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elkkill06's picture
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Location: Fruita Colorado
Joined: 02/02/2009
Posts: 1946
Lets see your first !

It's still a little slow around here and it seems most on here are a little shy when it comes to pictures. Lets see some pictures of your first elk and maybe a little story.

My first elk I took when I was 18 and it was the second most exciting elk hunt I have ever been on. Opening day of first rifle season (1988) and I was sitting watching where two canyons came together. All morning in the canyon south of me it sounded like world war three going on. Being a young impatient hunter I couldn't take it anymore, around 9:00 a.m. I got up from my spot and took three steps to head towards the shooting, when I heard rocks moving on the other side of the canyon I was just watching. When I turned around I saw this huge bull start coming off the top, I pulled up my rifle and got him in the scope when all of a sudden I heard three quick shots and the bull dropped out of my scope. I could not believe it, there was this 72 year old man from Florida getting up out of the sage brush, where he had been sitting all morning. I walked down to him and we went to look at the bull, it was a 7x8 that ended up grossing 383". I was sick !

The second morning I was watching the same two canyons, but sitting in a different spot. Nothing was moving pretty much all morning and hardly any shooting going on. I sat there all morning telling myself to stay and not move, one of the hardest things I have ever done. Around 10:30 a.m. a couple of guys on atv's came cruising by on the road in the bottom of the biggest canyon. I watched them go by and when it got to where I could just barely here them this 4 point bull snuck out of the quakey pocket under me, went across the road and started up the other side. I waited for him to stop I put my crosshairs on him and I could not believe how bad I was shacking. I waited for the crosshairs to settle (or so I thought ) and pulled the trigger. He went right down and rolled down the side of the of the canyon, I could her him kicking around down in the quakeys. All of a sudden I seen him standing in the middle of the road and I lost it. I started shooting, after about the fourth shot I couldn't understand why I was not hitting him when I realized I was looking at his antlers and not putting the crosshairs on his body. I brought the crosshairs down and hit him right in the top of the back and he went back down, I ran down there as fast as I could and shot him again just to make sure he was done. As I was taking care of the bull the guys on the atv's came back by, what horrible looks I recieved as they road by. Truely awesome and I was hooked forever !

Here he is Thumbs up

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Location: Kentucky/ Colorado
Joined: 06/23/2005
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Lets see your first !

Excellent story. Thumbs up I love hunting elk. We use to hunt red & white mountain for years and could get into the elk close to everyday. We stayed out of their bedding area and hunted them to and from the feeding areas. Over the years other hunters would be in the bedding area earlier and earlier until finally we could only hunt the escape route opening morning. Most of the time the elk would be outta there by first light headed for this creek 2000-2500 feet below. They would stay down there until the outfitter and his hunters would chase them back up to us. Sometimes they'd make it back before season was over but many times they did not. Once and a while we could find a stray, loner on top. We quit hunting that area in 1998. I miss it but sure don't miss all of the people. We would see 100-200 elk every year back in the good old days. For the last 10 years we have moved around the state and still haven't found an area that we like a lot. So far God has blessed me with 13 or so elk and my largest bull is a 6x6 that scores around 270. I would really like to kill a big 350 bull some year but for now I'm happy with raghorns and cows.

elkkill06's picture
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Location: Fruita Colorado
Joined: 02/02/2009
Posts: 1946
Lets see your first !

Thanks Hiker ! I really enjoyed your story also. Thumbs up I just wish more people around here wouldn't be afraid to share photos and stories.

SoCoKHntr's picture
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Location: Pueblo Colorado
Joined: 12/18/2006
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Lets see your first !

First Bull, TC Omega Muzzleloader 160 yard shot. Hiked three miles UP from camp. Quartered it out and brought it out on our backs the next day. There was a bear feeding on the carcass the next day when we hiked up to pack it out. The meat (quarters) were hanging about sixty yards away. If I'd had a bear tag that year would've been the next tag filled.

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exbiologist's picture
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Lets see your first !

