After a few hundred hrs of weighing gear, conditioning, and staring at google earth, I was as ready as I would ever be for my first out of state hunt. My goal was to find a big wilderness area that I could get lost in. The Frank Church won out. After 2 days I had to abandon my spike camp and get to a better sleeping pad. My old broken neck is a little less forgiving than I thought when it comes to roughing it. I am working on a solution for my November hunt.
The elk appeared scarce, especially now that I was running out of a small base camp and had to return everyday. It took me a few days to find some good sign, and I set up a plan to target those areas every morning and evening. I would hunt the surrounding timber strips during the day, while still returning every night to my target area.
Day 5 came with a nice wet rain/snow. I assumed everything would be hunkered down, but I generally hunt all day everyday no matter what the weather. The old idea that being out there is step one always rings in my head. After many hours sneeking through the timber, I made my way back to my evening vantage point. I was especially excited because the weather had broken in about the last hour. With light fading fast, I disected the area. Finally I spotted a loan elk, and it was a legal branch bull. I was able to close the deal.
A little 5x5, but I was thrilled to find him. A great ending to my first out of state hunt. Now I have a benchmark to improve on when I come back!!
I was fortunate enough to be only a little over a mile from camp, and got him all packed out by daylight the next day. Please forgive the head shot and the crumby field pick. It was dark, I couldn't get my timer to work on my wet camera, and the wolves were already scaring the @#$% out of me.
I will attach a few of my field picks and a nice buck I got to bother along the way. Keep the good stories coming!!