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  1. #141
    Senior Member mtnwrunner's Avatar
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    Great story and nice bull...........that country looks very familiar.

    Randy
    "I'd rather wake up in the middle of nowhere than be in any city on earth"------Steve McQueen

    "If you're gonna kill Kong, ya gotta hunt where Kong lives."

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  3. #142
    Senior Member sn.outdoors's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnwrunner View Post
    Great story and nice bull...........that country looks very familiar.

    Randy
    Haha. Thanks. I'm sure there's more than a few guys on here who have been to that area. I saw A LOT of other hunters.

    I also forgot to give a Photo credit to the random guys I met while I was coming off the mountain with my last load. So I say THANK YOU for getting an epic shot of the mountains and me. I'm going to look back on that pic forever and remember not only the hunt, but also the friendly and encouraging encounter we had.

    Thank you to everyone for the congratulations. Every elk I've killed has been an amazing experience, and I couldn't be more happy with all of them. As I said before, I'll do my best to continue to have success, but even if I don't kill anything, I'll make sure to tell the story to the best of my abilities.

    Dan's been at it hard in NM. He hasn't killed a bull yet, and at times he's seemed a little frustrated. He's just getting more content for a better story I like to get in and get out as quickly as possible. Dan's taking a different approach, but I'll let him tell his story when he gets back. It'll be a good one, and not lacking any drama.

  4. #143
    Senior Member sn.outdoors's Avatar
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    Just got a text.... Good news is soon to come from Dan!!!

  5. #144
    Senior Member Lostinthewoods's Avatar
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    I'm still up in the mountain trying to help two guys shoot elk.
    Then I'm off to Oklahoma for a doe antelope hunt and then I'll be home for plenty of stories!!!
    I won't be as mean as CJ with his teaser, but here is a teaser......


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  7. #145
    Senior Member sn.outdoors's Avatar
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    I got a message from Dan earlier today. I guess you could say he's having a good time.... and he needs to text me MORE!!! I can't handle it. LOL.

  8. #146
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    Quote Originally Posted by sn.outdoors View Post
    I got home at midnight last night and slept like a champ.

    The day after I get back from hunting is similar to Christmas for my kids. They're always excited to see what I brought home this time.





    I am still in a state of disbelief. I just killed a great bull, my first true OTC bull ever. I packed it out solo, and did it all in one weekend. I've held 5 elk tags since 2014 and I've killed 5 elk in 9 days of hunting. Like I said before, it's been an amazing blessing, and I couldn't be more thankful.
    Great story and photos! Congrats again on a very good bull!

    It was good to meet you up there in that saddle. More often then not, you meet another hunter in the woods and it can be a somewhat tense because you're both being a little territorial. You were genuine, down to earth and willing to share information and that was refreshing to see. You were just like... an average Joe I guess Average Joe Hunting Adventures with Dan and CJ

    Good on ya for knocking that bull down and packing it out solo from there. I can attest, that's no easy pack for 2 guys, much less solo.

    I hope you have the same luck the rest of your season, maybe we'll be see you around.

    Kevin

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  10. #147
    Senior Member sn.outdoors's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeepInTheTrees View Post
    Great story and photos! Congrats again on a very good bull!

    It was good to meet you up there in that saddle. More often then not, you meet another hunter in the woods and it can be a somewhat tense because you're both being a little territorial. You were genuine, down to earth and willing to share information and that was refreshing to see. You were just like... an average Joe I guess Average Joe Hunting Adventures with Dan and CJ

    Good on ya for knocking that bull down and packing it out solo from there. I can attest, that's no easy pack for 2 guys, much less solo.

    I hope you have the same luck the rest of your season, maybe we'll be see you around.

    Kevin

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    Thanks Kevin! The way I looked at it before I walked over to say hi was, anyone who's willing to walk up here is worth at least saying hi to. Then when I learned you had your 13yr old son with you, I had no problem sharing info. I thought back to when I was 13 and hunting with my dad. Those early years were by far the most impactful experiences of my hunting life. Taking your son up to that saddle is teaching him so much more than just finding a good hunting spot, and it really hit home with me.

