Tried a 4th season cow hunt for the first time --in part because our 1st season hunt was cut short. Went for a leftover cow tag in unit 161 NW of Walden.
Elk encounters: (1) Three elk spotted at very long distance came out of the timber on Independence Mtn right at dark on day one. (2) Dawn of day 2 same location, herd of about 25 to 30 elk spotted at very long distance at dawn crossing the basin in a hurry and headed west back towards zirkel wilderness. Tried to close the distance as herd fanned out. Of course the three that came my direction were all raghorns. I did come across a guy who was better positioned and who was able to get a cow. It was his first elk in 19 years of trying. His wife was with him and she was near tears she was so happy. Very cool morning.
Other good: Did get some cool photos. My late grandmother painted landscapes in oils and was channeling me through my camera phone: https://picasaweb.google.com/104946128010277129101/Nov2011ElkCowHunt?authkey=Gv1sRgCIf98Nyoi8iFJQ#slideshow/5676754761936755218
The not so good:
Its a big unit with lots of public land (NF, BLM and state) but all the open roads make it a bit tough to get away from the crowds. Some people were ignoring the closed trail signs on the BLM land even though the place was crawling with BLM and CDOW officers. Probably a good unit for road hunters, but I don't know whether I would return for another rifle season.
Weather was also a challenge. Needed more snow to get more of the elk down. Day three was a full blown wind storm. I hear the snow came in late and hopfully pushed the animals down but I was only able to hunt the first three days.
Now we wait for next year.