Last night I returned from a late season solo elk hunt in unit 36 in New Mexico. I started hunting in the more moderate terrain thinking it would be easier to get a downed critter out by myself but there were far too many hunters down that way. I ended up in the White Mountain wilderness, which, if you've never been there is a very intimidating place. The pictures really don't do the place justice. Funny how I didn't see a soul up there in all the walking I did.
After seeing about 30 elk my first trip in there, I realized I was on the wrong ridgeline, so the next morning I hiked up the ridge I had identified the night before. I found a lone bull bedded behind a huge burned pine tree. I waited about an hour and a half for him to stand up and I took him at 343 yards with a CA 300 Win Mag. He did a 180 and crashed 4 feet from where he was shot. He's not the biggest bull in the wilderness, but it was my first elk and I'm dang proud of him. After 8 straight hours of butchering and packing 4 heavy trips out (my feet and back still hurt) I headed home. Honestly, the pack out was RELATIVELY easy being it was mostly all downhill. I finished skinning the head today and will make a European mount out of him. My dad told me to hire horses if I ended up getting one because packing an elk out on horses is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I respectfully disagree, because I believe packing an entire elk out of the wilderness by yourself is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Once you do that once, you will NEVER do it again! Thanks for looking. -Scott
"I have too many guns," said no one, ever.