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Elk hunting memories III #4074600 02/22/13 03:08 PM
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Elkhunter49 Offline OP
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OK fellow hunters and world class sportsman its time for another edition of the not so famous or well written Elk Hunting Memories. Iíve got a few days off work so I thought Iíd relive an old hunt in my mind and try to share it with everyone.

The fall 1984 season was one Iíll always remember because of two very different reasons. The first was that it was the first hunting season after my marriage in late 83. My wife knew I was a hunter but I think she hadnít fully grasp the fact that I was going out west every fall and second was the hunt itself.

If my memory is correct a bull elk and mule deer buck tag were about 225 bucks for non residents in Colorado and that was a ton of money to me back then. Iíd saved all my change and every dollar I could scrap up during the previous year like I always did and I barely had enough to make it out there and back so away I went. A solid week of creek water, beanie weenies and spam fold overís will keep you alive but dangggggg.

My buddy Roger and I were hunting in unit 66 north of Lake City, Colorado. North of town on hwy 149 is an access trail heading back west towards Independence Gulch, this is a hell of a climb to get above timberline but once you get up there the view is spectacular. We spent a full day packing in and setting up camp on a horseshoe bend in the gulch. The 3 days of the hunt were dry and clear but brutally cold. We were seeing some small bucks and only a few elk a day.

The next to last day there we decided to split up. I was going north to a long and wide park running north to south where Iíd seen some sign a few days before, it was about a mile or so long and about five hundred yards across in most places. Roger was heading west following the creek.
The morning was very cold and clear but the wind had laid a little so I was encouraged. As enough light finally hit the tree line I could see 4 elk on the very north end and they were feeding slowly away from me towards the west tree line. My plan was to skirt the east tree line and pop out to check their location until I could get close enough for a shot. I could tell one of the elk was a bull and this late in the hunt if he was a legal 4x4 or better he was going down.

I had a good plan, I was staying out of site just inside the tree line and the wind was in my face. I had advanced at least five hundred yards when I had peeked at the elk from a small depression that ran into the meadow from the east. The bull was legal for sure and the elk still had no idea I was there. I still was about six or seven hundred yards away so I crawled back to the tree line and continued my trek north. Another three hundred yards or so and it would be ďgame onĒ.
I was moving faster than normal because the elk were getting closer to the tree line when I caught some movement out of the corner of my right eye. I froze as I realized a great mule deer buck was looking right at me only about 70 yards or so away. He was laying on a small bald rise and I guess he was just sunning himself because he stood up and looked right at me like I was really interrupting his nap. I froze for what seemed like 20 minutes but was really only a couple when he made a fatal mistake. He turned his head and looked back north towards the elk. I instantly raised my 300WM and dropped him right back in his bed. My elk stalk turned into a mule deer hunt in the blink of an eye.
Iím going to try and attach an old photo of the buck so please keep the comments about the incredibly handsome and young hunter to a minimum.

But seriously folks that was a day Iíll remember forever. Heís by far my best muley and I doubt Iíll ever top him. Man I truly miss hunting in the mountains every fall. My days of climbing above timberline are over but I highly recommend hunting out west to anyone who loves to hunt. You donít have to take a 350 class bull every year to enjoy mountain hunting. There are still over 100 over the counter units in Colorado alone so donít wait till you get to old then say I wish Iíd gone and done that. Elkhunter 49 has left the building!!!!!

Last edited by elkhunter49; 02/22/13 05:24 PM.

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Re: Elk hunting memories III [Re: Elkhunter49] #4075346 02/22/13 07:35 PM
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up


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Re: Elk hunting memories III [Re: caldwelldeerhunter] #4075982 02/22/13 11:54 PM
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Great story and congrats on the lifetime of memories!


Re: Elk hunting memories III [Re: Drop Tine] #4075992 02/23/13 12:00 AM
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Great story and buck!


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Re: Elk hunting memories III [Re: stxranchman] #4078906 02/24/13 03:23 PM
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Awesome mulie!


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Re: Elk hunting memories III [Re: QuitShootinYoungBucks] #4078930 02/24/13 03:30 PM
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I can relate, as my cousins and I hunted Section 21 Pinance Creek
late season for many years. Now we are old and long in the tooth
and Calvin, my older cousin..by a couple of yrs is in the hosp. w/Cancer..seems we all aged and had some medical problems later in life..but I do recall 5 of us spending a day dragging my bull
downhill and down a drain to get to a place we could get him in a
Jeep..I wouldn't trade that 20 day hunt we made for any hunt now
ever.DD

Re: Elk hunting memories III [Re: Don Dial] #4078969 02/24/13 03:39 PM
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Have to agree with the OP............... don't wait till your retired to do things. Do it as soon as you can afford it. Life has a way of throwing you a curve ball, for some folks it is one after another, and then you find that those hunts you wanted to do are never going to happen.

