Wyoming Elk: 3 tags to fill

ScottR_EHJ

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Deer season is done, and I am now approaching my first set of days off with rifle elk season open for elk. There should be decent cell service to try a live hunt, so we will see how it goes.

I located some very good bulls, 3 of which I would pull the trigger on in a heartbeat. I also have two cow tags in my pocket for two separate areas. My plan is to concentrate on a bull this first set of days, and keep working on the cows if I am successful this weekend.

I am not sure where I am going to camp yet, as the area that the bulls were living in may not be the greatest option to camp right on top of them. I have a couple of legitimate options for glassing that I plan on working pretty hard and really expect to be able to find one of the bigger guys that was living in the area. Putting him down will be the hard part.

The elk tend to stay in the same vicinity here after the rut, even though I expect some of the bulls have moved. Research has been done on where they go to recover after they get done screaming and everything they like is here.

Elk meat is a staple of the sreekers household and if I butcher the meat myself we save a lot not buying beef. So three elk in the freezer is the goal, I have pulled off two in one season before, this will be a new record if I can pull off the third.

From the top of the mountain every morning I should be able to pull off updates, but this hunt will only be live during the weekends, and broken up into several sections. Pictures may be off and on and I haven't bought Tapatalk yet, so if someone wants to post up pics I can text or email them out. Any volunteers, message me.

The hunt starts this evening!
 

2rocky

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Looking forward to keeping up with your hunt.

Explain the 3 tags in your name...The additional are LO or Reduced price Cow/calf?
 
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david long

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Good luck sreekers! Look forward to following your hunt.
 
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ScottR_EHJ

ScottR_EHJ

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Yeah, the 2 extras are the additional cow/calf tags. On the western half side of the state there is an effort being made to reduce the population some, but it hasn't quite worked as planned when there are unfilled cow/calf tags every year.
 

Rockey

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Good luck on getting one of those bulls you have seen already, that brings the anxiety of the hunt up for the better. Either way you are out hunting and that is what counts.
 
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ScottR_EHJ

ScottR_EHJ

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The bulls are not in the area, so changing plans. The goal tomorrow will be to hunt some areas that i have hat a lot if success in the past.

This area consists of a lot of breaks in the trees, and plenty of feed. Primarily bulls live on this hill.

I hiked up the shortest side of the mountain that i had the bulls located in during deer season. When i got to the top there was nothing for tracks in the snow. Very disappointing.

IT has happened to the best of us though, they do a dissipating act after the rut.

Once camp us set up i may post some pics if the country.
 
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ScottR_EHJ

ScottR_EHJ

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I have to come out on Saturday night. Depending on success, i will be hunting again next weekend.
 
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ScottR_EHJ

ScottR_EHJ

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About to head out. Windy night in the tipi, but it has slowed a bit with morning. Hope to be able to glass a coupler of small basins that i have killed elk in before.

Biggest challenge use that it appears the old ATV trail that c was shut is being used illegally. If i see any there will be calls made!
 
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ScottR_EHJ

ScottR_EHJ

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Last update until tonight, phone its abort dead.

4 bulls this morning, screwed up the stalk on the biggest ones.

ATV guys got busted, which means the mountain its all mine. Pics tonight hopefully of a bull down.

Wife gave me orders to comer home with meat so i better get it done.
 
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ScottR_EHJ

ScottR_EHJ

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Nothing sighted tonight, not used to that in this area. A lot of ground was covered and a lot was glassed.

The strategy for this mountain is to glass all off the openings and then figure out the attack plan. The challenge is making it from the open glassing locations to cover without being spotted.

I
 
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ScottR_EHJ

ScottR_EHJ

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Just went back and read my posts. Got some editing to do when not on a phone.

Night all, hopefully i will put something on the ground in the morning.
 
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ScottR_EHJ

ScottR_EHJ

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So, as it turns out this was "That" trip. There is one trip every year where when the things that can go wrong will, and this was that trip.

I climbed into the area I wanted to hunt on Thursday evening and found that pretty much all of the elk that I wanted to hunt were gone, as noted above. The part that I couldn't describe on the phone is how hard it is in the dark to get down from where I was at. Headlamp and all I took two falls with no real damage done, other than to my pride.

I described the area that I was hunting a bit yesterday by phone, but I will do it a bit more justice here. This isn't a back country hunt, but rather a roadless area that pushes 10k at the top and has been a fight for the last while to keep it shut down from ATVs. Last year the FS Ranger sat at the trailhead on opening day and really made a statement that he didn't want people going in. The year before two separate gates were ripped down.

