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Packed in 3.8 miles on a Sunday morning. Seen a cow and calf, heard a small bull in the aspens. They were not talking much. Had a ton of snow in the forecast, hunted all day Sun. and Mon., packed out Mon. evening.
Returned on Thurs. morning, packed in 2.8 miles into a different drainage. Woke up Fri. Morning to 4"ish of snow. Hunted hard all day in several drainages, walked about 9 miles on Fri, and 5.6 miles on Thurs. Hunted around camp on Sat. Morning and never seen any fresh sign since I packed into this canyon or surrounding canyons. Packed out Sat. afternoon.
After I packed out Sat. afternoon, I went too plan B and I had 3 plan B's lol. Pulled into the first trailhead and there was 1 truck w a horse trailer and another vehicle there with a flatbed trailer filled with totes. I get out to check out the map and the 2 guys with the trailer get out and we started BSing and come to find out they just pulled up from Wisconsin. Got to talking with them and the 1 guy Mark has never elk hunted and the other guy Bill has hunted elk in colorado a couple of times. They had no idea where they were gonna go or do. So I offered if they wanted to hunt with me and I could give them some pointers etc. They said they wanted to go check out some other country after they dropped there trailer. I said ok, I will be up the road at this other trailhead if you change your mind. Long story short they ended up coming up and camping with me Sat. evening at the other trailhead. We hit it off, so I made plan's to hunt with them for a couple of day's from the trailhead.
How many goats do you run? How much weight do they carry? Last I checked they were not a good combo with horses... as they like to stay tight with humans and can get muddled in with the horse space while trudging down the trail... Seems yours might end up mingling with your new hunt mate's horse(s)? I have horses and would like to know - future brain rumblings already giving me a head-ache... haha!
BTW - good on ya for your support of their hunt. I wish the best for all of ya though rootin' for you to drop a bull. GREAT pics, btw! Pretty cool goats.
Nice! I had pack goats for several years. Sold them last year in preparation for a move, but planning on starting a new string as soon as we get settled back in. I know everyone has their thing- mules, horses, llamas, etc, but for me, goats are just about the best all-around pack animal out there. I never even had to put any of mine on a lead when we were hiking; they would just fall in line and walk behind me all day.
Tuesday we made the long climb to the top, we left camp at around 730 and got to the top just before 1 o’clock. It was well worth the climb though, we had about 300 yards to go to the top and we had those same three bulls From Sunday screaming across the canyon.
Once we got to the top, we figured out that it was a lot harder to get over to those other three bulls we were watching then we had anticipated. So we walked up a little rise and low and behold old there were a group of elk in a small basin that was not visible from where we had came up. A cow and a calf spotted us and took the herd into the north facing drainage, we Tried to call the herd back, with no luck. After that encounter we moved a bit farther down the ridge and one of the Wisconsin boys, Bill spotted about six cows 150 yards away. Bill was OK with Marc and I making a move on these elk while he kept the goats busy eating grass. We made a quick stalk on these elk, And to find out there was about 20 elk in this group including one small 6, 1 Raghorn five point and one spike and about 17 or 18 cows. Tried to get close without calling but the snow was a bit crunchy, then I tried to call one of the bulls in, they did not want to leave the cows, so I made a quick circle around in front of the herd and got to 50 yards from one of the lead cows, not sure what happened it was a perfect situation, I was able to arrange her draw settle my pan and I shot right under her brisket. I was very disappointed in myself for missing that elk. After that we made the three hour hike back to camp with no other sightings.
Wednesday morning it took us a bit to get out of camp, we did not leave camp till about 9 AM, then we stayed in the Lowcountry for the rest of the day, walked in about 3 1/2 miles, had to dirtbike guys come by us, it is a bit disappointing when you’re that far back in and you see dirt bike hunters.....
Hey D-S, It was really enjoyable following along with your hunt and the fantastic use of the goats! Your sportsman-like spirit and attempts to work in on the elk is really a great representation of "On your own" hunting. Thanks for being another amidst a growing group of people who shine a positive light on hunting.
Thurs. Was the Wisconsin guys last full day day. Fri morning they are suppose to leave and head back. So Mark and I decided to make the long 3 hr hike back up too the top. That is where the elk were. We got a later start than we should have, but made it to the top at about 12:30. We were not even quite to the top and had a bull bugle at us, than another.... we climbed to the top so that the wind was in our favor. Got to the top and the next drainage on the south side had three more bulls in it and about 15 cows. We were less than 300 yards from 5 bulls and 30+ cows. So we picked a spot and tied the three goats up and dropped our backpacks and gear that we had and moved up the ridge another 50 or 60 yards, I sent Mark another 50 yards ahead of me and we started calling to all five bulls. It was not long a 5 point bruiser came running to investigate the lonely cow calls. At this point I was washing Mark he was above me 50 yards behind two or three small pine trees, I watched as he locked his eyes on the bull coming up the hill and he kept adjusting himself so that he would be in position when the bull gave him an opportunity. It was not long and I washed him draw his bow, He settled his pen and released. I did not hear the tell tale crack when an arrow hits an animal, but I was slightly over the ridge spine. I hand signaled too him w a Thumbs up or thumbs down, he Chyna gave me that maybe sign and he was not sure, I did however see that the other satellite six-point bull was headed our way. He came to the edge of the sparse timber and look toward the spine of the ridge, I think he expected something to be there that he could see..... Without being able to see that lonely cow he decided to sink back into the timber. And that was that, with bull still screaming in every direction it seems like we decided to retreat back to the goats and gear and have a bit of lunch and make a game plan. We thought as we ate lunch that the satellite ball on the north side of the ridge was getting closer, I grabbed my bow and did a few call calls the next 10 or 15 minutes and to no avail he did not get any closer.
After that we carefully crept over back to the south side of the ridge to look for Mark’s arrow and to see if there was any blood, we were pretty sure that he had missed. Funny sidenote on our way up the hill he lost his rangefinder on the trail. But he did Very well at estimating the distance of that bull, he estimated it at 50 yards and it was 50.4 on my rangefinder, he said he put his 60 yard pin a touch high so we guessed that he shot over the bull. We found his tracks where he was standing and there was no blood and we could not find his arrow, so we figured we would follow his tracks for a couple of hundred yards back down to the flat area of timber that all the elk were feeding in. Mark was slightly above me about 75 to 100 yards. As I was easing through the sparse timber I caught a dark object out of my left eye. I turned and there stood a spike elk standing Looking at me, he was not spooked and I had time to nock an arrow and range the bull at 50 yards. The spike proceeded to walk around a pair of Pinetree’s, which gave me time to make a few fast-paced strides toward the spike. As I close the distance to 35 yards of where he was standing he reappeared on the right side of the two pine trees, I quickly range him at 47.5 yards. He was slightly quartering toward me, I put it right behind his front shoulder and released
And the result of a sharp DNG DirtNap Broadheads and great deathharp bowstrings and a perfectly tuned bow from Archery Central put that spike in my freezer..... Mark and I made quick work of boning and getting the goats loaded with 110 pounds of boned out meat. We left the kill site at 7 PM and walked into camp at about 9:30 PM. I had a great trip meeting new people and showing them how good elk hunting can be in Idaho. I have new lifelong friends.