He is a blast from the past!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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!!!!!