Mule Deer, Elk and Western Big Game Hunting -

All about the family...
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(1840 posts)
Click to EMail elks96 Click to send private message to elks96 Click to view user profile Click to check IP address of the poster
08:58 PM (MST)
"All about the family..."

LAST EDITED ON Oct-18-18 AT 09:48 PM (MST)

All about the family this fall…

Well we are just over ½ way through our fall and things have been amazing. My daughter turned 12 in May and this fall was her first big game season. We looked at draw odds and since she is a youth we tried for several tags in WY and CO. The draw results came out and we definitely had more tags than we bargained for..

I ended up with the following…
Wyoming Doe/Fawn Antelope Tag
Colorado Cow Moose Tag
Colorado 2nd Season Deer
Colorado 4th Season Cow Elk

My Wife…
Wyoming Doe/Fawn Antelope tags (2)
Wyoming Deer Tag
Colorado 2nd Season deer
4th season bull

My Daughter…
2 Wyoming doe Antelope tags
Wyoming Deer tag
2nd Season CO Deer
4th Season Cow Elk that will roll over to December

Needless to say we did not have enough time to devote to all our tags. So I made an early decision to put all my effort into my daughters and wife’s tags. So early on I spent my time scouting out new to us antelope areas in WY and making plans. My son age 8 is pretty die hard and simply amazing in the woods.

Something cool about seeing a windmill that was still pumping in the modern era of solar/electric!

Up first were the antelope tags for the wife and daughter. Neither one has killed anything with a bow before this season. The area we found was pretty cool. We spent 3 weekends in the ground blinds and in that time we had our choice of 23 water holes and only saw 2 other trucks with hunters and 2 blinds on water. My wife just finished an amazing program to get her Nurse Practioners degree and license… This program required her to have the following schedule for the last few years. Monday from 8:00-5:00 online school. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, practicum hours at the clinic from 8:00 to 5:00 then Friday Saturday and Sunday a 12 noon to 12 midnight shift. Needless to say the last 2 years were a long haul… SO this fall when she finally passed her test and finished her classes the entire family was ready for a change…

Cool Photo of our 3 shadows as the sun set on a long day in the blind!!!

The first weekend was a wash. We failed miserably 2 kids and me in one blind for 8 hours+ a day… So the second trip we had a better plan etc. The second weekend with just my daughter we had some really close opportunities but she shot 3 times and missed… Lots of excitement, nerves and little lack of practice all came into play. On the one shot she buried her arrow into a cow pie… Needless to say the term Can’t Hit Ship no longer applied and her little brother had fun with that saying for an entire week. We have great video of our adventure.

Here is her deadly cow pie shot…

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  Table of Contents  

 Subject   Author   Message Date   ID 
 RE: All about ...  elks96      Oct-18-18   1 
  RE: All about ...  elks96      Dec-19-18   20 
 RE: All about ...  elks96      Oct-18-18   2 
  RE: All about ...  Tikka      Oct-18-18   4 
 RE: All about ...  elks96      Oct-18-18   3 
 RE: All about ...  elks96      Oct-18-18   5 
  RE: All about ...  elks96      Oct-18-18   6 
   RE: All about ...  Snoopdogg      Oct-19-18   7 
    RE: All about ...  Tristate      Oct-19-18   8 
     RE: All about ...  12point      Oct-19-18   9 
      RE: All about ...  Wiszard      Oct-19-18   10 
       RE: All about ...  elks96      Oct-19-18   11 
        RE: All about ...  appaloosa      Oct-19-18   12 
         RE: All about ...  tailchasers      Oct-20-18   13 
          RE: All about ...  kilowatt      Oct-20-18   14 
           RE: All about ...  egradyfire      Oct-21-18   15 
            RE: All about ...  elkantlers      Oct-21-18   16 
 RE: All about ...  elks96      Oct-22-18   17 
  RE: All about ...  Camper_A1      Oct-22-18   18 
 RE: All about ...  elks96      Dec-19-18   19 
 RE: All about ...  elks96      Dec-19-18   21 
  RE: All about ...  LouieT      Dec-20-18   22 
   RE: All about ...  270Whatelse      Dec-20-18   23 
  RE: All about ...  FamilyMan      Dec-20-18   25 
 RE: All about ...  tylercreek2      Dec-20-18   24 
  RE: All about ...  dz      Dec-23-18   26 
   RE: All about ...  ColoGregS      Dec-30-18   27 
 RE: All about ...  twdjr      Dec-30-18   28 
  RE: All about ...  mmwb      Dec-31-18   29 
   RE: All about ...  heartshot      Jan-03-19   30 

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(1840 posts)
Click to EMail elks96 Click to send private message to elks96 Click to view user profile Click to check IP address of the poster
09:11 PM (MST)
1. "RE: All about the family..."

