When you’ve been glassing mountainsides for elk and there are none to be heard, your concentration falters and your mind wanders to places it shouldn’t go. I hurt from the feeling or lack there of, especially in my knees. Also the burn in my shoulders and throb in my feet – so goes the old saying NO PAIN, NO GAIN.
It was sunday afternoon when I pulled into elk camp to kick off another hunting season. With six hunters and three other guides we would have dinner, talk about the next mornings hunt and pack our gear.
Our first morning in the middle of the Rocky Mountains was taken on by foot as my hunter Steve and I left the truck at the old “Pondella” place on a clear cool September morning. Some 4 miles in, up hill both ways we came upon a fresh wallow – A very good sign! As Monday and Tuesday came to an end we were left walking in the dark trying to think of a new game plan for the last few days of the hunt.
Wednesday morning I decided to head to a place where I had been successful in the past and had hopes of crossing paths with another majestic bull elk. No more did we get out of the truck did we hear the unforgettable bugle of three different bulls. Checking our wind we decided on a location to start calling. It wasn’t long and a spike found interest in the cow decoy I had set up! Coming into 30 yards he put on a show, only to be run off by the guy we were after that morning; An awesome 6×6 bull that made his way out of the dark timber right down into our laps! Holding up at just under a 100 yards this guy stayed out of archery range.
Wednesday night we decided to head back into that same area to see if we couldn’t find him again. An hour before dark he gave up his location and we slipped in. In a bugling match the bull showed himself again. First at 200 yards then all the way up to 50 yards! My heart pounded as much as my hunter Steve’s did Im sure, as we thought we had him this time. The bull again out matched us as he pushed all 13 of his cows out past us and held up not willing to come 10 yards farther for a shot.
It was now friday morning and the last day of our 5 day hunt together. After an unproductive thursday Steve and I decided to head back into the area we had been getting on some bulls, this time Steve would have rifle in hand! (Elkhorn is part of Colorado’s Ranching for Wildlife program). Slipping in the morning remained extremely quiet. I was about ready to head back to the truck when I set up in one last draw and began to hammer the cow call. Moments later was a crash followed by another cow call. I answered as she popped out of the timber to our left and was being pushed by a beautiful 5×5 who stepped out well into Steve’s range at under a 100 yards! The rifle rang out and with a perfect shot the bull fell! With some short of unbelievment I wasn’t sure who was more excited… Steve who had just full-filled a life long dream in front of my watch or my self as we connected on a great bull in the bottom of the ninth!? Its those exact emotions and long days of heartache that keep me coming back year after year to spend 100’s of days in the field! – Life’s short, hunt hard!
Logan Guides for Team Elkhorn