Things are not going to get any cheaper either. The other problem, besides possible health and financial issues in the future, is that things available now may not necessarily be there to do in 30 years. The population just keeps growing, public opinion is a fickle thing and politicians are loyal only to themselves.

If you want to do it......... make it happen.


Last edited by Skyline; 02/24/13 03:41 PM.

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Re: Elk hunting memories III [Re: Skyline] #4080133 02/25/13 01:25 AM
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Thanks everyone for the kind words. The challange of hunting several hundred thousand acres of public land is something that most hunters would benefit from. Plus lying in a bunk listing to an elk bugle is something I trully wish everyone could experience. More times than not I came home with a headfull of memories only but there's not enough money in Texas to buy them from me. Baker

Last edited by elkhunter49; 02/25/13 01:26 AM.

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Re: Elk hunting memories III [Re: Elkhunter49] #4080246 02/25/13 02:10 AM
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Great story!

My first elk hunt was in 2000. I was 37 years old and had never seen the Rockies.

Some friends were kind enough to invite us to share their camp on public land near Dubois, Wyoming. My buddy took my brother and I up the mountain-as we were walking just as dawn broke he said "Somebody sit here and somebody come with me and we'll try to call one." I sat.

As daylight came on, I heard my first elk bugle. What a sound! And he was close, so I move up a little where I could see down a long ridge line and waited. Presently a cow crossed the ridge about 75 yards away, then another and another and another-all looking back. Then he stepped out- a beautiful big 6x6- and let out a screaming bugle. I can still see the steam billowing from his mouth in the morning air. I made the chip shot and he went down.

The first bull I ever saw will almost certainly be the best I will ever take. On a hunt I will never forget.


Originally Posted By: Russ79
I learned long ago you can't reason someone out of something they don't reason themselves into.


Re: Elk hunting memories III [Re: Nogalus Prairie] #4081052 02/25/13 02:16 PM
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Thanks NP for sharing your story, if you haave some photos of your bull then please post them. Being in the right place at the right time takes some hard work and a little luck. I think both our stories are examples of that. Well Done, Baker


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Re: Elk hunting memories III [Re: Elkhunter49] #4081112 02/25/13 02:35 PM
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Thanks elkhunter49.Would have to scan a field shot as it was back in the day. Here are his antlers on my office wall.



Originally Posted By: Russ79
I learned long ago you can't reason someone out of something they don't reason themselves into.


Re: Elk hunting memories III [Re: Nogalus Prairie] #4081136 02/25/13 02:42 PM
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nice mule!

Re: Elk hunting memories III [Re: jdk1985] #4081159 02/25/13 02:52 PM
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Excellent story and super buck! Thanks for sharing bud!!


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Re: Elk hunting memories III [Re: dkershen] #4083002 02/26/13 01:10 AM
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Awesome Mulie, Elkhunter. Nice bull, Nogalus. Great stories everyone. I love reading them.

Last edited by Erathkid; 02/26/13 01:13 AM.

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Re: Elk hunting memories III [Re: Erathkid] #4083488 02/26/13 04:20 AM
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Great stories. I go chase Elk every other year and will continue as long as the good Lord lets me. Something about hunting the big country.


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Re: Elk hunting memories III [Re: TxAg] #4083663 02/26/13 12:00 PM
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Great write up......thanks for sharing!




Re: Elk hunting memories III [Re: DoubleTrouble] #4083713 02/26/13 12:37 PM
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Thanks for the story and other comments made about your hunt. It just strengthens my resolve to make those trips (an elk, a pronghorn, and a mule deer) before I retire. I have four years if goes as planned...Stories ya'll provide makes me realize it is possible and I need to work harder towards those goal hunts.


I dont shoot innocent animals...only the ones that bare thier teeth at me... Semper Fi
Re: Elk hunting memories III [Re: kamolaw] #4083857 02/26/13 02:02 PM
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Originally Posted By: kamolaw
Thanks for the story and other comments made about your hunt. It just strengthens my resolve to make those trips (an elk, a pronghorn, and a mule deer) before I retire. I have four years if goes as planned...Stories ya'll provide makes me realize it is possible and I need to work harder towards those goal hunts.


In the words of Nike: Just do it. smile

Since my hunt, I have been out west 5 more times for elk, moose, and antelope. I even broke down and went to the Yukon for sheep in 2006( good thing I did as the cost of that hunt has doubled).I am not rich but don't regret a penny spent on those hunts-the memories last long after a new truck, 4 wheeler, or bass boat is long gone.


