Four JS Outfitters
Lets Go Elk Hunting, solo style
Elk
Contributors to this thread:
Paul@thefort 25-Sep-15
JohnB 25-Sep-15
Paul@thefort 25-Sep-15
Paul@thefort 25-Sep-15
Paul@thefort 25-Sep-15
JLS 25-Sep-15
Paul@thefort 25-Sep-15
Paul@thefort 25-Sep-15
Paul@thefort 25-Sep-15
Paul@thefort 25-Sep-15
Paul@thefort 25-Sep-15
Paul@thefort 25-Sep-15
Paul@thefort 25-Sep-15
Paul@thefort 25-Sep-15
Paul@thefort 25-Sep-15
Paul@thefort 25-Sep-15
Paul@thefort 25-Sep-15
Paul@thefort 25-Sep-15
JW 25-Sep-15
Paul@thefort 25-Sep-15
Paul@thefort 25-Sep-15
orionsbrother 25-Sep-15
Gene 25-Sep-15
Sage Buffalo 25-Sep-15
jdee 25-Sep-15
Herdbull 25-Sep-15
Rick M 25-Sep-15
hunt'n addict 25-Sep-15
cnelk 25-Sep-15
Beav 25-Sep-15
Paul@thefort 25-Sep-15
Ishpeming 25-Sep-15
Paul@thefort 25-Sep-15
coelker 25-Sep-15
Bowboy 25-Sep-15
Paul@thefort 25-Sep-15
Old School 25-Sep-15
coelker 25-Sep-15
Paul@thefort 25-Sep-15
Paul@thefort 25-Sep-15
Paul@thefort 25-Sep-15
tacklebox 25-Sep-15
midwest 25-Sep-15
APauls 25-Sep-15
Bowboy 25-Sep-15
goelk 25-Sep-15
Amoebus 25-Sep-15
Paul@thefort 25-Sep-15
Paul@thefort 25-Sep-15
orionsbrother 25-Sep-15
JLS 25-Sep-15
Reflex 25-Sep-15
grasshopper 25-Sep-15
hunt'n addict 25-Sep-15
pav 25-Sep-15
Amoebus 25-Sep-15
buzz mc 25-Sep-15
elvspec 25-Sep-15
LUNG$HOT 25-Sep-15
trublucolo 25-Sep-15
TD 25-Sep-15
drycreek 25-Sep-15
BULELK1 26-Sep-15
6x6 bull 26-Sep-15
ki-ke 26-Sep-15
Don K 26-Sep-15
Paul@thefort 26-Sep-15
Sage of the Sage2 26-Sep-15
Paul@thefort 26-Sep-15
Paul@thefort 26-Sep-15
Paul@thefort 26-Sep-15
Paul@thefort 26-Sep-15
Stayfit 26-Sep-15
Paul@thefort 26-Sep-15
Paul@thefort 26-Sep-15
Paul@thefort 26-Sep-15
Paul@thefort 26-Sep-15
Paul@thefort 26-Sep-15
Paul@thefort 26-Sep-15
Paul@thefort 26-Sep-15
Paul@thefort 26-Sep-15
Paul@thefort 26-Sep-15
Paul@thefort 26-Sep-15
Sivart 26-Sep-15
Paul@thefort 26-Sep-15
Paul@thefort 26-Sep-15
Paul@thefort 26-Sep-15
Paul@thefort 26-Sep-15
Paul@thefort 26-Sep-15
Paul@thefort 26-Sep-15
Paul@thefort 26-Sep-15
orionsbrother 26-Sep-15
Charlie Rehor 26-Sep-15
Paul@thefort 26-Sep-15
Paul@thefort 26-Sep-15
Paul@thefort 26-Sep-15
Paul@thefort 26-Sep-15
Paul@thefort 26-Sep-15
Trophy8 26-Sep-15
Paul@thefort 26-Sep-15
Paul@thefort 26-Sep-15
Paul@thefort 26-Sep-15
Paul@thefort 26-Sep-15
Inshart 26-Sep-15
Paul@thefort 26-Sep-15
Paul@thefort 26-Sep-15
Paul@thefort 26-Sep-15
GhostBird 26-Sep-15
Paul@thefort 26-Sep-15
Paul@thefort 26-Sep-15
Paul@thefort 26-Sep-15
Paul@thefort 26-Sep-15
Paul@thefort 26-Sep-15
Paul@thefort 26-Sep-15
Paul@thefort 26-Sep-15
Paul@thefort 26-Sep-15
Paul@thefort 26-Sep-15
Paul@thefort 26-Sep-15
Paul@thefort 26-Sep-15
Paul@thefort 26-Sep-15
Paul@thefort 26-Sep-15
Paul@thefort 26-Sep-15
Paul@thefort 26-Sep-15
