Awesome Season - Grateful As Can Be! (Long)

Elk_Addict23

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 13, 2012
Messages
226
Location
Castle Rock CO
Well I had an awesome bow season this year! With coming back to a mad house at work and also taking a week long family vacation I finally will get to post some pics!

I had 4 tags this year: WY Antelope, CO Deer & Elk and WY Elk

WY Antelope - After waiting for three years, I finally drew a tag. My uncle lives in Wyoming so he really wanted to see what this "bow hunting" thing was all about as he is strictly a rifle hunter. I decided I would do a 5 day hunt starting on the opener, August 15th. Opening day was pretty exciting, I stalked within bow range of a few decent bucks but decided not to shoot as my uncle told me there were better bucks around. It was still fun putting the sneak on them, I considered it a "warm up" for what was to come. Day 2 started much like Day 1, a lot of average bucks with no sightings of a "shooter". At about noon we decided to check a water hole. It wasn't long and we spotted a real nice buck bedded about 1/4 mile from the water with a few does. I decided to sneak into position and wait him out as it was 90+ and I knew he would water eventually. After about 3 hours, he started to feed along with the does. He worked his way right to the water and the rest is history. I couldn't be happier as he is my first P&Y goat!

CO Deer - This was one of the best hunts I have ever been on. I did not have much time to scout this year due to traveling quite a bit for work but had a pretty good idea where I could find some decent bucks. To add to the challenge, I also was going to help my friend and his brother, who have never killed a mue deer during the first 5 days of my hunt. Day 1 and 2 were filled with a few blown stalks on some decent bucks. Day 3 however was a great day! My friends brother ended up shooting a very respectable 4x4 during the morning hunt and my friend took a nice 4x5 that evening! The remaining two days of the 5 day hunt was pretty uneventful, saw a few bucks I would consider taking later in the season but not quite yet.

The following Labor Day weekend I decided to go do an elk hunt in some wilderness so I did not hunt deer that weekend but had a blast chasing some elk!

After Labor Day I went back up to chase some mule deer. It didn't take long until I found a few great bucks! One was a wide 4x4 that would go mid 180's to low 190's and the other a boxy, deep forked buck somewhere in the mid 180's! I was excited to say the least and decided to put a stalk on them as they were heading to their bedding area. I was able to intercept the bucks as they fed my way. In order to get a shot, I needed to cross a flat and close another 35 yards or so. In order to do this I had to belly crawl while my buddy kept watch letting me know when they lifted their heads. I got about half way into my crawl when they changed direction and came right at me! Here I was, laying in the grass with two awesoe bucks closing the distant fast as the sun was now starting to beat on them and they wanted their shade! The bucks ended up feeding to 30 yards as I layed there helpless, no shot, no play, nothing! The wind finally swirled and they trotted out of there, I wanted to cry but knew they wouldn't go far. That evening I didn't turn them up as the wind howled pretty good and I figured they held up in the timber.

The next morning at first light, there they were, heading to the exact same spot! I knew what to do so I hit the trail and headed to the patch of timber they wanted to get to. I waited, waited and they never did round the corner like they did the previous morning. I decided to inch my way around the corner to see if I could see them heading into the timber below me. I finally ade it to the corner and there he was, the wide typical! He was slightly quartered to me at about 40 yards and had no clue I was there. I moved ever so slightly to reposition my body to make the shot. Right as I came to full draw, I caught movement out of the corner of my eye below me. Not sure of what it was I continued to anchor and settle my pin when all he!! broke loose. Apparently the "movement" was another group of bucks that were heading to bed! I couldn't believe the luck or lack of! Needless to say, I was within 40 yards of the biggest buck of my life twice and never got a shot! That evening had the same result, wind had them held up and i never saw a deer.

The next morning was my last morning for deer as I had another 5 day trip planned for elk so I had to make somethig happen! I decided i would not glass and head straight up the trail at frst light. As I was creeping along I caught movement below me. As I peered around an aspen I could make out a deer feeding up the hill towards me, agan no clue I was there but the wind was wrong! I slowly backed out to at least have a chance of him feeding in front of me. As luck would have it, my plan worked and he fed 34 yards broadside. I quickly looked him over and decided to take him as it was my last day for deer. Even though he wasn't one of the big one's I was after, he's still a solid 165" P&Y buck and with the way my luck was going, I figured it was a "now or never" scenario if wanted to fill my tag!

CO Elk - As I stated earlier, my first trip was over Labor Day weekend into a wilderness area I've never hunted. To boot, this would be one of my first backpack trip in quite a few years. We arrived at the trailhead at about 9 pm and hiked in with headlamps. We made it about 5 miles and decided to set up camp as we started to quite a few bugles all around and figured it'd be a great starting point. The frst morning was pretty neat, we had two different bulls bugling across a steep canyon but just couldn't get to them in time before they went silent for the day. That night we sat in a huge basin just glassing and learning the terrain. About 30 minutes before dark we spotted 10-12 cows as well as 2 bulls about 2.5 miles away, again no time to make a move.

