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benjicunney's picture
Joined: 08/20/2010
Posts: 21
4th Season Success

Got back this weekend from the 4th season elk hunt. The old man and I had either sex tags up in northwestern colorado. We got there Thursday evening in order to start our hunt on Friday. Friday was windy as can be and we didn't see any elk - let alone much sign of them. The wind was really making things difficult. Finally on Friday evening we found a location with a few tracks and some promising layout.

That evening is snowed a bunch (made me happy), and we were the first ones to the mountain. There weren't many hunters out at all which suprised me. We started up a little two-track that is nasty and stopped for a moment to glass the hills. I spotted a group of 4 elk up at the top of a small clearing about to cross over the ridge. We tried to get further up the road but ended up wrapping the truck around a tree it was so nasty.

I got out and huffed it up the adjacent ridge with my dad going up the other. Up top one of the elk suddenly busted out in front of me in the junipers. I didn't have a shot but kept pursuing the tracks that were easily sighted in the fresh snow. I follwed them down the ridge on the back side and then crossed over to a new gully. As I crested over the adjacent ridge I saw the four of them across the gully at 250 yds or so. They were working their way up the next ridge. I fired on a the largest cow of the group - but didn't get the greatest shot due to distance and the way she was positioned.They crossed over the adjacent ridge and I pursued once again - noticing a small and faint blood trail when I arrived at the location where I shot.

Ending up following them over 2 more ridges / gully's before they ended up on the back side of the whole mountain (about 2-3 miles from where I started) and 3 of them were on the edge of the sagebrush by the junipers at the base. Little did I know there was a small 4wd track down in the sage and a truck rumbled up with the elk crossing right in front of them. They jumped out the truck and and from my vantage point (should have looked through the binos), it looked like they shot downwards towards my direction. They immediately jumped back in their truck and left.

Being thoroughly confused, I thought as I only saw 3 elk run across and as they had shot downwards and waved up to me that they may have finished off my wounded elk for me. However, I wasn't sure whether the sage below was private or public as there is private that skirts the sides. I decided to hike back to where my dad was after marking the location with the GPS. We got down the hill and drove back to the road where I had seen the other hunters. They were back there and turns out the shot had been at the other 3 elk crossing the sage. They had never seen the 4th elk that I had wounded. So I found the tracks, hiked back up the ridge and found where the wounded elk had split off from the other 3. I followed the tracks about 50 yards and jumped her out of the junipers, shot and ended the hunt. She got the last laugh by falling down the ridge 20 feet and wrapping her body around a juniper tree in the gully.

All in all, a great hunt. Was alot of work getting her out of there but was well worth the persaverance of keeping on their tracks. Can't beat a freezer full of elk meat!

Ca_Vermonster's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!Moderator
Location: San Diego, CA
Joined: 07/27/2007
Posts: 5813
Very nice Benji!  Sorry that

Very nice Benji!  Sorry that you had to track her so far, an didn't get a good shot off initially.  But, you did not give up, and din't leave a wounded animal in the woods.  Kudos to you for that!  Glad to see you came home with some fine tasting elk meat, very well deserved!  Glad those road hunters did not mess anything up for you, and maybe they even helped you by sort of blocking the escape route for your elk, forcing her to lay up.

Anyway, thanks for posting.  Congrats on the successful hunt! Got any photos of her?

cantgetdrawn's picture
Joined: 10/07/2011
Posts: 129

Sorry about the truck.  When I read the part about wrapping the truck around a tree, I imagined a disabled truck and could not believe you where going to hunt from there.  I am glad it was was not totaled. 

Seeing animals has always helped take my mind off things like that.  Hopefully getting the elk makes up at least partly for the truck.  Again Congratulation. 

hunter25's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Colorado western slope
Joined: 11/13/2009
Posts: 3040
Congratulations on getting

Congratulations on getting your elk down. Like was said godd job in staying after her and finishing the job. At least after all that hiking you were able to finish it closer to a road than if you had caught up sooner. And thankfully you had snow to be able to track her well.

Meat in the freezer and a good hunt, that's about as good as it gets.

COMeatHunter's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Joined: 06/01/2011
Posts: 639
Sounds like a pretty good

Sounds like a pretty good time.  Snow sure makes for good tracking too, that's for sure.  Glad you stuck with it and found your wounded cow.  

Thanks for the story!  Enjoyed reading it.

benjicunney's picture
Joined: 08/20/2010
Posts: 21
Thanks all. Yes, I was happy

Thanks all. Yes, I was happy to find the wounded animal as well. The first shot hit her right on the edge of the ribcage. I didn't compensate enough for the distance and the angle as I was a little low and to the left. She was somewhat broadside when I shot; however, she was climbing a very steep ravine so she was angled a bit. 

GooseHunter Jr's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Colorado
Joined: 09/28/2005
Posts: 3748
Sounds like to me that you

Sounds like to me that you had a reall good hunt and kudos to you for not giving up and tracking her down and finishing the hunt in a good way.  Some great for the freezer right there.

Retired2hunt's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Colorado Springs, CO & Fort Myers, FL
Joined: 07/28/2011
Posts: 1624
  Congrats on getting your


Congrats on getting your elk!  Anytime you fill the freezer from a hunt it is a successful hunt.  Great read and thanks for sharing your adventure with us.  Would love to see a picture if you have any to post.



mossbuck35's picture
Joined: 04/29/2010
Posts: 117

Congrats on getting your elk, it's always a good feeling When you have a freezer full of meat for the winter! Thumbs up

Joined: 04/29/2012
Posts: 13
4th rifle

Hey buddy I am heading to Colorado for a rifle hunt and I see you hunt the last rifle season which is what I hunting. Me a buddy and my 13 year old son are heading out to unit 15 just north of kremling off 134 just across the routte county line. Dup you have any advice for that late season hunt.  Any advice about the 4th season will be greatly appreciated.

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