Mistake or not???

maxracx

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Jun 20, 2020
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94
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Mosinee WI
My wife and I have been married for 28 years now. Both of us come from families that hunt so it is safe to say that hunting is in our blood. Being from WI we have hunted whitetails and black bears. I got into elk hunting about 17 years ago, but recently really got into it. Now that our kids are grown I have decided to take my wife on her first archery elk hunt. She has harvested deer and bear with her bow but never an elk. Last year I went on a high elevation rifle elk hunt in CO and shot a decent 6x6. This was one of the most difficult hunts I had ever been on and I loved it. We are headed back to the same area this year but only with archery equipment. Am I making a big mistake by starting her out on such a physically demanding hunt?? She is either going to love it or hate it. We have been working out all Spring/Summer and she is convince I am taking her on this hunt for the insurance money!!! LOL.
Let me know your thoughts, would you take your other half on an extreme hunt right out of the gate?? No right or wrong answer.
 

4ohSick

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Aug 28, 2020
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Helena, MT
I was a half-assed elk hunter for several years but something about hiking 10 miles in snow to never see an elk made it hard for me to want to spend much time in the woods. Summer of 2020 I got a bow on Craigslist and went out the second day of archery opening weekend and heard bugles all around, and we even had a 300-class bull come into 50 yards. Even if I had seen him before he saw me, I was shaking so hard I couldn't have hit him at 5 yards. I was hooked; hunted at least 15 days during archery and probably 20 during rifle and harvested my first elk. No doubt it's physically challenging and chances of downing an elk with a bow her first year out aren't great, but I think the experience of hunting the rut and getting to see those majestic animals up close has a better chance of getting her hooked than seeing the sea of orange during rifle.
 

LukeDuke

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Feb 7, 2015
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Minnesota
It sounds like you are doing the right thing in getting physically prepared. If you’ve hunted anything, especially elk, you know it can be a brutal grind, both physically and mentally. My wife has archery hunted elk with me for the past four yrs and has grown to really enjoy it. I was up front with her from the beginning and told her it could all come down to a few seconds of action so you need to stay in the game. She gets it now, but it did come over a couple of seasons. Her season 5 starts in Sept and she is ready. Best of luck
 

Stocker

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Aug 30, 2019
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Nebraska
I’m with JT88 you know her better than us.IMO western hunting is about 90% mental. If she has the mental toughness to keep pushing even when she’s wore out I think she’ll enjoy the difficulty. If she’s the type of person that may get overwhelmed by the enormity of the task she may not enjoy it. I’ve been in the same situation with my wife and I had to get her to break the big picture down into smaller tasks so she could see we were actually accomplishing something instead of spinning our wheels. I will guarantee if she keeps her head in it and pushes through even if you don’t fill tags it’ll be an experience she will love and never forget.

I’ve hunted with a lot of guys in better shape than me that hit that mental block and it ruined their entire experience. I’m too stupid to know any better so I have that going for me.
 

Ben Long

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Kalispell, MT
Hmm. Seems to me it depends on how you approach it. If it's "lets get out, see some country, and maybe find and elk" what could be better than Colorado high country? If it's "let's bust our asses until we put and elk down," it could be really tough. My wife doesn't hunt but we do a lot of outdoor time together and some big adventures. But I learned not too push too far. I love bushwhacking, but my wife's appetite for it is much, much less. Leave 'em wanting more, as they say in showbiz.
 

maxracx

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Jun 20, 2020
Messages
94
Location
Mosinee WI
It sounds like you are doing the right thing in getting physically prepared. If you’ve hunted anything, especially elk, you know it can be a brutal grind, both physically and mentally. My wife has archery hunted elk with me for the past four yrs and has grown to really enjoy it. I was up front with her from the beginning and told her it could all come down to a few seconds of action so you need to stay in the game. She gets it now, but it did come over a couple of seasons. Her season 5 starts in Sept and she is ready. Best of luck
Best of luck to you as well!!!
 

maxracx

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Jun 20, 2020
Messages
94
Location
Mosinee WI
I’m with JT88 you know her better than us.IMO western hunting is about 90% mental. If she has the mental toughness to keep pushing even when she’s wore out I think she’ll enjoy the difficulty. If she’s the type of person that may get overwhelmed by the enormity of the task she may not enjoy it. I’ve been in the same situation with my wife and I had to get her to break the big picture down into smaller tasks so she could see we were actually accomplishing something instead of spinning our wheels. I will guarantee if she keeps her head in it and pushes through even if you don’t fill tags it’ll be an experience she will love and never forget.