Paul@thefort 26-Sep-15
Paul@thefort 26-Sep-15
Paul@thefort 26-Sep-15
Paul@thefort 26-Sep-15
Paul@thefort 26-Sep-15
Paul@thefort 26-Sep-15
Paul@thefort 26-Sep-15
Paul@thefort 26-Sep-15
Paul@thefort 26-Sep-15
Paul@thefort 26-Sep-15
Paul@thefort 26-Sep-15
Paul@thefort 26-Sep-15
Paul@thefort 26-Sep-15
orionsbrother 26-Sep-15
Paul@thefort 26-Sep-15
Paul@thefort 26-Sep-15
Paul@thefort 26-Sep-15
Paul@thefort 26-Sep-15
FireWillie77 26-Sep-15
Paul@thefort 26-Sep-15
Paul@thefort 26-Sep-15
buzz mc 26-Sep-15
Paul@thefort 26-Sep-15
Paul@thefort 26-Sep-15
Paul@thefort 26-Sep-15
Paul@thefort 26-Sep-15
Paul@thefort 26-Sep-15
Paul@thefort 26-Sep-15
Paul@thefort 26-Sep-15
Trophy8 26-Sep-15
Willieboat 26-Sep-15
hunt'n addict 26-Sep-15
huntnmuleys 26-Sep-15
Dirty D 26-Sep-15
Paul@thefort 26-Sep-15
elkmtngear 26-Sep-15
Paul@thefort 26-Sep-15
JJJ 26-Sep-15
orionsbrother 26-Sep-15
Paul@thefort 26-Sep-15
Paul@thefort 26-Sep-15
Paul@thefort 26-Sep-15
Paul@thefort 26-Sep-15
Paul@thefort 26-Sep-15
Paul@thefort 26-Sep-15
Paul@thefort 26-Sep-15
Zackman 26-Sep-15
808bowhunter 26-Sep-15
JLS 26-Sep-15
trublucolo 26-Sep-15
loopmtz 27-Sep-15
TD 27-Sep-15
Quinn @work 27-Sep-15
APauls 27-Sep-15
Overland 27-Sep-15
Grunt-N-Gobble 27-Sep-15
Gene 27-Sep-15
mnbowhunter 27-Sep-15
dlpassthru 27-Sep-15
John Haeberle 27-Sep-15
Dennis Razza 27-Sep-15
trkyslr 27-Sep-15
Pyrannah 27-Sep-15
GhostBird 27-Sep-15
Bill in MI 27-Sep-15
brianhood 27-Sep-15
midwest 27-Sep-15
BigSky 27-Sep-15
otcWill 27-Sep-15
Butts 27-Sep-15
RogBow 27-Sep-15
Paul@thefort 27-Sep-15
Z Barebow 27-Sep-15
Well-Strung 27-Sep-15
Paul@thefort 27-Sep-15
tj 27-Sep-15
midwest 27-Sep-15
BOWNUT 27-Sep-15
Bowboy 27-Sep-15
elmer@laptop 27-Sep-15
Beav 27-Sep-15
CD 27-Sep-15
HUNT MAN 27-Sep-15
kentuckbowhnter 28-Sep-15
sitO 28-Sep-15
ELKMAN 28-Sep-15
Chaseasl 28-Sep-15
Sivart 28-Sep-15
bowcrazyJRHCO 28-Sep-15
Heat 28-Sep-15
tacklebox 28-Sep-15
Adventurewriter 28-Sep-15
Old School 28-Sep-15
cnelk 28-Sep-15
T Mac 28-Sep-15
Bowfreak 28-Sep-15
GotBowAz 28-Sep-15
AZBUGLER 28-Sep-15
XMan 28-Sep-15
goelk 28-Sep-15
Paul@thefort 28-Sep-15
CurveBow 28-Sep-15
easeup 28-Sep-15
JohnB 28-Sep-15
IAHUNTER 29-Sep-15
Shiras 29-Sep-15
FLGator 29-Sep-15
standswittaknife 29-Sep-15
Destroyer350 29-Sep-15
chasin bugles 30-Sep-15
Matt Palmquist 30-Sep-15
Ishpeming 30-Sep-15
Full Rut 30-Sep-15
Rocking R 30-Sep-15
Jeff Holchin 30-Sep-15
trevore 01-Oct-15
Gaur 01-Oct-15
LTG 11 02-Oct-15
Jaquomo 02-Oct-15
Paul@thefort 02-Oct-15
MassBucks 02-Oct-15
Copperman 02-Oct-15
Hawk17 03-Oct-15
From: Paul@thefort
25-Sep-15
Most of you know me as a friendly guy who will engage anyone in conversation under almost all conditions and locations. I am not (most often) anti-social at all.

