to get over there, but we didn't have anything else to do. We started making our way over there, and quickly bumped into a carcass from one of yesterday's hunters. On it were a bunch of ravens and magpies, but more interestingly 3 Golden Eagles and a Bald Eagle. I wish I could have gotten a photo of that, but as I dug in my pocket they all took to the skies.

    It was around 2PM when we decided to take a break and do some glassing. I promptly fell asleep. FireTiger decided this seemed like a reasonable idea and followed suit.



    When I awoke, I lifted my binos and instantly spotted elk on the ridge we were headed towards. They were milling around near the highest part of the ridge. We pulled out the spotter and watched them for 10 minutes as it was only 3PM. Rather than being cooperative, they fed over the ridge and out of sight.

    The hunt was on! I didn't get any photos but I did take some video which I'll post later. 45 minutes later we were approaching the knoll where we had last seen the elk feeding. I was getting nervous as the oak and aspens were pretty thick. We slowed down, but still bumped them. The herd jumped up and trotted off to our left. We instantly hopped on the cow calls and they halted. I thought for sure it was over, but they stood there for two minutes (literally, I have this on video) with the bull bugling back at me cow calling at 70 yards while FireTiger got to a shooting lane, kelt down, set up her bipod, picked a cow on the edge and dropped her with a single shot from her .270.





    It was just after 4PM when she shot, and we had her completely deboned and in our packs by 6:30PM. I'd be taking both hinds and she had both fronts, with the neck / ribs / tenderloins / backstraps / heart / liver split about 60/40 her over me. It was about 3 miles back to the truck, but we figured it was a cow so we should be able to do it in a single trip. After getting almost halfway, but with darkness upon us, out of water and in unfamiliar country, we had to bail on the single trip pack out.

    We made it back to the truck between 8:30-9:00, drank a bunch of water, ate some chili and rested. The temperature gauge read 14 degrees. Wow ... I hadn't even noticed it had gotten so cold during the pack out. She was supposed to drop me off at my parents house ( 100 miles away ) to work the next day, but we decided to come up with an alternate plan and pack the rest of the meat in the early morning.



    In the predawn light, we finished the pack out and drove to Rangely where I worked from Main Street Cafe. Great food and people! What an awesome experience, hunting in a place in Colorado we'd never even seen before, seeing the local sights and filling a tag.

  9. #84

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    Another fun hunt. Congrats again!

  10. #85

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    Last night, we invited our friends / local BHA members over to partake in the heart and tenderloin, process the elk, have some homebrews, tell some hunting stories and just have a good time! That really made the whole task of processing an elk much more enjoyable, not to mention about 1/4 of the time! Our freezers are looking a little tight, so everyone took some home. The only problem was, we ran out of cutting boards!




  11. #86

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    Quote Originally Posted by publichunter1 View Post
    Another fun hunt. Congrats again!
    Thanks! I appreciate the comment and congrats. I will forward to FireTiger.

  12. #87

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    Man you two are having a fantastic season, hopefully you have a big freezer! I have to admit I’m a bit jealous!

  13. #88

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    Congratulations to firetiger. You two are having a great season I've really enjoyed following along. What's next on the agenda?

  14. #89

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    Quote Originally Posted by Crumb View Post
    Man you two are having a fantastic season, hopefully you have a big freezer! I have to admit Iím a bit jealous!
    We didn't think we could top last year, but its feeling that way! The decision to move to Colorado appears to have been the right one. I've only taken 3.5 vacation days so far for all these hunts.

    We're actually starting to get concerned about freezer space for the first time, but few friends argue with taking home an elk roast or two.

    Quote Originally Posted by WildWill View Post
    Congratulations to firetiger. You two are having a great season I've really enjoyed following along. What's next on the agenda?
    Thanks!

    This weekend is a double header. FireTiger is heading southwest looking for a big mulie in the same spot she hunted last year. She took a pretty buck (her biggest for sure) on the second day last year, after having had a failed stare down on day one on a giant. She hasn't stopped talking about that giant buck since. After failing to draw a deer tag this year, when that tag showed up on the reissue list, she didn't hesitate to buy it. She'll be out for up to 4 days, and then possibly back for the closing weekend.

    I'll be headed to Middle Park with our friend B-Rad on his first ever hunt with a tag in his pocket. He has been with FireTiger on a couple of her hunts, but didn't complete his hunter's ed until last winter. This will be a "its brown, its down" hunt. I'll be tagging along to offer advice, another set of eyes and maybe have some fun, too. Unfortunately, I've only spent a grand total of one day hunting in this area and I know the hunting pressure can be extreme. We're not doing a backcountry hunt, so I'm about as concerned with what other hunters are going to be doing as I am with where I expect to find deer.
    Last edited by vanish; Yesterday at 12:13 PM.

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