My first elk hunt.

We headed out on horseback Saturday – road for about 3 hours in pretty rough terrain – 6 miles into the back country.  After we got done setting up camp we headed out for a ride to see if there were any around and did not see anything.  The next morning, we got up early and rode out again, stopping and looking into all of the canyons to see if we could find any.  The air was chilly and the wind was cold!  We stopped at the furthest canyon from camp and still had not seen an elk.  Finally when we were getting discouraged, a guy with us – Dean – saw one way off on a ridge.  We looked and all of a sudden there were 6 up there and then they just kept coming over that ridge.  There were about 40-50 elk and half of them were bulls.

We watched them come down that ridge and then we tied up our horses and walked down to find a spot to sit and wait.  They started coming across a ridge across the canyon from us and we waited and waited from them to get closer.  They would walk across an opening and then into a cluster of trees and disappear.  Then they would finally make their way out again.  All of this was a LONG ways off.  It took a couple hours for them to actually be across the canyon from us.

There were 2 BIG bulls that stayed down low in the canyon,but only peeked out a few times.  I started getting set up for a shot across the canyon at a nice bull, but could not take a shot.  The gun I was using was a Cooper Arms Long Range Rifle with a Huskimo Scope – this scope is something that Kelli’s step dad’s show actually sells exclusively as they helped come up with some of the technologies that go with it.  Basically it can shoot an animal at 800 yards no problem.  And it even has a way you can adjust for the wind.  Across the canyon, however, because of the 40mph wind we could not feel good about taking this shot – 550 yards.

So, about this time those two big bulls come out and are hanging out in the bottom of the canyon 750 yards away.  There were two of us with tags, so it was perfect and would have been awesome for the show – getting 2 on film at the same time being shot is rare.  But again – because of the wind it was too risky to take that long of shot.  The scope gives adjustments for wind, but the wind in the canyon was too strong and very sporradic.  Just too unpredictable.  Wind can actually move a bullet quite a bit surprisingly.

These bulls just would not come closer.  While we were watching them, another one stepped out.  Not as big – but still very nice.  He was much closer so we watched him.  As the two big bulls turned up and walked out of our sight, we decided this last bull was mine.  Because of the terrain – there was no way we could have caught up to those other bulls.  These hills are HUGE.  Basically at the top of a mountain, huge canyons and huge hills.

So, I set the scope on the closer elk – but he had moved around the hill out of my sight.  So we quickly scrambled to run around it and as we did we saw a big rock.  So I threw my pack on top if it and set the gun on it and as I did – he moved around the hill further!  I thought we were going to have to keep running around and maybe not get him when he all of a sudden started to walk towards the ridge opposite of us.   – He was down in the canyon you know.  He was back in sight, but trying to get up into the woods.  While practicing I had been a little nervous about shooting – I am a good shot, but have a bad habit of pulling the trigger instead of squeezing which pulls the gun off sight as I shoot.  So I knew I could get him if I took my time…well he was going up into the woods and Jim said – take him before he gets away.  So I did.  I did not have time to think about it, I just lined up, squeezed, and shot.  It was a perfect shot!  200 yards and almost straight down!

I forgot to mention, that while we were waiting on the elk to come – we saw a huge mother grizzly and 3 cubs!!  Where we saw them was also across the canyon – about 400 yards away.  this area was only about 200 yards from where I shot my elk.  So we knew we had to be careful when we went down to get it.

Getting the elk was hard work.  We had to hike back up a huge hill to the horses – then walk them down a VERY steep and VERY big hill down to where my elk was.  Took some pictures, did some video, and then got to work.  We boned it out, put it onto my horse and then started back up – all while keeping a pistol very close by.  The hike up that steep hill was a killer.  Up there at 11,000 feet hiking up a huge hill that would be very difficult even at sea level.  We finally made it, then I had to continue walking back to camp while everyone else got to ride!  Since my horse had my meat on it.

All in all – I ended up with a very nice 6×6 elk rack and will have some great meat to eat over the winter.

Published in: on October 22, 2010 at 8:12 am  Comments (2)  
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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Wow dude, that’s huge! Way to go!!

  2. That’s awesome man. You are such a man!

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