I’ve hunted with a lot of guys in better shape than me that hit that mental block and it ruined their entire experience. I’m too stupid to know any better so I have that going for me.
She put up with me and my BS for 28+ years now. She can put up with struggle!!!
 

Redman

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Mar 31, 2017
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Indiana
If it makes you feel any better I have been hunting elk for over 20 years and have been a flatlander all my life so I know the struggle. My wife of 2 years had her leg amputated in January and is going with me elk hunting this year. She has never seen the Rockies and as much as I have warned her of the situation she is still wanting to go! So....she has been warned and I have not done anything to persuade her to go.
 

mtmuley

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montana
If it makes you feel any better I have been hunting elk for over 20 years and have been a flatlander all my life so I know the struggle. My wife of 2 years had her leg amputated in January and is going with me elk hunting this year. She has never seen the Rockies and as much as I have warned her of the situation she is still wanting to go! So....she has been warned and I have not done anything to persuade her to go.
Just seeing the mountains will be great for her I bet. I live here and still can't get enough of them. Swing by Montana with some if those chainsaws.:) mtmuley P
 

diamond hitch

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Western Montana
Once upon a time I took my wife chukar chasing below the lower granite dam on the west side (a lttle steeper) snake river. Down was good but 1700 ft up in a mile on the way to the truck was too much. I have heard about it for 44 years. Use a little common sense and don't kill her on the first day. You want a partner not a martyre.
 

roravetz

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Aug 23, 2015
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Denver
If you typically get into elk, I would think about how you typically get into elk and if your wife would be comfortable/willing to do the same thing. You may not think twice about side hilling a steep hillside but it might really freak out your wife. I wouldn't try to push her to hard and if it seems like she has some trepidation about something abort that plan. I have taken my wife on a few hunts and was really surprised what made her uneasy.

I still remember side hilling this one patch of dark timber and my wife expressing her displeasure about where/why we were doing that and bam we jumped a group of elk. We laugh about it now but she was pretty frustrated at the time which isn't fun for anyone.
 

maxracx

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Jun 20, 2020
Messages
94
Location
Mosinee WI
If it makes you feel any better I have been hunting elk for over 20 years and have been a flatlander all my life so I know the struggle. My wife of 2 years had her leg amputated in January and is going with me elk hunting this year. She has never seen the Rockies and as much as I have warned her of the situation she is still wanting to go! So....she has been warned and I have not done anything to persuade her to go.
Good for her!!! Once you get the mountains in your blood there is nothing like it. I told my wife i will elk hunt every year i can until my body says no more. Best of luck to you and your wife!!!!
 

Hammsolo

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May 16, 2020
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568
I agree with so many. This isn’t her first rodeo. She has hunted. I believe in laying out realities and a clear plan. Then training (as you are) to be successful within those parameters. Next, be prepared for anything. Make sure she is dry, warm, and well-fed. Make sure to enjoy every moment and be prepared to adjust. We all know stories are a huge part of hunting. Make them good ones!
 

ILbowhntr

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Apr 24, 2021
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I agree with Ben Long. Just let her set the expectations AND set the pace (start time, stop time, down time, etc.). If it were me, I'd consider working in another "fun" aspect of the trip. There are some really cool ski towns to visit on the drive out past Denver (or the drive back if you prefer). Maybe treat her to an evening out with dinner and a nice room with a view in Frisco (or some other town) before making the grueling drive back to WI. I've made that run to/from Summit County and Illinois for many years with my wife to ski in Colorado (she doesn't hunt). This could be one aspect of the trip that makes it more about her than the hunt....which, IMO, is key if you want to encourage her to do it again in the future.
 

Redman

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Mar 31, 2017
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Indiana
Just seeing the mountains will be great for her I bet. I live here and still can't get enough of them. Swing by Montana with some if those chainsaws.:) mtmuley P
She saw the Smokie Mountains this year and I told her those are hills compared to the Rockies. She keeps talking about how excited she is to go.
Montana is a bit out of the way and besides you will most likely be on a mountain somewhere yourself.
If I brought by a Sthil would you use a 6.5 to hunt with this season?😁
 

brownbear932008

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Jul 15, 2011
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SWVA
Just travel at her pace and see how she does. She may love it or she may leave you for bear bait on the mountain. Hard to say! LOL I'd pack some extra comfort items to help ease the pain personally. All depends on her and her mentality. If your on the fence right now you may have made a mistake. A wilderness elk hunt is a different beast than WI deer/bear. Hope it goes well and she has a good time.
 

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