On the 3rd weekend we left the house late Thursday and drove the 4 hours to the area. We camped out of the truck and set our bed up on the bumper pull car hauler. This allowed us to all sleep under the stars and get up away from the snakes in the area for the night (I did not mention the snakes to the family). On Friday both my wife and daughter had shots, but they failed to kill. On Saturday the entire situation would change. First off, we had a blind issue thanks to an overnight visit from the Moo Cows. Destruction of my new blind. Glad is was only a $60 blind…

We did some minimal repair for the daughter and I. About 10:00 am we had the right set up and a lone doe came to the tank to drink. My daughter got everything in check and let a perfect arrow fly at 18 yards. However the lope jumped the string and what started as an arrow on a perfect broad side kill shot turned in a an extremely quartering away shot. The shot proved to be lethal, the doe never ran more that 80 yards and laid down. 45 minutes later my daughter had her first lope. While the antelope was expiring the wife and son pulled down their blind and were going to relocate to the daughter “honey hole”. We loaded the antelope, set the wife up in the new location and then ran to camp to process the antelope.

My daughters first big game kill. She did awesome, now just need to get a better draw weight and some bow speed up...

Her little brother had been working hard all season as well for lope. Glad we were all together for the success...

Just as we were finish up the cleaning of the first lope my wife calls and has her a lope down. Just like my daughter it was her first archery kill. Perfect. My daughter and I finish up her antelope getting the quarter on ice etc. When we returned to the blind for my wife and son, we find the wife had used my leather man to gut her antelope and had used her extra water bottle and ice to start cooling it off. So we quartered it out put it on ice and broke down the blind. Had 2 antelope down and headed home by sunset…

This was the scene we returned too. A nicely gutted lope with cold ice bottle/water inside... Damn that is awesome!!!

And a quick pick of the lope on the ground. Do not ask about shot placement. First Shot hit the neck and dropped the lope, second shot into the brisket as it laid... Either way it got the job done quickly and cleanly.

After the antelope hunt my archery moose hunt began. The moose hunt took a back seat to all other hunts. The best aspect to my moose hunt is it overlapped with the elk hunt that my step brothers both hunted and my step sister and her husband. We all set up camp together and had a great time catching up after years of separation due to our parents divorce 18 years ago. My son and I hunted hard. My daughter had an overlapping bear tag as well.

For this hunt my son became a hard core hunter. We made several trips into the thickest stuff imaginable. We had 11 days of hard hunting. Never found a cow moose but had several bulls we could have killed. Even managed to call in a few. We took a few fishing afternoons as well. If I had the moose tag over again, I would change just about everything I did… Maybe someday I will get another chance…

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(1840 posts)
Click to EMail elks96 Click to send private message to elks96 Click to view user profile Click to check IP address of the poster
06:10 PM (MST)
20. "RE: All about the family..."

LAST EDITED ON Dec-19-18 AT 06:25 PM (MST)


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(1840 posts)
Click to EMail elks96 Click to send private message to elks96 Click to view user profile Click to check IP address of the poster
09:17 PM (MST)
2. "RE: All about the family..."

With the moose season wrapped up we went back to deer hunting in WY. My daughter was up the first weekend as my wife was back to working a weekend. We went up into our favorite desert areas. On the first morning we found 3 decent bucks, The largest a solid 26” 4x4. Not the monsters I usually chase and find, but with the moose hunt we did not have much scouting etc. After 4 hours and a lot of crawling in the short sage we got a good shot opportunity on the bucks at 160 yards. When she shot I could tell she was no where close and the deer blew out. That afternoon we located another buck that was just too far our for us to reach. What had been the driest season ever also turned into one of the wettest over night. The next morning we returned to find the buck but due to large amounts of running water there was no place for use to cross the normally dry creek bottoms. So first weekend slipped away with good shot opportunity on a dandy buck.

Our first sunrise was a good one...

Some place way in the back drop is our jeep from the first morning stalk. We were so close to a great buck but she got excited and shot high...

That afternoon we found this buck bedded. We tried to make a move but the creeks were running too high for even my to cross...

We also had a few more good sunsents/rises...

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(1946 posts)
Click to EMail Tikka Click to send private message to Tikka Click to view user profile Click to check IP address of the poster
09:23 PM (MST)
4. "RE: All about the family..."

That’s the good stuff right there elks... congrats!!!

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(1840 posts)
Click to EMail elks96 Click to send private message to elks96 Click to view user profile Click to check IP address of the poster
09:22 PM (MST)
3. "RE: All about the family..."

The second weekend approached fast. The area we normally like to hunt was now closed and it forced us into a much more crowded and popular area. My wife had to work Thursday from 10 am to 10pm so Thursday night we left late heading to WY. The wife and kids all slept as I drove through the night. Finally at 2:45 in the am Friday I had them all tucked into their camp beds and the jeep was packed and ready for the morning hunt. At 5:00 am the lights were on and the kids were getting dressed. At first light we were glassing a large area and the deer were all around us. We had a decent 3x2 walk past our jeep at 80 yards. It was a perfect opportunity for my daughter. She had passed many smaller deer by this point and this one was tempting her, but she refused to lower her standards despite her brother, her mother and myself trying to talk her into shooting this buck. It was a great cull buck and was close and would have been a very easy pack out. But she just was not excited about the situation… So 20 minutes later the next truck to come up the road dropped the buck and we helped the guy load the buck since he was alone with a little kid age 4. My daughter mentioned that she had strongly considered shooting the buck but it was just not exciting to her… Funny how everyone has different perspectives, I honestly feel that had we just hiked a mile to the buck she would have shot it, but since it was first light and from the vehicle she just did not get excited.

