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Location: Denver, CO
Joined: 02/13/2011
Posts: 16
Colorado solo backpack hunt, 1st rifle

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HeavyC's picture
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Location: Greeley, CO
Joined: 07/19/2008
Posts: 635
So awesome!!! Loved the read

So awesome!!! Loved the read too!!

Big congrats!!

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Location: Colorado
Joined: 07/13/2011
Posts: 924
Great read and hunt. Well,

Great read and hunt. Well, maybe not the snout shot, but we'll ignore that.  Big smile

SoCoKHntr's picture
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Location: Pueblo Colorado
Joined: 12/18/2006
Posts: 1821
Yes

Big Time Congrats! That is true hardcore hunting, much respect for your true grit in getting after it and make success happen. That is a beautiful trophy and testament to your hunting passion.

Again congrats!  Thumbs up

COMeatHunter's picture
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Joined: 06/01/2011
Posts: 639
Wow!  Great story and pics.

Wow!  Great story and pics.  Thanks for sharing it all with us!

I too have been surprised at how short a distance elk will spook, especially if they weren't exactly sure what you were.  If they smell you, the gig is usually spoiled.  If they don't smell you, but see or hear you they don't always run too far.  If you stop, give them time to regroup and settle down, many times you can hunt them again.  I had to chuckle when I read your story about opening morning--I've done the same thing and cursed myself afterward.

Thanks again and congrats on a great bull and WAY cool wilderness solo hunt.

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Location: Denver, CO
Joined: 02/13/2011
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reply

COMeatHunter wrote:

Wow!  Great story and pics.  Thanks for sharing it all with us!

I too have been surprised at how short a distance elk will spook, especially if they weren't exactly sure what you were.  If they smell you, the gig is usually spoiled.  If they don't smell you, but see or hear you they don't always run too far.  If you stop, give them time to regroup and settle down, many times you can hunt them again.  I had to chuckle when I read your story about opening morning--I've done the same thing and cursed myself afterward.

Thanks again and congrats on a great bull and WAY cool wilderness solo hunt.

Yeah that was definately an eye-opener for me. These elk weren't particularly pressured given that they were so far from the road, so they probably didn't have too high of a suspicion for a random hunter stumbling into their territory. Later on in the season, that might change.

One thing that this whole experience taught me is that you can read practically every book on the subject of elk hunting (I read 5 this year), but there is no subsititute for "on the job training." So many aspects of hunting require that you have an internalized compass to direct every action that you take, and the only way to acheive that type of calibration is time spent hunting. I know that for me personally, my hunting skills improved tremendously this season. Nature really is the best instructor.

COMeatHunter's picture
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Joined: 06/01/2011
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I completely agree.  Books

I completely agree.  Books are great for general knowledge and such, or entertainment just for joy or reading about something you love to do.  But for hunting, you just have to get out there and do it.  That's one of the things I love about taking my son out hunting--getting to watch him learn first hand.

Anyway, thanks again for a great post.

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Joined: 10/22/2012
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Im new to the site here so my

Im new to the site here so my very first post goes out to you as a BIG CONGRATS!!!!  I feel as if you lived my exact dream to every detail!!!  Very nice bull and Im sure all the hard work was rewarding too!!!

RUFFNECK's picture
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Location: PUEBLO, CO
Joined: 11/24/2007
Posts: 163
way cool very nice story!

way cool very nice story! congrats thats a heck of a hunt

Ca_Vermonster's picture
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Grand Slam Challenge Winner!Moderator
Location: San Diego, CA
Joined: 07/27/2007
Posts: 5813
Incredible story, incredible

Incredible story, incredible hunt, and incredible bull!!!!  A huge congrats to you!!!!!!

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Location: Denver, CO
Joined: 02/13/2011
Posts: 16
Thanks everyone for the warm

Thanks everyone for the warm replies. This site has definately been one of the best resources for information in planning and executing a hunt. This unit in particular was tough to find information on. It's out there, but you really need to dig.

A couple different groups I ran into said that unit 54 used to have some serious trophy elk. This was way back in like the 1980s and 90s. One person even told me that the previous Colorado state record elk was taken from the West Elk Wilderness and the head is mounted somewhere in Gunnison. Can anyone confirm or deny that?