What I do when I am not Fishing....

Hey all, I just got back from a weeks vaca well spent chasing deer/elk w two buddies; we set up a base camp Friday for opening day Saturday. Over the next several days we were up at 3:30 to be into elk by 1st light, packed out around noon, then back in around 4:30/5. I scored a heart shot w blackpowder on a 180lb, 4x4 buck Sunday in last light, took me a few minutes to calm down and it was full dark when we were crawling with headlamps through heavy timber to track him; he zig zagged over about 40 yards & we cleaned & pulled him out that night…all was quiet Monday. Partner stopped 4 running cow elk w a call & got a heart shot at 65 yards at about 0730 Tuesday. I also had a cow tag but had no safe shot, she went about 50 yards across a meadow and dropped, weighed about 450lbs. It was already 50 degrees and we worked our a$$es off to skin/butcher and pack her all out; was about 3 by the time we got her on ice & made our 1st meal, saw nothing that evening & only bugles heard were way off down the hill & non responsive.
Wednesday at about 0800 we’d been working several bulls across a mountain side; I was set up highest on a sage field above them, had been marching hard for an hour keep up and get a bead on the trail they may take to the top of the mountain above me; the sage is steep, pry 35 degree grade but open for 150 yards long & 70 yards wide, I was bugling to the bulls below and some cows above & ahead of me while 2 bulls doubled back quietly, circled the sage from below and came up in the trees at the end of the field where I’d been earlier but my buddy below was close behind; he came into my view at ~60 yards belly crawling with his bow up the mountain while I am trying my best to look like a sage bush & get turned around without spooking them…buddy got set up kneeling below a bush; we team called a spike and 4x4 bull about 90 yards above him over 15 minutes (seemed like hours), 4 points is minimum size to legally shoot, the spike was lower and in the way, finally we got the 4x worked up enough to move down to within bow range; buddy hit the esophagus/carotid at 55 yards. The bull went about 40 yards straight up the mountain then cut back into the trees away from us. It took a while for me to get over to my buddy, we found his arrow which had split, we calmed down then humped up more steep shiet but his trail was a lot easier to follow; basically a 2’x4’ spray about every 10 yards. Problem was that at the end he dropped onto a gully. That was dangerous stuff; deep grass sides hiding crisscross aspen deadfall trying to break a leg w loose dirt rock in the creek bed. We had to tie his legs to a pine 25 yards up the hill to keep him from rolling again, then had to shuttle up and down to keep adjusting the ropes to clean/skin/quarter him. We then cleared a trail in the deadfall to pack him down about 50 yards to level ground where we boned and packed him out. It was hot weather again and we had several trips down and back as fast as we could make our legs work. We had about 700 quart of cooler space between us and still ran out of room; trucked everything to town about 40 miles away for processing and met w DOW, we were able to sit down for a beer in camp at 1630 and start lunch. We got all the meat from animals that weighed roughly 1K pounds whole, dressed, butchered and on ice, we were safe/healthy, sore w bumps/bruises & some minor cuts butchering but 100% physically spent. We each ended up backpacking 36 miles w 18K vertical feet climbed/descended over the hunts and pack work. I ended up packing up and meeting my wife at our cabin Friday, unpacked, cleaned and stored all my gear & fished the weekend away. Back at work today in a haze.
Here's a couple pics....me w the pack is the very last load on the bull out Wednesdayafternoon - I dubbed it my most painful pic ever...Still plenty sore and tired but looking forward to next season already.

Replies

  • Permit RatPermit Rat Posts: 2,283 Captain
    ****!!! LOVE me some elk meat. Truly a gift from the gods....along with venison, wood duck, mallards and blacks, quail, doves.....frogs legs :wink
    .......Rick
  • Colorado TroutbumColorado Troutbum Posts: 102 Officer
    Permit Rat wrote: »
    ****!!! LOVE me some elk meat. Truly a gift from the gods....along with venison, wood duck, mallards and blacks, quail, doves.....frogs legs :wink
    LOL, I am the same way-elk is strongly preferred over beef whenever possible. My wife was vegetarian until I brought home an elk while we were still dating - her diet choices changed shortly after that. Haven't had any yet; we had grilled venison tenderloin in camp Monday somewhat ironically w Cajun boiled Florida lobster tails as I can rarely find them out here.....really looking forward to getting the elk picked up & divided between us this weekend.
  • wilburzwilburz Posts: 976 Officer
    Nice story. Looks like a lot of work but you got it done. Way to go!

    Happiness is a belt fed weapon!

  • Colorado TroutbumColorado Troutbum Posts: 102 Officer
    wilburz wrote: »
    Nice story. Looks like a lot of work but you got it done. Way to go!
    Thanks Willburz, it was a lot of work & I'm still recovering; my chiropractor definitely earned her pay last night. We had 2 bull archery tags, my cow black powder & 2 bear tags remaining on Friday - I was so spent I think I would have rather flipped a cow off and walked the other way then face another 7 hours up and down that mountain on Thursday - besides, one more animal and one of us would have to buy a new freezer; great problem to have I know but at the same time, it's OK that it didn't come down to that.
  • BasstarBasstar Posts: 516 Officer
    Nice hunt, congrats on the success, and thanks for sharing the stories.
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