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  1. #126

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    Well, I don't have many photos but took a lot of video, so I'll try to put together another video at some point, but here's the story.

    Tuesday afternoon we drove the 3 hours to the unit. The forecast was for a winter storm to move in on Thursday, so we decided to hunt the wilderness on Wednesday before dropping down lower to hunt the original plan on Thursday, where we wouldn't get stuck if the storm rolled in. We have chains for the truck but no sense in pushing it. We had about an hour to glass, but we couldn't get back in to the place I wanted to be due to the snow. We, we probably could have, but there was already 8 inches of snow on the main spur. Regardless, I found elk on an open, high, south facing ridge within 10 minutes of looking. They were far - I wouldn't have seen them in the binoculars; really appreciated the spotting scope on this hunt. ( I don't know why the photo is upside down! )



    We watched them, drove closer, watched them, got closer, etc until we could get no closer. FireTiger swore she saw a bull, but we couldn't confirm. There were at least a dozen cows which made us a little nervous. We were kind of hoping the cows would be down lower at this point and we'd be hunting the bulls. The cows were at least 800ft above us. How much snow would be up there ... and if the bulls are even higher, how on earth are we going to get to them? Who cares ... we found elk!

    In the morning, we worked our way towards where the elk were spotted the evening before. It took way longer than expected, almost 3 hours. After all that hiking, we blew it and walked right into them. The situation was a small disaster, but we still didn't see any bulls. We were preparing to head higher on the mountain but decided to check out the next canyon as it was only a few hundred yards out of the way. No sooner did I find a seat on the ridiculously steep hillside did I spot two elk. Picking up the binos, I could tell they were both bulls.

    At just over half a mile and 600ft below us, we weren't worried about being spotted but were well out of range. FireTiger said she didn't care how big as they were both legal and this was a true leftover tag. We started putting together a plan to circle above them to get the wind in our favor. The plan was soon destroyed as two bulls turned into over 20 elk; mostly cows. This would make things a lot more complicated.



    Everything fell apart 10 minutes later when they decided to head to bed. They covered 1/2 mile and 1000ft in about 5 minutes.



    It was only 10am, but we knew the best way to kill one; wait them out. We were about 2.5 miles in and had lunch with us, so we decided to just camp there. I really really wished I'd not have forgotten my little pocket rocket cup as a nice cup of coffee would have really helped.

    We moved around a bit and did some exploring, but generally stayed there. Around 2pm, we headed up near where the elk had moved into the timber but with the wind in our favor. FireTiger and I had a bit of a spat as we disagreed on the approach, but I ended up heading back down to the bottom and up part way on the other side with the intention of being able to signal if the elk came out somewhere on the ridge other than where FireTiger was in position. I was starting to think this was the biggest waste of time, but finally our patience paid off, and so did FireTiger's plan.

    I spotted the elk working her ridge, but about 700 yards away and out of site from her. After watching them for about half an hour, they did not seem like they were going to get any closer, so I signaled to her to move cut the distance. The terrain worked perfectly in her favor, and she was able to close the distance to 180 yards. The bull was in the wide open sage. Through the spotting scope, I was able to see the elk hump up at the shot, but then he disappeared. There were two follow up shots which made me nervous. A few minutes later I saw the saw elk down signal.

    All 3 bullets were in the zone. After the shot, the elk had moved 20 yards and stood broadside again. After the mule deer experience earlier this year, she wasn't going to take any chances. He rolled 100 yards down the hill after the follow ups.



    We prefer to gutless method, but darkness was falling and so was the temperature. We gutted him, took the organs, and slid him down the hill to the closest aspens. We had the next 4 days to deal with him so even with the storm threat we decided to leave him overnight. We made it back on the next morning for the fun part.



    The photos don't do any justice to how steep the hill was here. When we rolled him to do the other side, he slid down the hill another 10 yards. It definitely made things interesting. I shuttled meat to the bottom of the canyon while FireTiger dealt with the quartering. We finally got the second load of meat back to the truck at 6PM and got out of dodge. The storm was kind enough to wait for us to leave.


  2. #127

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    Quote Originally Posted by p_ham View Post
    You two have had a very good season!
    Yes indeedy! Didn't have high hopes with no CO limited tags, but it worked out. Thanks for reading!



    Don't tell FireTiger. Its nasty outside but I want to make progress...


  3. #128

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    I've enjoyed following along this season you two have certainly had a successful season. Is this the end till next year?

  4. #129

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    Quote Originally Posted by WildWill View Post
    I've enjoyed following along this season you two have certainly had a successful season. Is this the end till next year?
    Thanks for following along! We're still doing some small game / waterfowl hunting with friends, but unless something amazing happens, this is probably the end of the journal this year. I'll probably throw up some photos of the euros and the different dishes we experiment with ( sausages have been great! ). There were a couple of tags we were tempted by, but at this point we cannot justify them as the freezers are crammed.

    I did make some Elk Pastrami last week! http://www.themeateater.com/2017/tro...-elk-pastrami/

    From the duck blind


  5. #130
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Newhartford Iowa
    Posts
    2,339

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    Another great hunt.

  6. #131
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    North Bay, California
    Posts
    15

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    Great season you two. Thanks for sharing it with us all!

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    Thanks for allowing me to live vicariously through your season!

  8. #133

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    Now how are you two going to top this season next year? Something tells me even if you don’t you will have a lot of fun trying. It’s always enjoyable to follow along with all your stories, and I look forward to reading more of them!

  9. #134

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    Quote Originally Posted by birdman27 View Post
    Great season you two. Thanks for sharing it with us all!
    Quote Originally Posted by huntertx View Post
    Thanks for allowing me to live vicariously through your season!
    Quote Originally Posted by Crumb View Post
    Now how are you two going to top this season next year? Something tells me even if you don’t you will have a lot of fun trying. It’s always enjoyable to follow along with all your stories, and I look forward to reading more of them!
    Thank you all for following!

    As far as next year, you can bet I'm already thinking about it. After a dismal season for him this year (as far as archery elk goes), I really want to try to call in some bulls for him. He's only been involved in a couple of scenarios where I was able to call elk in, and never had a shot in those situations. He's never really been in "good bugling" ever.

    The second thing for next year will be taking Dad on his first pronghorn hunt. I have no idea why he's never hunted them other than possibly being intimidated by not knowing how. My grandfather hunted them twice in Wyoming 40 years ago and came back empty handed. I don't know how that's possible unless all they did was shoot from the back of a truck, but I think my father had bad impressions on hunting them. After our continued success and seeing huntable pronghorn near where he has been deer hunting, he finally started putting in last year.

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