But that friendly persona all seems to change when archery elk season starts here in Colorado and I do have to admit to becoming a little anti social and a hermit of sorts. Sort of a Doctor Jeckyl and Mr. Hide scenario from my usual demeanor. A solo hunter might be a better discription.

I do not know if it was the current moon phase (a full moon on the opener) or how the stars were lining up but this strange behavior seemed to have over taken me. I do not remember drinking any liquid from a glass slipper or from a steaming cauldron brewed by a witch.

No mushrooms and yes I know, marijuana is legal in Colorado. "cool man, real cool".

I looked up on Google so see if there was any prescription I could take as a remedy for this terrible infliction, but found none.

I was doomed for sure and the only cure---- I just needed to go archery elk hunting, solo style.

From: JohnB
25-Sep-15
I wish you all the best of luck and be safe...this was only my 2nd out of 6 years with a friend; having dinner ready when I came back to camp wasn't all bad!

From: Paul@thefort
25-Sep-15

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
I have been archery elk hunting in Colorado since I moved here in 1992 and also two years prior from Ohio. Ten elk all in all but not one in the past 3 years so I needed to step up and fill the freezer again. Last year I saw 7 different bulls in an OtC unit and two at 50 yards but no shot opportunites.

I had been hunting the same units most often for 15 years, but the success rate was down to 3% with a 1050 bow hunters stating they hunted the two units last year.

I decided to move and hunt a different place, a place farther west with more elk and yes, less hunters.

Sounds like heaven, but true.

From: Paul@thefort
25-Sep-15

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Actually it was in 1989 that I killed my first elk and just 7 miles south of where I was to hunt.

From: Paul@thefort
25-Sep-15

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Two years ago, Tricia and I had camped and fished in the area, and then explored around. The area looked good and when I contacted the local CPW biologist, he confirmed a good population. But the country side can be rough and steep. Part of it was a wilderness area which really appealed to me.

From: JLS
25-Sep-15
Been waiting for this Paul, crank it out!

From: Paul@thefort
25-Sep-15

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
So with the aid of Google Earth and then boots on the ground, I selected three possible areas and visited them prior to the season opener.

One area stood out and that would be my primary focus so three days prior, I headed over with my pop camper, as a base camp, but I would be solo hunting, with tarps and tent.

From: Paul@thefort
25-Sep-15

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
There were a few other hunters in the area.

From: Paul@thefort
25-Sep-15

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
and while their prey was slightly smaller, it all amounted to the same preditor/prey relationship.

I could only hope I had good eyes, sharp talons, speed, quite wings and a steady aim.

From: Paul@thefort
25-Sep-15

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
So two days before the opener on Saturday, with the pop up set up on National Forest, I filled the pack and headed up the mountain, a hour and a half to find a spike camp location to further continue my scouting.

From: Paul@thefort
25-Sep-15

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Since the weather was still warm and no chance for rain in the next few days, I only took dry food (trail mix and jerky) for the next four days to travel light a possible as I still had more scouting to do, to find elk and fresh elk sign.

I started at 9100 ft and would be hunting around 10,200.

From: Paul@thefort
25-Sep-15
Well, the first leg of the hike up was steep but along a horse trail. My legs ached, and my breathing was hard.

I thought, "Paul, what the hell are you doing? Solo hunting, and climbing the mountain alone at the age of 75".

I had a flash back to when I was a senior in high school and playing football. Coach Green was riding the blocking sled and yelling at us linemen. " Ok girls, the cheerleaders can hit this sled harder, drive harder!"

I pushed on, one heavy step at a time thinking what Coach Green would thinks about this "game" and preparing for it.

Interesting how the human mind thinks and reacts.

And I remembered a saying, " one only goes once around in life, so grab up all of the gusto you can".

Gusto?. I needed more breathable air at the moment but I pushed on and up.

From: Paul@thefort
25-Sep-15

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
To me a beaver pond and hut just seems to signify a wild area.

From: Paul@thefort
25-Sep-15

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
as does a remote hidden lake

From: Paul@thefort
25-Sep-15

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
My first spike camp for the next few nights. A 32 oz tarp, air mat, sleeping bag, and bivy sack. Water nearby. I was half way up but still have to explore more, watch and listen, watch and listen and interpret.

