This is a short story about a cow elk hunt, just a few paragraphs. This is just a story that proves that not all elk are found 5 miles off of the beaten path and sometimes good fortune smiles on you.
It was my first elk hunt here in Colorado in 1988. I had applied for a 4th season cow tag and figured that I should have no problems getting one since a buddy of mine claimed to be the greatest elk hunter in the county. We worked together and that Friday before the opening we both were out way past midnight finishing a few jobs that had to get done. We dragged our tired bodies home and went to bed wondering if we even should get up the next day or wait until Sunday. For some reason I didn't even hear my alarm go off on Saturday morning but I did hear the phone ringing. It was Roy and he was wondering where I was since I was supposed to pick him up a half hour before. I dragged my body out of bed and put on the same clothes that I had worn the night before, grabbed my rifle and pack and was out the door in 10 minutes and at Roy's in 5 more. He told me since I was late that I had to buy coffee, so off to the local service station to get a couple of cups of go juice. After that we headed to the hill that we were going to hunt just as the sun was coming up in the East.
It had snowed around 6" that night, so we locked in the hubs on my truck when we left the pavement and headed up the hill. As we went we noticed that we were behind at least 3 or 4 other trucks and I didn't hold any hope for my elk hunt that morning. At the first junction of the road we saw where a couple of the trucks had taken the road to the East and the other the one to the West which is where we went. At the next junction another tuck turned off from the way that we were driving so that left one more going in the same direction. Anothr mile and we found that truck parked on the side of the road with foot prints heading off into the snowy hill side. We were now alone and making the first tracks in the fresh snow. Bouncing down the road and almost spilling our coffee, on we went until we rounded a bend in the road. And what did we see.
As we rounded the bend I looked up on the hill and was surprised to see elk about 200 yards off of the road on the hillside. I hit the key and shut off the truck hit the emergency brake, grabbed my rifle out of the rack and got into the sagebrush to where I could see them. I turned around to see the truck and Roy was just getting out. I looked back up on the hill and the elk were still just standing there so I picked my target and touched off a shot and down went a cow. Now Roy had been watching all of this from the side of the truck and as I went over to the truck and sat my rifle down he told me that the elk had gotten back up. I couldn't believe this because I had watched her go down and roll over with all 4 feet up in the air. I looked up with my binoculars and noticed a cow elk right where mine had been at. I grabbed my rifle again but by now she was long gone so I figured that we had a tracking job ahead of us. I drank the last of my coffee grabbed my pack and rifle and headed up to where I had last seen the elk. Once there I noticed that there was one laying right where she had fallen. It was a good thing that I didn't listen to Roy or I would of had two of them down. Once the cleaning job was done I unloaded my 4 wheeler and ran up a side road that the elk was only 10 yards off of, put a rope on her and was back to the truck in no time. Then we loaded her up in the truck and headed home. I looked at my watch and it was 10 minutes after 8 in the morning.
After I had dropped Roy off at his home and was home and had my elk hung up and skinned, his wife called and asked me if we were going hunting. Roy had told her that we were done and she figured that we were not going that morning but had just gone out for some coffee. She had to come over to my house to verify that yes I did have an elk hanging in my garage before 9am that Saturday morning.
So see it can be done it was actually easier than the story sounds, however you will pay for it. The next year the elk that I managed to find was a short 3 miles from the nearest road and all of it was uphill except for about 10 yards down to the truck.
Good luck to you all and good hunting.