    I hope you and your son had a great time last weekend, and I wish you guys the best on the rest of the season and all of your future adventures.

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  12. #148
    Senior Member sn.outdoors's Avatar
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    Tomorrow is the opener for my antelope hunt. I drove down today with my daughter to see if anyone else was camping/setup on the area I am going tomorrow. While down there I ran into a very nice gentleman with his grandson who will be hunting nearby, but not where I'm going to be. He said I was the first person he saw back there, but I guess we'll find out tomorrow for sure. I also saw 4 pronghorn does and 2 nice bucks.

    Fingers crossed I can find them in the morning and get close.

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  14. #149
    Senior Member SLDMTN's Avatar
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    Good luck man!

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  16. #150
    Senior Member Lostinthewoods's Avatar
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    I'm finally leaving the mountains today. Like CJ, I also have an antelope hunt in Oklahoma (doe hunt) that starts tomorrow.

    Sorry to make you wait so long on the elk trip details, but I promise it'll be worth it.

    IMG_2312.JPG

    I'm all packed up and ready to roll 7 hours east to Oklahoma!


    Tiny teaser, the camp went 2 of 3 tags filled so far and I know the last guy will tag out probably today or tomorrow!

    Again... sorry for the trip detail delays and good luck CJ.


    IMG_2280.JPG


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  17. #151
    Senior Member sn.outdoors's Avatar
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    No luck on the antelope hunt.

    Maybe next time I'll try working smarter and less harder. I got within 150yds 10 times, within 100 four times, and zero shots were fired. I walked 20 miles and ran out of water 7 miles from the truck. I'm guessing I crawled around a 1/2 mile.





    Next time I'm going to a spot with a little more terrain and maybe vegetation. What this spot lacked in those 2 things, it made up for with antelope. I saw at least 40 different antelope, and one of them was a STUD. I'm not a well polished field judge of antelope, but he would have fit in really well with the larger bucks I was accustomed to seeing in NM.

    It was a fun day until I ran out of water... Shoulda went back to the truck for lunch and topped everything off. I had so many close calls, and a few stalks that could have worked if I'd exercised a little more patience. It was a learning experience, that's for sure.

    Sadly, I don't think I'll get much more time to get after them. I'm working all week then heading down to AZ to help one of my best friends kill his first elk, assuming he doesn't kill one on Friday while I'm at work.

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  18. #152
    Senior Member Lostinthewoods's Avatar
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    Today is opener of Oklahoma for antelope. My buddy and I set up on a herd that we put to bed and my buddy dropped this one at 9am. We are off to check her in and then I'm up!

    I'll do a better story of the encounter when I'm home.








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  19. #153
    Senior Member Lostinthewoods's Avatar
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    Well folks... we went 2 for 2!
    Stories later!




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  20. #154
    Senior Member Lostinthewoods's Avatar
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    I've got a lot of husband time, dad time, and cleaning/unpacking to catch up on, but during my breaks I will start doing my trip report.
    So let's get right down to it!


    Elk hunt 2017.

    I hit the road August 31st after a full day's work and started my 27 hour road trip.

    Starting mileage.


    IMG_2193 by Daniel Porter, on Flickr


    Nothing is ever easy or smooth, so from the get go I started with my first hurdle, a tropical depression named Harvey who decided he wanted to spend some time right on my route to New Mexico. I made some quick adjustments to my route for safety, but Harvey still weighed in heavy on the trip. I noticed a $0.30 on average increase on diesel prices starting from Florida and ending in Texas. That along added approximately $200 more to the trip costs. I'm a budgeter to the max and always over-budget for that exact reason.


