The last elk hunting trip of the season had its highs and lows. We decided to hit our trusted spot and headed in for the morning hunt. First thing in the morning we spotted 4 cow elk at 200 yards, so things looked good at that point. That was the only 4 elk we saw that morning. My dad pushed the canyon just west of us were I shot my bull last year. All we saw between us was fresh bear tracks and my dad found a 6-point shed. That afternoon we moved 50 miles to the south, but we saw no elk that night. In the morning we made a push down a ridge, but only saw tracks with no elk. At this point we had 1/2 day left and decided our best change was back to the other location for the night hunt. As we started up the hill my dad spotted anther shed out in front of us. It was a nice heavy 6 point shed. Just after the shed find, I spotted an elk across the canyon.
So my dad decided to look for the other side of the six point and my son and I moved up the ridge for a better look at the elk. After traveling 500 yards up the ridge we planned to swing down and around to get a closer look at the elk. Halfway back around I spotted another herd across the canyon. This herd had a big bull a little bull and 10 to 15 cows. I ranged the elk at 630 yards, which is out of range for my son. We dropped down to a point below that was closer, but at that vantage point we couldn't see over the tree that blocked the elk. I looked at the GPS and we had 1.5 hour to sunset. we waited hoping the bulls would feed out. At 30 minutes to sun set we decided to move down the canyon closer to the truck and hopefully a better view of the elk. It worked and we spotted the elk feeding towards us. The big bull had feed into the thick pines, but the little bull was making his way down the hill. At 430 yards all the elk started to feed across a clearing. I told my son to get ready and were to aim for that distance. Cow calf cow cow calf and I said he has to be next. All of a sudden, the little bull crossed the clearing at full speed. At this point we had 35 minutes of shooting light. I told my son maybe they will hit the next clearing which was 313 yards away. 10 minutes later and they started to pour into the clearing. 15 cows enter the clearing and then the big bull feed up to the edge of the nob above them, but never quite came out of the trees. The small bull did feed out and I told my son itís the little bull or nothing with light fading. He set up and shot 4 shots across the canyon at the bull. I think buck fever must have taken over and he missed all four shots. We crossed the canyon and to followed up on the shots, but we found not sign of a hit along his escape trail. I guess there is always next year. My dad did find another 5-point shed bringing his total to 3 sheds for the trip.
Wyoming 2017 was a fun year and my 12 year old sons first year to hunt. Next year will be even better, since my next son will be able to hunt.
A special thanks to Founder for the Hunter Challenge Backpacks from 2015 and 2016.
I used the Easton Pickup XT 3000 to pack my elk out and like it enough that now I use it as my day pack. It's light with lots of room. The pack also has a netting that pulls out and straps to the back of the pack, which works good for strapping sheds to the back of the pack.
My wife uses the Stake Out XT 1500 and loves it.
Both packs have lots of storage pockets and ride well loaded down heavy.
The Crew getting ready to pack my elk out.