Elk 2012 Journals: Day 8
MORNING HUNT: Big Bull Meadow
It's finally September and everyone is in camp. Todd and Mel rolled in around 12:00 A.M., and Allen, Garnet and the kids arrived around 2:00 A.M. The alarm went off at sharply 4:00 A.M. but it took a little longer for everyone to get moving. Troy knocked on Allen's camper and he poked his head out the front door and said, "I'm not going to make it."
Once everyone that was going hunting was finally loaded up (Troy, Todd, Mel and I), we headed down the dirt road. It was 5:00 and the sleepy hunters attempted to guzzle coffee strategically as our heads bobbed up and down while our driver navigated the bumps in the "road." We once again loaded up backpacks and carried bows as we headed into elk country. We probably should have left a little earlier this morning because as we emerged from the dark timber into the open meadow, the elk were already making their way across the other side. A cow stood broadside for a while and then we watched as the other edge of the pines swallowed up the herd.
This was Mel's first experience hunting elk. It is always so much fun watching someone for the first time as they encounter elk. She was so excited even though we weren't that close this morning. We quickly told her that was only a small glimpse of what future hunts would hold!
You may be thinking about now... why didn't you chase the herd? Well, you could, I suppose. However, it is early in the season and we haven't had a lot of luck yet in calling them in. It is better to not pressure them - especially since we know they've been crossing through this area. We would rather be in the right spot at the right time. Plus I think they saw us this morning and were probably clued in that we weren't elk. And have you ever chased an elk across a mountain? Good luck with that!
We hung around for another hour or so before heading back to camp for the afternoon. Egg burritos were fixed for lunch - and of course we all split the cooking duties. I cooked bacon. Al fixed eggs. Todd fried potatoes, and Troy cleaned out the fire pit for the evening fire.
EVENING HUNT: Road Past the Foundation
Due to the labor day weekend crowd, we had a hard time finding a place to hunt. People were everywhere. Troy stayed back in camp and watched the boys, Cody and Justin. Troy ended up with his hands full! At one point he threw Cody's toy on top of the camper because Cody was misbehaving. However, the plan backfired because Cody quickly retaliated and threw a split piece of fire wood at Troy's shin. When we returned to camp, Troy had quite the look on his face. He had a new appreciation for taking care of kiddos.
The rest of us enjoyed our evening hunt; however, we didn't see any elk... except for the ones that Todd scared away when going to the bathroom by an aspen tree. He looked up the hill and pointed. Four cows were making a bee line down the hill to the valley below.
Allen led us down a cliff this evening - that was fun!
Upon hiking back, we took a couple of breaks since we had climbed quite a ways down the mountain and climbing UP isn't as easy. One break consisted of the guys scaring the girls with a snake. And then there was the bouncing aspen tree shenanigans. Oh and a small thunderstorm passed above us tonight also.
The evening ended with drinks around the campfire! Ahhhh....
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From the Draw
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