    IMG_2183 by Daniel Porter, on Flickr

    IMG_2201 by Daniel Porter, on Flickr



    After many hours of driving, cups of coffee (if you drive through Texas, grab a cup of their Texas pecan coffee... YUM), I finally arrived to my area in New Mexico. I pulled in around 5PM and didn't even bother setting up camp, I wanted to get an evening hunt in. So I grabbed a mesh ghille suit top, through on some boots that were barely tied, and ran to my spot. I was super excited, I battled Harvey, drove straight to NM, and was able to get an evening hunt in. At 5:15 the mountains decided to welcome me with a large storm....
    I'm stubborn as can be, but after a 20 degree drop in temps, ice cold rain & hail, lack of clothing because I was rushing, I decided to call the evening short and go set up camp.

    The rain cleared up after about 90 minutes and camp was ready to go!


    IMG_2229 by Daniel Porter, on Flickr


    IMG_2235 by Daniel Porter, on Flickr
    Camp and our view from camp.

    So I should probably give you some camp details:
    Three elk hunters: Two buddies from Iowa and myself
    Mule deer hunter: Good buddy who is in the Army stationed in New Mexico
    Extras: My good buddy came up with his entire family for labor day weekend. They love camping and I wanted to show them how amazing early season archery elk hunting can be. This family grew up in Alabama and only hunted whitetail their whole life. When they moved to NM they became homesick and thought that it was going to stink. Then I introduced them to the New Mexico mountains and elk hunting. (this backstory plays into my trip report, so it's relevant) I am a sucker for helping people get into hunting or being a successful hunter. It's bit me in the butt many of times with people not respecting my spots, but at the end of the day the good moments outweigh the bad.

    Anyway.... let's get the party started.


    Day 2:

    CJ mentioned that I like to do things different and I think that was him in a nice way saying that I like to shoot myself in the foot for fun.
    The first morning we worked a burn that I killed my cow on the year prior. I have a secret bench that I dubbed the "kill bench". It's a great spot where lots of elk like to cross from the burn into the timber to bed.
    That morning I took up my buddy Ricky and two of his boys... yep, 4 people total to sit on a small bench and try to kill an elk.
    I set the two boys up in a location where they could watch me work the bench and gave them my DSLR camera because they could probably work it better than I could. Then my buddy Ricky came with me as a mobile camera man. We have ZERO experience with filming hunts and it doesn't matter, we just wanted to have some fun. Not 5 minutes after legal light broke, we heard some rocks falling from above and a bulge kick off! SWEET! Time for me to get set up.

    I run up the ridge a little to a large bush and a few trees.
    When I got up to the trees I had a cow sitting 15 yards in front of me feeding and I could hear the bull bugling and ripping up trees a little bit above her.

    If you watch this video you will see the bull come into the picture on the left side of the screen. The cow is out of the picture, but she is RIGHT on the other side of the trees. The wind was perfect so I wanted to sneak around the opposite side of the bush and wait for the bull to emerge.




    Everything was working out so well until........

    There is a heavy trail that goes left and right behind the bush, I figured they were going to hit one of those trails and give me a shot. NOPE....
    The cow decided to continue down straight towards Rickey..... who was in the open, filming, and free handing the heavy camera

    I bet you can't guess what happens next.....

  21. #155
    Senior Member Lostinthewoods's Avatar
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    As I was sneaking around the other side of the bush the cow saw Rickey..... you can even see him move a little to get a better picture of her LOL
    She barked, everyone ran off, and laughter was shared by all.





    I didn't even remotely care. The boys and their father just saw first hand a super fun encounter. That bull was ripping up trees and chuckling the whole time. If I would have been solo I could have possibly tagged out the first day and WHERE IS THE FUN IN THAT?

    At the end of the morning hunt we had great stories, footages, and look what I found on the walk down!
    This is a win on it's own, I love sheds!

    IMG_2202 by Daniel Porter, on Flickr


    The evening was less eventful, but equally as fun for Rickey and two of his other boys. Prior to this hunt I had them practicing their calling so they could be my "back ups".
    During the evening hunt Rickey had his youngest on the bugle tube ripping off locators and you know what? The bulls were talking back.

    Needless to say, Day 2 of hunting was a HUGE success. Rickey and his boys had a ball, I had a ball, we created some great memories, and that is what it's all about.

