Getting a little more mud on the tires than we bargained for!
For those of you who have been faithfully following my elk journals - Thank You!! I had good intentions of doing this day-by-day, but seem to have hit a bit of a lull. I'm sorry for keeping you hanging. I'm going to try really hard and get back on track because I still have several journal entries to post... and I want to get to the days where tags are filled. Plus, whitetail season is upon us and I want to post fun updates about those hunts. So..... without further ado, here is Day 9 of our elk hunt:
MORNING HUNT: Nonexistent
Sunday, September 2
The night before we pretty much decided that the morning hunt would be nonexistent. Labor Day weekend had the mountain buzzing with people, which makes the hunting a little more difficult. So we enjoyed a late evening around the campfire. We still have all month to hunt so why not get a good night sleep, figure out which side of the mountain is pressured the least and form a plan of attack for the evening hunt? That is exactly what we did.
As the morning sun woke the slumbering hunters in camp, we wiped the sleep from our eyes and whipped up a pancake breakfast - with lots of BACON of course. The day was filled with bow practice, and four wheeler excursions down the many trails.
EVENING HUNT: Far Mountain
As the afternoon hours ticked on, it was finally time to get serious. Around 2:00, we headed over to the far mountain. The one that requires a long ride down a road that has the potential to turn to snot at the hint of rain. It is the very reason we have chains in each of our trucks. It is the cause for long bouts of silence as the passengers contemplate whether or not it is safer to bail out of the truck or ride it out as the driver white knuckles the steering wheel. It is the road where you can see to the bottom of the valley below and makes you wonder if the truck will roll all the way to the bottom if you slide off the edge, or if the small shrubs are more than just false security and will actually stop your truck.
A few thunderstorms in the distance didn't cause us to think twice this afternoon; however, we probably should have.
Upon reaching "far mountain," we dropped down to the first tier and sat along the aspen trees lining the meadow. After making a few cow calls and waiting fifteen minutes or so, we heard two faint cow calls. A young cow had snuck up to us and stood broadside at 45 yards. We were all in a row, nestled in along the tree line. Troy had his bow ready. Todd saw what was about to happen and face planted his nose into the dirt. Everyone whispered the now famous, "Don't move" phrase. Troy went to full draw and released an arrow. We all watched as the cow ducked the arrow hard. In fact, she ducked it so hard that Troy spun around and said, "Did you see that? She looked like Bambi on ice!!" It was impressive!
We moved down to the lower portion of the meadow and the only other elk seen was a spike that snuck up to Garnet to about 15 yards.
Little did we know that the adventure of day was just around the corner. A few sprinkles began to rain down on us as we loaded up in the truck - not enough to cause concern, but enough to drive faster. As we neared "the road" that leads up the mountainside... you know the one I was talking about earlier, the clouds began to release more and more rain. We had decided to take two trucks (I honestly am not sure why), so Allen and Troy were leading the way, and Todd was chauffeuring the girls in his truck.
About half way up the mountainside, we started to slide. Our truck was on a beeline towards the edge. Garnet and I both had a hand on the door handle. We looked at each other but didn't say a word. As Todd's truck slid to a stop, we both nodded and bailed out of the truck. I fell in the mud. I didn't care.
Somehow Allen and Troy managed to get their truck stopped in a semi-safe location and then walked down in the mud to help chain-up. Once the chains were on, we had just enough traction to get the truck pointed in the right direction again. Let me tell you - It took all the courage I could muster to get back in the truck!! I was so tempted to walk back to camp and probably would have if that mud wasn't so slick. It seriously was like a huge mud slip and slide. And the worst part is, the more you walk in it, the heavier your boots get. I think I was seriously 4 inches taller just from my short jaunt from Todd's truck to Troy's truck.
I'm pretty sure I had a sip of whiskey when I got back to camp.
From the Draw
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