You call this FUN!!!!?

Fire Hawk

New member
Joined
Apr 18, 2003
Messages
15
Location
Utah
Well after hunting with friends and on my own for years for an elk I was finally present for an elk kill. I helped guide my buddy to a large cow elk on Saturday. WOW!

The morning started out like any other hunt that I had ventured out on. We left early and hiked the 3-4 miles into the "secret" hunting grounds. We got to a chosen location and watched a small family of deer work their way through the trees.

On a distant ridge about 800 yards away, I noticed a small band of 5 cows wandering our direction. We moved to a higher vantage point to see where they would bed down so we could make our "sneak attack".

So far, this hunt has been like many others. Enjoying absolutely gorgeous country, light snowfall and about 8" on the ground already, most of it new. Snow is light enough that we can still see for miles without too many problems.

After losing the elk in a stand of Lodgepole pines, we figured they had bedded for good or slipped out the back side without our noticing. Either way, we would be able to cut their tracks in the freshly fallen snow. So we began our trek around the basin towards the trees.

Now, you must understand that my buddy had drawn the ML300 either sex tag in Utah. We were hunting in a "Spike Only" unit and so he had decided that he would take the first legal elk he could, cow or spike.

As we made our way around the basin we ran into another small group of deer. Now we had to make a tough decision. Move straight forward towards the deer and hope they didn't spook into the stand of pines about 300 yards away, or take a long turn around the right of them and come in from above. We decided to move around to the right.

We had just worked our way through a small opening and were skirting a small stand of quakies when right in front of us three elk were moving into the opening. They were about 100 yards out and were moving quickly. They didn't seem too spooked, just like they needed to get away from there.

I told my buddy to take the shot the first chance he got. The elk kept moving from our left to the right. My buddy was ready to shoot so I made a loud call on my elk call. The lead cow stopped immediately (broadside) and stared in our direction. I estimated the range at 125 yards and told my buddy to take the shot. I watched through my binoculars.

At the shot the cow reacted immediately. I lost her for a moment as I think she fell from the impact. In a moment she appeared to the right about 25 yards on a dead run. As I told my buddy to reload, we watched the cow start to fall again. She regained her feet and ran another 50 yards and then fell over a large sagebrush. Her legs were straight up in the air and kicking violently. Then all was still. She was down!

Just then, about 20 more elk moved through the opening, several nice bulls and one very large spike. If only I had bought the General Season Spike Muzzleloader tag, I too could have filled out. Anyways, they were gorgeous and moving quietly and slowly through the brush. They knew we were there, but didn't even act scared. It was really neat.

So now the hunt has changed from any elk hunt in the past. We had crossed the line from hunting to now having to figure out how to get a large animal out of the mountains.

We had fresh snow and two tarps to drag the elk on. The haul was mostly flat for a little while and then straight downhill to the river and road. We cut the absolutely huge animal into two pieces and wrapped them into the tarps. We fastened some nice thick ropes to pull with and proceeded to pull.

We pulled with all we had and pulled and pulled. Totally out of breath and totally exhausted I looked back to see we had covered a whole 100 yards. At this rate we would be out the mountains easily within one or two weeks:> )

So we unwrapped the tarps and proceeded to totally bone the meat. We removed all of the meat from the animal to the point that a magpie probably wouldn't find enough for a snack. Now we had two packages of meat and two leg bones each. Now we could pull much easier. It was now about 3:30 PM. We had shot the cow at about 11:30. Clouds had set in and visibility was about 100 yards. Snow was falling hard and we had about two miles to get to the road.

We quickly moved off the top to the canyon we decided to drop down. Once in the canyon, we knew we had made the wrong choice. It was so steep that often the elk were dragging us down the mountain. We went over and under blowdowns. We skidded all the way down until it was too dark to continue. We would have to leave the meat until the morning.

Well today, with the help of two plastic sleds, the meat was pulled (or elk pulled us) off the mountain in less than an hour.

Absolutely tired with aching bones and muscles, especially the glutes and hamstrings, the meat now hangs in the garage. We look at each other and say, "And why was this considered fun?" The hunt is obviously fun, but the after was not so much fun. WOW!

Anyways, I wanted to share with you our experience. I have another cow elk tag to fill in about four weeks. I need your help to remind my WHY? Thanks! Fire Hawk

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ 11-02-2003 20:17: Message edited by: Fire Hawk ]</font>
 

1_pointer

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 20, 2000
Messages
16,918
Location
Indiana
Congrats! I've been getting a good reports of the elk moving down out of the high stuff for my hunt around Springville which starts on Nov. 10! If your in the No. half of UT, email me and I'll send you my cell # so if you ever need an extra hand to get one out!
 

Fire Hawk

New member
Joined
Apr 18, 2003
Messages
15
Location
Utah
1 pointer, I tried to send you a PM, but it may have accidently been sent to Elk Hunter the Administrator. Let me know and I will send it again.

Thanks for the encouragement guys. The hunt is a lot more fun today, now that the muscles have healed a little bit more. I still think that one would have to have horses to hunt elk a lot. Or else I need to get into a lot better shape. I probably should do that anyways if I am going to hunt that kind of country a lot.
 

Fire Hawk

New member
Joined
Apr 18, 2003
Messages
15
Location
Utah
1 pointer, I tried to send you a PM, but it may have accidently been sent to Elk Hunter the Administrator. Let me know and I will send it again.

Thanks for the encouragement guys. The hunt is a lot more fun today, now that the muscles have healed a little bit more. I still think that one would have to have horses to hunt elk a lot. Or else I need to get into a lot better shape. I probably should do that anyways if I am going to hunt that kind of country a lot.

Thanks! FH
 
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