My 2006 elk season did not start out all that well. I had a second season cow elk hunt planned but my plans were changed for me, but as luck would have it I had picked up a late season leftover tag for an area close to home. With a winter for the record books with all the snow we had I figured this would be a great, but tough hunt. The elk would be low on the public ground but there would be a lot of snow to deal with. With two weekends in my late seaon and only 45 minutes from home I knew I could hunt all day and make it home every night to sleep in a warm bed, which helped a lot with the bitter colds we were having.
While the first weekend was a lot of fun, although we did not see many elk, but I did get a chance to sit and watch a 6x7 bull bed up the hill from me at about 700 yards. I sat and watched him for hours and it was so cool to see him just lounge on the hill knowing he was perfectly safe. Sure would have been nice to have a late season bull tag, which they do not give any out, but that would have been awesome!
For the second weekend I decided to take Friday off, to give me one more day. I awoke a little later than I had hoped, so when I made it to a nice glassing point I came across a small herd of about a dozen elk, mostly cows and two real small bulls. They were off quite away in the neighborhood of a mile or so and I knew there was no way I could get there in time before they went over the hill with all the snow on the ground and snowshoes make one heck of a racket. So I decided to leave them be and look for more elk, which I saw none. The next morning found me walking up the ravine many hours before daylight as I wanted to get in there way before sun up and with an area that is known for mountain lions, needless to say my wife was not real happy. I proceeded to get up there with plenty of darkness time left and I chose to go with out snowshoes, to move a bit quieter. As the sun came up I could see the elk in the same spot as yesterday and I was only 500 yards away. Not being comfortable with a shot at that distance I managed to get a little bit closer till I ran out of cover at 355 yards. It was now or never. Needless to say the .338 Win Mag did its job and she took two steps and was done.
Now the fun begins, I proceed to get her dressed out and take a quarter with me back to the truck which is 2.5 miles away. I then did something I have never done before.... I called for help. My lovely wife and stepson were there in about an hour and 8 hours after I made the shot we were back at the truck and headed home. Without the help of family I am sure it would have taken me all of the next day also. With all the snow and the distance we traveled walking, she was well earned. By the way she had an ear tag that no one at the DOW could explain were it came from.