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Location: western co.
Joined: 08/23/2009
Posts: 128
my 2010 early elk hunt

Hey all,big game season for me has come and gone with the anticipation of next year already starting to burn.friday morning couldnt come soon enough.my brother in law landed from pennsylvania on thursday and his boss and one other fella soon rolled in with the truck and trailer packed down.we met at walmart in Delta so i could grab a cow call(couldnt find mine) and some extra ammo.the out of staters bought beer there and learned what 3.2 beer is.Big smile As soon as we hit the dirt road it was like walking into vacation zone and i started to relax.3 hours later we made it to where i stashed half of our camp the weekend before and started to set up.it was beautiful and we were done so the out of state guys headed out on their 4 wheelers to get a feel for where they wanted to hunt and to get familiar with the overall area.I went fishing and took the 410 with just incase any grouse showed their face.I got back a little before dark and cooked dinner.the guys arrived,ate,discussed the next days plans and hit the sack.woke up and did the normal routine of firing up the coffee pot and gettin breakfast burritos on the grill.the guys were gettin ready and being loud so i set them straight right off the bat and they soon settled down a got ready with whispers instead.they headed out on the wheelers and i went in the opposite direction away from the road.i made my way to some big clearings and found a panarama point to glass from.after a couple of hours and no elk,just some mulies i got restless and headed for some out of the way holes.i was seeing some sign just not any that was fresh.i crossed a rock field and soon as i stepped out there was fresh sign.i stepped on a twig,snapped it and the oak brush erupted.didnt see anything all day but saw some good sign and the ones that busted me so i was confident they were around.my brother rolled into camp that afternoon late and decided to fish instead of hunt,but they still brought a rifle with them just in case.same routine that night and next morning.I decided to hunt up higher in the aspens and pines since it was so warm still.we hit some meadows up at first light but nothing was kickin so i decided to go in deep and headed uphill with the wind in my face.I stopped to remove some clothing and take some pics when i heard some leaves rustle and two snorts.I immediatly reconized the sound as elk and got ready.45 yards away a spike appears so i pull the rifle down.then another with some long antlers.thinking he is legal i pull up and see he is also a spike he just has long ones about30 inches so i pull back down again and watch them disappear into the forest.i get ready and head uphill very slowly stopping frequently to listen to the forest for long periods of time.aspens turn to pines and downed pines.the forest in getting denser and so is the elk sign.i start seeing large elk crap some fresh stuff when i am stopped in my tracks with the strong scent of elk.I immediatly think of the booner mulie that busted me earlier in muzzy season because of my impatience and i drop to my knees.i tell myself to stay put for at least 20 minutes.every minute or so i keep smelling elk and then hear some movement.i spot an elk body moving downhill towards me and then see whitetips.thats all i need to see to know its legal and start looking for a shooting lane knowing he is probably a real nice bull.not many options where he is heading so i am just staying put.he stops a begins to sidehill it about 40 in front of me.the wind is now theatening to swirl but hasnt yet so i remain patient. i spot a lane that looks to be at  his elevation point and his path.he becomes blocked from my view so i begin to practice pulling up and freehanding through my scope through my shooting lane.he stalls so i try make it to a tree to rest my gun on and he moves and i stop thinkin to myself i am not moving and am just going to shoot freehand.not taking anymore chances of getting busted and trying to remain patient.it all then happens at once he steps into my lane,i pull up,identify the front shoulder and a twig is in my way which makes me adjust back and up.i squeeze the trigger and he reacts with an arching of his back.the placement feels great and the woods become silent. i cant see him just his head moving around looking for an escape but doesnt know where to go or where i am so he stays still. a couple of minutes go by and i can hear the wound and him trying breathe,i have a feeling its good but still i dont move.he then drops,rustles,cries a few time and dies.i give it a couple a slowly tip toe up to him.i get there and he is clearly dead and a huge calmness overtakes me and i start to soak it in.cant believe it when i count his antlers and he is a 6x7.i take some pics and some selftimers and get to work.dressed out,qaurters hanging,cleaned up and i am packing him out three hours later.the pack out only ended up being about 25 minutes downhill.two trips later i was done and back at camp to find out one of the guys bagged a 5x5 that morning.camp was a little more lively that night and we ate loins.i fished and grouse hunted the next three days looking for elk for the rest of the guys.we ended up with three bulls and should of had five.now were enjoying elk meat and memories.

~Dan

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Ca_Vermonster's picture
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Grand Slam Challenge Winner!Moderator
Location: San Diego, CA
Joined: 07/27/2007
Posts: 5765
Great story!  Sounds like you

Great story!  Sounds like you had a great time, and have some good eats as a result.  Also, just wanted to say how beautiful that bird is.  Looks pretty good sized, do you ever think of mounting the tail feathers kinda like turkeys?

GooseHunter Jr's picture
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Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Colorado
Joined: 09/28/2005
Posts: 3750
Congrats on a great elk

Congrats on a great elk hunt.  That is one good looking bull.  Love the pic of the grouse I have never seen anyone fan the tail feather out like that before...gives me some ideas for next year...thanks!

elkkill06's picture
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Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Fruita Colorado
Joined: 02/02/2009
Posts: 1974
Great story and pics !

Congrats on a great bull !

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Location: Denver
Joined: 10/16/2009
Posts: 70
Congrats on a great hunt!

So how many new freezers did you guys end up buying?

hawkeye270's picture
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Location: Fort Collins, CO
Joined: 06/15/2008
Posts: 1862
That is an absolutely great

That is an absolutely great bull. It looks like he almost has a crown on the top of that left side kind of like a red stag. That is pretty neat. My cousin got a bull with that characteristic a couple years ago. Sounds like you guys had some pretty good success. 3 for 5 on bull elk is not bad at all. I can bet that your camp got a little louder that night... it was probably pretty rucous. Celebrating the taking of a good bull elk is about the best kind of celebration you can have. Congratulaions on taking such a good bull. That is a great story too and thanks for sharing. Are you going to get that toad mounted?

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Location: western co.
Joined: 08/23/2009
Posts: 128
I wish i could afford a

I wish i could afford a mount,maybe someday when I get my true monster bull.I have one bigger than this one that also isnt mounted and a euro that needs finished off on my first six by six.All of them were takin on public land.

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