Originally Posted By: Russ79
I learned long ago you can't reason someone out of something they don't reason themselves into.


Re: Elk hunting memories III [Re: Nogalus Prairie] #4084055 02/26/13 03:03 PM
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Originally Posted By: Nogalus Prairie
Originally Posted By: kamolaw
Thanks for the story and other comments made about your hunt. It just strengthens my resolve to make those trips (an elk, a pronghorn, and a mule deer) before I retire. I have four years if goes as planned...Stories ya'll provide makes me realize it is possible and I need to work harder towards those goal hunts.


In the words of Nike: Just do it. smile

Since my hunt, I have been out west 5 more times for elk, moose, and antelope. I even broke down and went to the Yukon for sheep in 2006( good thing I did as the cost of that hunt has doubled).I am not rich but don't regret a penny spent on those hunts-the memories last long after a new truck, 4 wheeler, or bass boat is long gone.


I agree 100 percent, the money spent on these hunts is nothing compared to the memories you get in return.
Thanks guys for all the positive comments. I'm not an expert in hunting out west by anyone's standards but let me say that I'll share my experience with anyone if it will help. I've probably made most of the mistakes you can make, from over packing to getting lost so if I can help just drop me a PM and I will try any way I can to help you have a safe and maybe successful hunt. Later Folks, Baker

Last edited by elkhunter49; 02/26/13 03:04 PM.

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Re: Elk hunting memories III [Re: Elkhunter49] #4088032 02/28/13 12:59 AM
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Thanks for the encouragement, took another second job assignment today that will translate into an extra $2400 a year in the dream hunt savings account... the memories are getting closer. Will go for it Semper Fi do or Die!!!


I dont shoot innocent animals...only the ones that bare thier teeth at me... Semper Fi
Re: Elk hunting memories III [Re: kamolaw] #4088157 02/28/13 01:49 AM
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kamolaw you may want to think about building preference points in one or more states for when you are ready. In WY for example, elk points are $75 and mule deer are $50 (I think). With 3-5 points you can draw in almost any unit and be in a good area. A buddy and I did a DIY backpack hunt and had a blast a couple of years ago. Total cost: about $2000 apiece including fuel. In the meantime you can pick up some quality gear along which can be had more reasonably than you might think by shopping clearance sales after the season ends, last years' stuff, at Camofire.com, etc. Scoring great gear at good prices is half the fun. Don't skimp on sleeping bag, tent, boots, or optics or you will regret it. Just my 2 cents.


Originally Posted By: Russ79
I learned long ago you can't reason someone out of something they don't reason themselves into.


Re: Elk hunting memories III [Re: Nogalus Prairie] #4088873 02/28/13 12:47 PM
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Originally Posted By: Nogalus Prairie
kamolaw you may want to think about building preference points in one or more states for when you are ready. In WY for example, elk points are $75 and mule deer are $50 (I think). With 3-5 points you can draw in almost any unit and be in a good area. A buddy and I did a DIY backpack hunt and had a blast a couple of years ago. Total cost: about $2000 apiece including fuel. In the meantime you can pick up some quality gear along which can be had more reasonably than you might think by shopping clearance sales after the season ends, last years' stuff, at Camofire.com, etc. Scoring great gear at good prices is half the fun. Don't skimp on sleeping bag, tent, boots, or optics or you will regret it. Just my 2 cents.
Thanks for the info will get started now may hit you for more info as I plan if that's alright.


I dont shoot innocent animals...only the ones that bare thier teeth at me... Semper Fi
Re: Elk hunting memories III [Re: kamolaw] #4088926 02/28/13 01:20 PM
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Originally Posted By: kamolaw
Originally Posted By: Nogalus Prairie
kamolaw you may want to think about building preference points in one or more states for when you are ready. In WY for example, elk points are $75 and mule deer are $50 (I think). With 3-5 points you can draw in almost any unit and be in a good area. A buddy and I did a DIY backpack hunt and had a blast a couple of years ago. Total cost: about $2000 apiece including fuel. In the meantime you can pick up some quality gear along which can be had more reasonably than you might think by shopping clearance sales after the season ends, last years' stuff, at Camofire.com, etc. Scoring great gear at good prices is half the fun. Don't skimp on sleeping bag, tent, boots, or optics or you will regret it. Just my 2 cents.
Thanks for the info will get started now may hit you for more info as I plan if that's alright.


That's more than alright I love talking about this stuff.


Originally Posted By: Russ79
I learned long ago you can't reason someone out of something they don't reason themselves into.


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