The morning played out with a handful of deccnt buck on the private, one really good buck spotted that was close to 180, again on the private… By late morning we decide to hike a few canyons. It proved pointless be cause each canyon we hiked had atvs in the bottoms and on the ridge. Of the 4 we hit only one had an actual legal road the others had atvs just driving cross country. I am getting tired of illegal atv use, it is getting worse every year both here in CO and in WY. I wish the both wildlife agencies would man up and make if a significant issue with serious penalties. But that is a much longer and more complex issue.

It was a lot colder the second weekend. We were bundled up for our hikes!!!

We returned from our mid morning hunt around lunch time and started moving areas using the spotting scope and binos to do our work. Around 2 in the afternoon I finally find a buck worth getting excited about. He was a 28” wide 3x3 with long point. He was in a large sage flat surrounded by several other groups of deer. At first my daughter passed on the stalk, simply because he was in such a wide open area, she could not imagine getting into the range she need to be comfortable. So she started off letting mom have this one. We tried a couple different approached just my wife and I as our kids sat in the jeep and watched. We ran out of cover on all well short of our needed range. We went back to the jeep and went all the way around the flat and came from a totally different direction. Since the kids would not be able to see us from the jeep and we had no idea how long it would take, we made the stalk together… a couple hours later we had managed to move all 4 of us through 3 group of deer without blowing them out and had closed the distance on the big 3 point to 250 yards. A make-able shot for my wife. When my daughter finally got a good look she decided she wanted to try. So for the next hour and half we crawled around on our bellies in the knee high sage. 3 times we had the buck in range but due to other deer, taller sage, angles, we never got a shot. Right as the sun set the buck bedded again just 180 yards out. My daughter did not feel comfortable with the shot so we made one last attempt. We slipped in and got to where I knew we were too close but it was all we had. As I was setting her up on the shooting sticks the smaller 2 point hanging with the big 3 stood up and bounded away from us. I knew instantly it was going to go south since the 2 point was less that 20 yards when he stood up. S the 2 bounded away my daughter just froze, I told her to get on the sticks and get ready, but she just watched the buck leave. As the buck left the large 3 point stood up just 40 yards away. I trying to whisper to my daughter and she was totally watching the 2 point leave. By the time I got her attention the big buck was nervous. She saw the big buck just long enough to say holy…. (sorry mom sometimes it just happens) and the buck ran off into the sunset. As we mae our way back to the jeep with just a few minutes of light left, we spotted one last group of deer heading our way. In the back of the group was a stag/cactus buck. Big 2 point on ones side and a mass of antler the size of grape fruit on the other with points sticking out every direction. We made a move and had the buck at 80yards right as light was fading. All we need a clear shot. Unfortunately the wind shifted and the deer scattered. My daughter loved both the wide 3 point and the stag buck. She spoke about them both and for the next 2 hours kept asking if they were good bucks, and how excited would we be etc.

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(1840 posts)
Click to EMail elks96 Click to send private message to elks96 Click to view user profile Click to check IP address of the poster
09:36 PM (MST)
5. "RE: All about the family..."

LAST EDITED ON Oct-18-18 AT 09:44 PM (MST)

The next morning found us up and at them bright and early. We got loaded up with plans to be where the big 3 and the cactus buck were as the sun rose. We made it to the spot, but I could tell my wife was not up to par. As we entered the final area she got out to open a gate and blew chunks. By the time the gate was closed, she grabbed the TP and started blowing chunks the opposite way as well. Needless to say it was not pretty and is her least favorite part of the story… So after only a few minutes of day light we were headed back to camp. We dropped her off and my son elected to hang with her in camp. We ate a late breakfast/early lunch and loaded up to go back to the area where the bucks were at. After 2 hours of looking we did not turn up any deer they had moved. So we had to expand our hunt. Just after noon we dropped into a huge canyon and got lower. We started glassing all the high steep areas and were finding all sorts of deer. The majority of bucks were dinks and nothing to get excited about. Eventually I looked at a hill side nearly 3 miles away and made out the face of a deer in the brush. It was on the highest, steepest and thickest hill side around. We moved the jeep closer and I glassed again. From the new location I could a good frame but not really tell the points. Best of all he was in a spot where we could get into position and get a close shot with out crawling through the sage etc. The only issue a nasty crawl up a sandstone ridge and a pending front blowing in nasty weather.

We ended up on top...

