A Poor Elk Hunter With A Good Elk Tag

theat

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Aug 28, 2010
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600
Location
NW Montana
That collaring job would be interesting!!
Like how there is barbed wire wrapped around the antlers of that 1 bull. Weird stuff

It has its moments. The job has also provided me some of the most miserable experiences in my life as well as some very close calls with death or serious injury.

These kinds of things are not that uncommon in the wildlife capture field.



Elk are very powerful animals and we have to be very cautious when handling them. Other than bulls, moose, and wolves, we very rarely sedate the wildlife that we handle. This guy is very lucky that he still has his finger. i know of several others that have had fingers pop completely off when caught between a kicking elk and the capture net.

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We find wildlife stuck in fences and with fencing materials stuck on them quite often. Although we are supposed to be random in the majority of our captures, we usually try and catch any animals that look like they could use a hand removing any wire, baling twine or whatever else that they have caught on them. That bull with the barbwire was acting strange when we approached him and did not want to get up out of his bed. It took a bit of effort by the pilot to get him out into the open, but he never moved at more than a very slow walk. The barbwire ran right through the middle of his right ear that looks floppy in the picture. It was pretty infected, but we were able to cut it out of his ear and apply some ointment to the wound. We were worried about him since the collar didn't move for a couple of days, but he ended up living for at least another year.
 

Nameless Range

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Jun 6, 2013
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Western Montana
Well I headed back to the wallow I set a camera up on two weeks ago with the goal of identifying the fastest route to the wallow.

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It’s only a bit over two miles , but involves 3 creek crossings and the ascent and descent of 2 ridges followed by the ascent of a third. The first time around it took me a bit less than two hours. Today it took me an hour and ten minutes.

As I approached the wallow I could see my camera was no longer on the tree. Expletives filled my melon thinking about the SOB who put in the effort to get up here, only to eff with some guy’s camera. When I got up to the tree I saw a different story.

A bear had ripped my camera off the tree, broke it open, removed all the batteries and SD card, chewed on all of them, and scattered them around the tree. There were claw marks a good 7 feet up the tree.

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I figured the card was shot and picked it all up. On the way out I saw dozens of elk. Right now their coats are so smooth and radiant, juxtaposed against the green earth they looked like CGI. When I got back to the truck I did some surgery on the SD card. Miraculously I was able to recover the pictures.

That camera was up two weeks. I got over 400 pictures of elk. It’s as elky a spot I’ve ever been, but here’s the thing. The sonofabitchin elk did what they always do. They assaulted my camera, spinning it thousands of degrees around the tree, shoving it into the earth, which has happened to me on previous years as well. Most of the pictures are butts or noses or patches of fur. Not 45 minutes after setting the camera up, a small bull was a’wallowing.

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I threw that last pic of the bull nuts in because I have about 100 of those.

Nothing particularly cool to share yet, but it was a fine day

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bowhuntmontana

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Feb 17, 2011
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Utah, after 30+yrs in MT
I have never set a camera in an elk spot where the elk haven't messed with it. I swear you have to set them up high and angle them down unless you want a trail cam all licked to death.

I have heard about bears doing that. Maybe something about the plastic that attracts them...
 

Randy11

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Jan 12, 2009
Messages
5,620
Elk are hell on trail cameras. I've been looking at the brownings with the angled trunk attachment, I think it's the way to go so they cant get to them, and I'll be swapping to those when mine crap out.

Looks like a great spot!
 

Nameless Range

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Western Montana
That’s a fair assessment @livingthedream , no health issues here. The “Poor Elk Hunter” in the title is not in jest. If you were looking for “show-stopping” content You’d be better off following some of the other hunters on here.

That said, I have been a slacker with this thread. I’ve hiked over 100 miles in the Elkhorns this summer. Though not a large range, I have come to find them rich with seldom visited slices of Heaven. I have lost two trail cameras - one to a bear and another to a thief. I have seen bulls at tens of yards in the timber that I would be tickled to shoot , and I have thousands of trail camera pictures, though honestly nothing spectacular in them.

The last few mornings I’ve hiked I’ve been serenaded by bugling bulls, and though the summer may lack internet content, the geographic love I have for the mountain range has deepened and expanded.

I have two cameras remaining in the hills. And when I pull them next week I’ll share anything worth sharing on them. Otherwise prep yourself for some hunt reports, likely lacking in show-stopping characteristics, but I will give it a whirl nonetheless.

Happy hunting.
 
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LCH

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Dec 9, 2013
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Southern Indiana
That’s a fair assessment @livingthedream , no health issues here. The “Poor Elk Hunter” in the title is not in jest. If you were looking for “show-stopping” content You’d be better off following some of the other hunters on here.

That said, I have been a slacker with this thread. I’ve hiked over 100 miles in the Elkhorns this summer. Though not a large range, I have come to find them plum full of seldom visited slices of Heaven. I have lost two trail cameras - one to a bear and another to a thief. I have seen bulls at tens of yards in the timber that I would be tickled to shoot , and I have thousands of trail camera pictures, though honestly nothing spectacular in them.

The last few mornings I’ve hiked I’ve been serenaded by bugling bulls, and though the summer may lack internet content, the geographic love I have for the mountain range has deepened and expanded.

I have two cameras remaining in the hills. And when I pull them next week I’ll share anything worth sharing on them. Otherwise prep yourself for some hunt reports, likely lacking in show-stopping characteristics, but I will give it a whirl nonetheless.

Happy hunting.
I always intend to take more photos, keep better notes, just document the overall experience. Most often, I get to the end of the season and realize I was too caught up in the hunt (including scouting, prep-work, etc.) and all the extra stuff fell by the wayside. I'm not convinced that that's a bad thing though. I recollect the details pretty well myself.
 
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