Ok, Football is cramping my Hunting. But, that is a good thing since my son is playing this year.
The football games are awesome. Love watching kids develop into players and gain confidence in the hitting aspect of the game. The development of responsibility for their position rewarding when they accomplish their assignments.
Normally in the hunting world I have been able to do more in the evenings, or early mornings. Nothing this year. I am only able to get out once a week.
Plan was attend Football game in am and head up after. The hall pass was revoked from the wife as she felt the brakes were needing attention. Funny thing is I put new brakes and rotors on about a month ago and they were still making funny sounds. So that was to be done at the last minute before the hunting... so ran home, pulled brakes and then headed to the hill. I was going to plan a quick evening hunt and had a good two hour hike up the hill in the middle of the afternoon. HOT! I am use to midnight or early morning hiking and this was going to be sweaty.
End of the summer, the potato chips are out... "Dried Leaves" Makes approaching anything difficult. Very noisy.
Finally arrived on the hill, quietly slipped into the North Facing timber. Hiked up in shorts and today, carried my Primos fanny pack. Left the Pepper Spray soaked Badlands at home. Didn't want to Burn today.
Loaded up with two decoys, extra weight that I would leave home next time. I one, would be better than two. but I had room so I threw them both in. Slipped in with the wind swirling. Noticed that the wind will always swirl as long as the sun is up. Once the sun got behing the mountain, I moved with my face into the wind, Traversing across the dark timber.
I saw tracks every where and knew to be on alert. Cow Called and bugled and no response, so I kept on moving. Got on a really good trail and as I came through an opening of timber I could see the hill across from me. Their was a Bull. It looked like a smaller 6x6. So I ran to get up ahead and set up.
Cow Called and another elk responded with cow call, the another and so on, then the Bull bugled. First Bugle of the season for me. I was ON! Within couple minutes, I could hear something coming, then I say a dark body. Spike came into view about 50 yards away, followed by a cow, followed by a bigger branch antlered elk.Binos confirmed, 5x....little bitty 6. I had stepped off the trail thinking they would come on it. Good Thing. I ranged the spike at 34 yard downhill shot. The bulls was pulling up the end, so I drew back and cow called in my little window. It normally works. They stop on a dime. Today, he just kept on going. I was relieved.... Didn't want to really shoot him. Thinking I could find better with more time.
Elk dissappeared over the hill the way I came from and so I continued on.
Within about 100 yards it was obvious their were more elk. I was hoping for that, thinking the satellite bull was sneaking off with cow and spike was tag a long.
What happened next will be remembered as one of those amazing days. I couldn't have planned the wind any better in my favor. I had elk surrouding me. I was in a 40 yard bubble that they never picked up on that I was there. I made cow sounds as I moved and made noise. That helped settle them down.
I wear 3-D camo to break up my siloutte. I am a firm believer in this. I didn't have anything to disguise my smell, and I was sweaty, no scent off, nothing, just a good steady downward wind in my favor.
The cows were going off. I realized it was a calf crying for its mom. I thought it was a cow in estrus, until the bigger cows made their appearance and realized the calf was a year old and just complaining, with its bawling, the other cows were making noise too, I whined, cow called, mewed, and even through out a small bugle.
A second bull appeared. He was the bull in the photo. He was a small 5x5 that was stuck on a cow. He came over closer to me after I had cow called the estrus whine. I evenually bedded only 40 yards from me with his face directly pointed at me.
I played was a still as a statue for nearly 45 minutes of so. He'd watch the cow, look over his back at some other cows and the whole herd was surrounding me. I just stood still. Sore, as ever, but enjoying every minute! Another bull was bugling and I hoped a bigger bull would appear. Nothing like have real decoy! I have always done very well, when I get in between the elk.
Nothing else ever came, the elk finally decided to move on, I had a good play, I missed one opportunity and passed on several with the 5x5. I drew back for practice, but wasn't ready to pack out yet. I still have nearly three more months of playing the the elk on the Wasatch Front.
Sorry, for phot quality, but after standing their for what seemed like an hour, I finally dug into my pocket and took a photo with my iphone.
Thursday, I head for AZ for my brother in law hunt on Unit 10, should be fun.
Maybe I will slip out one more time before I go... either AM or PM.
The quicker the hike the more brutal it beats my body down. I am getting use to hike up and down the two hours, my feet feel good. Not too sore, have been passing on the Ibprovfen. So, I guess, its getting accustom to the grind.
I can't tell you the importance of a good head lamp. I buy the best money can afford. New batteries are about every three weeks or so.
Check in later.