This was a good idea for a post. I wish I had a field picture of my first bull that I took in Montana when I was in college. All I've got is a picture of the mount right now, and a pic of the bull's head in the garage.  Don't know where that print is now.  I don't actually have any field pictures of anything I shot in Montana, which was pretty stupid. Anyway here's the story: A friend and I had been scouting pretty heavily way down in Southwest Montana, near Alder, just off the Ruby River. We had permission to hunt a piece of Block Management on opening day and the farmer had mentioned he had been seeing elk in this one pasture most mornings and that a bowhunter wasn't having any luck getting on them. So opening morning arrives, and my buddy and I are sitting on some foothills above his pasture along a saddle. The terrain was pretty open, except for some draws. As the sun came up we could make out a large herd of elk about 1000 yards below us. There were about 50 cows and calves with 3 bulls. As legal shooting light hit, the elk began to leave the pasture, skirting the edge of the hills away from us. We sidehilled the mountain, trying to keep up, when we noticed the bulls were gone. My friend stops and looks above us and says' "there's a deer." We had both taken deer at that point, but neither had shot an elk, so I said"forget the deer, there's elk somewhere in front of us". Just then, the three bulls come out of the timbered draw, barely 100 yards in front of us. My friend shoots, missing completely, then I shot the lead bull through the loins, dropping him instantly and ruining his backstraps. We walked up to him and put a finisher in the bull, while my friend was frantically looking for his bullet hole, in disbelief that he missed. Anyway, it was a step up from a raghorn, a nice 5x5. But the real story was getting him out. We weren't very far away from the truck, but neither of us knew anything about deboning. And we didn't have anything resembling meat packs either. So we proceeded to carry whole quaters off the hill down to the truck in our arms, or the hind quarters slung over our backs. We then cut slits in the ribcage and carried it out more or less whole. Then we took the neck, head and hide out in later trips. It was a fiasco and we were covered head to toe in blood. Really pretty funny now that I think about it. Here's that 5x5: My next elk was taken after I moved to Colorado after living in Texas and Nebraska. So it was kind of like a first all over again, it had been 7 years since my last and I was moving in from flat states. I moved here in February and wasn't about to pay nonresident fees to put in for the draw, so I started scouting local units that I assumed would have leftovers. I settled on first season unit 19 because there would be the fewest hunters in the field. I busted my hump scouting, found a lot of places that I didn't like and eventually settled on an area near Crown Point. Well, work took me out of town for the whole month of August and I only had internet access when I visited a civilized area with a library, so when I decided to check on leftover tags, I saw that 19 had already sold out! I was pissed, I spent half the summer scouting that unit. My backup plan was to get a unit 7/8 tag for first season and I had already spent a little bit of time in those areas, but had decided 19 was better for me. Anyway, so now it's September when I get back to Colorado and I am spending every single weekend scouting and about half of my weekend nights driving up from Fort Collins to investigate the backroads. I didn't even see an elk until scouting one Saturday in the Rawah Wilderness. I was heading up the trail to an old burn area while it was raining, then eventually turned to snow. Saw a cow in the timber and eventually ran into some bowhunters and picked their brain for a little bit while it was snowing on us. Anyway, I figured I better start heading back down the mountain as I wasn't really equipped to hike out in the dark. I get back below the snow level and it's raining steadily on me, turning the trail into a small river. I'm making a ton of noise coming down the trail and I hear a bull bugle at me. At first I thought it was a bowhunter, but it sounded so real. I hadn't heard one in years, so I gave a little cow whistle with my mouth, then out stepped the biggest bull I've ever seen outside of a park! His tips were so long the touched his rump when bugled at me again from less than twenty yards away! I was behind a tree and whistled at him again, then he proceeded to trash a small tree, tearing all the limbs off of it, one of which hit my leg. Eventually he swung around and found me, then buggered off. Until he took off, I hadn't seen that there were another 30 elk around me. It was great fun, but now it was getting dark and I had easily an hour to go to get off the trail. About 10 minutes from the trailhead, it began to hail, which was really unpleasant. Anyway, while there were definitely elk in there, I still wasn't satisfied with how I had to hunt them. Outfitters were camped at Shipman Park and all the elk would be in the timber, which I didn't really want to have to still hunt if I could avoid it. And to be effective up there, I'd have to backpack, rent llamas or horses, and was having a hard time justifying either option by myself. So with subsequent trips, I ended up exploring some good moose country, whose sagebrush hillsides, bordered by timber looked pretty elky to me. I hadn't seen any elk, but when I set up camp and scouted some more the day before the opener, I did find some pretty fresh sign in the timber just off an open hillside. Opening morning found me perched on a large rock with a good vantage of over 180 degrees. I felt certain I'd see something, but as the sun came up, nothing! But I wasn't hearing the fusillade of gunfire I was used to hearing on opening mornings, so I sat tight just a little longer, then glassed one of the neighboring hillsides, and, "well, I'll be danged! Where'd you from?". There was bull in the middle of a hillside that I had just glassed. I don't know which direction he came from, but with another quick scan I decided he was for sure legal, so I got off my rock and headed his way. Unfortunately, he was straight downwind and kept picking his head up nervously. The shot was a little far, but I told myself it was only about 250, and if I got any closer, I'd lose my elevation advantage and lose my shot over some trees until I got within 50 yards of him. So I laid my binoculars in some low sage, place the forend of the .270 WSM between them, felt steady, pulled the trigger and "BLAM!". Down went the elk as the sound of the impact reached me. I stood up, feeling proud, only to see him push himself into the timber without his front legs. I took a moment to gather myself, went back to my rock to grab my pack, then headed over towards him. As I walked over there, I realized it was a lot further than I thought at first. As I reached where I thought I shot him at, I heard a crash in the timber. He was still alive! I rushed over there and finished him off. After let out a huge "YAHOOOOOO!!!", I realized my first shot broke both his front legs, but passed under his brisket. Using the GPS, turns out it was more like 375 yards. Oh well, I'll take luck over skill. And he was big, big bodied, and big antlered (for me and my second elk). Spent the next 4 hours dissasembling him and the next day and a half getting him out. I struggled with trying to get a good picture with him while putting the self-timer on the camera, whatever, good enough. Here he be: It was in a drainage that neighbored this one. I shot this picture while scouting the night before.

