Young Cow?

Muley_Stalker

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Ok, first off let me say i've hunted for elk every year since the mid 50's. I'm 78 now. I hunt alone at close to timberline. Not an easy hunt for an old fart.

So, I decided I should just hunt for muley's now because of less meat to haul out. Hauling out the meat is the problem for a long list of med problems I won't bore you with. I thought I was good with this decision and even changed my forum name for ElkStalker to Muley_Stalker.

Today it hit me that my elk hunting is finished. This hit me hard. It's hard to give up what you've dome most of your life. It seems even worse that I don't like mule deer meat. I love elk meat with a passion.

So, i'm trying to come up with a way to elk hunt that I can do. There was a time not too far back that I wouldn't hunt for anything but a bull. Then I got older and switched to cows. Not so bad. They taste great and don't roll around in the mud. So, I know if i'm going to keep hunting for elk I need to make another change. I've never paid much attention to younger cows. As disabled as I am I don't think I could shoot a calf. I'm thinking a 1 1/2 yr old yearling. Can someone help me figure out what they would weigh. I researched it and found nothing. Anybody shot one? I know a 1st year calf can be as big as a muley buck in later fall months but I hunt the muzzleloader season in mid Sept. They're still too young and might still have spots. No way could I shoot one. So, how much bigger do they get in another year?

Thanks
 

Muley_Stalker

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Yes, a mature cow is hard to move around. I've had help the last few years with the meat but he moved away and i'm on my own now.

The last thing I want is to shoot an animal that I can't get the meat out before it spoils. Sept can get pretty warm.
 

Corn king 60

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Ok, first off let me say i've hunted for elk every year since the mid 50's. I'm 78 now. I hunt alone at close to timberline. Not an easy hunt for an old fart.

So, I decided I should just hunt for muley's now because of less meat to haul out. Hauling out the meat is the problem for a long list of med problems I won't bore you with. I thought I was good with this decision and even changed my forum name for ElkStalker to Muley_Stalker.

Today it hit me that my elk hunting is finished. This hit me hard. It's hard to give up what you've dome most of your life. It seems even worse that I don't like mule deer meat. I love elk meat with a passion.

So, i'm trying to come up with a way to elk hunt that I can do. There was a time not too far back that I wouldn't hunt for anything but a bull. Then I got older and switched to cows. Not so bad. They taste great and don't roll around in the mud. So, I know if i'm going to keep hunting for elk I need to make another change. I've never paid much attention to younger cows. As disabled as I am I don't think I could shoot a calf. I'm thinking a 1 1/2 yr old yearling. Can someone help me figure out what they would weigh. I researched it and found nothing. Anybody shot one? I know a 1st year calf can be as big as a muley buck in later fall months but I hunt the muzzleloader season in mid Sept. They're still too young and might still have spots. No way could I shoot one. So, how much bigger do they get in another year?

Thanks
I can’t help you this year as I hope to be in NM. But next year me and some other will be in Colorado to hunt and for sure help you get a elk I’m a semi old farmer from pa recently retired and up for anything
 

rmyoung1

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This totally doesn’t answer your question, but, man, I think you have a TON to offer a youngster who could, in turn, help you handle some elk meat. I think there are more young guys out there wishing for a mentor than we tend to think.
 

Carl 9.3x62

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I have shot a few yearling cows over the years. Just a guess, as I have never weighed any of the quarters, but I would think a hind leg would be about 30 to 40 lbs?

I like the advice though of finding a younger hunter eager to learn from your years of experience, and eager to haul some meat.
 

406dn

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Given your situation,, I think killing a calf is totally ethical. Absent you killing either one,, the one and half year old cow has better odds of surviving thru the winter, than does the calf.

Also, it would be easier to be sure that is what you are shooting.
 

Muley_Stalker

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There's a problem with that. I'm a still hunter and have used that method exclusively my whole life. I have taught it to other hunters. Young and old but never during my hunt. Anybody who is a still hunter knows it's a solo way to hunt. Even two guys together trying to still hunt doesn't work.

I really need to be able to do my hunt alone and that includes getting the meat out. Maybe I should just hunt and decide if the animal is small enough for me to get it out before pulling the trigger.

I found this article and i'm surprised at how big the calves are. The 1 1/2 year old cow is not that much bigger.

 

Muley_Stalker

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Given your situation,, I think killing a calf is totally ethical. Absent you killing either one,, the one and half year old cow has better odds of surviving thru the winter, than does the calf.

Also, it would be easier to be sure that is what you are shooting.
I've talked to the DOW and they seemed to encourage shooting calves. They prefer it over shooting a cow. Surprised me. I'm guessing they'd rather have a calf producing cow than the calf.
 