We pulled the jeep around to a good starting point and began our climb. An hour later we had gained enough elevation (again straight up) to be on the same level as the buck. We crested the ridge he was on and as soon as we did I could totally tell we were way to close to where the buck was bedded. We attempted to crawl back over the ridge, but as we did a coyote appeared just 20 yards away and decided to run down into the area the buck was bedded. This did not spook the buck but it did force a group of 6 doe to stand up just 80 yards away. At this point both my daughter and I were caught in the wide open the doe knew instantly what we were etc. The only saving grace was they were trying to decide which way to go. The natural and fastest escape route is where the coyote had just went. Soon the doe had split into 2 groups, 2 came up the ridge we were on the others started heading dead away from us on our same elevation. As they split, I look over and see the buck bound up out of his bed just 12 yards below us on the other side of a bush. I set my daughter up as the buck bounds towards the doe. At 80 yards he stops and is trying to decide which direction to go, dead away with the 4 or over the top with the 2. He decided over the top and turned broad side at 80 yards took 2 steps cleared the brush broadside… I hear my daughter say I am scared. I said take a deep breath and find the spot and squeeze. She takes 3 deep breaths on her 4th he steps up, clears one last little bush and bam. The buck drops instantly. She hit him hard and he does not even wiggle. I have her run the bolt. Still no movement… She starts to cry a little, we give high fives and I take her gun from the sticks. Still not even a wiggle. We stand up and hug, as we end our hug the buck comes back too and he heading down hill hard. A couple of follow up shots later and he is down for good and just in time for the nasty weather to hit.. By the time we made it back to the jeep, the wind had blown hail so hard it hurt, the hail turned to a small down pour of rain, followed by sleet, then sideways snow. Then back to rain etc. We drove the jeep around to get it as close as the road would allow and then began the recovery Took our pictures etc. He is the largest body deer I have been around his teeth showed he was up in age, possible on the digress. Huge front shoulders a big old swollen neck, everything we could have hoped for… If the weather was not flat out nasty, we would have caped him and sold the cape, but in just the few minutes we had everything imaginable…

Loading the big dude proved to be a task. Someday I might need to get a 4 door jeep. The old CJ does not have much space…

The next morning the wife was up an at it early we made some moves on some better bucks with no luck. We stopped hunting midafternoon broke camp and made the long drive home… There is just something amazing about WY deer hunting to me, even though I live in CO, I love the Wyoming Desert!!! Can not wait until next year to hit it again…

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(1840 posts)
Click to EMail elks96 Click to send private message to elks96 Click to view user profile Click to check IP address of the poster
09:45 PM (MST)
6. "RE: All about the family..."

Now to find a good buck in CO and maybe fill a few elk tags as well...

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(677 posts)
Click to EMail Snoopdogg Click to send private message to Snoopdogg Click to view user profile Click to check IP address of the poster
06:37 AM (MST)
7. "RE: All about the family..."

Whoa, way to go! So far, so good.

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(4724 posts)
Click to EMail Tristate Click to send private message to Tristate Click to view user profile Click to check IP address of the poster
07:09 AM (MST)
8. "RE: All about the family..."

Excellent thread.

Congrats to all.

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(496 posts)
Click to EMail 12point Click to send private message to 12point Click to view user profile Click to check IP address of the poster
09:01 AM (MST)
9. "RE: All about the family..."

You spent some time with this write up and showed some great pictures. Living in Iowa and loving the west I'm very appreciative of the pictures people put up on this website. Thank you, you made my day.

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(8256 posts)
Click to EMail Wiszard Click to send private message to Wiszard Click to view user profile Click to check IP address of the poster
11:27 AM (MST)
10. "RE: All about the family..."

Nice story, Rob. You have a good family. You are one of the lucky ones. I wanted my daughters to grow up wanting to hunt with me but it never happened. My son hunts so at least I've got that. Congrats on the success. Would've been cool to fill that cow moose tag. I wish you luck in CO. Which tag do you have?


Cancer doesn't discriminate...don't take your good health for granted because it can be gone in a heartbeat. Please go back and read the last line. This time really understand what it says.

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(1840 posts)
Click to EMail elks96 Click to send private message to elks96 Click to view user profile Click to check IP address of the poster
12:54 PM (MST)
11. "RE: All about the family..."

>Nice story, Rob. You have a
>good family. You are one
>of the lucky ones. I
>wanted my daughters to grow
>up wanting to hunt with
>me but it never happened.
>My son hunts so at
>least I've got that. Congrats
>on the success. Would've been
>cool to fill that cow
>moose tag. I wish you
>luck in CO. Which tag
>do you have?
>Cancer doesn't discriminate...don't take your good
>health for granted because it
>can be gone in a
>heartbeat. Please go back and
>read the last line. This
>time really understand what it

Yeah the moose was a bummer. But a blast. I should’ve would’ve could’ve a bunch. But being with family and having the opportunity was fun. We did see a bunch of bulls but no cows. I am hunting a tag here by the house in CO. Not very high expectations but I will give it a good try...

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(142 posts)
Click to EMail appaloosa Click to send private message to appaloosa Click to view user profile Click to check IP address of the poster
08:23 PM (MST)
12. "RE: All about the family..."

