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  #1  
Old 11-20-2010, 01:23 PM
recoil junky's Avatar
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My Elk Hunt 2010


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I actually missed a day yesterday because after getting home from work at 03:00 I didn't really fell like hunting yesterday. So . . . . . . .

Up at 04:30 this morning and had some eggs and toast. Then I scrambled getting the truck loaded with all the stuff I should have loaded yesterday. PANT PANT.

Hit the road at about 05:30 and got to the "Coy" gate onto mine property about 6. Just in time to see about 30 head of elk run right across the road in front of me. DADBURN IT!!! Well, at least I'm first in. Then a quick call to "440" the on shift production foreman to let him know where I was.

I hiked down to my spot, cutting fresh elk tracks going every which a way. I sat in my spot until about 09:00 waiting for the elk to move when I spotted six cows about a mile away. I gathered up my gear and headed back to the truck.

I called "440" again to let him know what I was doing (we are not allowed to travel certain parts of LOM road) and that I would be heading back to the main gate. (a round about trip of about 10 miles) He said to hurry my butt up because there was about 17 head with a "really nice non-typical bull" just headed across to where iI was going. I hit the after burners on the Powerstroke, checked back in at the main gate and hustled to where the elk were that I saw about 15 minutes before.

I immediately cut fresh tracks in the oak brush and started following them. Now if you've never seen oak brush (it's a mixture of oak, sarviceberry and alder) it's so thick in spots you sometimes have to crawl through it. Here's what it looks like.


I caught up with the elk in the thickest part and we played seek and go hide for about 100 yards and I got a glimpse up brown hides and legs about the time they saw green wool pants and an orange vest. Off they went, crossing a large draw about 500 yards across. I made it to the edge of the brush in time to see them scaling the far side.

I spotted the weird bull as he stopped broadside on the far ridge. I found a convenient oak "tree" for a rest and held right under his back (cuz he was about 450 yards) and squeezed the trigger. BAWOOM, the 300RUM spoke and I saw dirt fly under the elk!!!!!!!!!!!! DADBURN IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He was a good 150-200 yards further away than I thought. So I just sat there and watched the herd sneak through the thick stuff and out of sight. I was so frustrated I went back to the truck and promptly took a nap!!!

I did some more scouting up high and about 16:00 decided to call it quits and head home.

As I was rounding the last corner just before the house I noticed about60 head of elk come a boilin' over the hill behind the chicken coop!!!! My first thought was CAMERA cuz nobody is gonna believe this!! Of course it was buried deep in my daypack and the elk ran across the road in front of me while I sat there and watched. They crossed the "creek" and were skirting the hillside so a backed up and went up the drive way about mach1 trying to get a skyline shot with the camera, but I was to slow. Oh well, I'll just go feed the horses as it's to dark to take pictures now anyway. I parked the truck and went through the shop and opened the back door only to see ALL THE ELK on the skyline behind the shop!! The fence was screeching in protest as the elk hit it at a dead run. I remembered my cow talk around my neck and quickly a blew a couple times to see if they would stop and sure enough the whole bunch stopped on the rock ledge north of the house about 75 yards from the hot tub. What an awesome sight!! 40 or so elk skylined right behind my house!!!

Today I saw more elk than I have in the last 2 years.

More after tomorrow's escapades.

RJ

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  #2  
Old 11-20-2010, 01:26 PM
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Day 2.

Up again at 04:30. Try as I might I can not get on the road when I want to. I wanted to be on the road at 05:30 but didn't get left until 05:45. I still got there earlier than yesterday and was where I wanted to be about 1/2 hour before legal shooting light. I parked the truck and hiked down a ridge that would give me a good view of the "West Panel". I drew this year after 4 years of trying and today was the first day we were allowed to hunt it.