Muley_Stalker

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Here's another article by the same guy talking about mule deer. Even the elk calf is way bigger than the average muley buck.

 

ashersdad

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There's a problem with that. I'm a still hunter and have used that method exclusively my whole life. I have taught it to other hunters. Young and old but never during my hunt. Anybody who is a still hunter knows it's a solo way to hunt. Even two guys together trying to still hunt doesn't work.

I really need to be able to do my hunt alone and that includes getting the meat out. Maybe I should just hunt and decide if the animal is small enough for me to get it out before pulling the trigger.

I found this article and i'm surprised at how big the calves are. The 1 1/2 year old cow is not that much bigger.

This article is surprising to me. A few years ago one of my sons had a cow/calf tag in December. We had seen a herd of elk a couple miles away and as we were closing the distance we spotted a calf below us in a canyon all by himself.

I asked my son if he wanted to shoot it and he did. I was shocked at how small it was when we got over to it(it was a bull). Very disappointed that we had shot it and we didn't get near the meat off of it stated in the article. We drug it out and processed it in the garage so we salvaged every last piece of meat and it was nowhere near 92 lbs. Won't do that again.
 

Muley_Stalker

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I agree they don't seem to be that big. I'm sure there's a big difference between early and late seasons. Calves are putting on weight fast at that age.

I think my best bet is to not worry about how old the elk is but is it big enough to shoot.

I looked at the stats for 2019 and 1287 calves were taken. I never would have guessed that many.
 

Muley_Stalker

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Last two spike elk I shot went 300 and 287 bone in meat
I try to imagine skinning and quartering that size elk. One of my problems is I can't stand up and bend over to do anything. I have Osteoporosis and if I put too much load on my spine i'll crack it. So, i'll have to do it all from my knees and 78 years of beating on my knees doesn't make that so easy either. I'm hoping some knee pads might help. I've never tried them before. Try to move around a bigger animal from my knees will be tough. My plan is to buy a sled to get the meat out. Carrying it on my back with a pack won't work.

Man, writing that out sounds terrible. If I read that from someone else i'd say to retire from hunting. I can't do that. If I can't hunt my life is over. I never thought i'd come to this. I used to be a powerlifter. Now, i'm just a skinny old man.

Maybe I should just hunt for a muley doe and see if I can deal with that before trying any size elk.

What do you guys think?
 

Dougfirtree

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I know it can tug on the ol' heart strings, but I think shooting calves is totally ok. They are the ones most likely to die of starvation, etc. over the winter, so it's good for the herd and I think you'd get as much meat as you would from a typical deer. (I'd have to guess it's about the tastiest meat on the planet, too...)
 

Carl 9.3x62

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I try to imagine skinning and quartering that size elk. One of my problems is I can't stand up and bend over to do anything. I have Osteoporosis and if I put too much load on my spine i'll crack it. So, i'll have to do it all from my knees and 78 years of beating on my knees doesn't make that so easy either. I'm hoping some knee pads might help. I've never tried them before. Try to move around a bigger animal from my knees will be tough. My plan is to buy a sled to get the meat out. Carrying it on my back with a pack won't work.

Man, writing that out sounds terrible. If I read that from someone else i'd say to retire from hunting. I can't do that. If I can't hunt my life is over. I never thought i'd come to this. I used to be a powerlifter. Now, i'm just a skinny old man.

Maybe I should just hunt for a muley doe and see if I can deal with that before trying any size elk.

What do you guys think?
Reading this, I too had the thought that it might just be time to hang your hat up. At least on the type of hunting you want to do. I was able to drive my truck to three of the last four elk I shot. The fourth was about 500 yards from the road. Nobody likes to be a "road hunter", but I go by the saying "hunt smarter, not harder." That, or start hunting deer and antelope.
 

Muley_Stalker

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I'm way past camping. I'm lucky enough to live just 15 min from elk/deer hunting areas. I just sleep at home and drive to the hunting area. Just long enough to have a cup of coffee on the drive.

My back is so bad I have to sleep in a recliner chair. Kind of hard to bring that to camp. :)
 

Muley_Stalker

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Talking this out has really helped me. Thanks for your posts guys.

It might not be what I want to do but I think it's best that this year I just hunt for a doe. I have a way to get two doe tags. That's probably as much meat as a small cow. I really don't want to shoot a cow and fail at getting it out. The odds are better for getting a doe out. If I really struggle getting out the doe i'll know it's all I can do now. One doe tag is mid Sept and the other late Oct.

I'm ok with this decision. It will tell me what I can and cannot do. It's hunting and that can't be bad.

Thanks again.
 

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