Putting In The Time
After a long and not so successful archery season with my little brother, our hope for the upcoming rifle season wasn't so good. We had chased a small herd of elk around but never really got within archery range. If we were on one side of the valley they happened to be on the other. The weather was starting to get colder and the snow picked up as archery season came to a close. I knew we stood a good chance of running into that same herd of elk.
After packing our bags and heading to a nearby unit to try our luck at mule deer. We hadn't been to this area since I was a teenager and it had sure changed since then. There was a few inches of snow on the ground and weather wasn't in our favor the whole trip. We got a little scouting in the night before the opener and had found some pretty good sign.
After slipping into the area early on the opener we patiently waited for the sun to rise over the mountain top. We sat near a pond for what seemed like all morning with not even a squirrel sighting. As we started up the mountain I caught a glimpse of a decent sized buck off to the side of use. I quietly told my brother to go around the trees and see if he could take a shot. The buck sensed us and began to run.
With a load grunt on my deer call he stopped in his tracks. The next thing I know Jeff had fired a shot. It wasn't long after that we picked up the blood trail and followed him about 200 yards where he layed bleeding out.
The weather was continuing to move in and we decided to call it a trip later that day, packed our bags and headed for home. Jeff was pretty excited since that was his first deer.
A few more weeks went by and we continued to try and hunt the elk we were chasing during archery season. With no sightings of them during the first part of the season we started to get our hopes down again. Well one afternoon a storm was blowing in and my brother was supposed to meet me at the house for an afternoon hunt.
He was running a little late when I started to hear the elk bugle right where we had been hunting. As soon as he got home we rushed to get up the mountain. It wasn't long before we were right in the middle of a large herd of elk with several bulls bugling all around us. I stayed about 100 yards behind by brother calling as we worked slowly up the mountain.
Before I knew it I heard the familiar sound of his Mossberg .270 going off. After a long hike through some steep and thick country we stumbled upon his massive first bull. It was pretty much dark now and we didn't even have a pocket knife on us. It was a very tiresome night and it took a lot of work to get the bull off of the mountain.
It was a great season for us even though I didn't get a chance to shoot anything. It was probably more rewarding sharing the hunt with my brother and seeing that glimmer in his eyes from a succesful trip.
I just wanted to share this story because it will be in my memory forever. It really goes to show if you put the time in and do everything right and your a little lucky you might just have a season of a lifetime. Jeff will have a hard time killing another bull like that on public lands, but I'm sure he'll try like hell now that he's experienced that feeling of satisfaction from a great DIY Colorado public land hunt.