My father first headed to Gunnison Colorado 23 years ago on his first Elk Hunt. Two days before he left, I fell 27 feet head first from an unattended ladder leaning on a scaffold in a warehouse. After waiting his whole life to go on the trip, everyone persuaded him to go and headed out with a group of friends he grew up hunting with. I was in the hospital after reconstructive surgery on my left arm just happy to be alive. He couldn't enjoy the hunt in Colorado knowing I was still laid up and came home early worried more about me than hunting.
The following year he headed back to Colorado. His 2 second day on the trip he was kicked square in the knee cap by a horse and had to be taken out and flown back home.
He decided to try his luck in New Mexico and after being drawn in Unit 13 for consecutive years he still could not get on a Bull Elk.
We did a big family and friend trip to British Columbia a couple years in a slam dunk Elk area in the peak of the rut in the Kootenays. My father didn't have the confidence to take a 350 yard shot on Elk so he had my brother shoot it. He went home empty handed again.
At the SCI Show in 2009, I purchased a hunt with Brazos River Outfitters in New Mexico's Unit 4. A week before the hunt I told my Dad to meet me in Albuquerque to fill a Cow Elk Tag I had for him. I told him bring the bare necessities and I would be driving up from Arizona with everything he needed including my daughters binoculars, my sons 30-.06 and my wifes sleeping bag. He had know idea I planned on giving him my Bull Tag. The first morning in the field, Bulls were screaming everywhere and we had to pass on a couple of shots. My Dad still didn't know I was letting him fill my tag.
The next morning we set up perfectly. Bulls were all around us and we had a growler doing everything he could to protect his harem. We propped up to get a shot at him. I looked at Dad and said he is all yours. He asked me to back him up and I showed him an empty chamber with the bold slid back. I turned on the Video Camera and he was on his own.
After 23 years, he finally had his Bull Elk, and a very nice one at that. I filled his Cow Tag and we completed a great hunt with a lot of fantastic people.
The harvest of this Elk can be viewed on my youtube channel if you search regionalaz bull elk new mexico.
Enjoy the photos.