Excellent post!

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(2967 posts)
Click to EMail tailchasers Click to send private message to tailchasers Click to view user profile Click to check IP address of the poster
09:55 AM (MST)
13. "RE: All about the family..."

Thanks for sharing elks. Sounds like a great season with more to come!!

"Courage is being scared to death but
saddling up anyway."

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(14710 posts)
Click to EMail kilowatt Click to send private message to kilowatt Click to view user profile Click to check IP address of the poster
10:03 PM (MST)
14. "RE: All about the family..."

elks96 Congrats to the whole family on a great hunting trip and get some meat for the coolers. With luck maybe next year can make one trip back to Rifle area with my new rifle, a Savage in 6.5 Creedmore.

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(42 posts)
Click to EMail egradyfire Click to send private message to egradyfire Click to view user profile Click to check IP address of the poster
04:29 PM (MST)
15. "RE: All about the family..."

best write up yet. congrats

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(2151 posts)
Click to EMail elkantlers Click to send private message to elkantlers Click to view user profile Click to check IP address of the poster
05:28 PM (MST)
16. "RE: All about the family..."

Congrats to all. Thanks for putting in the time to write that up. Loved it.

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(1840 posts)
Click to EMail elks96 Click to send private message to elks96 Click to view user profile Click to check IP address of the poster
05:17 PM (MST)
17. "RE: All about the family..."

Once again my boy surprised me. He insisted on hunting with me again this weekend. Having a buck tag he also convinced me to buy an OTC Elk tag. I have hunted elk religiously for since high school. However in that time I have only ever held 3 rifle bull tags. In years past I have taken many great bulls and little bulls with my bow. In fact, my wife has proven to be an incredible caller. In our first years of dating and marriage, I managed to kill 12 archery bulls in 15 years. Of those 12 she called all in except 2 of those elk. She has been a special blessing. This year we did not bother with archery elk and thus a rare rifle elk tag was in my wallet.

On Friday as we packed for the hunt my son and I were discussing the places we would like to try. One hike was a longer hike, but easier and flatter, another hike was a full day hike that covered a ton of miles but also easier. The last option is one of the nastiest places ever. I laid out the options to my son describing each and reminding him of each area. Despite my personal bias coming out in the descriptions, my son picked the nastiest steepest area to hunt. Stating that we needed to get away from the crowds if we were going to kill a big one.

So it was set. The area we picked is one of those places where a small 200 yard section of public clips the state highway. From that location you go straight up quickly leaving the private behind and below. We arrived at the parking area late. The parking spot is only 20 minutes from the house. Usually the first climb is done in the dark but it was already getting light. There was already 1 truck in the spot, not a big deal as other hunters usually hunt it the easier route up the mountain. The harder route puts us higher faster and usually allow us to see animals pushed out by the easy route.
The First little climb of the beast...

According to the numbers the climb is 1.24 miles and gains just over 3600 feet. Once on top it goes around another 2.5 miles with a couple 800 to 1000+ foot elevation changes on the “big ridge”. Needless to say the area although small takes an entire day to hunt it well. On the way up we saw 6-7 doe, and saw sign from elk that had been crossing. We did hear shots from the other group f hunters, but they must have missed. We ended up passing the other group and being the first on top. From the top we glassed up 2 bucks, both decent bucks, but neither even got me excited.

Just over 1/2 way up... Layers already shed it was so hot...

Up on top you get some great views. This is a burn from 2012. So lots of good feed but not much water in this area especially this year...

A decent buck was bedded in the shadows of this hill side... Not huge but if he kept at it next year or 2 he will be a smoker...

The view on top is unreal. I can see mountains at the top of the gunnison basin, areas around the maroon bells wilderness, parts of unit 44, 42, 41, 421, 33, 32, 22, 23, etc. Always one of my favorite spots...

By lunch time we had made it to the last good spot and set up for a mid day nap and some snacks. Since the temps were in the 60s nothing was moving and the other group had already left heading out. We spent the next 2 hours hanging out, taking a nap, building a fort, etc. As mid afternoon approached we prepared for the decent down a different steeper canyon. As we headed down we found a group of 8 elk who likely thought they were sheep bedded in the rocks. After looking them all over one was likely barely legal, but given the location and lack of size I passed on the bull.

The pics never do the situation justice. This hill was about as steep and as rocky as I have found. The elk were bedded on the opposite side in the larger rocks...

