A Comical Tale of a DIY Elk hunt

Marshbanks12

Junior Member
Joined
May 22, 2021
Messages
10
I thought I'd share the story of my first Elk hunt that me and my buddy went on last year.

This story takes place in an OTC unit in Colorado the first 6 days of the archery season of 2020.

My friend, Zach, and I arrived in Colorado two days before the opening day of archery elk season to scout the area we had planned on hunting. Our thought process was that we would camp out about 5 miles from the parking area and hunt for 5-6 days. Pretty ambitious for our first elk hunt but we thought we were up to the task.

After two days of scouting we realized we had a few problems. First there was no water to be found anywhere in the unit. As I am sure you all remember the terrible drought last year so we needed to come up with a way to have water for 5-6 days. Second there was literally thousands of sheep being grazed in the area we had selected to hunt.

To solve the first problem of water we drove to the local Walmart and bought two 8 gallon water jugs. We filled them to the brim with water and strapped them to our load shelfs of our packs. It was about 30 feet into our 5 mile hike in when we realized that 8 gallons of water weighs about 60 pounds. But being young and dumb we said "screw it" and death marched our way up the mountain with all the water you could ever want on our backs. It took us about 3 hours to get into our spot we wanted to camp.

The second problem of the sheep we decided wasn't a problem because they were much closer to the parking area than we were hunting.

We set up camp, and quickly fell asleep, dreaming of 300" bulls we could hunt the next morning. Well we woke up and the temperature had plummeted. All of the water had frozen in the containers. We began hunting and glassing, glassing and hunting.... generally trying to figure out a unit that was pretty much foreign to us.

We went to sleep that night at about 8pm. At 9pm we were awoken by about 2000 sheep, 5 sheep dogs and a Peruvian man on horseback riding through our camp. It was a long night to say the least.

The next morning we awoke and began glassing again. The sheep were quickly grazing through our glassing area. We decided to change spots. The sheepdogs were now hanging out with us and sleeping at our feet while we glassed. We did everything you could think of to get away from the sheep and sheep dogs and no matter what, they showed up.

We went to sleep that night wondering what else could possibly be in store for us. I woke up about an hour later to Zach yelling in his tent "Hey get out of here". I woke up grabbed my pistol and inexplicably yelled "What are you doing!" (Still don't know why). Zach proceeded to tell my from his tent that a bear had just stuck his head into his tent so he pistol whipped it and now it was standing on a log about 10 feet away. Zach tells me "Get out of your tent maybe it will run off". I got a good laugh out of that and eventually we heard the bear walk off into the night.

The next day we finally saw our first elk and got to about 35 yards before the wind swirled and they ran off. When we arrived back at camp we discovered that parts of our tents had been eaten by our sheep friends. As we sat in camp watching the sun go down laughing about the past few days one of the sheep dogs showed up and decided to hang out until we went to bed.

The final days of us hunting consisted of us getting lost in deadfall, making bets on how far away certain trees were, and wondering what the sheepdogs name was.

The trip was nothing like what I had imagined. We had been beaten down and seen two elk the whole time. Nothing went to plan.

It's one of the best hunting memories I have had and we will be back this year.
 

brettpsu

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 21, 2012
Messages
119
That's a great story! I don't think you guys are the only ones to get beat up pretty bad on your first hunt.....I know my first was a disaster. Lots of lessons learned and it sounds like you have a good attitude about it.
 

Jon Boy

Senior Member
Joined
May 25, 2012
Messages
1,478
Location
Paradise Valley, MT
This reminded me of my first couple elk hunts so much I sent the link to my hunting partner haha there will be many more hunts just like that and belive me, you'll cherish those memories and laugh with your pard for the rest of your life. Keep at it, but remember to enjoy your journey. Once your first couple elk hit the ground the magic isn't quite the same.

Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk
 

Dirtbag

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2014
Messages
152
Location
Colorado
Sounds about OTC !Great attitude to have and a fun story you'll remember for a long time.
 
Joined
May 8, 2019
Messages
94
I thought I'd share the story of my first Elk hunt that me and my buddy went on last year.

This story takes place in an OTC unit in Colorado the first 6 days of the archery season of 2020.

My friend, Zach, and I arrived in Colorado two days before the opening day of archery elk season to scout the area we had planned on hunting. Our thought process was that we would camp out about 5 miles from the parking area and hunt for 5-6 days. Pretty ambitious for our first elk hunt but we thought we were up to the task.