elkkill06's picture
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Location: Fruita Colorado
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Lets see your first !

Great stories and great bulls. Thumbs up

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Lets see your first !

Great stories and photos.

This was my wife's first elk.

http://www.biggamehunt.net/stories/An_Elk_Hunt_to_Remember_07280712.html

After nearly thirty-minutes of glassing the elk that were bedded in the black timber on the ridge across the creek, I could finally see antlers on the bull I had been spying. From the look of things, he was a mature bull. After hunting hard for three days, covering many miles of up and down country, seeing hundreds of elk, I finally spotted a shooter. Now, all I had to do was get close enough to shoot. That wasn't going to be an easy task, as I has a good thousand yards to cover, five hundred of which were open country, with all those bedded elk eyes looking at me.

I looked over at my wife and said, "Honey, let's try to get closer."

We started down the mountain, mostly sliding on our rear ends, staying low and hiding behind the scrub oak and tall grass. We were on the southeast slope of the mountain. With little cover, we made due with what we had.

We covered close to five hundred yards and an elevation drop of two hundred and fifty feet. We quickly relocated the bull, who was still bedded in the shade, chewing his cud and thankfully unaware of our presence.

Over the next forty-five minutes, we maneuvered the other five hundred yards and another two-hundred and fifty foot drop. Now within comfortable rifle range of about three hundred yards, I needed to get a good rest and steady my rifle for the shot.

Once situated and comfortable, I placed the crosshairs of my 300 WIN Mag steady on his lung area.... Unfortunately an aspen branch was covering his vitals. I told Meredith, my wife, to hold tight and I was going to drop down a little bit to get under that Aspen branch. I slid down another twenty to thirty feet. Now I am able to get a great, clean shot.

Now to find a good clump of grass or bush to set my rifle on. I find it! Steady, release the safety, line up my crosshairs, start squeezing the trigger ..The bulls stands up! I can only see his back half. I wait a few more seconds for him to move, and he takes steps and disappears behind the pine trees.

Well, I thought to myself, "That was a good practice in patience." There's no way he saw me and the wind was just right.

I climb back up the hill to Meredith. She asks me why I didn't shoot. I told her He got up and I couldn't get a clear shot. I knew she was disappointed after all the work, sweat, and splinters in our backsides from sliding down the hill for nothing.

