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This long and I never claimed to be a writer but here goes.

I arrived in Colorado the evening of Monday, Sept. 7th. That gave me a few days to get rested up from the long drive and also let my body start living on the thin air before heading out to the area where we plan to hunt.
My friend and I arrived at the area where we decided that we wanted to set up our base camp around noon on Thursday the 10th and decided to go ahead and hike up the mountain a little ways and take a look around for any signs of elk and see if we could get anything to answer back at the bugle but didn't hear anything so we hiked back to our base camp and hung out there the rest of the evening and told war stories.
On Friday the 11th we hiked back up the mountain again but this time we went higher up to a spot where we decide to set up and small satellite camp to save us about an hour and a half of hiking in the morning, we did some more scouting and bugling but still couldn't get any response and weren't seeing any fresh signs.
Saturday the 12th (Opening Day) we hiked all over the mountain and still didn't see or hear anything, and that's how it was every day until Thursday morning when we finally seen the first elk that walk into the bugle and cow calls at about 40yds but it was a spike, he stood there in the trees looking our way for about 5min before turning around and walking away. I was a little disappointed that he was only a spike but that one of the coolest things that I had every experienced in the woods to date, the animal was magnificent and really brought my sprits up just seeing him (I was starting to feel a little down before this and needed something like this to get some fire back in my heart) We had not heard a bugle all week and couldn't find anything no matter where we went or how much we called, the weather was way to warm for the elk and they just weren't moving. And that's how it went on Friday also.
We talked about it and decided that we where going to have to go higher to try to find the elk and that the best thing to do was to set up another satellite camp to save us another couple of hours of hiking in the morning so we went back to our base camp at the bottom of the mountain ate some lunch, grabbed some more food and another tent and hiked back up about 3 and a half hours and set up that camp with intensions of getting up early Saturday and going to an area that we hadn't covered yet. So that's what we did and at about 10am we got to this big meadow and seen a cow about 500yds away walking into another area that we went thru earlier in the week and did see some good signs there but couldn't find the elk. Now I decided that I wanted to hunt that meadow in the evening thinking and hoping that maybe something would be in to get water from the stream that ran thru there but again that didn't happen but I still felt good about this area after seeing that cow there. I was thinking (if there is a cow, there has got to be a bull somewhere around) so I told my friend that I wanted to be back in this meadow before daylight in the morning.
On Sunday (THE LAST DAY) we got up at 5am and hiked back up there in the dark and set up on the edge of the wood line and then it started to really cool down as the sun started coming up and the wind also started blowing, now I didn't take a coat with me because I hadn't hunted with one on all week and didn't think about needing one on this day but I was very wrong, my friend told me that he would hike back to the tent and grab my heavy coat and would be back in an hour and took off. While he was gone I had a huge bull moose walk into the area about a 100yds away (5th moose this week) then I started hearing this bugling at the other end of the meadow and before my friend got back I heard it 5 times. Well My friend got back with my coat and while I was putting it on there was another bugle and he said that that was the 2nd time he had heard it and that it was for sure an elk and not another hunter and that we needed to take off after him and see if we could get him to come to our calls, so we left the packs and took off along the edge of the meadow stopping and bugling at him and he would bugle back as we went in his direction. Once we got to about 150yds from him we set up and started working with the calls but could not get him to come down to us, so after about 30-45min of this we then decided to try to move in on him. We started moving closer and came to a stream and started to stomp our feet in the stream and when we did this he really got mad and we moved on in a little closer until my friend seen him up above us, now he had his back towards us at the time and I found a tree that had blown down to set up behind and use as a rest to shoot off of. Now he was in some pretty thick stuff and I needed him to turn to his left and step into the only opening that I had to get a clear shot at him.
Well my friend move off to my left and said that he was bugling when the bull turned just as I needed and stepped right into my lane and stopped, I settled in on him and took the shot and he disappeared but I heard the slug hit him hard. (10165 feet elevation, a 80yd. shot uphill with a Knight muzzleloader shooting a 348gr. power belt, 100gr. pyrodex RS loose and a winchester 209 primer.) I don't think I even had the powder poured down the barrel for 2nd shot if needed when I heard him hit the ground above me and I knew he was on the ground. Well my friend ran up the towards him while I reloaded and when I got reloaded I took off up the hill myself and on my way up
I heard the bull let out two big gasp of air and by the time I got there the animal had expired and my friend just stood there smiling at me.
Now the work begins! We took pictures and I started to cape and field dress the bull while my friend went to get our packs, well he got back with the packs and helped me finish getting the bull field dressed and up on some logs (not a easy thing to do) so the cool air could get under him while the meat cooled down, We got the head tied to the pack and started the long hike back to the bottom stopping along the way and tearing down both of our satellite camps. Once we got back to the bottom where our base camp was we torn it down and pack it all up in the trucks headed back to my friends house (two and half hours away).
When we got up the next day (Monday the 21st) we had breakfast with another friend and discussed taking a horse and a mule back Tuesday morning to pack out the meat, now that might sound easy but we were not able to take the animals in the way we went so we took them up a trail that ended up about another hour above where the meat was and there is also 8 inches of snow laying up there on the ground now (good for the meat but not for the hike back up the mountain when carrying a pack that weighs 80lbs and we had 4 packs to carry out) anyway we got everything out and nobody got hurt doing it.
This has got to be the best hunt that I have ever done and want to say "THANKS" to the Lord above for giving me the strength to do this, to Cliff for all his hard work and to Randy for the use of his horse (Duke) and mule (Jasper), I could never have done this without them!

Also a little note about the throat patch on this elk. Both of these friends (90 years between them elk hunting) of mine say that they have never seen an elk with a band of light tan hair on the throat like this one has and I looked at a lot of pictures on the internet all I found was one with a small spot on his throat. I don't know but I think I'll keep him.
What a hunt!




 

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Rick59 I am proud for you and that was a very good story. You never know what we can do until put to the test.

Cur Dog
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Cur Dog said:
Rick59 I am proud for you and that was a very good story. You never know what we can do until put to the test.

Cur Dog
Thank you Cur Dog, it was an amazing hunt!
I do allot of whitetail deer hunting here in Indiana but that is nothing like hunting those elk, I want to go back a do it again. I'm keeping my fingers crossed in hopes of drawing a tag in Kentucky they are taking some really nice animals in that state and I'm pretty sure there's one there just waiting to come home with me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Airedale Marine said:
Did you ever go to New Mexico for elk?

Semper Fi
Sorry to say "No". I'v been to New Mexico but did not get to elk hunt there, I know there are big elk there but have never had the funds to hunt them.
 

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I agree with greenie, Congratulations on the nice bull. Great story also.
 
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