The following morning we made a plan to get to the area where we heard the bulls the morning before. It didn't take long and I had 3 bulls answering my calls. We managed to have a nice 5 come along with a spike but no shots. That evening, we decided to hike up a trail 1/2 mile to the west. We were about 3/4 to the top when we heard a bull going crazy. As we closed the distance (no calling on our part) he shut up but we heard his cows talking up a stor. We got within 80 yards of the herd and just sat down to see what would transpire. With all the cows talking, they called in another group of cows from the adjacent hillside. The group passed by at 50 yards but I decided not to shoot as it was early and I really wanted to shoot a bull.

The next day was pretty quiet, heard a few distant bugles but no sightings of elk. We packed up and headed back for a long week of work.

The following weekend is when I decided to hunt deer so it wasn't until the last 5 days of season that I would make it back to the wilderness.

I finally made it back and again packed in with headlamps. On the way in I passed 11 guys on horseback! They all looked at me and my 2 buddies like we were crazy for packing in without a horse and quite honestly it was pretty discouraging with the amount of hunters in there. We knew it was a big area so we focused our efforts on the areas that were not easliy accessible by horse. That first morning I called in another nice 5 but getting wrapped up in the excitement, when I made my first set of calls, I stayed put rather than move forward a bit and he came in on a string only presenting a 35 yard frontal shot. With all the brush, there was no way I would risk that shot and I let him walk. That evening turned up nothing and so did the following day, it was pretty quiet for being late September. I suppose it had something to do with being in an OTC unit that has been hit pretty hard with hunters.

Morning of Day 3 I decided to walk up the trail where I passed the cows a few weeks prior. I was just about to the top when I sat down for a drink of water and hit a few soft calls. Instantly I had few cows respond below me from where I just came from. Being I only had 1.5 days left, I decided to make a move and see if I could get in close. As I crept back down the trail, the responses were getting further and further away. I picked up the pace and actually started to trot and call at the same time! To my surprise I came over a small bench and spotted a cow and calf feeding about 45 yrds in front of me. I watched thm feed through, a total of 6 cows and two calves with no bull! I sat there for about 2 minutes debating on whether or not to shoot with knowing time was not on my side as season was just about over. I decided to take a cow, they're just so dang tasty! I took her at 44 yards quartering away and she piled up within sight, the RamCats are awesome! My buddy and I had her out by 7 pm and on ice. The next day (last day of season) I decided to go call for my two buddies. We managed to sneak in on a herd that had three bulls in it, 2 rags and 1 nice 6x. Long story short, we had the whole herd going crazy. The two rags came to withing 60 yards only to spook as my buddy, who is fairly new to elk hunting, go so excited at the sight of two bulls coming his way that he forgot that when they are that close, movement is a no no! Once they spooked, I screamed and had the 6x coming the same way and again, nerves got the best of him and he was busted trying to range every tree in the forest! All in all they both had opportunities but one elk did manage to fall!

WY Elk - As soon as my elk hunt in CO was over, I had a few days back at work and then it was off to WY to see if I could get a bull. The area we planned on hunting was a ix of both forest and wilderness. Luckily I have an Uncle who oves to hunt so going into the wilderness was no big deal. Opening morning only turned up one elk with no bugling at all! Day two was much of the same with no elk sightings at all. On day 3 we decided to hit the widerness so we were up early and at the trailhead before light. We eased our way up the trail to where it broke out into a big park separated with little stands of timber all around, perfect looking elk country. I decided to give a few cow chirps to see if anything was around and sure enough I got a response a few hundred yards down the bench. I chirpped once more and it wasn't 30 seconds and the bull was in my lap at 45 yards. One shot did the trick as he expired within 50 yards! He wasn't the biggest bull I saw but I couldn't let the oppurtunity pass as again I had my uncle, who really has never been that close to elk, right by my side again. Maybe one of these years I can break my raghorn curse and kill a nice 6x, it's just so hard to pass, especially on general and OTC units. I have a few trophy tags coming up in a few different states, hopefully it'll be broken then.

Anyways, sorry for the long post and good luck to those that still have tags.
 
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Elk_Addict23

Elk_Addict23

Senior Member
Joined
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Messages
226
Location
Castle Rock CO
Buddies CO Deer, one was shot in the AM, the other pretty close to dark as you can see the pics were taken in the ATV headlights!
 

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Elk_Addict23

Elk_Addict23

Senior Member
Joined
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Messages
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Location
Castle Rock CO
MY CO Deer
 

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Elk_Addict23

Elk_Addict23

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 13, 2012
Messages
226
Location
Castle Rock CO
Don't have any field pics of my cow I shot in CO as it was pretty hot and I got to work deboning ad getting her to the truck and on ice. I do have a few pics with her loaded in the pack.
 

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