Then as we dropped again in elevation we spotted a narrow heavy 4x4 buck and a little 3 point buck. We closed the distance on them and at 80 yards we watched them feed. Even my son knew they were both too small. As the sun set we were closing in on the final drop to the jeep. We rounded a corner still fairly high on the mountain and saw 2 cows and calf near the parking area. We watched them and determined them to be alone. We snuck into about 300 yards and sat and watched them for a bit. Trying to get out of the place before it was dark we picked up the pace on the last little bit… By this time my son was on cruise control. Following me blindly as we went. I had to stop and remind to stop singing songs as we knew elk were lower and you never know when you might run into one. He laughed and started off with Baby Shark…. Still singing just in whisper we headed out the last 1000 yards. Just I rounded a brush I spotted an elk slightly up hill from us feeding in the brush. I locked up and told William there was an elk. He got behind me and could see the elk. I put the binocs up and confirmed it was a legal bull (not legal by much). I settled in on my sticks, the bull feed to the left giving me a quartering away shot. I focus on the spot…. In a whisper William never quit singing… Lets go hunt.... Lets go hunt…

At my shot the bull lunged forward and then turned broad side. A second shot followed and the bull dropped out of sight. The brush was nasty thick and took us a few minutes to navigate as we attempted 3 ways to make it the 80 yards to where he stood…

We got to the location where he was standing. William was just to my left as I looked. Pretty soon William says dad he is right there as he runs behind me for cover. I look to the left and the bull stands up out of the brush at 10 yards and turns to run. I make a 3rd shot hitting just in front of the rear quarter and running up through the liver and out between the last couple of ribs. The bull runs off the ridge into the draw. I reload and begin sneaking up again. This time he was basically back on the ridge we shot from the first time and was slowly walking up hill. I shoot again into the chest perfect double lung the bull jumps and runs up hill again, I get back on him another shot into the ribs as he was walking. This one causes him to stop. I aim again picking out a spot in the ribs to hit again. Just as I do he beds and slowly lays he head down one last time. Good news, only 800 or so yards from the truck. Bad news some of thickest nastiest brush for 500 yards… We snapped a couple pics at last light. Then got to work. At 1:30 am we returned home with our animal. After the monster hike and the pack out I was about as sore as I have ever been. As a result Sunday was time to heal, lick out wounds and rest up… This Thursday night through Sunday the entire family will be back at it again looking for 3 mule deer bucks, however it will have to be a personal best for any of us to shoot. With 2 antelope, a large mule deer buck and an elk in the freezer we might have to start giving things away to make room…

The bull had been beaten up. One eye was missing (thus my son named him jack sparrow). He had antler puncture wounds in the neck and chest, and a massive scar that wass 12" long down his brisket. Antler were broken up etc.

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(790 posts)
Click to EMail Camper_A1 Click to send private message to Camper_A1 Click to view user profile Click to check IP address of the poster
08:26 PM (MST)
18. "RE: All about the family..."

I have really enjoyed your thread. Congrats to you and your family on making some great memories and spending time together. I agree it’s All about the Family.

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(1840 posts)
Click to EMail elks96 Click to send private message to elks96 Click to view user profile Click to check IP address of the poster
05:09 PM (MST)
19. "RE: All about the family..."

So the first weekend of second season was in the books. I had hiked into some impossible areas and found elk but no decent deer. As mentioned before, we had 3 buck tags in a lower end unit. However none of us were going to shoot anything that was not a monster.

By this time we had 2 antelope, 1 mule deer and a bull elk in the freezer. So it had to be huge if we were going to shoot. We did see several deer and hiked into many great places. The weather was cold in the morning but nice by lunch.

This particular ridge was a nasty place to hike. I am not certain if I will ever hunt it again. I did find a good buck on the ridge, but not god enough. While I was hiking out I did get a call from the CPW and was asked to join the Governors committee for habitat stamp allocations/easements. This is a big step and I gladly accepted the invitation.

Step nasty and great country.

The next morning I was joined by my kids and wife. My wife daughter and I all had tags. We worked pretty hard on Saturday saw over 50 deer but no shooters.

Getting an early start...

That day ended with a nice sunset and a long ride home...

The next morning (Sunday) we were back at it again. Spent the morning working hard. We did several drives where I would place the family on an over look and I would drop in and push the brush. Again lots of deer seen, but no shooters. At lunch I had hiked a lot the last 3 days and the warm sun made me fall victim to the family...

Leaves actually make pretty good insulation... But I had not idea that my lunch nap provided 40 minutes of entertainment...

All 3 were pretty proud...

That afternoon we worked some new areas. About an hour before dark we started heading home. As the sun was just setting I was glassing a hill side a long way away. When I saw a buck that made my head spin. I am not sure how big he was, but he was big and had a ton of mass. Having killed a couple bucks over 180, he was as big if not bigger. So I left the blazer on a jog, he was 3 ridges away and I had maybe 45 minutes t make it happen.

Needless to say I did not make it in time. It just got a little too dark and I never saw the buck again. A buck like that sure makes you have high hopes for the next year. Sadly I heard of a similar buck being taken in the same general areas during 3rd. Hope it was not him.

I spent a little time during the 3rd season in Unit 22. I am sad t say but that unit has really started to slide in term of quality. They have increased the tags lately and more people are holding out for bigger bucks. As a result the number of larger bucks has decreased significantly in the last 3 years.

I still found a couple, but not like I usually find..

We always get some great sunsets regardless...

