Season of the Elk

Duck-Slayer

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Joined
Oct 3, 2010
Messages
4,181
Location
great state of Idaho....
So earlier this year I sat down with my wife and kids to talk about what they would like to hunt this fall. We do this every year and seems to work out. Well everyone decided they wanted to shoot an elk, i.e. the title. So my wife got a cow tag, my son got a bull tag, my daughter and I got a bull tag in the same unit.
Our season started with my daughter and I’s bull elk tags. Fortunately or unfortunately either way you look at it we received a big snow storm in the unit we planned on hunting 4 days before the opener. I was hoping for nice weather and a long snowless pack in, Not so much. We arrived at the trailhead 2 days before the opener with 5 goats and my daughters horse, to find about 3” of snow at the parking area. So far so good, that didn’t last long with several trees that had been blown down on the trail that were to big to move, Normally not a big deal with the goats they either go under climb over or go around. But with having my daughters horse that was not doable, and I do not carry a chainsaw when I pack in for this reason, because I don’t need it LOL. So there were several spots my daughter had to get the horse around fallen trees that were in the trail. Which ended up being a lot tougher now that we got into about 2 feet of snow. As we made our way up to the pass, which I had planned on camping down the other side in a meadow, the snow got deeper and deeper. Anybody that has packed on horses knows that a horse in snow it’s not the greatest, especially when there are boulders in the trail and the trail is covered in 2+ feet of snow. So the horse was beginning to be a hindrance rather than an Aid to our endeavor.
We ended up packing in 3.87 miles before we decided to stop and set up camp. We actually passed a nice meadow on our way up the trail, so we went back and kicked out a place to set up the tent. On a funny sidenote I had forgot the polls in the trailer for the tent. So we got to go pick out a couple of Christmas trees to use as polls. That was kind of fun minus we were both tired and chilled and wet from all the snow. Luckily we packed in a 30 pound propane tank and the big buddy heater. There was no way I was going to let the weather get in the way of being comfortable.
Matt 90ECF3D6-D90D-40B8-B352-469F1ABA1900.jpeg 0381480F-CA83-4642-B932-12251B6C1FE6.jpeg 9BBAC20D-E8C4-4EAA-ABEF-50564176966B.jpeg DBD4677A-2953-4CAE-BFAC-8CB943387049.jpeg 3D7000E9-ED1A-4AD1-A2CC-01C566213B9F.jpeg A78A1EBC-61B4-4613-BBE2-13270166F56E.jpeg
 

Duck-Slayer

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Joined
Oct 3, 2010
Messages
4,181
Location
great state of Idaho....
We talked about what we should do the following day that evening while we dried all our wet gear off. The reason we ended up turning around was that it got pretty steep with boulders in the trail, add in 2 feet of wet sticky snow the horse was a snowboard lol 😂, and the snow kept building up on her hooves. With minimal sign we were seeing and my daughter not to impressed with her horse, we also did not plan on quite This much snow, so between the goats and horse the 40lb bag of alfalfa pellets were over half gone in 1 night 😬. We made the decision to hunt our way back to the truck the next day.
Got up early and got all the panniers packed and weighed out, than headed back down the trail. We did not cross any tracks on our way out. My daughter did however have her first train wreck with a horse! Scared the sh$t out of me, horse had a little freak out crossing a 12” wide stream if you wanna call it that, panniers flew off, saddle turned sideways and my daughter ended up in a (soft) snow bank thankfully. Well after the long process of getting everything back on the trail we were off and made it back to the truck/trailer. We than drove around the rest of the day and found some grass for the goats and horse.
Matt DB36DB7D-03F4-4F2B-BA6D-3C13D9E383AE.jpeg 200BC950-3B39-46A5-9BF5-645157AFFF10.jpeg 45936CCC-A823-4A79-82FC-B75DD5BE18B9.jpeg
 

2rocky

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Joined
Jul 23, 2010
Messages
3,531
This is the most awesome picture:

dbd4677a-2953-4cae-bfac-8cb943387049-jpeg.199168


I will admit, having stock along is a lot more work. Until something is dead...
 

Duck-Slayer

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 3, 2010
Messages
4,181
Location
great state of Idaho....
The next 3 days consisted of trying to find a spot where there was no people! It was so crowded, I don’t think I have ever hunted a unit with this many people in the same area. But we did see elk everyday. Never did see a deer. Called in 4 wolves that would not show themselves, that was a really cool encounter that she has never experienced before. On our way home Sunday we found 9 elk and 1 5pt bull. Just a bit to late in the day for us to make a play, marked it on OnX for a return trip!
Matt
 

Lilhowie83

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Joined
Jun 19, 2020
Messages
443
Location
Southeast Idaho
Have you ever been told that your daughter looks a lot like you? Only prettier! 😄 When I first saw the picture of her on her horse I had to do a double take because I thought it was you.
 

Duck-Slayer

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 3, 2010
Messages
4,181
Location
great state of Idaho....
My daughter wanted to go back to school and 5 days hunting was enough for her, which I was fine with. But those elk we found on Sunday kept burning a hole in my memory 😂, those elk were ready to fill my freezer, at least 1 of them 🤣. So on Monday I was able to get everything dried out and re-packed for another go at those elk on Tuesday morning. Couple things I still had to do there was a screw in the horse trailer tire, that makes two on this particular trip I did with my daughter. Both of them were 7/16 self tapping small screws. The same ones that are used on campers. This was the second one of the trip, the first one we got while driving around looking for elk in the rear right track tire. The same tire if you remember from my live elk thread that got a screw in it 😂. I haven’t had a flat tire in a long long time, and now I’ve had three just this season. Anyway back to the story, I had to stop at Les Schwab to get the tire fixed before I headed up the mountain on Tuesday morning. Of course they did not open until 8 AM. So I wasn’t able to get to the glassing location from the road till right about 11:30 AM, luckily I was able to spot two different groups of elk, one single elk up where they last place I saw those elk. And then another two that were to the west a couple of ridges. So I definitely had some options. I’ve never been on this road before so I Park the truck and horse trailer at the first wide spot I came to. Which ended up being 3.87 miles to where I camped at the base of the mountain. So I packed in on a road that I ended up would have been able to drive. No big deal though, I like walking, and when the goats carry all my gear it’s even better.
After I got camp set up, I made the short trek up to the first look out to possibly catch those Elk coming out in the evening on a hillside lower than what I had seen them that morning. So I sat the last couple hours of daylight without seeing a single animal. But the nice thing is I was able to scout a trail going up the mountain, this particular mountain is very very steep. Probably the reason those elk were there, nobody wants to go up after them. Like @Big Fin says distance or topography is why those elk are there.
Matt D8315868-84AF-4F34-B6EE-6FB9B0F5D40E.jpeg 6F08853C-2BFF-410E-A4C3-1512F522B087.jpeg 51E41734-810E-404A-99DF-1CC374CA30DF.jpeg 90A86CC1-40A4-47A1-BE18-C5553F7646B9.jpeg EAF34F82-EF8A-47F2-83D3-7FBDF4DFC870.jpeg FBBC9C43-CA0E-4AB3-A520-2AE1AD221944.jpeg C315179A-3BBB-4E06-877E-184F9DEE1ECC.jpeg
 

Michigan_flatlander

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Joined
Sep 8, 2021
Messages
11
This is great. Eye opening to see yet another way to pack in and out. I will be in SW Montana for two weeks starting the 5th. Looking forward to my virgin trip
 

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