From: Paul@thefort
25-Sep-15

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
The night before and almost a full moon

From: Paul@thefort
25-Sep-15

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
I could almost feel its magnetic pull, but would it pull me in the right direction, a direction to find elk?

The surrounding enviroment changed from thick aspen to more open meadows and suppounded by mature fir trees, standing and down. Remember, this is a Wilderness Area, but cattle grazing is allowed.

From: Paul@thefort
25-Sep-15

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo

From: JW
25-Sep-15
Keep it coming Paul! As always, love the pics and story!

From: Paul@thefort
25-Sep-15

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
That morning I worked my way farther east, but the fresh elk sign was sparce. Later in the morning I noticed a few deer and then some elk tracks but since there had been a lot of cows in the area, the meadows had been eaten down, sign was hard to come by. Very few old elk rubs and no new onces I could see.

I sat down to rest around 11 am and think about my options.

From: Paul@thefort
25-Sep-15
AND THEN WITHOUT NOTICE, IT HAPPENED!

25-Sep-15
Good luck Paul.

I don't care what Coach Green says about you. At seventy five you're doing a hunt in a fashion that overwhelms most lesser cheerleaders.

Have a great hunt. Be safe. Enjoy every minute.

I'll certainly be following this thread closely.

From: Gene
25-Sep-15
Paul, You are an inspiration to guys like me. I will be 67 in November and dream of doing a solo hunt. I stay in shape, work out and am probably in better shape than most guys half my age. My wife, of course, thinks I am crazy. I will be following your hunt. My last elk hunt was in 2012 and I am planning one for 2016 - maybe solo!

From: Sage Buffalo
25-Sep-15
Gonna need a birth certificate cause there is no way you are 75. Don't believe it.

Keep the story going!

From: jdee
25-Sep-15
I've said it before... I feel sorry for anyone who doesn't bow hunt elk !

From: Herdbull
25-Sep-15
Paul, I have hunted solo in the wilderness of the Rockies and Alaska for 2 to 3 weeks at a time nearly every year for the past 20, and I can relate to your inspirational story. Thank you so much. Mike

From: Rick M
25-Sep-15
Paul,

Thanks for taking us along but WHAT HAPPENED?!?

25-Sep-15
The suspense is killing me Paul. What happened?

From: cnelk
25-Sep-15
Uh oh....

I hope Paul didnt have the "Big One!!' :)

From: Beav
25-Sep-15
Come on Paul!

From: Paul@thefort
25-Sep-15
What happened? Well when you think you are the only one around, two other hunters appeared on the trail just 20 yards away.

They did not notice me until I said, "Hey", which really supprised them as they did not expect to see anyone else.

Bob and then Drew came over and we all introduce ourselves.

Bob said, "I know you from Bowsite and your name is Paul". "When I saw your truck down below, I though it might be you but this area is large and the chance of meeting was slim."

They joined me in the trees and we spoke of the area for the next half hour and since they had hunted the area before and assured me we were in the center of the action. I was impressed by their willingness to help and comfirm the area and to share info they had learned over the years.

I state, I felt I was intruding on their hunting area, but Bob stated, they were glad to share with me.

This was truely a great sign of sportsmenship and bonding of bowhunters.

I was reminded of an encounter I had with a well known traditional bow hunter in southern Arizona while I was WT deer hunting last January, 100s of miles from our homes, miles from a remote town, one mile off the trail on a hill side, and within 5 miles of the Mexican border. He had given a presentation at the Colorado Traditional Bow Hunter Society Banquet a few years before.

He stated "good men are attracted to and meet in great and beautiful places".

John Volker, writer of men and fish, wrote, " Trout do not live in ugly places".

I had just met two good men and yes, like trout, elk also live in beautiful places".

PS, Bob, send me a PM when you get a chance.

From: Ishpeming
25-Sep-15
You, sir are a gentleman and an inspiration. You are my role model. Carry on!

From: Paul@thefort
25-Sep-15
Bob and Drew continued their own scouting and hunting and I was impressed that they made the 1000 foot climb each day from their camp below. Ain't youth great!

I told them I would be moving my spike camp into the area in the next few days and after they left I continued to scout and explore.

Bob, told me of a near by wallow so I would check it out in late afternoon when the sun was lower and the cooler wind currents were draining down.

From: coelker
25-Sep-15
Cool deal. Been waiting to hear and see this write up. I do recognize several of the pics. Can not wait to hear how things ended up. Being a teacher I am always jealous and envious of those who actually get to spend time in the mountains. It is hard being a weekend warrior. I can not wait until I get the chance to stay multiple days out!

I am heading out for my last weekend as I type. Just have to finish up one last report for work.

