I arrived in Colorado and "my" camping spot looked the same as it did two years earlier. The weather was great as I began setting up my tent. I had found this spot two years earlier during a deer hunt and had seen several elk. I knew someday I would return with my bow.
In a few minutes my camp was up and ready for the next ten days.
I spent the next two days getting used to the elevation. The tent was pitched at 10,270 feet and I would be hunting uphill from there. In the nearby meadow I found a couple high country flowers still in bloom.
With two days to scout I found the area I had seen the elk a couple of years prior. The wallows were still being used! I placed a treestand and headed back to camp. Here is a view of the area from my stand.
Opening day came and went. I had one small 4X3 bull come near the wallows but he never came in. Still it was a great start.
On day #2 I had no elk by the wallows but saw three bulls nearby on the hike back to camp.
On day #3 the fun began. Just before dark two bulls slowly closed in my wallows. Before they could make it all the way in a nice 6X7 bull showed up and came into one of the wallows at 41 yards and began to work it over. He was facing me offering no shot. I was hoping he would turn but before he did he caught the wiff of something he didn't like and began to leave the area. He stopped at 50 yards giving me a quick shot. The arrow flew great before running out of steam and passed under the bull's chest. I later ranged the spot to find it was actually 55 yards.
I continued to hunt the area over the next few days but the wallows grew cold. I still managed to see at least one bull everyday coming or going to the wallows but they never came in. With three days of scouting and 6 days of hunting at 10,000-13,000 feet my body was telling me it needed a break. I gave it one more try.
As the sun began to set on my last day I had stayed out of my stand and checked some new area. I had not seen anything until I looked across the basin to the opposite treeline. There I could see two elk feeding. They were 800 yards away. I set up my spotting scope and could see they were both 4X3 bulls. With the sun setting and nothing to lose I pulled out a cow call and gave it a try. Much to my surprise in short order both bulls were coming my way!
In ten minutes the bulls were 200 yards away and closing. They seperated and began coming in to me from two directions. This I knew wasn't good because one of them was going to smell me sooner or later. I had backed myself into a small group of 4-5 trees. I concentrated on one bull that was coming the fastest. I had already ranged several rocks in the area and was waiting for him. He came in facing me until I could actually hear him breath hard. At 26 yards and a limb between us I began to draw as he turned sideways. It wasn't to be as he either saw the movement or hit my scent trail. Both bulls stayed in the area looking for the "cow" for another 15 minutes but stayed well out of range.
My hunt was over. With several antelope tags in my pocket for Wyoming I would pack up my camp and head north in the morning. While my trip didn't result in a filled tag I had a great time and learned a lot. When I go back I will hunt the area differently and hopefully fill my tag. Until then I have a lot of memories.I also met two fine hunters from Colorado and now have two more names, addresses, and emails for future hunts.
I could climb up here and make cell phone calls home to the wife every couple days. It gives her a piece of mind knowing I can call every couple days.
Here is a final shot of the area I hunted. The next day I packed up the tent and started north to hunt Wyoming antelope with my bow.