I posted pictures of my elk hunt last week, here is the link
Many people had asked for the story so here it is.
Four years ago, my wife and kids had gone up to Casper WY to visit family. Being on call for my job, I was unable to do much of anything. So I was sitting at home watching TV and thinking about how cool archery hunting looked. With nothing else to do, I went down to my local bow shop and asked how does someone get started? The staff was awesome, they measured my draw length, let me shoot a few bows. Next thing you know I was calling my wife, asking her if I could buy a bow they had on consignment. I should mention I am probably the most spoiled husband on the planet. She said “if that’s what you want”. Well I spent the summer outfitting my bow, learning how to shoot on my lunch breaks. When hunting season came around, I only took the bow out for one day. I spent the rest of the season using my rifle. This became the norm, one day here, one day there, then spend my week off rifle hunting. I upgraded my bow in 2011, but when hunting season came around, here I was using my vacation for rifle season again. Fast forward to June 2013, I was unsuccessful in the draw for a limited quota elk tag, but I did pick up an OTC general Elk tag. I decided, enough of this flirting with archery. I was taking my vacation during September. I looked at the calendar, read a bunch on hunting elk during the rut and decided on the last full week of September. I informed my hunting partner Chris of my plans and he said he wanted to try archery as well. Summer flew by and before I knew it, school had started and the kids were pretty bummed that we didn’t even get the camper out. So for the first time ever, I promised my kids I wouldn’t hunt over the weekend. I would spend the time hiking, playing in the creek, and cooking smores. September 20th came along and the kids and I headed out to the camper. My wife wouldn’t be out till Saturday afternoon, along with Chris and his family. The plan was to hang out in camp till Sunday afternoon, the families would leave and the hunt would start. This was also going to be our first attempt at backpack hunting. We decided that we would park my jeep at a trailhead lower in elevation, then take Chris’s truck to a higher elevation and hike in from there. When we reached the upper parking area, there was a storm brewing, so we decided on plan B. Wait out the storm in the camper and hike in at first light. We woke up and got to the trailhead, where it was a total whiteout, on to plan C. We decided to hike in where we had left my jeep. Being new at the whole backpacking thing we realized right away, we were in a little over our heads. Our packs were way too heavy and we didn’t get nearly as far as we wanted. Lesson learned I guess. We got in an evening hunt and were not seeing much sign so we went back to our tents, started a fire, ate some food and listened to some Denver Broncos football. Our game plan for the morning was to hike back out to the trailhead and go back to the higher elevation and hunt down to our camp. The scenery was beautiful, and with some fresh snow we had our hopes high on at least finding fresh tracks and having an area to concentrate our efforts. We hiked over 8 miles, without even a glimpse of our quarry or even fresh sign. So after a late dinner we decided to move onto plan D. We got up early, packed up camp and headed back to the truck.