3rd season ended with out any decent bucks being taken. I know a few made it, but it was really a down year. Sadly a lot of NR wasted a decade of points to shoot bucks that can easily be killed in a 1-2 point unit.

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(1840 posts)
Click to EMail elks96 Click to send private message to elks96 Click to view user profile Click to check IP address of the poster
06:19 PM (MST)
21. "RE: All about the family..."

With the 3rd season gone, we had 4th season tags. My wife had a 4th season bull tag, I had a 4th season cow tag and my daughter a youth cow tag that would roll into a late December tag.

My wife only had 1 day to hunt. Thursday. So we went up into an area where I had seen a couple bulls during the 3rd season. We had one day for her to get it done. We did not see any elk until lunch time. We made a move but blew them out before getting close. For the last hour of light I had a plan for my wife and son to sit an area where I had seen elk feed out in the past. A steep little canyon with a sage bottom. They were supposed to walking down to the edge and sit and watch while I went into the next canyon south and pushed some brush. Well I went and did my push and nothing. So I circled back o where they were supposed to be sitting. as I crested the ridge I look across the canyon and see 5 bulls. 320 yards from me, but my sife should have been a 100 to 150 yards closer I watch for a few seconds and hope to hear a shot. Nothing. The bulls were nervous, but not leaving. So I sneak down and can not find my wife and son. Had they sat where I intended they would have been under 200 yards and in a perfect spot. One of the bulls was well over 300 another was a big 5 close to 300 and then a smaller 6 in the 280 range. All great bulls. I wonder around trying to find my wife and son. Needless to say when they were heading my son spotted a 6 point bull shed about 800 yards the wrong direction in the bottom of the canyon. They were hiking back from that shed as the bulls headed out. We made one last effort to run over the top and see the bulls, but by the time we topped out they were already 800 yards further. My wife did get the chance to the big bull feeding and she was pretty upset.

The next day my wife was back at work, I was hunting solo. I had a group of elk cross the road in front of me at first light. Where they crossed was private, but where they were heading was public.

So I made a big loop and got around to where they headed. I hiked several miles and passed on several 300+ yard shots hoping to make things easier.

At lunch time it was hot and a nap was in order.

I laid here for almost 2 hours knowing the elk were around and that walking in the trees with them was not working. So I sat and waited as long as I could stand.

As the later afternoon hit I got up and started making plans for the evening. Sadly, my plans turned out running a herd of 10 right through this spot. They ran less than 80 yards from where this picture was taken. I made a move and got on this group but at last light the shot was still further than I had wanted.

The next morning my son and daughter elected not to join me again. I did have a buddy with 2 youth boys that had tags to fill up in the area as well. SO my plan early morning was to check out the private fields before legal light and see if I could locate any elk. Again driving down the main road I look up a little side canyon and see a group of 15+ heading up. I check my gps and sure enough the little canyon was public. I pulled off the main road just out of sight of the elk and snuck back under the fence. A good cow stepped out broad side at 80 yards and bam went down. It was only 8 minutes into legal shooting time and the cow was less than 200 yards from the paved road.

As mentioned before I had not intended on hunting hard for this cow, but I had a step brother who had not killed an elk in 2 years and they were really needing the meat. Needless to say I sent him a pic. Saying "I picked this up at the local whole foods store..."

As she laid...

As soon as I had shot her I called my buddy and told him where I was and to brig the boys. We gutted the cow and put her in the shade under a tree. We spent the afternoon looking for the elk. I took his nephew and he was with his son. Just after lunch time we split up and made a big loop back to the animals.

When we did this his nephew and I jumped a herd without getting a shot. It was the kids first elk hunt and just seeing the elk got him excited and shaky. After jumping that group we found another group that were in a better place. We got in on the group. We had him in a great position and the elk were 200 yards. The biggest cow stepped out for a perfect shot. I coached him through the shot. He did great, but hit about 8" above her back. A clean miss. He cleared the round and went ot laod for a second shot, and the gun jammed... I cleared the jam. By now the elk were getting nervous, he was way excited, and the second shot hit a foot behind the cow. Needless to say they left the country in a hurry.

I love helping kids out.

That season ended the next day.

December 1st rolled around. My daughter had a late season cow tag. She was not going to hunt until some good family friends asked her if she could get an elk for them. We simply did not have any space at all and no need for the meat. the family was in a pretty rough place. So my daughter said she would try.

Remember she is just 12 years old and it is her first year hunting. She already got herself an antelope and a deer.

So early on the first we get up to perfect conditions. Light snow, 2-3 inches of fresh snow and it was still snowing. We hunted some family favorite spots early with no luck. Around 10 in them morning we had kind of stopped hunting and were just 4 wheeling in the blazer... We had a nasty hill we were trying to climb. Needless to say after 5 or 6 tries we made it up. When we crested on top, my daughter joked... You know dad we have a cow tag, so all we will see are bulls.

I laughed and said that would be good problem to have... We made a run up a second really steep hill. As we topped out I looked down into the canyon and see elk. Excited we both throw up the binos. 1...2...3... We counted 16 elk in all...