I started glassing and immediately started seeing elk, but they were a good mile off. I started walk in the general direction I thought they were going to go but was soon "busted" by about 12 cows that I didn't see. Of course they ran (west) right into the other herd and had them spooked before I could even get set up. There is very little cover on reclaimed land. Only the occasional clump of Canadian rye grass. So, dejected I headed back to the truck.

I drove to the other end of the property hoping to get there before the elk did and I partially succeeded. Only 100 made it across the fence so I sat and watched the rest of the herd as they turned and meandered back to the east. No sense pushing them by trying to put the sneak on them so I headed for higher ground to try playing seek and go hide in the oak brush. (see post #1)

I've always liked hunting elk this way, I'm just not very successful at it. I parked the truck and slowly made my way through the tangle when I heard fence squeaking!! I immediately froze when I saw elk making their way right toward me not 10 yards away!!!! I flicked off the safety when I spotted the lighter buckskin color of a bull gliding soundlessly through the brush. As big as elk are they are sure quiet. I couldn't see antlers as he edged closer, so I slowly knelt down and came face to face with a spike at about 20 feet!! He snorted (I almost got snot on my face) and ran back the way he had come, taking the rest of the elk with him. It's also amazing how much country they can cover in a short amout of time. By the time I made it about 100 yards to a vantage point, the elk were already a good 500 yards away on the next hillside. I glassed them for 15-20 minutes as they snuck through the oak brush single file like they were showing off. No legal bulls in the bunch of 30 head, but there were 9 spikes!! I'm seeing gobs of spikes this year it seems. Way more than "usual".

Well, that was fun anyway. I decided to go back to another vantage point that over looks about 150 acres of scattered brush and maybe take a nap :grin:. When I got sat down I did a quick scan of the brush, but didn't see anything except another hunter about 500 yards away. We spotted each other about the same time and I gave him a quick wave. He was headed down the far side of the patch I was watching so I turned my attention to some elk I spotted to the north. They were a good 2 miles away, but it doesn't hurt to look. I kept glassing the "West Panel" and kept seeing more elk with each pass. Ok, I'll just let them come and maybe see what happens just before dark.

I was just about asleep when out of the corner of my eye I spotted movement in a clearing about 250 yards away. Cow, cow, another spike?? cow, cow, spike, cow, hold it, legal bull, legal bull!!! There were two legal bulls in the bunch. I propped the 300RUM on my shooting sticks and watched them through the scope trying to see which one was bigger. I had to decide soon as they were heading into some very thick cover. I gave a toot on my cow talk and they both stropped broadside.

I put the cross hairs on the second one's shoulder and BAWOOM!! the 300RUM spoke and the bull dropped from sight behind a clump of sarviceberry. I quickly cranked in another round as the rest of the elk started milling around not knowing where the shot came from. I gave them time to make their way out of the area before I went to see what damage I had done. After about 15 minutes of trying to find the elk I finally spotted him in a heap like he'd just went to sleep. Legs folded under him with his neck out-stretched. A perfect DRT shot.



Now the work starts. I had him gutted and loaded in the truck in about 45 minutes. Luckily for me I was able to back the truck right to him. This does not happen very often let me tell you!! So when it does, I take full advantage!!!

I got home with him and was getting ready to hang him up when I noticed the mule acting "elky". She was looking intently off to the south so I grabbed the camera and went around the side of the barn and saw another spike across the road. I tooted on my cow talk and he started over to see who was talking to him.



About this time a car came around the corner and the spike made a hasty get away, but not before he fell flat on his face trying to clear the fence. This of course scared the beejeesus out of the horse and the mule and they ran off out of sight. I don't know what it is about live elk that spooks them. Dead ones are nothing to either of them.

After I got the bull strung up I noticed a lump on his right shoulder. Could it be?? I slit his hide and found the remnants of the 180 grain Nolser Accubond.



Not a whole lot left after going through both scapula and just nicking the spine but it did it's job very well.

Now I've got a bunch of work ahead of me. I'm thinking of taking the deer to the preprocessors and have summer sausage, breakfast sausage and bratwursts made. The elk I'll do myself save for some burger. That I'll have them do.

