Arizona Bear and Elk Hunt
I harvested my first ever elk two weeks ago in Arizona just south of the Grand Canyon. I was in a camp of four hunters who planned to drive around the dirt roads in the mornings and evenings hoping to spot elk moving into or away from bedding areas and watering holes.
After driving around the first morning, I took another guy into a canyon to predator call for bear. However, we split up into two adjacent canyons. I called in a fox in my canyon, while he just happened to spot a bear standing vertically on a slope ripping the bark off of a pine tree, probably to get at some insects. He dropped it at 200 yards with one shot from his 30.-06.
I heard the shot at 1:30 pm and he called me on the radio asking for help. Needless to say, I helped skin, gut, quarter, and pack out the meat from the bear.
That evening, we also drove around the roads with no elk success. The following morning it was the same empty pattern. I decided to call for bear again after the morning hunt, as one of my buddies had harvested a bear by chance, so I returned into a canyon about 1.5 miles from the road.
After calling in another fox, I climbed over the ridgeline so I could call into the next canyon, when I found myself surprising a small heard of elk feeding on acorns under some oak and pine trees at 12:00 noon.
Being that it was my first elk, I took the animal nearest to me, which was about 30 yards away and dropped this young calf with my .300 Winchester magnum. She must have weighed only about 250-300 pounds, as I was able to drag her with some effort into a shady area about 10 feet from where she fell.
Unfortunately, when I opened my pack to take out my gutting/skinning knives, I remembered that I had resharpened them after taking care of the bear the day before, and had neglected to return them to my pack! Thus, I ended up using an 18 inch long bone saw to gut, skin, and then quarter the elk, which took nearly 3 hours of grueling patience and perserverance!! But, I earned her. I earned every pound of her sweet meat after packing her out 1.5 miles back to the road!
In summary, none of our camp of four hunters ended up harvesting any animals by driving the roads, and the only bear and elk harvested were the two I have mentioned that had to be packed out the old fashioned way using brute strength and muscles! I loved it!!