I got some really really good sleep last night and I feel better. My back still hurts, but we were able to get out and get into bulls this morning. We called in some elk, including a nice 7x7 bull that probably topped out at 320”. Too bad I didn’t have a tag! I’ll try to post some pictures.
I’ve now concocted a plan to avoid losing the entire elk season. I’m scouting for the kids I’m hunt for the next couple of days, then I’m going back home and catching a flight to Montana. I have a general tag, so I’ll hunt 5 days of archery season in Montana and then come back for rifle season if I don’t get a bull during archery. I’m already going back to MT for for the November combo hunt, so other than the plane ticket it’s no big loss. It beats sitting around the house feeling sorry for myself for having to turn in my AZ tag. I feel good enough today that I should be able to hunt with a week of rest.
Evening “hunt” / scouting.
Could have shot 4 bulls if I had my tag still. Not that I would have, but still.
Called these three smaller bulls in 5 point and a couple of raghorns.
Saw 2 310ish 6 points, one weird bull with only 1st and 2ds in velvet, and one bull I didn’t ID.
Then I found two amazing wallows and snuck to 35 yards of this 290 6 point.
I’m back home. I had a setback last night, and had to go to sick call and see the doc. I’m on heavy drugs now to try and calm my back down. I’m supposed to try to hunt in Montana on Saturday, but that plan is in serious jeopardy now. I’m a 40 year old guy in a 70 year old body. This sucks. Losing hunts is a mental beating after preparing all year.
Well, this didn't go as planned. My archery elk season has been completely cancelled. I actually had packed my bow case and suitcase for the trip to Montana shortly after popping some powerful pain killers and muscle relaxers. My wife sat me down and told me that going before I got an MRI and before my back had time to heal was a really bad idea. In her words, I was risking the rest of my hunts this season and potentially next year by trying to lean forward and get to Montana to salvage my archery season. She is right, but that doesn't make it any easier to swallow. I've been resting today and the good news is that I can walk without too much pain. My next scheduled hunt is a Wyoming Antelope hunt in two weeks. I'm basically on bed rest until I can get an MRI scheduled.
My back is doing better! A quick jaunt to Norway, and I’ll be back in a couple of days then repack and leave for Wyoming. Skol!
(Over the ironically-named “Greenland”)
This is my third time visiting Norway, although the last two times I haven’t been able to explore at all. This has to be the most beautiful wild place I have ever visited. Norway is on my bucket list to at least come fly fishing. If you’ve never seen it in person, it’s hard to describe the quiet majesty of the place. It’s so easy to take it for granted after a while. Everywhere I look, I see epic fishing and hunting in a postcard setting. Every turn on the road has clear trout streams bounded by near vertical rock walls exploding up from grassy tundra. I’ve not been here in the winter - only May and September, so it’s easy to fall in love when you miss the 6 month winter.
On the way back from Wyoming! The trip was a success and my back feels great. We filled all of our tags (3 buck and 2 doe tags), plus thinned out the prairie dog population.
We were unsuccessful coyote hunting, however.
We also did a day of fly fishing in Casper and it was terrible. The river was 2000cfs, which is way above normal and the fishing was nonexistent. The guides felt really bad for us, though arguably not as bad as we did after spending all that money and totaling 5 fish for two boats and three anglers. The guides said it was the second worst day they had ever had in 6 years on the river. Ouch.
Wyoming also blew three tires and ruined two rims.
Been recuperating at home and feeling pretty good. I did a little whitetail hunting - shot a really nice buck but didn’t recover him after he jumped the fence onto a neighbors land. Got a small cull buck with my bow and got everything set up for youth season when I return. There’s a dandy 10 point in the woods and I’m hoping one of my kids gets him!!!
1600 miles and I’m finally at the hunting area in Montana. Yesterday I drove from Fort Worth to Casper, about 1000 miles. It was uneventful and smooth sailing until around 100 miles from Casper. Driving through Fort Collins and into Cheyenne the sky was brown from all the wildfires. It reminded me of the color of the sky during dust storms in Iraq and Afghanistan. It started sprinkling and the water droplets carried ash and sprinkled my windshield with dirty grey-brown water. It took me a minute realize what it was. Once I got through Cheyenne and the sun set, the snow and wind picked up and the roads got pretty bad. I don’t have a whole lot of experience driving in the snow and ice, and I did my best to be safe and five for the conditions. It took me 2 hours to drive the last 70 miles. Even then I lost control 4 times, but managed to recover before I went off the road. The ice was really bad...
Today I drove from Casper to SW Montana and after yesterday’s driving adventure, I was not looking forward to it. Luckily, driving in the daytime was a lot better and I made it through as good as I could have hoped.
It was already snowing once I got up the mountain, and visibility was poor, so my plan of glassing for elk didn’t pan out. It’s supposed to dump over a foot of snow tonight, and hopefully the weather will clear out early and we will be able to find some elk.
I stayed home, but I didn't drive over a 1000 miles. I wouldn't have passed up a 5 point either way . I suspect I would have mostly glassed up an army of orange. We are getting out this afternoon. Good luck!