After two days of scouting we realized we had a few problems. First there was no water to be found anywhere in the unit. As I am sure you all remember the terrible drought last year so we needed to come up with a way to have water for 5-6 days. Second there was literally thousands of sheep being grazed in the area we had selected to hunt.

To solve the first problem of water we drove to the local Walmart and bought two 8 gallon water jugs. We filled them to the brim with water and strapped them to our load shelfs of our packs. It was about 30 feet into our 5 mile hike in when we realized that 8 gallons of water weighs about 60 pounds. But being young and dumb we said "screw it" and death marched our way up the mountain with all the water you could ever want on our backs. It took us about 3 hours to get into our spot we wanted to camp.

The second problem of the sheep we decided wasn't a problem because they were much closer to the parking area than we were hunting.

We set up camp, and quickly fell asleep, dreaming of 300" bulls we could hunt the next morning. Well we woke up and the temperature had plummeted. All of the water had frozen in the containers. We began hunting and glassing, glassing and hunting.... generally trying to figure out a unit that was pretty much foreign to us.

We went to sleep that night at about 8pm. At 9pm we were awoken by about 2000 sheep, 5 sheep dogs and a Peruvian man on horseback riding through our camp. It was a long night to say the least.

The next morning we awoke and began glassing again. The sheep were quickly grazing through our glassing area. We decided to change spots. The sheepdogs were now hanging out with us and sleeping at our feet while we glassed. We did everything you could think of to get away from the sheep and sheep dogs and no matter what, they showed up.

We went to sleep that night wondering what else could possibly be in store for us. I woke up about an hour later to Zach yelling in his tent "Hey get out of here". I woke up grabbed my pistol and inexplicably yelled "What are you doing!" (Still don't know why). Zach proceeded to tell my from his tent that a bear had just stuck his head into his tent so he pistol whipped it and now it was standing on a log about 10 feet away. Zach tells me "Get out of your tent maybe it will run off". I got a good laugh out of that and eventually we heard the bear walk off into the night.

The next day we finally saw our first elk and got to about 35 yards before the wind swirled and they ran off. When we arrived back at camp we discovered that parts of our tents had been eaten by our sheep friends. As we sat in camp watching the sun go down laughing about the past few days one of the sheep dogs showed up and decided to hang out until we went to bed.

The final days of us hunting consisted of us getting lost in deadfall, making bets on how far away certain trees were, and wondering what the sheepdogs name was.

The trip was nothing like what I had imagined. We had been beaten down and seen two elk the whole time. Nothing went to plan.

It's one of the best hunting memories I have had and we will be back this year.

Yes dude. Come on back.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

mtnlomo

Member
Joined
Jan 21, 2021
Messages
79
Location
Salem, OR
Sounds like an awesome time! A lot like one of my first hunts when I was solo and out of my home state, lots of learning experiences. I would recommend not committing to an area without elk sign, made that mistake a time or two. Eventually I found it best for me to day hunt out of a base camp until I find elk and then backpack in to where the elk are if needed.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

hutty

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 12, 2018
Messages
233
Location
maryland
great story and thanks for sharing. I'm sure many on here, myself included can relate to that first out west adventure.
 

Poltax

Member
Joined
Jan 2, 2016
Messages
84
Location
UT
Funny Story. If there are sheep about, the elk have moved to another drainage. Sheep stink up a whole basin.
 

Njtaxi

Junior Member
Joined
May 6, 2021
Messages
13
Thanks for a few good laughs. It reminded me of the first time that I went elk hunting and saw cows in some of the meadows. I thought, "what the heck are they doing way up here, in the middle of nowhere? Where are the owners"?. Granted, I'm from rural NJ, so I only see cows in people's pastures, which are fenced in. Cows roaming around freely in these parts usually make the TV news!
 

Whip

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 28, 2015
Messages
327
Must be something about sheep that attracts newbies. Sounds an awful Lott like my first elk hunt many years ago. I understood where the term mountainmaggots came from. It looked like the mountain was writhing with them.
 

Thunder43

Junior Member
Joined
Dec 13, 2017
Messages
25
Great story... first DIY coming up this Fall. Good to know that I should bring a good attitude expect a total shit show!
 
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