Last season was a high water mark for me in this area, the only boot tracks at the very top were either mine, or someone who had hunted with me. Having roughly 2 square miles all to yourself is a great thing. I killed a small bodied raghorn there last year, 100 yards from where my buddy killed a spike the week before, and about 15 yards from where I had killed a bull 2 seasons before that.

As I was getting ready to do the 2.5 mile hike to the top I was passed by two guys in an ATV. Before I made it to the steepest part of the ascent I saw 4 more headed that way. Frustrating to say the least.

Justice was served though as the Ranger came up and issued tickets. They came up the hill and talked with me for a while and seemed more than a bit upset about the number of people.
 

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ScottR_EHJ

ScottR_EHJ

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I should have attached that last picture to this post, but oh well.

That picture shows how open the top is and where you will find the elk. That was the last place I saw probably the smallest bull of Friday morning. I could have shot him, but am trying to be picky based on the fact that I have a shed shelf full of spike and raghorns. Time to get off of the raghorn express, even if I am hunting a general unit in Wyoming.

I sat on that ridge until noon, sometimes the bulls will randomly pop up when the sun changes angles and they need a new bed. The spot also gave me an excellent viewing point to watch the ranger issue tickets.

After glassing there for quite a while, and a couple cups of coffee later, it was time to find some water. There are 4 or 5 streams as well as some springs that provide for plenty of places to get some. I had one in mind, but quickly found out that it had been overrun during the rut. I really trust my filter, but this was close to my limit.

One trick that my partner and I often use is to cook up a mountain house where we fill up water. This saves time for actual hunting, and is 16 ounces less water you have to plan for. I did that here as well, and the afternoon breakfast was great.
 

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ScottR_EHJ

ScottR_EHJ

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Now, here is the fun part. Last night the wind was brutal, like push you over if you crested the ridge brutal.

I spent my afternoon working the other side of mountain, and tried to see what I could find bedded on the edges etc. There was nothing, apparently I was the only one crazy enough to come out with the wind conditions that were there. I don't know that in 20 years of hunting this ridge I can recall wind this strong, and there have been pretty good storms there.

I went to bed last night with the nose slightly plugged up, but thought I would wake up better. At midnight I woke up with the chills, the wind having pulled two pegs of my tipi and no end in sight.

At midnight I put the sleeping bag back in the truck, pulled the rest of the pegs from the tipi before they got pulled and finished the night out there. The wind was bad enough that it rocked the truck at many points during the night.

When the alarm went off at 5 I was still sick and there was no hunting. Last year I made the mistake of hunting when I was and it got close to walking pneumonia. So this morning I called it and decided that I would rather be home getting well than chance getting even more sick and not be able to hunt next week at all.
 
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ScottR_EHJ

ScottR_EHJ

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Ok, so a little update on the upcoming hunt this weekend. I just talked to a Highway Patrol buddy of mine and he said that there is six inches of snow already in the general area. So on the mountain I intend to hunt that could mean as much as 8 or as little as a dusting, but it's snowing here in Rock Springs as well which means likely on the higher end.

The plan is to head out again on Thursday get to the top with time to glass the openings. There should be even more elk in the area as this mountain is a transition range to the feedgrounds. They will often stop here and stay until the snow gets really deep then head on to where they get fed around January.

With the snow on the ground they tend to be out feeding the southern facing slopes for many hours of the day. The bulls have started to bunch together again which is a good thing for me, but sometimes it makes it tough to sort through the little guys to find the lone or bigger bulls in double groups.

We are now down to 5 packages of elk steak in the freezer, which means I need some badly. First cow I run into is in trouble for the cow/calf tag. The second tag has a season that runs in december and January which should be easier to fill.

More later, have to take care of some work obligations.
 
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ScottR_EHJ

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Just to keep the thread moving, I will post some pictures of last years bull. 2 of the bulls I saw last time I was up there were about this size. With the amount of snow up there this weekend it should happen.

The first picture is what 135lbs looks like in a Black's Creek pack. I now own a Longhunter....
 

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ScottR_EHJ

ScottR_EHJ

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Ok, so I am doing my last couple of hours here in the office before I head home at lunch and then turn around and head up to work on the task at hand.

I have to be back on Saturday night, but I think we can get it done. A buddy is coming with me which will be nice for company and we will be staying in his trailer as there is now close to 10 inches of snow in some places.

Pressure should dictate that the elk will be bunched up pretty well, but looking forward to finding them and hoping to hang my tag on a bull and hopefully a cow as well.

I will do as much posting as I can and might even bring the laptop to post some pics.
 
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