CO Retuned Muzzleloader Elk Hunt

SCliving Outdoors

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South Carolina
Ever since the draw results across the west completed I have been looking for hunts to fill in my calendar. I only drew 2 tags, so CO was one of the states I watched like a hawk. My September was wide open. I really really wanted an early deer tag but I couldn’t ever seem to get one in my cart before someone else claimed it. I decided to start looking at elk muzzleloader tags as an alternate option. My buddy, Wayne, told me if I could get a tag he’d come with me and call. Well about 3 weeks ago I finally found a tag. It wasn’t exactly a coveted tag. In fact it can be drawn every year, but that’s ok because I had a tag in my pocket.

We left for CO early Sunday morning. The season was already open, but I wasn’t able to leave earlier because my secretary was getting married and I wanted to go because she is a great girl who does a ton for me. We made good time and arrived in CO from SC around lunch on Monday. We drove around the unit a bit before settling on an area a friend recommended to me based on past hunts.

We hiked in about 2.5 miles. We saw a little sign. Wayne did some calling, but didn’t get a response. About 45 minutes before dark we worked our way to a point that would allow us to glass and listen. After about 5 minutes I glassed up some elk about 2 miles away, but they were on private. One bull was a really nice bull. The elk were on a corner of private only about 200 yds from public. We looked at the map and realized this public was another place my friend had recommended.

We hiked back to the truck and drove around to the closest access to where the elk were. We would have to hike in 3-4 miles through a different unit to access the back of our unit. We headed in at 5am on Tuesday morning. No bugles that morning. Zip, zero, zilch. We hunted all day. Found tons of sign (rubs, trails, wallows) but saw zero elk. Finally right before dark we heard a couple bugles.

Our plan was the next morning to head into a wallow and try to make something happen. There was a high chance of rain on Thursday so we were also hoping with a change of weather the bulls might be talking on Wednesday morning. We were right. As we headed towards the wallow on Wednesday the bulls began to fire off. We worked our way up the ridge paralleling private land they continued to scream. 5-6 bulls all on private. We set up and Wayne said he was going to try to pull one over. He began talking to them with light cow calls, screaming bugles and raking. The bulls kept responding. I bet we heard 100 bugles. Finally after about 20 minutes a spike came right in. He stopped eye to eye with me at 7yds. He trotted off and Wayne continued to work. 5 minutes later another bull screamed about 200yds away. He was coming. He bugles again at about 120. Finally he popped into sight at about 80 yards. He was a nice 5 point and he was coming quick. I started looking for holes to shoot through. I moved up 5 yds to shoot, but he moved through my gap to quickly. I slid right about 7yds and sat down. I was going to have one small hole to shoot through at about 40-50yds. As soon as his shoulder hit that tiny hole I fired. The bull bolted right and stopped I was fumbling to reload when he collapsed. I’d made an absolutely perfect shot and the 50 cal made fast work of him.

We were elated. Wayne did an awesome job calling him over. The bulls continued to bugle and another one was coming, but we were tagged out so we stopped being quiet. We took pics and broke him down. We got him and camp out in 2 loads for each of us. I’m glad our camp was light. It was pretty heavy but we got it done. It was 3.7 miles each way.

Oh yeah. I went full on David and Goliath and smoked my first grouse with a rock!

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I only drew 2 tags, so CO was one of the states I watched like a hawk.
Only 2 huh? I thought that my wife and I put a huge amount of time into traveling to hunt and fish in a given year but you are just on a whole different level of impressive use of free time. Hard envy. I think I need to sell my house, start to rent and maybe I can get close to your rank man! Congrats on yet again another amazing hunt.
 
Only 2 huh? I thought that my wife and I put a huge amount of time into traveling to hunt and fish in a given year but you are just on a whole different level of impressive use of free time. Hard envy. I think I need to sell my house, start to rent and maybe I can get close to your rank man! Congrats on yet again another amazing hunt.
I can either hunt and fish or get back hard into golf. I chose the former. 🤷‍♂️
 
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