15 branched antlered bulls and a single spike. It was awesome to see, 2-3 were really good bulls, but most were typical Colorado bulls.

The view from this nob was great.

We glassed a bit and decided to shift country before lunch time.

We were taking a short cut out to our family camping spot on a narrow nasty 2 track. Busting through the brush in the blazer. As we rounded a corner, I saw a lone elk laying down bedded across a canyon. I stop shut off the blazer and have my daughter sneak out. The wind was right and the elk was looking our direction but had not spooked yet. So we closed the distance getting to 160 yards. We could not get closer as we would have to drop in elevation and would not be able to see her. So we set up n the sticks. I let my daughter settle down and get ready. the elk was still bedded, nervous, but still bedded. She was bedded facing away from us and looking back over her rump. I tried a cow call, she acted like she might stand. but still laid almost perfectly still. I whistled at her, still laid. Nothing. We began to think she might have been sick, wounded, etc. Time passed and nothing. the wind shifted, she caught our wind but did not budge. She was holding tight in the thick brush.

We decided that we needed to put her down assuming something was wrong. So my daughter steadied took aim for the neck. She was shooting a group about the size of a baseball off the bench at 200 yards. She got excited and jerked the trigger, luckily the safety was still on... No shot. By now she was shaking and excited... We took a couple breathes, turned the scope up to 8 power and had her pick the spot. She aimed, pulled the trigger and made a perfect neck shot. The elk never kick wiggled or anything.

Her first elk as down...

We got to work on her. She was definitely healthy, plenty of fat, all her legs worked, etc. She was this year calf (a big calf, but definitely this year). She had a full bladder, plenty of poop and food in her. I walked back her tracks and about 100 yard back she had been running with a group of like 6. They ran into a fence. the other crossed but she did not make the jump. It looked like she was running up the hill when we came around the corner in the blazer. Her track stopped right where she laid down. I figure she was was oging back to instinct. The lay down and hide until mom came and got her. She tested negative for CWD and my daughter must be the luckiest little girl around.

I love the sled. It allows for even kids to work.

Loaded in the back:

All notched and headed for home

As a final thought. There are not many things that can bring this big macho guy to tears. However, the beauty of my family and the amazing wife and daughter I have is one... I am amazed by the courage strength and resiliency of my daughter... She is a determined young lady with so many amazing qualities, from her incredible work on the softball diamond, to her dedication and solos in choir, she is talented in ways I can never be... There is no better blessing than having an amazing family and getting to spend time both indoors and especially out with them.

I hope everyone is so blessed. I know that I am blessed far more than I deserve...

Now lets go ice fishing and kill some coyotes!!!!

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(191 posts)
Click to EMail LouieT Click to send private message to LouieT Click to view user profile Click to check IP address of the poster
10:40 AM (MST)
22. "RE: All about the family..."

Congratulations on a great season with the family. Looks like you guys made lots of memories and put some meat in the freezer.

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(396 posts)
Click to EMail 270Whatelse Click to send private message to 270Whatelse Click to view user profile Click to check IP address of the poster
11:17 AM (MST)
23. "RE: All about the family..."

Nice write up elks, I always enjoy reading your stories/pics.

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(1487 posts)
Click to EMail FamilyMan Click to send private message to FamilyMan Click to view user profile Click to check IP address of the poster
01:49 PM (MST)
25. "RE: All about the family..."

LAST EDITED ON Dec-20-18 AT 01:50 PM (MST)


Thanks for sharing your hunts in detail. I am happy for you and your family that you had so much fun.

I really miss living in that country.


My hunting spot is so secret, not even the elk have found it yet.

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(1768 posts)
Click to EMail tylercreek2 Click to send private message to tylercreek2 Click to view user profile Click to check IP address of the poster
11:54 AM (MST)
24. "RE: All about the family..."

congratulations and thank you. excellent post.

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(1010 posts)
Click to EMail dz Click to send private message to dz Click to view user profile Click to check IP address of the poster
03:24 AM (MST)
26. "RE: All about the family..."

Great write up. I agree as I to am a blessed man.


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(55 posts)
Click to EMail ColoGregS Click to send private message to ColoGregS Click to view user profile Click to check IP address of the poster
11:00 AM (MST)
27. "RE: All about the family..."

Elks Congrats on a great season!

We are blessed to live in CO

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(1504 posts)
Click to EMail twdjr Click to send private message to twdjr Click to view user profile Click to check IP address of the poster
01:36 PM (MST)
28. "RE: All about the family..."

Good stuff, Congrats to all!

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(2310 posts)
Click to EMail mmwb Click to send private message to mmwb Click to view user profile Click to check IP address of the poster
02:50 PM (MST)
29. "RE: All about the family..."

Great narrative. Great pics. Thanks for sharing your awesome family and hunts.

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(1949 posts)
Click to EMail heartshot Click to send private message to heartshot Click to view user profile Click to check IP address of the poster
01:02 PM (MST)
30. "RE: All about the family..."

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