Dream Elk Hunt
I've been dreaming about going on a pack trip for Elk ever since I was my son Travis' young age of 14. With his interest and ability in archery coming on real strong, along with a hunger to experience western hunting, I could not pass up another year without experiencing this with him.
We've made a pact between us, agreeing that I will take him hunting when he is too young just as long as he agrees to take me out when I'm too old, I'm now 41.
We chose to hunt southwest Colorado's unit 74. The outfitter was Ron-D-View Ranch and Outfitting. Let me tell you, that was a class act. He really knows how get you in where you want to be, and when you need something out, he has excellent mules that know their job and do it very well.
We packed in on the morning of 9/10/01. By that evening we had seen 2 cows and a calf. The 3 days following were spent getting acquainted with the area, and doing some bugling to locate some bulls, with Travis having the majority of positive responses.
Friday brought in thunderstorms, hail and rain, which is just what we needed. Friday evening the bulls lit up. Early Saturday morning we headed of to the ridge which Travis was on when he had his first bull come in and hang up out of sight.
The plan was for Travis to bugle and I would setup between him and the responding bull. Travis bugled and got a response instantly, we figure he was 100 to 200 yds away. I took off towards the bull, made about 30 yards and the bull bugled again. He was over the ridge between us and moving away. 2 or 3 more bugles and he was through the next valley and on top of the next ridge. We took off after him, not paying much attention to natural noises, but making no unnatural noises. At this time he was probably 1/3 of a mile away. We moved fast but careful, 200 yds and bugle, nothing, cow calls, lots of em' from Travis and myself, instant response. Again, we moved in fast but careful, from one ridge within the valley to the next ridge within the valley, cow call, bugle, more cow talk, the bull rips out a bugle and grunts, now he's coming in! One more move about 50 yds and we set up next to a small spruce, one of us on each side.
I was now looking down over the next small valley. The bull bugles, Travis responds, the bull comes over a ridge 80 yds away, moving in fast, down that ridge, crashing through a small downed tree and over to our side of the valley. The bushes between us hide me from him and his body from me, but his antlers were clearly visible all the way in. He is headed right behind another spruce which is right below us, I draw back, he steps out 20 yds away, broadside and wide open!
The Muzzy tipped Beamed 400 flew from my Mq32 Mathews right on target through both lungs and 20 yds beyond. The bull stepped forward and then Travis puts another arrow into him from his Ben Pearson Anaconda. This bull fell down within 60 yds, managed to get back on his feet, moved another 40 yds and was down for good. We thanked God for this beautiful country and the beautiful trophy before us. This is our first elk, rough score (unofficial) of 257.25. Definitely a trophy, especially because we did it together, on our own. A dream hunt no doubt.
Now is when the work starts, I told Travis. We spent the rest of the day quartering and bagging and then went back to camp. Ron and Carrie came riding into camp just as we were ready to cook up our first round of tenderloins. After a delicious supper and a good nights sleep, we rode out and packed up the meat and head. Back to camp we went, Ron and his help continued on and took our prized meat and trophy to a locker for safe keeping.
A very sincere thank you to Ron, John and Ms. Carrie from Mike and Travis.