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HeavyC's picture
Location: Greeley, CO
Joined: 07/19/2008
Posts: 635
Sadly, I Am Adding More "Blue Lettuce" To My Tag Salad!

Elk camp is now over, and I have yet another leaf of "blue lettuce" for my salad! Only one tag left, so I am going to hang on to the hopes that I can at least fill that one!

I was also most fortunate to finally meet-up and have lunch with Cowgal! It was indeed my great pleasure to finally put a face to the name! ...and also thank you once again for the great site you have here! THANKS!

It was definitely a strange elk season to be certain. I started off feeling pretty fortunate to have a cow elk tag on a NW Colorado RFW property, and even in an area that I am fairly familiar with.. However, I was not too confident with the season due to the dates. It was only a 5 day hunt, and those ran directly parallel with the first five days of the 2nd combined season. Then, after talking with the ranch manager over the weeks leading up to the start of the season, my confidence unfortunately dwindled even further, with the regular news that they had not been seeing ANY elk!

However, knowing the area, I also knew that the elk could move in at any second, so I continued to keep my hopes high. I drew the tag along with a very old friend and his middle son, and namesake. We were also sharing camp with two other old friends that had the 2nd season unlimited rifle tags, so it looked to be a great time despite the concerns with how well the hunting would be.
Off I go….think I have enough for one guy?!?!? …LOL! (my Little Mule at 204K and still going strong!)

Everything went off without a hitch, and I was in camp a day ahead of everyone else. As I arrived mid-day, two days prior to the opener, I was treated to 70 degree temps, and the interesting absence of the normally constant wind these parts are known for. To say the least, it was actually pretty strange to be setting up camp in sandals, shorts and a t-shirt.

First night's digs…

I woke early the next morning to get in at least one morning of scouting….

…as I always say bout this time…why live anywhere else?!?!

Everyone arrived at camp earlier than expected due to the freakishly nice weather, and after a nice meal we all crashed early to make ourselves ready for an early wake up call.

Keeping Kiwi busy while hanging around BS'n…

Though even Kiwi took a second to contemplate where all the darn trees have gone!

Some perfect looking country too, lots of scrub oak, aspens, and water holes, but one key issue was the serious lack of ELK!

So, a long story short, each afternoon and evening, found us meeting back at the trucks, having seen a few deer, but never seeing even a single elk!

Was still a great hunt, with some quality time spent with some great friends!

Several evenings ended, just like all the mornings started…

Lastly, being the idiot that I am and forgetting that I had a camera in my pocket until some unknown critter was already getting out of Dodge, I missed all but one very small window of the "cry" whatever was following me, was making. Whatever it was, was following me up the mountain one morning, and I at one point stopped right here to let it come in. I never did see what it was, and the small sound bite in the very first few seconds of this video clip actually doesn't sound anything like what it really sounded like. It followed my trail up the mountain, from downwind of me, and just as it started moving away, I was able to snag this few seconds of it making its last noise. I never found any tracks, or saw it, so I am still clueless on what it truly was, but I personally think it was a cat of some kind. I have seen a lynx in the area, as well as a couple lions over the past few years. …and we did find a few bear tracks and scat in the area, so maybe it was a funny sounding bear too….

What do all y'all think? (listen closely to the first couple of seconds)

Still, good times overall, and I wanted to thank again, Bob Schaeffer and the folks at Four Mile Ranch for allowing us to trek all over your property, it was indeed our pleasure! Thanks!

… I am already packed for deer camp over Thanksgiving week, so here is to hoping that I see at least ONE MORE DEER, than I did elk, at elk camp!



WishIWasHunting's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Brighton, CO
Joined: 01/31/2011
Posts: 700
Sorry to read that you come

Sorry to read that you come up empty, but thanks for sharing your story and some great pictures.  I have no clue what was following you, but stories like that make hunting that much more fun.  Good luck on your deer hunt in a couple weeks.  I am looking forward to reading about your success and seeing more pictures.  