"Honey, let's go on down to the creek and get out of the sun. Eat some lunch," I said.

"Sounds good to me," she responded.

This hunt was years in the making. Meredith had saved up six Colorado elk preference points and I had saved seven, hoping to draw a good tag and hunt a great unit. We wanted to shoot some decent bulls, as far as bulls go in Colorado. After much study, we finally locked in on a RFW (Ranching for Wildlife) Private Land hunt. I had hunted the surrounding public land for a number of years and thought I understood the pattern of the elk in the area. I hoped to hunt their escape routes and intercept them on their way off the public lands. Hoping for a chance at a shooter bull before they made it safely to the unhuntable ranches was my goal.

We were where we wanted to be on opening morning, overlooking some major escape routes. When the sun finally started coming up, we spotted elk. Five here, ten there, twenty over there, some in shooting range, some too far away, but no decent sized bulls. Mostly rag horns, spikes and LOTS of cows. It was close to 10 AM when we decided to move over and get a little closer to the migration trails. When I say migration, I don't mean winter migration. I mean a migration to "ranches of safety." These elk use the public ground as "calving grounds" or summering grounds, where they will stay until pressured by hunters. Then they migrate out by the thousands. Many will be slaughtered on their mass exodus off the public land, but once they make it to the private ranches they are "home free." The exception is the few private land hunters, which Meredith and I are, who have a RFW tag.

We found a good spot and set up. In just a few minutes we see a head of fifty elk, mostly spikes and cows, but toward the back of the herd we see a nice shooter bull. He is a little far away, close to six hundred yards, and covering some ground at a steady pace. Mere and I decide we can't cover that much country before they are gone. So we just watch and drool as they disappear in to the forest.

Only a few minutes elapse before we observe another large herd, but they are close to a thousand yards away. Again, just a couple of rag horns in the bunch.

We finish up the day finding a few cows. As the sun sets, we head back to camp for a hot dinner.

We choose to hunt another area the next morning. It is not long after shooting light that we scope out a few walk by the quakies. We hold tight, not wanting to spook them. I feel the wind blowing on the back of my neck and know we have only seconds until they blow out. Hurriedly, we look them over for antlers. Don't see anything worthwhile. Sure enough, they catch wind of us. The woods come alive with breaking branches, tumbling logs and whatever else is in their way as they escape.

We come to the conclusion, based on all the noise, that we have only seen part of the herd. Most of the elk are still in the timber when they winded us. Meredith and I hurry down to the rolling grass hills to glass. We spot nothing much close by, but we do spot a few herds crossing 1,500 yards farther down. We move fast to get lower.

On the way down, I glass for a few minutes, and sure enough, I see elk moving up toward us. One looks like a nice bull. I tell Mere, "Hurry! I see a shooter."

We cover another four to five hundred yards and get our shooting sticks set up. "Here they come," I whisper to Meredith. "Get ready, sweety. The one in the back is a shooter."

We rest our rifles on our shooting sticks and get our breathing under control. I cow call with a diaphragm and they stop. Meredith shoots and the bull drops. I figure this is as good a time as any to fill my cow tag, as he is following several cows. I pick a cow and shoot. She runs up the hill and collapses. I hear Mere shoot again. Her bull is back up! She shoots again and finally the bull is down for good. Boy, are we pumped!

for the rest of the story and photos click on the link above. Thumbs up Thumbs up

elkkill06's picture
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Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Fruita Colorado
Joined: 02/02/2009
Posts: 1946
Lets see your first !

Truley awesome Hiker ! Mr. Cool!

exbiologist's picture
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Joined: 09/19/2008
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Lets see your first !

good stories guys, keep em coming

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Joined: 12/18/2006
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Wow, great stories! Getting me excited for Sep. More guys and gals need to post up some first elk kill stories. Big smile Thumbs up

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Location: Pueblo Colorado
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Oh, and Hiker, I love my wife dearly, but unfortunately she isn't a hunter. That would have to be one of the all time best experiences this life can offer, to have a hunting experience like that with your wife. You're a fortunate man to get to share these times with your family! Thumbs up

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