The story of my first elk hunt. From the highest of highs, to the lowest of lows.

jnagel32

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Sep 22, 2015
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516
Location
Pennsylvania
Great write up. I enjoyed reading it. Stinks you lost the elk but overalll you had a great experience
 

Festus

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Apr 13, 2012
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Virginia
Thank you for sharing your experience. Well done. I have been there... It will come up in your mind from time to time for years.
 

Firedancer

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Nov 5, 2013
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Helena MT
Great write up and i know how you feel. I hit a 6x6 last year in the shoulder blade, it still sucks knowing that you inflicted pain and possible death and not finishing the hunt.
 

TRS_Montana

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Nov 19, 2014
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758
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Helena
Man. This has been one of the best posts I've read in a long time. I think your reference to the wisdom of Aldo Leopold is fitting. For the ethical hunter who cares about the consequences of his or her shot, sometimes it is more important to be able to learn from an experience and let it reside in memory as a token of contentment than it is to have never gone through the experience. I don't know anyone who is passionate about hunting that hasn't done a version of what you describe. I also like the honesty behind the emotions you felt. Again, I think those are common, though not always expressed. Good luck next year.
 

ida homer

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Apr 4, 2013
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Boise, Idaho
Excellent write up and thanks for sharing. You had a great adventure. I love the honesty, it's more feasible for real audiences to connect with. Shit happens with a bow.

Most guys would not have shared your ending, they would have ended the thread right before the shot. Good on your for telling the whole story and I'm sure you'll be back to notch your tag next year!
 

Lostinthewoods

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Aug 4, 2016
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796
Great write up. Thank you for taking the time to do it and for sharing the awesome pictures.
 

wllm

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Dec 9, 2015
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Location
Boston
Nice write up, definitely been there... always sucks to loose an animal. Stoked that you went in deep though and really gave yourselves the full experience.
 

COEngineer

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Jul 6, 2016
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1,327
Thanks for a great story and all the pics. Every hunter has, or will have, a story to tell about a wounded animal that they didn't find. I had my first one last year at the age of 40 and my daughter had her first one at the age of 13. I hope none of us has another one anytime soon.

I hiked about a half mile into the Mt Zirkel Wilderness and that was enough for me to say the same as you, "If you can hike in there, you can have it."
 

ajrcktts

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Sep 19, 2016
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2,487
Location
East TN
I just want to jump in and say thank you for posting along with all of these others. It was a great read and I definitely felt the emotion of the hunt with you. Thank you for your honesty.
 

AtenJones

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Joined
Jan 4, 2017
Messages
114
Location
SE Ohio
Wow - thanks so much for all the positive feedback! I had really struggled on whether or not it was the right thing to just head home, and it's nice to see that I'm not alone in how I handled it. Definitely wasn't an easy decision, but I'm glad I did it.

I'll be sticking around and trying to soak up as much from you guys as I can over the next year! I'm already trying to figure out how I can convince my wife that I need a Spring Black Bear hunt on top of my Elk hunt next Fall! Also considering trying for Mule Deer instead of elk, just for the heck of it - but who knows.
 

Elkhunter24

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Aug 17, 2016
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3,488
Location
PA
Great story! Unfortunately if you hunt long enough this is bound to happen. Coming from this experience it sucks. Keep your head up and Go get them in 2019!!
 
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