COMeatHunter's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Joined: 06/01/2011
Posts: 639
Great pics and story.  The

Great pics and story.  The only thing that would make it better would be harvested cow crowding up the back of your truck for the trip home.  

Good luck with the deer hunt.  I always say I only need to see one animal I'm hunting for, elk , deer, antelope, whatever.  One dumb animal, that is.  Unfortunately, we seem to find mostly smart ones.  Hopefully, you can spot that elusive dumb deer and bring it home for dinner.

Critter's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!Moderator
Location: Western Colorado
Joined: 03/26/2009
Posts: 4433
Don't feel too bad, so far

Don't feel too bad, so far this year I have turned 4 tags into soup so if you get tired of that salad let me know and I'll give you the recipe that I have been using. 

The funny thing about hunting this year is that you either get into the animals or you don't, there doesn't seam like there is any middle ground.  On my deer hunt in Utah I got into a few deer including the one that I wanted to shoot but couldn't ever close the deal but they were quite scarce.  Then you have other hunters that got into herds of them.  The elk hunts have been the same way.  We got into a large herd of elk in Utah and took 2 spike bulls out of it but other hunters are reporting that they can't find them.  But then that is why they call it hunting. 

I have one more tag to try and fill here in Colorado and hopefully the elk will cooperate with me this time. 

Joined: 03/01/2009
Posts: 38
What RFW?

Just curious which ranch you hunted out there?  We're thinking about hunting the BLM near one of the ranches for 4th season...

Retired2hunt's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Colorado Springs, CO & Fort Myers, FL
Joined: 07/28/2011
Posts: 1624
  Unfortunately I know all


Unfortunately I know all too well about that "blue lettuce" over the previous three years.  I got lucky this year.  Sorry to hear of not getting to see any elk.  Still great memories were made with the people you hunt with.  I could not tell you what the sound is in the video - however that would be cool to hear it while out hunting.  Great pics and thanks for sharing your hunt.  Good luck with your next hunt and hope to see some pictures of your harvest.


Ca_Vermonster's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!Moderator
Location: San Diego, CA
Joined: 07/27/2007
Posts: 5813
Well Heavy, sorry to see that

Well Heavy, sorry to see that you didn't get an elk, but by the looks of your photos and your story, you had fun.  You got to meet Cowgal, got to hang with your friends, and see some beautiful country, albeit treeless... Wink

Looks like a good time. Thanks for sharing the photos.  Good luck on your last chance to fill a tag.  I personally will also be adding "blue lettuce" to my tag this week.  I have an unused doe tag for my season that ends this week, but I am headed to Vermont for the opener on Saturday.  I won't be able to get out before I go.

Got any good recipes for the blue lettuce other than tag soup???? lol

HeavyC's picture
Location: Greeley, CO
Joined: 07/19/2008
Posts: 635
Here is a reply I already got! LOL!

Yeah, here is one someone else already gave me on another forum! LOL!


"Keep it simple, a light olive oil and salt and pepper to taste Wink.
No matter how many times I have tag soup and sammich I still haven't developed a taste for it. "


FYI....Doesn't work! That blue lettuce is only fit for "beasts!"



hunter25's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Colorado western slope
Joined: 11/13/2009
Posts: 3040
Thanks for a great bunch of

Thanks for a great bunch of pictures. Sorry you didn't get that tag filled but when it comes to elk it seems that is more often than not the way it woks out for me as well. I'm not too crazy about olive oil so I guess I'll just have to salt it and give it a try when I have the next one to use.

prhunter's picture
Location: El Paso, Texas
Joined: 02/22/2009
Posts: 631
Sorry you didn't get an elk

Sorry you didn't get an elk but it sure looks like you two had a great time out there. Well done Thumbs up

About the tag salad... Well, I guess we will all have our share of it sooner or later. Last year I had elk tag soup and deer tag soup.

elkkill06's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Fruita Colorado
Joined: 02/02/2009
Posts: 2069
That always leaves a bad taste in the mouth....


Its sucks that you did not fill your tag, but it looks and sounds like you still had a good time ! Thumbs up Good luck on your deer hunt !


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