I was amazed when I knew I drew a muzzleloader elk tag this year. I have been looking forward to this hunt since June. I have been on this hunt in the past years with my dad behind the muzzy and another year when my uncle was behind the muzzy. They both got bulls on this hunt. NOW ITíS MY TURN!!!!
Our adventures on this hunt first started with previous scouting trips to this unit and practicing with the muzzy. We saw a few good elk that I would be more than happy to harvest on my hunt. I have been getting in shape for this hunt in my weight lifting and conditioning class at high school a month and a half before the hunt. I could not wait one more minute for this hunt and I still had a week to go before opening day. Talk about the longest week of my life.
We found our selves a week later heading up with the camper trailer for the weekend. It was a 3 day weekend for us. We had Monday off from school and work. We decided to invite my uncle (hunter3380) and my cousin from Albuquerque to tag along with us on this hunt. My brother could not make the first day of the hunt due to his commitment to a football game. Some good hunting weather was coming in that night.
After a sleepless night we woke up to 4 inches of fresh snow. Great for fresh tracking. Before we left the camp I made absolutely sure I hade everything I needed. We left camp and I had the most serious look on my face the whole way up. I donít think I even said a word. We got to our spot and waited with the windows crack listening for bugles while it was breaking light. We began walking barely able to see and it was still snowing. We put tape over the muzzleloader barrel in order to keep the moisture out.
As we walked, we would stop to glass and throw an occasional callÖ NOTHING. We kept on walking up the canyon when we came across some fresh tracks. We were debating to follow them because they looked like bull tracks. We decided to keep walking up the canyon hoping to run into a bull. About 2 miles from the truck my dad decided to change directions and go on top of a ridge to glass some saddles that are found in between the canyons in hopes to glass up a bull to put a stalk on.
About half the way up the ridge my cousin sees a cow elk about 75 yards below us and tells my dad. I was above everyone about 20 to 30 yards when my dad tells me to get down to their level. I get down there and see a few cows passing below. Right behind the cows a bull pops out. I pulled the hammer back on the T/C Encore and put crosshairs right behind the shoulder of the bull and squeeze off an off hand shot. The bull along with his cows runs off in the same direction where they came from. He did not act like he was hit. As I loaded up, my dad went to where the bull was standing. NO BLOOD! At this point Iím thinking, how did I miss him at 75 yards while he stood there perfectly broadside. We followed the tracks and finally saw some little specks of blood. I thought oh no, I wounded him. We followed the tracks and the group of elk seemed to be headed to an open valley. As we got closer to the valley, my dad saw the bull piled up stone dead. He only made it about 100 yards. The shot was a complete pass through in the lungs with a 290 grain Barnes T-EZ. A big WOO HOO!!!!!! I shot him Jim Shockey style with tape over the barrel.
Everyone says ďnow the work beginsĒ I donít think so, I believe its part of the hunt. My cousin and I left back 2 miles to the truck to get the single wheeled game cart while my dad and uncle stayed behind at the kill site to field dress the elk. When my cousin and I arrived back with the game cart, I noticed that the elk is still in one piece. My eyes just about popped out of my head when I my dad told me we were going to cart out the elk whole about 2 miles. It was not easy but we did it. It took all of us to get that elk out whole. That game cart is great. I donít know what we would have done without it. My cousin and I ended walking about 8 miles that morning back and forth. The last 2 miles back to the truck were the hardest.
I know how you guys like tons of pics so here you go!
pics of the hunt
Here is what we saw when we looked into the valley.
Here is where he piled up
Here he is
My cousin and me
My dad and me
My uncle and me
Before pack out
2 miles to the truck. Here we go!
proud little sister with my bull
It was a great weekend/hunt. Spending time with friends and family is what itís all about. I am very proud of my bull and canít wait till next time.