  22. #156
    Senior Member Lostinthewoods's Avatar
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    Day 3:

    Rickey, two of his boys, and I started on the burn again.
    We heard plenty of bugles, but it's hard to run and gun with 4 people..... I love chasing bugles in the morning and being aggressive, but again... 4 people's scent streams and movement make it tough for stalking in!

    During the afternoon I took one of Ricky's boys out to my shed hunting spot and we struck gold!

    IMG_2203 by Daniel Porter, on Flickr


    IMG_2204 by Daniel Porter, on Flickr


    I was pumped when I found this one!

    Found this guy too.

    IMG_2210 by Daniel Porter, on Flickr

    This trip was full of ups and downs (which makes trips great) so on the way back I had a little truck mishap

    IMG_2214 by Daniel Porter, on Flickr

    A few of the spots we hit.....

    IMG_2216 by Daniel Porter, on Flickr


    IMG_2295 by Daniel Porter, on Flickr

    IMG_2282 by Daniel Porter, on Flickr


    Last edited by Lostinthewoods; 5 Days Ago at 08:44 PM.

  23. #157
    Senior Member Lostinthewoods's Avatar
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    Day 4

    This day was one of the most action packed days in my entire life. I didn't even kill anything, but the memories made, experiences gained, and fun I had will never be matched.

    Early in the morning my buddy Travis and I went out to chase some bulls. We located a bull who was already in his bed, but was responding to calls.
    I told Travis he should try to sneak in on the bull while I called above him.



    Just me cow calling with the bull responding at the end^^^

    Travis got to about 60 yards from the bull, but out of no where another bull stands up.... he was 35 yards away and had Trav PEGGED!
    He bolted out of there, the other bull bolted out of there. Oh well, it was a fun time!

    That wasn't even the fun part......




    So after we went back to camp, Rickey told me they needed to pack up and head back home. I could tell no one really wanted to leave, but life happens and everyone needed to get back to school and work.

    I asked Rickey if I could bring the boys out on one last quick adventure before they left. He agreed and I took out 5... count it 5 boys to do one final mid day hunt.

    The 6 of us went back to a beautiful ridge that overlooked a small tank. I knew elk bedded around this ridge, but it was more to just show them the view.

    IMG_9922 by Daniel Porter, on Flickr

    After the boys snapped a few pictures I told one of the boys to pull out his calls. I knew he had been practice at home, but was very call shy in the woods. I told him "We aren't leaving until you get this down."

    I made him go sit about 20 yards away from me on a point and I started calling and told him to match me.
    After about 30 seconds of calling, our silly afternoon turned into one of the most enjoyable turn of events that I've even been apart of.....

    30 seconds into the calling a cow started firing back at us from down the ridge, maybe 100 yards away. Then another cow started up....
    All of the boys faces light up, cell phones started coming out to record, and this afternoon hike turned into a hunt.
    I had told myself that I wasn't going to shoot a cow in the first few days, but this moment turned a switch on inside of me. It was like I no longer cared about my own feelings, I was so excited to show these boys a good time, so I braced myself for a potential cow coming up to use and I was going to shoot.......

    (FYI I can only post 1 video per post) sorry for the cliff hangers....
    Attached Images Attached Images

  24. #158
    Senior Member Lostinthewoods's Avatar
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    Here is a video of us talking to the cows.


    After about 4 minutes of talking to them I look over at the other boy calling and his eyes light up. He puts his hands above his head and makes a rack and whispers "bull".

    Now my adrenaline started kicking into overload. We were on the side of a very steep ridge with lots of blow downs. I couldnt see the bull, but the other called was out on a little point and had a perfect eyes view. This is where stuff started kicking in that I never even knew I had in me.

    I checked the wind... it was perfect. I looked behind me and whispered to two of the boys to go get in the brush behind us about 40 yards and walk around. I told them to "sound like cows." The bull couldn't see up top so I figured if he heard noise, heard cow calls, it would be enough to draw him up. We continued calling, we had two boys walking around like elk up top, and two more filming with their phones. The other caller on the point kept looking at me and saying "HE'S RIGHT THERE" as soft as he could. I still couldn't see the bull.... every time I looked back at him it was as if he thought I was crazy because I couldn't see it.
    I took three steps to my left and my heart dropped.... tall beams.... behind a blow down.... he was close.... and coming up our way....
    I was on a rush like I never had been before. Normally I would transition right into a kill mode, but I couldn't stop thinking about how amazing this experience was so far and how excited the boys must be. A few more calls, he presented himself, I drew back.....and....

