Survivalism & Self Sufficiency Topics > Hunting

My 2014 Elk Hunt

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nelson96:
Well my 2014 elk hunt is over.  My uncle joined me this year, for the first time, and we left 3 days before the season started so that we could get camp set up and so that I could have time to show him around.  A vietnam vet, with some disabilities, he was limited to areas he could reach via his Razor side-by-side, and/or easy walking access.  That said, we chose our typical opening day hunt (Saturday the 8th) for the area.  I sent my uncle down a closed road with easy walking access in and out.  My plan was to circle around him in the timber, about 1-1/2 miles out.  I know the area and the elk habits well and it couldn't have gone better.  I chose to reach an intersecting point (at shooting light) that elk like to use as an escape route in and out of the area we chose to hunt.  I put him at the bottom that is easily reached by the road and where elk like to continue travel when pressured out of the timber I was covering.

The area (a series of large meadows, about 18,000 acres sparcely timbered) partially surrounding the timber pocket we chose is heavily hunted, so we chose to use them as part of our strategy.  At first light, shots rang out from the meadows, sending the herd my way.  My first glimse of elk actually came from the direction of my uncle, underneath me.  It was a small herd consisting of one large branch bull and about a half dozen cow/calf pairs.  Since I was limited to harvesting only a spike bull for my hunt, I then concentrated my efforts toward the herd that I was hoping would be pressured my way from the meadows.  Sure enough, not 5 minutes later, I heard the elk moving from the meadows and in to the creek bottom that seperated us.  Seconds after that, they single filed up the ridge I was waiting on.  They broke the ridge about 75 yards above me with two huge branch bulls in the lead, followed by cow/calf pairs, all at a dead run across from me (perfect for a broadside shot).  Two very nice spikes were next, but I couldn't get on them due to the fact that the herd had bunched up a bit and I didn't want to take the chance of a through and through shot, killing a cow or calf.  Just as the herd started to pick up speed again, I could see a spike coming up from the bottom.  Choosing a good shooting lane at the top, I waited for him to reach it and let my .338 RUM roar.  Since he was on the run I didn't quite hit my point of aim but made a perfect double-lung shot that rolled him in his tracks at the end of his stride, rolling him upside down and dead by the time I reached him.  Not a single ounce of meat was ruined as a result, unless you count a few ounces of rib meat.

Now it was my uncles turn.  The herd continued through the 1-1/2 miles of timber, just as I had predicted, putting him in a perfect spot for a shot.  Unfortunately, I hadn't actually taken him to the position before this day (simply showed him on a map) and he second guessed where they would cross the old road he was on.  If he had stayed where he was he would have had a perfect shot, but chose to move up the road a bit and when they crossed, he didn't have a good shot.  As the herd crossed and continued over the next ridge, he found his opportunity but hit his spike high in the withers only slowing him down.  Before he could reach the point his bull crested the ridge, two more shots rang out from a pair of other hunters on the other side.  He confirmed it was his bull they had put down and simply congratulated them and left to get packboards for me (I had reached him on the radio and let him know I had one down).

We continued hunting, with me as his guide at his side, but could only find branch bulls and cows.  He had to leave camp a few days later (as planned), just as my brother had finally showed up for his hunt.  Unfortnately the week would finish out with more of the same, either more branch bulls and cows, or no elk seen at all.

Here are pictures of my bull, a picture of me while guiding my brother (with his rifle for the photo op), and pictures of camp, including the inside of our tent.










We came home on Friday, the 14th (9 days after I got to camp) so that I could get my bull cut up on Saturday (split three ways) and flew out the following Sunday to Pennsylvania for work.  I got back home yesterday.

Fixit:
Nice hunt. Unfortunately my hunt didn't go well. Second gun in Co. And the temps were hitting 70 degrees . Did get a good workout out of it though.

nelson96:
We had a weird year too.  Our temps the first four days, which included opening day, were in the low 60's.  Sunday night (2nd day of season) it snowed for the first time.  Follow-up temps didn't allow it to stick around except for areas with shade all day, even though temps started to slowly fall at that point.  The following Wednesday it snowed again for nearly 24 hours, which made it dicey to pack up and get home.  The trip usually takes 6-1/2 hours which ended up taking 10.

I think the weather played in to the lack of elk numbers, but with my uncle being with us we decided to hunt lower and close to camp.

Cedar:
I was waiting for you to post more pics.. Thanks!
And congrats.
And I want a steak *wink*

Cedar

nelson96:

--- Quote from: Cedar on November 23, 2014, 04:51:20 PM ---And I want a steak *wink*

Cedar

--- End quote ---

Not a problem.

Our stove was a real hit with my uncle.  He appreciated that we didn't need to cut wood and wake up in the middle of the night to add wood.  We were very comfy.  It even has a thermostat.  ;D
We did go through close to 40 gallons of propane though.  Thanks to my brother (and his job), it only cost us around $70 (split three ways).

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