Little delayed posting up, but came back from my CO 2nd Season CO elk hunt empty-handed. However, it was still a great time! I went with my Dad and one of my brother's. It was my first elk hunt with my Dad. We were able to use by brother's camper, so we had nice accomodations. We covered ground like crazy, hiking ~40 miles over 5 1/2 days. We saw elk every day but the last day.
We were only inches from filling our tags several times. Opening day, about an hour into the hunt, we hear a bull bugle near by. That was the first time I had heard an elk bugle while I was hunting them. We stop and listen, and he bugles, much closer this time. We look uphill, and we see elk walking through the dark timber. We move some to try to get a shooting lane on the animals. They keep filtering past us until the wind carries our scent to them. They turn around and file back past us. We saw several cows in that bunch, a spike, and one legal bull. We all had bull licenses, and none of us had an ethical shot on the bull. Only a couple inches of better shooting lane or 5 inches of brow tine on that spike, and we could have filled at least one tag right there.
The rest of the hunt went much the same way. We only saw one more legal bull, but again no shot opportunity. We saw lots more cows and several spikes, many times in shootable situations, just not enough bone to make them legal for us.
Regardless, we had a great time together, and we have already been talking about what we need to do different next year in order to fill some tags. Now we just have to hold out until next year.