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Hunting Main Board => North American Big Game Hunting => Topic started by: FrankA on April 05, 2010, 10:20:26 PM

Title: First successful elk hunt
Post by: FrankA on April 05, 2010, 10:20:26 PM
We started elk hunting 3 years ago . Being novices and living in Florida we figured we needed to go with a guide servcie. I assumed the farther north the better. So the first year we went to Alberta. The outfitter, who had reportedly been doing it for 20 years, was nice enough and the lodging primitive but adequate.
He evidently though we were  track stars as he would take us on these really long treks at break neck speeds leaving us winded to the point that we would almost fall in our tracks till he would realize we were no longer with him. He'd then come back and wait till we could stand
and talk again.He would not let us chamber a round until he told us to which, as it turned out with the only bull my buddy saw, was with it standing looking at him. By the time he chambered the round the elk had turned around and started running . Needless to say he did wing it but the guide never found it
even though we looked the rest of the afternoon and the next AM for hours . He didn't have a tracking dog.
The next year we went to Montana . The guide and his family ran the service .They were all very nice with good food and a real bunk house . We did see some cow elk but no bulls and never got a shot . We couldn't hunt cows there . We went back to the same areas basically every day but came in from different directions .
Only one person of the 190 that were there got an elk . Their advertisements said  their success rate was 75%.
This last year  we went to Saddleback Ranch in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, as a freind of mine had been there the year before and had seen countless elk and he and his father had got one . I researched it and found out that Colorado has the biggest elk herd of the lower states . We immediately felt like family there . Everyone
was friendly and accomadating. They asked us almost daily if we were happy with our guides and where  we had been.We practically saw herds of  elk every day on the mountain side  looking from  the road which we came and went on . We saw alot of elk on our hunts too. We, on the 5th day of our hunt when the  wind was out of the north , stalked that herd
on the mountain side. We went as close as we dared on UTV, then walked up and down gorges / ravines(at an easy pace!) until we could see them coming out of the woods and down onto the mountain side . We laid there on a little ridge to the south ,  until they had all come out and went down another slope to the north . Then we went down the next ravine
and up the next ridge where they had been . We were able to catch a glimpse of some of them . The guide  said there was a cow with a white collar ( I has a cow tag and my buddy was to shoot a bull)and he wanted me to shoot it . I figured that would be neat to get a cow with pretty white collar something I had never seen on any of the elk pictures I'd
seen. So I said sure!We snuck up to the next ridge and there they were , 50-75 animals, in a valley below us . There were a bunch of  bulls and  lots of cows. There was one big bull farthest out that the guide said my buddy should shoot.We had to stand up to shoot over the small brush as we were afraid to go any further as it dropped off sharp and there
were some animals there that we might spook.The plan was for my buddy to stand up and use a shooting stick for steady and as soon as the bull dropped, I should stand up , grab the shooting stick and shoot the cow. The sun was going down fast and light was dropping down in that valley. My buddy shot the bull at 175yds and it jumped up in the air and fell down dead. The whole herd ran to the east back toward the ridge but only went about 100 yards before they stopped and stood there looking around. He handed me the shooting sticks and the guide again said to shoot the cow with the white collar. I looked and I couldn't see her . The light was really getting low and all the animals looked like spikes to me with those big ears and all of them standing so close . It seemed like I was looking for hours but just seconds. I then saw an animal with a white collar so I shot(125 yds) her knowing it had to be the cow he had seen. It hunched up a little and took off up to the top of the ridge . Luckily it stopped at the top of the ridge and looked back , I aimed at the back border of her ribs as she was quartering away and shot again(180yds).After I shot she ran over the top of the ridge and disappeared .  The herd then headed for the next mountain but we didn't see any cow with that white collar with them.I went down to where I had first shot her and couldn't find any signs of blood , hair , nothing! I worked my way back and forth up toward the ridge looking for any sign but didn't find any. The guide had run further up to see if he could see her with the herd. I worked my way up to the top of the ridge just below  the last tree there which was a few feet above where she had been when I last shot.I started looking around in enlarging circles and soon found her about 40ft down the other side. The white collar turned out to be a radio collar for tracking . I just knew I'd shot someone's pet . The guide came back and said that ir was part of a game and wikd life program to track the herd's movement and they wanted people to collect the collars and I hadn't killed a pet.
I still haven't heard from the wildlife people but they are supposed to send me a print out of the animals movements.
Everyone (5 hunters) got their elk that week.
We plan to go back this year with the same group plus a few more . I plan to try for a bull this time , though I am not sure I have any wall big enough for these big racks . I may have to hang it as if it is laying down so the rack goes along the wall rather than upright or almost at the floor so there is enough room.
Title: Re: First successful elk hunt
Post by: MOSPARKY on April 05, 2010, 11:46:59 PM
Great read Frank ! O0 Congrats on the Elk.
Title: Re: First successful elk hunt
Post by: John Andrews on April 06, 2010, 09:36:41 AM
  O0 O0 O0 O0 O0 O0 Yeah, Frank!
Title: Re: First successful elk hunt
Post by: bohicajuan on April 06, 2010, 09:52:38 PM
Nice Job!! O0 O0 O0 O0

If you go back and get a nice bull, we can recommend an EXCELLENT taxidermist in Oklahoma. O0 O0 O0 O0 O0

I've heard other stories about how guides like to show off what great shape they're in by running their clients into the ground. I'd be willing to bet guides like that don't have many repeat clients and probably go out of business before too long.
Title: Re: First successful elk hunt
Post by: John Andrews on April 07, 2010, 08:07:47 AM
I bet a one or two light flesh wounds would slow the race guide down to an easier pace.  :twisted: You know, just nick him a couple of times.  ^-^ :twisted: :knuppel2 ;D
Title: Re: First successful elk hunt
Post by: GreatWhiteBuffalo on April 07, 2010, 11:01:30 PM
 I'm happy that you got an elk! That guy that wouldn't let you chamber a round sounds like he was just trying to show who's "boss". "These are my woods, dog nibbit" sorta thing. I heard it happens alot with non residents.