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Striker's picture
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Location: Kuna, ID
Joined: 10/29/2012
Posts: 184
Lost Elk.

Hey black powder elk hunters out there. While archery hunting near Keystone last week I found a dead small 6x6 bull elk that someone had shot perfectly and somehow still didn't manage to track it down. It had been dead at least 3 days and was shot right behind the shoulder. There was snow on the ground and the animal was frozen solid. I almost tagged and butchered it myself but I decided the meat might be to risky being there for so many days. My guess is a rookie or an uneducated hunter took a shot at this bull hitting it well but he must of thought he missed and then didn't follow up to check for a blood trail. Perfect shot like this should have been a no brainer. Then again I wasn't there but there was snow on the ground for tracking so I don't know how they couldn't have found this animal. So if anyone knows of anyone who shot at an elk in the keystone area during muzzeloader season you might want to let them know. I left the antlers on it and the teeth in it. I didn't dare take those at this point. If anyone wants to fill me in on CO laws for finding dead elk and taking antlers that would be appreciated. I might go back there and get them later myself.

If the person does get in contact with me he will get an earful on tracking and following up after a shot if he doesn't have a real good story. I don't take losing an animal lightly even if it's not mine. If you shoot at an animal with a rifle of any kind you always check for blood even if you think you missed!

I'll post a photo soon hopefully.

Retired2hunt's picture
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Location: Colorado Springs, CO & Fort Myers, FL
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Well that is disappointing.

Well that is disappointing. Hopefully somebody does come forward... but I doubt it highly. I don't know if you had an obligation to report it to CPW but even if you did I don't think they would have done anything other than take note.

Critter's picture
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Location: Western Colorado
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Sometimes these things

Sometimes these things happen.  I have shot deer that left no blood trail until they finally fell over dead a hundred yards away.  I have shot elk that left no blood but bled internally until they fell over and a elk can go a long ways after being hit in the vitals.  Also if he was in a small herd tracking could of been difficult on trying to figure out which tracks were his. 

I'm not making excuses for the hunter but just putting some reasons out there on why he may not of been found. 

SGM
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Location: Canon City, Colorado
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We found just the opposite

We found just the opposite during ML season. Someone shot a small 5x5 in archery season and lost it. Guessing it was hit opening weekend as there was very little to nothing left of him. The arrow was still in him going from the rear to the front. As for taking the antlers or ivories, call DOW and explain the situation before taking them is my advice. If he is someplace you think no one else will find him then wait until spring and you can get them without an issue and have a nice dead head trophy.

BleuBijou's picture
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Location: Loveland , Colorado
Joined: 03/22/2010
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Make

Make sure you are up there when you call the DOW. Explain what you found and ask to have the horns and teeth when and after they conduct their CSI on him. My friend got a heck of a bull last year and they could find nothing wrong except maybe he was gored in the eye up into the brain. Gave him the rack afterwards. They also gave him a donation cert to drive home with as he had his bull in tow as well.

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Location: Colorado
Joined: 07/13/2011
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Easier to happen with a

Easier to happen with a muzzleloader. The smoke blocks your view, and you aren't sure if you hit it, or what direction it went.

Taking the antlers and teeth without tagging it could get you charged for poaching. Good thing you didn't take them.

Striker's picture
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Location: Kuna, ID
Joined: 10/29/2012
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Dead Elk

The smoke screen from the gun does kinda of make sense but he still should have checked for blood. And SGM the arrow was from the but towards the front? What archery hunter takes that shot? Thanks for all the comments about getting the antlers. Now that it's been almost 2 weeks, is even worth calling the DOW now? I was thinking of just heading up there in the spring hoping no one else finds it.

SGM
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Location: Canon City, Colorado
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Yes from the rear to the

Yes from the rear to the front is how it was laying in the rear of the chest cavity. No way to tell for sure since the bull was so chewed up and decomposed, but I would guess a bad gut shot but only a guess. If you plan to go back up again this year I would call DOW, if not see if you can get the rack in the spring.

HeavyC's picture
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Location: Greeley, CO
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Assuming quite a bit!

Could have been a ton of whys here, but we may never know. Sad though it may be, it happens and we do not know ANY specifics about what actually happened. Sometimes no matter how much effort you put into tracking one, you may never know where they ended up. Blood trail, tracks, snow, knowing if it hit or not, mean very little unless you know the exact situation.

Before you are so quick to judge, just hope it never happens to you! One of the best hunters I have ever met finally lost one after near 40 years of hunting and swearing the same could never happen to him...then it finally did! He now has a new look about things!

Striker's picture
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Location: Kuna, ID
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Your right.

Your right. I got a little carried away in the moment in my first post. Fustrations of past experiences with other hunters I guess but your right I wasn't there. The hunter may have did everything right. Also, having lost an animal or two myself I shouldn't be so judge mental about it. I just hate to see an animal wasted. I hope to never lose another animal but I know, I'm not the perfect hunter and at somepoint it will happen again. But I sure hope it don't. Hopefully I can get the antlers from the kill in the spring and do something with them.

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