Hope you enjoyed going hunting with me!!

RJ


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  #3  
Old 11-20-2010, 02:18 PM
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Now, that's a great hunting story and greater pic's!

Glad it all worked out for you. BTW - what's with all that white looking stuff?
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Old 11-20-2010, 02:41 PM
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Great story RJ! Glad you got some of that good elk meat in the freezer. Looks like that bullet did just fine. Now, did you load that elk up whole, by yourself?!! I've only done it once on a friends elk and counted our many blessings!
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Old 11-20-2010, 03:13 PM
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RJ,
Great story and pics.
Glad you had success. One of these days I'm going Elk hunting. You guys can't have all the fun.
Maybe you and Shawn can take us Texicans Elk hunting and we'll swap you for some pig hunting. That's an even trade, isn't it?
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Old 11-20-2010, 03:28 PM
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1 elk = 5 pigs...that sounds about right! I would love to go pig hunting tpv!
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Old 11-20-2010, 04:10 PM
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If you guys take me Elk hunting, I'll trap five porkers and bring them up live!
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Old 11-20-2010, 04:32 PM
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Good story sir.

Thanks for sharing!
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  #9  
Old 11-20-2010, 04:34 PM
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Wow, that is really amazing how many elk you were seeing, nice bull too. Glad you were able to back the truck up to it
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Old 11-20-2010, 09:17 PM
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kdub, that white stuff is the winter shade of grass around here. It grows very well in the colder months and can reach over 2 feet tall. Good thing I gots a mower that will handle it.

Shawn, I (with help from the the truck ) had to "drag" him about 50 yards to a small bank where I backed the truck up to. Then I hooked a come-a-long to him and pulled him in.

I skinned him out this afternoon and boy-o-boy does the meet smell good!! I cut off the tenderloins to have with my eggs for breakfast I've got some bacon to wrap it in and everything.

tpv, Elk for piggies?? You betcha!!

RJ
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Keep your powder dry and when you go afield take the kids and please..........wear your seat belts.
I am the ORIGINAL recoil junky , often imitated, but never equalled.
Proud Father of a SoldierMedic in The 82nd Airborne 325thAIR White Falcons
IUOE Local #9

Last edited by recoil junky; 11-20-2010 at 09:22 PM.
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Old 11-22-2010, 03:43 AM
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Sure am glad you are getting out there. The weather looks good and you know, the time is NOW! Thanks so much for the story and pics.

I know you are a FORD guy but when I get started restoring my 90 2500 GMC I may need your help by PM.

But that will wait till FEB.
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Old 11-22-2010, 07:30 AM
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DANG IT, I was hoping my years in that Chevy dealership (prison) hadn't gotten out!!! That's why I drive Fords. No, seriously, for reals.

Sure Chief, be glad to help.

RJ
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Old 11-22-2010, 01:54 PM
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RJ,
looks like you had a good hunt. Hope you enjoy the steaks. Did you have a buddy with you this year?
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Old 11-22-2010, 02:08 PM
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3rd season I took my pal Zach with me to see if we could get him an elk, but all we saw then was deer and cows. He only had a bull tag.

RJ
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Keep your powder dry and when you go afield take the kids and please..........wear your seat belts.
I am the ORIGINAL recoil junky , often imitated, but never equalled.
Proud Father of a SoldierMedic in The 82nd Airborne 325thAIR White Falcons
IUOE Local #9

Last edited by recoil junky; 11-22-2010 at 02:10 PM.
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Old 11-22-2010, 05:38 PM
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nice bull congrats
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Old 11-23-2010, 09:31 AM
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How old is Zack now? (he is Mike's son?) Good on you for taking him out hunting!
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  #17  
Old 11-23-2010, 01:36 PM
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Zach is 16 now. Still misses his dad more than he lets on, but then so do I. Mike was a good mate.

RJ
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