  25. #159
    Senior Member Lostinthewoods's Avatar
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    I hit my release and watched my arrow fly straight over the back of a beautiful 6 point bull that stood no more than 17 yards away broadside.....
    For a second I had an awkward pause.... why wasn't I mad? I just missed a chip shot at the biggest bull I'd ever had in bow range. Why wasn't I throwing my bow?
    Because if you could have seen the faces of those 5 boys (ages 8 to 16) you'd understand why that was the most amazing experience I've had in a long time.
    I could sit here and talk to you for hours about how I should have ranged, picked my spot, etc, but I'd rather tell you about the excitement that took over every single person out there at that moment. Here is a gaggle of kids and an average joe hunter out for an afternoon "hunt". That moment right there will be cemented into their brains for the rest of their lives. We high fived, we cheered, we fist pumped.... it didn't matter if we killed or not, this band of misfits just called in a gagger of a bull and everyone played a part in the whole thing.

    My buddy Rickey has texted me almost every single day to tell me how the boys are still talking about it, how amped up they are for elk hunting, and how much they love New Mexico. This folks..... is what it's all about.

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  27. #160
    Senior Member Lostinthewoods's Avatar
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    You would think that after that encounter that there was not really any way that you could top the situation, well let me tell you about Sept 6th.... the day I shot my bull.

    My buddy Travis and I got up to the top of this ridge nice and early. It was the perfect morning, super cool and crisp.
    The bulls were mostly already in their safe zones and beds due to the full moon, but they were ripping off like crazy.
    One bull specifically stood out and would not stop talking. From about 6:30 until 7, this bull was bugling every 3-5 minutes.
    This bull was yelling from way across a canyon.... I looked at Travis and asked if he wanted to go chase him.

    IMG_9909 by Daniel Porter, on Flickr


    He said no and I told him "Ok, I'm going to go kill that bull."
    I said it out loud, but in my head I was unsure. I've never done anything like it, but how am I going to learn if I don't try.
    The canyon I had to cross was very steep and I followed what seemed to be goat like trails all around it. I got above where the wind was right and dropped down to where I thought the bull was.



    IMG_2247 by Daniel Porter, on Flickr

    IMG_2243 by Daniel Porter, on Flickr

    IMG_2242 by Daniel Porter, on Flickr

    It had taken me almost two hours to get around the canyon and through all the blow downs. As I started to climb down I found this beautiful little bench. It was thick with green grass, cover, and shade. I figured that it had to be where the bull was. It didn't take long for him to bugle again and I knew I was within 100 yards from him......

    The wind was right and I began my tippy toe stalk in on him. It felt like an eternity, but I kept closing the gap down. Every time he would bugle I'd run a few extra steps to cut the distance.




    I got to a point where I had a giant blow down coming up about 15 yards ahead and wasn't sure how to get around it. I knelt down to access it better and there he was..... standing 40 yards away from me feeding on grass and announcing to the entire canyon his presence......
    I ranged him, drew, picked my spot, and the rest was history.

    IMG_2255 by Daniel Porter, on Flickr

    IMG_2260 by Daniel Porter, on Flickr

    IMG_2263 by Daniel Porter, on Flickr


    I saw the hit and my body went into an emotional surge, it flashed back to the top of the ridge where I told Travis "I'm going to go kill that bull."
    It happened.... I couldnt believe what had just happened.
    Being able to sneak into the sanctuary of a bull and arrow him at 40 yards is something that I've always dreamed about, read about, and I finally did it.

    This was by far the most special bull I'd ever taken.
    Last edited by Lostinthewoods; 5 Days Ago at 08:56 PM.

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