Troy's 5x5 DIY public land bull elk
We are down from the mountain after a tough week long elk hunt... It was HOT, the harvest moon illuminated the night sky all week, and it was DRY. All these factors contributed to the elk not wanting to talk and only play at night. We had one evening with a few light sprinkles which caused the elk to loosen their vocal chords the next morning. So, we exchanged bugles back and forth and had them running into us from all directions. It was like a light bulb went off in their heads for one day and then it was switched off again. Crazy elk!
Troy was able to punch his tag even with these strikes against us and now our freezer is filled to the brim with elk steaks. Unfortunately, I didn't get to punch my tag since I only had spikes come in close enough for a shot. Those little boogers won't leave me alone! (A legal bull in CO is 4 pts or better.) Oh well - I don't think we would've had room in our freezer for 2 elk, so I'm not going to complain much. I'm thankful for the meat we've been blessed with. It should last us all winter long and I'm excited for the first BBQ with friends.
The first thing on my agenda this week - cashing in a gift certificate to the spa. I need a back rub after packing out that elk. I made three trips off the mountain that day. Don't feel too bad for me though because I volunteered to be the mountain goat while the guys did the butchering. I thought it was an even trade. So, the first trip I took my pack AND Troy's up the mountain to dump off the extra weight and bring back rope and the pack frames. The second trip - a front quarter hauled to the truck. The third trip - a hind quarter carried out via headlamp. Luckily we were only a couple of miles in, but it was a steep "hill" to climb. Phew! I was a tired gal that night.
And to top of the great day... a flat tire was waiting for us.
(I snapped the above picture during my first trip and waited to tell my husband about it until they were almost done with the butchering. I didn't want a repeat of the other year and have an accident due to added stress.)
We had so much fun on this hunt and I'll promise to share some good stories and pictures in the next week or so. Congrats to my hubby on his bull. I'm so proud of him!
We are busy getting ready for our next hunting trip - elk in our home state of CO. So in the essence of time I thought I would simply share some of the pictures I took during our Mule Deer hunt. The scenery was absolutely breathtaking since we were above timberline for a good portion of this hunt. I still have lots to share about this recent hunting adventure, but time spent blogging will have to wait until after elk season.
I have camo to wash, meals to cook, the camper to pack... I'm busy busy this week! I'm not complaining though. I'm a happy gal with another full week of hunting in my near future and since we are bringing the camper this time I have all the more reason to smile.
Dear, Muleys - you escaped us this year. We will be back. Promise.
If I had an Indian name it would probably be "Scared of Bears." This new found fear that I'm now trying to conquer surfaced during our recent Mule Deer hunt. Opening morning I found myself wandering a short ways off from our little home on the mountain top - a humble resting place composed of a few tents nestled on a slope at the edge of timberline. The need for quenching my thirst due to climbing the mountain the night before resulted in a desperate need to escape from the single-man tent that I was confined to in the wee morning hours.
As I surveyed the beautiful view around me I noticed movement. With my decaffeinated state of mind, I stared at the object roaming across the tundra-like crest of the mountain. It was huge and tall which is probably why my mind didn't register what I was looking at. I'm not sure how long I watched him. It was a bit surreal for a moment. At some point the words, "Bear!" came out of my mouth. There was a rustle in the nearby tents. All the guys quickly appeared to check out my discovery. One by one I heard.. "that's a big F***ng bear!" Holy *#$! Excitement was in the air. My husband was wishing that bear season was open - the tag in his pocket was now burning a hole. Me on the other hand... the sleepless nights began.
I don't know what got into me but after seeing Mr. leggy Black Bear, every night afterwards I had a hard time sleeping. You should also know that my husband and I each had single tents. The plan was for the guys to sleep on the outside edge so that I would feel safe being nestled in the middle. They had guns in their tents. I didn't and I didn't feel safe. So, for the subsequent nights my sweet husband awoke to me whispering his name and me crawling into his single tent. We were 'sleeping double in a single tent.'
There was one night that I still remember vividly and pray that the memory will not fade away soon. One of my sleepless nights as I lay awake straining to listen to anything that roamed closely to "our" tent, the ritual began. I would hear something out of place and try as I might to be strong, at some point my husband was getting poked... "Did you hear that?" "Is that a Bear?" And the response... "No. Go back to sleep. You are fine." This night was different though. I could hardly take it anymore, I found myself praying and asking my Father in Heaven to please calm my nerves. I knew it was an irrational fear I was developing but still couldn't convince myself that Mr. Bear wasn't going to pay me a visit. So, like a child asking again and again for the piece of candy, I asked my God again... please comfort me. He is faithful. The next sound I heard softly in the distance... "meeewww."
Me: "Did you hear THAT?"
Me: "I think it is an elk."
We listened quietly nestled in the single-man tent. And then the chorus of mews drew closer. The girls apparently had a lot to talk about tonight. As the herd of elk literally surrounded our tents we lay in silence - we were like kids in a candy shop. In the cover of darkness I know we both were grinning ear to ear as we whispered to one another... "Can you believe this??" I didn't think it could get any better, but it did. CRASH! RAttLe! CRaSh! A war had begun as two bulls began to test their strength in the field right next to us. Amongst mews and antlers crashing I lay in awe as the sounds filled my ears. Laying there at the edge of the pine trees, I was content. A wave a peace washed over me. I couldn't see what was going on around my tent, but the sounds filled my imagination. As the star filled sky sprinkled down the only glimpse of light upon the timberline meadow I knew that God had sent the elk - just for me.
P.s. The one person who had an elk tag for this area slept through the whole event. In fact, as I tried to wake him up.. the "conversation" went something like...
Me: "Psst - Evan. Are you hearing this?"
Elk: CRASH! RaTtLE!
Me: "Psssstttt..... Evan!"
From the Draw
A website devoted to sharing bowhunting stories. From the draw in the mountains to the draw on paper, the moments live on.