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Location: ALABAMA
Joined: 12/06/2005
Posts: 81
3rd season solo elk

This was my first year, so all I can offer is what the veterans have said. Last year they hunted 3rd and combined total of cows and bulls was 7. This year the total was 3 for 2ed. There were few animals actually seen for the number of man days spent in the field.Generally the guys felt that the early snow threw a kink in the usual habits.After the snow on the night of the 20th things were pretty dead for a day or two even though we saw alot of animals on the drive to Meeker. But on Tuesday everything really opened up and got busy.

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Location: Southern NH
Joined: 09/13/2006
Posts: 379
weather

It sounds like the timing worked out good with the weather. Were you seeing most of the animals high, low or in-between? Or all three? My buddy is going for a cow in that area in third season. My season is over because I drew a statewide blackpowder bull tag. I would have tried to draw in GMU 12 but I didn't have enough NR points so we tried GMU 36 instead. It was a nice unit but I know 12 a lot better and feel I could have had a leg up.

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Location: ALABAMA
Joined: 12/06/2005
Posts: 81
3rd season solo elk

Very few were high, but I really felt that was due to weather and was subject to change. We arrived on wed.10/17 and it snowed through most of the night. I'd say 10" at 7500 ft and 16-18 " at 9500 ft.Thurs and Fri. were clear and most of the snow was gone by opening morning. The winds shifted out of the north by 4pm Saturday and snow started back. It was still snowing on Sunday morning and we had 15" at camp(7500 ft) . Sunday evening and Monday were slow but by Tuesday morning the animals were on the move. All of our elk were harvested within 2 miles (straight line distance) of Rio Blanco 8.

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Location: California
Joined: 10/27/2005
Posts: 19
3rd season solo elk

Well my work is not letting me go for the 3rd season really bummed out about it, but I will be able to go for the 4th. So good hunting to all, let me know how things go for you. I really wanted to get a mulie this year as well, I have seen some monsters in the Oak ridge area in years past during the 4th.

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Location: Southern NH
Joined: 09/13/2006
Posts: 379
snow

We usually would start up high. It seems by third season most of the elk were either pushed so far back you couldn't get to them or they had all been pushed down to private land. Always a few straglers around, which is what you were really hunting for. The only bull I ever shot up there was walking through three feet of snow up high but I don't think he had a lot of company. I saw no fresh track that day besides the ones with the bull standing in them. I think he was actually heading off the mountain and we bumped into each other. It didn't work out too good for him. Those elk can cover a lot of ground fast, even in deep snow. He could go from the top of Sleepy Cat Peak to Buford in an evening. Those two bulls you boys shot are some good public land bulls. Especially to get two, that's fantastic. I hope you have as good a luck next time. Don't be disappointed if you don't do as well next year. I know people who have hunted long and hard up there for many years and have never shot more than a raghorn. Of course, you're now officially addicted to elk hunting, correct?

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Location: ALABAMA
Joined: 12/06/2005
Posts: 81
3rd season solo elk

Something like that. Although I have to admit it was one of the most difficult things I have ever been though. It was a great experience and I wouldn't trade it for anything but it was no cake walk either. I guess that is part of what made the experience so great . We were extremely fortunate in receiving and invitation to tag along with some guys that have been at it for years. It made all the difference. We were also blessed by the fact that one of the guys has family right there close by. Everybody was wonderful and treated us like life long friends. I cant say enough to do justice to the caliber of people they are. I truly feel honored to have spent time with them and now consider them all as friends.

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Location: Southern NH
Joined: 09/13/2006
Posts: 379
first hunt

You were really fortunate to have someone to go with and show you the ropes. It really cuts down on the learning curve. Having local intel helps, too. Your right that is is hard, rewarding work. It takes a lot of effort to get one of those beasts out of the woods. Were you fortunate enough to get one of the trucks really stuck bad? That's one of the true pleasures of elk hunting. You break your back getting the darn thing unstuck and when your all through, all you have is truck that's no longer buried. At least when you pack out an elk, you get some meat out of the deal. Big smile

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Location: California
Joined: 10/27/2005
Posts: 19
3rd season solo elk

Footman I will be leaving for Colorado on Sunday for the 4th season. How did your hunt go during the 3rd?

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Location: California
Joined: 10/27/2005
Posts: 19
3rd season solo elk

The 4th season turned out to be to worm, I went to Jenson SWA opening day there was about ¼ in of snow on the ground. I seen only one set of fresh tracks in the area that I hunted and they led to private property were you could count the elk. Thursday and Friday I went up into the Flat Top Wilderness @ south forks campgrounds I was hunting in the dark timber same think there no fresh signs anywhere. Friday afternoon I stopped at Oak Ridge SWA and talk to a group of hunter that had just walked from the north end to the south end of Oak Ridge and they said the same thing now elk and no fresh signs at all. We then talked about Elk Creek Ranch which is a cross the street from Oak Ridge and how many elk wear holding up on its 20,000 acres. Once I made it back to my camp I looked over my maps of the area and found that our National Forest runs down the left side of Elk creek and then crosses over to the right side of Elk creek. I figured I would hunt down to the property line and perhaps catch some elk leaving Elk Creek Ranch on the N. side of Long Ridge. So Saturday I leave my truck and start heading into the forest making my way down to the ranch which is about 2.5 miles from 254. Around 7:00 am it starts to snow lightly but enough to stick to the ground at this point I was about 1.5 miles in heading west. The ridge has very thick dense stands of Lodge Poll pines and small open stand of Aspens perfect for elk. So here I am looking for fresh signs, elk tracks droppings every thing was old so I decided to circle back but go higher up on the ridge. I had made it back to within a ¼ mile of my truck when I came to a set or very fresh tracks made in the 1/4in of new snow one bull and one cow. So I started to track them they were going south to the top of Long Ridge but they circled to the left and headed down the north side of Long Ridge after about 300 yards north bound I start seeing fresh steaming piles of dropping every 100 feet or so I was very close to the elk at this point. I then noticed that we were in very thick Lodge Poll pines so at this point I am trying to get a look at the elk but could not. I had the wind in my favor so they could not smell me but they knew something was tracking them. For the next ½ mile or so we had a game of cat and mouse, at lest five times I was within 50 feet or closer but had no visual contact with them but could only hear them the trees were that thick. I even tried lying on the ground hopping I would be able to see them but to no avail they would stop in the thickest areas they could find. Several times they bull gave me a who are you bark after the last time he bark I knew I was never going to get a shot at them following them so I tried to circle down wind of them at this point they were headed west. I never heard of seen them again. I hunted the same area Sunday but nothing. I only know of 2 elk taken they were both shot on private land tuff hunt I cant wait until next year.

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Location: Southern NH
Joined: 09/13/2006
Posts: 379
wolff

wolff,

Sounds like you had a little excitement. After reading the posts above I realize I hijacked your thread. For that I apologize. I have never hunted Jensen but I've driven by the road going up Yellowjacket Pass a couple dozen times. My buddy and I had two big bulls run right in front of our truck and hop the fence into Jensen one day. Quite a sight. They busted out across one of those big meadows by the road going up Yellowjacket. Sounds like you had a tough hunt in Oak Ridge. We have seen fewer and fewer elk above that area over the last few years. I think it's hit or miss. I think you made a good call trying somehere else. I stick with my original plan too long sometimes. If they're not there....move on. I tried hunting the edges of the ranch up by the Marvine Lakes trailhead but could never get there quick enough to spend any real time hunting it. By the time you get there, it's time to turn around and head back. Good job getting on them. Hope you have better luck next year. Thumbs up

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