Elk Tag/Hunt Dilemma

JoltnJoe

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Joined
Feb 20, 2019
Messages
40
Location
Nags Head
This reads a lot like a "Dear Abby" letter in my head so hear we go....

Dear Fellow Hunters,
Against all odds I didn't draw my rut muzzy tag this year and ended up with a rifle post-rut tag. Conversely, one of my best hunting brothers drew the muzzy tag. I've been e-scouting for my tag which I will be largely going solo for. There are a bunch of buddies that will be hunting out of a family cabin for my season, and I'm welcome and encouraged to join. But, as much as I love them, I need to hunt hard, and don't need to get caught up in the late night drinking, truck hunting, and lack of dedication that exists there. I'm out of state and coming from about as far east as you can get, and still be in America. My wallet, my wife, and my newborn daughter can only bear one western adventure this year. My question is, am I crazy for returning my tag and accompanying my compadre on his muzzy hunt as designated caller/Sherpa/camp cook/fly fisherman? He's never killed a bull despite a couple of good chances and I can't think of much that would make me happier as an elk hunter than being a part of his first bull? (And the selflessness of the whole idea gives me a darn case of the warm and fuzzys inside) Any and all input and support to either decision is appreciated!

Sincerely,
Conflicted in Carolina
 

crock239

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Joined
Sep 18, 2012
Messages
70
Location
Iowa City, IA
Like u I get one shot at a hunt this year. I live east and don't get to hunt the west nearly as much as I'd like to...trying to change that. Do the hunt you will enjoy the most.

I've been on 2 CO elk hunt trips....one trip I killed a bull, and I helped call in a bull for my brother. Next trip I didn't kill a bull, but helped call in a bull my brother harvested. I got just as much enjoyment (maybe more) doing the calling in both instances. You still get the full hunt experience if you're not on the trigger.

Making my third trip this year on a limited entry tag, my brother is coming along as caller and sherpa, no hesitation.

Hunt the style u want, with who u want....otherwise you will feel like you cheated yourself.
 

Buffs35

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Jan 30, 2019
Messages
48
Location
Denver, CO
I think you already have your answer. I am turning in my speedgoat tag because my hunting partner finally got his chance to hunt pronghorn out of Maybell, CO. he's been putting in since middle school for the tag.

Not the same as your situation, but I'm so excited to get to go on his hunt with him. Plus if you go accompany your buddy, you'll have a leg up when you get the tag next year.

And, muzzy season is the best.
 
Joined
Jun 25, 2018
Messages
194
Location
Colorado
I think you already have your answer. I am turning in my speedgoat tag because my hunting partner finally got his chance to hunt pronghorn out of Maybell, CO. he's been putting in since middle school for the tag.

Not the same as your situation, but I'm so excited to get to go on his hunt with him. Plus if you go accompany your buddy, you'll have a leg up when you get the tag next year.

And, muzzy season is the best.
Took my first goat there. I was putting in since I was 12.
 

teej89

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Oct 7, 2015
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It's complicated.
Go on the muzzy hunt hands down! Sometimes it's nice to be in the passenger seat and sit back and be able to focus on just getting them their bull. Especially their FIRST bull! I got my fiancee her first gobbler this fall and I was more excited than I've ever been. Plus I would assume he'd half the meat with you for your help.

Oh and nice bull in your profile pic btw!
 

88man

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Jan 31, 2011
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444
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Pa
I would go help your buddy on the muzzle loader hunt. It sounds like you will enjoy that hunt more. Cut a deal and split the meat
 

Mtnhuntr

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Sep 26, 2017
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304
Like everyone else has said, with limited time hunt the way you are passionate about and with those whom you connect with best. I have never regretted sacrificing a tag to help close friends/family with their hunts.
 
Joined
Dec 6, 2013
Messages
94
Location
Easley, SC
glad to see another Carolina boy, I know your pain with the long drive. yeh, this is a no brainer, go on the muzzy hunt. I was able to help my brother and son kill their first bulls this past year and without a doubt that gave me as much joy as if I had pulled the trigger my self. enjoy the hunt, you won't regret it.
 

JoltnJoe

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Joined
Feb 20, 2019
Messages
40
Location
Nags Head
Thanks for all the wonderful comments and advice gentleman! Proud to be a part of this forum and such a wonderful collection of good men and good sportsmen. As previously stated, it’s an easy decision. I always say if you get to hear a turkey gobble and an elk bugle in a year it’s been a good year. Can’t wait to see the aspens change and enjoy the rut in Colorado during muzzleloader season this year! Good luck and happy hunting to all!
 

Horse

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Joined
Jan 21, 2018
Messages
112
Location
packerland
When my buddy drew his elk tag that took 10 years, I became guide, packer and #1 hunting buddy. I had just as much of a good hunt as he did, I just didn't pull the trigger. But I was right there when he smoked his first bull. And he shared some elk for my freezer. No regrets seeing his big smile holding his elk!
 

Pelican

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Apr 24, 2018
Messages
227
Location
Fruita, Colorado
Thanks for all the wonderful comments and advice gentleman! Proud to be a part of this forum and such a wonderful collection of good men and good sportsmen. As previously stated, it’s an easy decision. I always say if you get to hear a turkey gobble and an elk bugle in a year it’s been a good year. Can’t wait to see the aspens change and enjoy the rut in Colorado during muzzleloader season this year! Good luck and happy hunting to all!
Keep your eye on the left over/returned tag list when it comes out in August. You may be able still be able to get a tag.
 
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