The Season of Stupid (& elk)

Thank you. The SO ultralight tarp is my go to. Always stays in my pack for an emergency shelter but is a game changer cutting up the animal. I also use it when deboning and that is when it really shines.
What is the brand of the tarp?

And inquiring minds want to know, is the knife strapped to your leg while hiking, or just for the work?
 
Thank you. The SO ultralight tarp is my go to. Always stays in my pack for an emergency shelter but is a game changer cutting up the animal. I also use it when deboning and that is when it really shines.
Thanks for spending my money, just ordered the same tarp:) What is your method of cleaning?

One thing that I have never carried is shelter, but less than 6 oz., kind of stupid not too.
 
The first trip was parts, pack, rifle, and the head. I dropped the pack and just had my frame, water, and some snacks going back in

The second trip back in to the elk was much better.
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And this was the route I took back to the elk. Basically reverse it for the trip out and add 15-20 minutes.

At 3 I got word that cheese pizza shot a calf so I buckled down and went back in for my second trip. I got back to the elk around four and deboned the two fronts and one rear and hiked it out to the truck. Got to the truck around 530 and had to go get one of the guys that was waiting at cheesepizzas truck with no way to communicate because of lack of service.

Got him picked up while cheese cut up his calf. I made some elk and deer steaks with smashed potatoes and Brussels on the blackstone. I wanted to go back in and get my last load because that low road and hike into the canyon would be hell if we got the snow they were calling for. Cheese is a horrible communicator on text/zoleo. We weren’t sure what he was doing or why it was taking so long but he finally made it back to camp around 8 pm and I made him dinner as well. He didn’t debone the calf so came out way to heavy, tried to take a shortcut through dark timber, and just had a long pack out.

After I got everyone fed I drove up and left the truck at 840 and was back by 10pm with my bone in hind. We are going to be doing a little 60-90 day dry aging project on the whole hind!

Hunting pj canyons is a whole different animal than what I’m used to. I may be hooked…

And since I tagged out and packed out before MtnElk planned to be there, it didn’t make sense to have him come all the way up to get the tent and his stuff. Not sure I could have fit another pillow in the truck but I got it all.
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Thanks for spending my money, just ordered the same tarp:) What is your method of cleaning?

One thing that I have never carried is shelter, but less than 6 oz., kind of stupid not too.
I soak it in a five gallon bucket with some dish soap and game bags. Stir it around a bunch to get parts and fat free. Rinse and repeat until the water isn’t red anymore. Then I throw all of it in the wash for a load and hang dry.
 
No clue, a good friend of mine owns the meat processor and the dry ager is sitting in his office. With it being my third elk and fourth animal this year it doesn’t really matter to me. I’m curious as well. Will keep everyone updated on it.


Heard the flavor’s wild. Personally have a hard time wrapping my mind around the waste involved. Hate the idea of pitching a huge chunk of meat after aging just like I hate the idea of leaving that chunk of meat in the field in the first place.
 
Hunting pj canyons is a whole different animal than what I’m used to. I may be hooked…
I 100% agree, the only downside to the PJ canyons game is that the elk always seem to be below the road...
I find PJ elk to be either as fun as elk hunting with a rifle gets, or as frustrating as it gets if they stay on the flats and won't go in the canyons...
 
With @Dsnow9 tagging out in 4th season, that officially brings my hunting season - be it hunter or packer - to an end. I have a ton of mixed feelings about this season, and have been mulling over whether to share them. Decided its a little too late now to not share, so here goes

THE GOOD
1. I got an elk. There is no denying this was a wicked thrilling experience and one I will never forget. I wish there was no "click" and I had a nice rack to stare at for the next 10 months, but such is life and there is some meat in the freezer.

2. My shooting. I've worked hard over the last year to get that dialed in. With the help of Deacon, I stretched my comfortability out a little and as a result, that 200 yard shot did not feel daunting. A one shot kill is a victory in my books, though I still wish I would have placed it a little better

3. The Exo K4 was dynamite. Despite all my own issues, it felt really comfortable and carried a load really well. And when I was unloaded, it got really small which was nice as well. Highly recommend the Exo line. And hint hint, there is a nice K3 for sale on this forum 😉

4. Davis 14x20 wall tent. Other than setup and breakdown, there is nothing to even think about complaining about. Even the setup and breakdown is easy, it just sucks when it's wet and requires more attention at home. But that is legit the only complaint I have. Otherwise, it's roomy, holds heat well enough and I am really looking forward to more group hunts in there. CO resident group hunt anyone?

5. My tundra. $3,000 tow bill aside, a great truck that worked really well under a lot of different circumstances this year. Have a few tiny upgrades to complete, but otherwise it met or exceeded all my expectations. Can't wait to load it down with a few more elk next year

THE BAD
1. CLICK... this will haunt me for a bit. Can't tell you how many times I made sure that chamber was loaded when I shut the car door during 3rd season. I was not making that mistake again. A rookie move that luckily only cause me a bull... and not elk all together.

2. Fitness level... this was closer to the BAD section than UGLY, but not by much. The last two years since suffering some nerve damage in my leg, I've let some things slip and it showed once we got into heavy pack mode. I spend a good amount of time moving through the mountains over the spring and summer, but it seemed like that additional pack weight tipped the scales in the wrong direction. I have a lot of goals around this area for 2024, including being able to keep up with Deacon and also not having to worry when @trb or others post pictures with a chubby sidekick if they are talking about me... or whether its incidental 😉🤣

3. Scheduling Conflicts. Twice I had to arrive late to hunts as a result of scheduling conflicts and in one case it cost me the ability to hunt and the other, an ability to learn. One cost me a chance at immediate meat, the other a chance to get better at acquiring meat for years to come. I need to block off more time on my calendar next year in an around hunts so that clients and family cannot book travel around those dates. Not the worst thing in the world, but at the end of the day, still something to work on.

THE UGLY
1. Altra boots after a snow. don't do it. Just don't. Deacon practically tore an ab muscle laughing at my description of my feeble attempts to ascend.

2. The unit I went to for 2022 1st and 3rd seasons and 2023 3rd season. The elk have invisibility cloaks there. Not worth it. @AvidIndoorsman and @Dsnow9 tried to warn me against it... but I didn't listen because I was stubborn and wanted to prove something


All in all, it was a good season and I had a lot of fun... even when it seemed like everything was going really wrong. I had a ton of fun hunting with Deacon, despite all the shit talking and hazing ha. I wish I would have acquired more meat, and I wish I would have made less mistakes. But I feel like that is something that I could say almost every year except the years where I punch every tag. The biggest bummer is that it's 9-10 months before I get to do it all again. I really wish I had another tag, something to allow me to get out there and chase elk or deer. But probably best to put in some family time and I have my honeymoon here in 10 days that I should probably be focused on, and not wishing I was hunting.

@Dsnow9 is far from done as he has two more tags... the best kind of all: father daughter hunts. Once he wraps up his season, he'll share a 2024 bet that was made this past Saturday at 5 am in the freezing cold. Something I am sure you'll all enjoy, and one that certainly epitomizes the word "stupid". Nothing like knowing the Season of Stupid Part Deux will at least be entertaining
 
Sitka Gear Turkey Tool Belt

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