I love that little lily pad lake!

From: Bowboy
25-Sep-15
Awesome!

From: Paul@thefort
25-Sep-15
At 6pm, I worked my way through the thick timber and found an one acre clearing, with a few water seeps at the upper end. Looked good so I settled in at the down wind side, cleared a few pine branches out of the way, and got set up for the evening hunt. I would have a 1 1/2 hour hike back in the dark (full moon) to my spike camp farther west.

At 6:30, 6:45 I gave out a few cow and calf calls to let any elk know there were a few friendy elk around.

The area outside of the one acre opening became darker as the setting sun dropped behind me and the trees.

I looked harded for movement, and then at 7 pm, there was movement in the timber, and heading my way from above the clearing.

I saw antlers!

From: Old School
25-Sep-15
Paul - I've enjoyed the recap of your adventure (and the photos). You along with others on different sites have encouraged me to take time to take pictures and enjoy the journey of the hunt. Thanks - Mitch

From: coelker
25-Sep-15
UGGHHHH!!! I have to leave soon.... Movement, dark timber, full moon... what happens next?

From: Paul@thefort
25-Sep-15

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
So this 4 pt bull slides into the seep area and starts to drink. He is sure taking his time, but he has no idea that a predator is lurking only 40 yards away in the shadows.

I had time to take a few pictures and then confirm the range at 40 yards exact.

From: Paul@thefort
25-Sep-15

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
He checks for danger and then a few second later, steps farther out showing his whole body from chest up behind the log.

From: Paul@thefort
25-Sep-15
My compound bow was up and at full draw. My 40 yards red pin was on target. The release was smooth. The arrow shot forward at 250 ft per second with a 125 gr broadhead attache.

A first day elk, and a bull at that. How luckly was that?

I heard the wack------ BUT..........

From: tacklebox
25-Sep-15
Yer killin me here!!!!

From: midwest
25-Sep-15
okay....you're just cruel! lol

From: APauls
25-Sep-15
I USED to love you Paul!

From: Bowboy
25-Sep-15
Ok Paul, did you send an arrow his way?

From: goelk
25-Sep-15
Okay I'm suppose to be working I hope I don't caught.

From: Amoebus
25-Sep-15
At age 75, you never know if this is deliberate or if Paul just asleep at his keyboard.

I wonder how many elk watched you set up the camera for the self portraits?

This is a fun trip.

From: Paul@thefort
25-Sep-15
The WACK did not sound like hide/bone and flesh. And a milisecond after the wack sound, I see the arrow launch straight up and over into the surounding trees.

My first thought was I shot though the elk's body, and then the arrow granced off of some hard surface behind the elk.

Of cource, the bull did not stay around and charged back the way he had come. Still thinking I had just killed him, I waited for the crash as his body hit the ground just out of sight.

That crashing sound never came.

From: Paul@thefort
25-Sep-15

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
A few minuted later I examined where the elk had been standing and tried to locate the arrow or any indication I had actually hit him. I went up and down the trail he had been on and never found any blood or the arrow that night.

An hour later it was dark and I started my trip back to my first spike camp still wondering what might have happened. That took over an hour for the return trip.

I did not sleep well that night and vowed I would return and double check a hit or not and try to figure why or why not.

At first light I was gathered up and heading back to the shot area with my spike camp on my back. I would set up a new spike camp, if I cound not find a dead bull.

Three hours later, and around noon, there was no indication of a hit, but where did the arrow go?

I examined the fallen tree that the bull was behind and now believe, I shot low and/or the arrow hit one of the two small limbs sticking up that were not evident to me at the time of the shot.

I guess the good news was I did not wound the bull and also there was still 29 days to hunt.

More excitment to come so this is just the beginning.

My best, Paul

PS, Today is my 33rd wedding anniversity (second time) so this evening Tricia and I will celebrate with dinner, love and effection. One has to take care of a woman that allowes me to hunt as much as I do. Mutual respect for each other for sure.

More tomorrow.

25-Sep-15
Congratulations on the 33 years.

From: JLS
25-Sep-15
Happy Anniversary Paul! Looking forward to...

....the rest of the story.

From: Reflex
25-Sep-15
This is great! Keep it coming Paul.

From: grasshopper
25-Sep-15
Wait a minute...elk bowhunter who got married in September?

You got the lady right but not the date!

25-Sep-15
Happy Anniversary Paul. But I cannot believe you got married in September. Wow!! Lol

From: pav
25-Sep-15
Happy Anniversary to Tricia and Paul!

From: Amoebus
25-Sep-15
Congratulations on the anniversary. That is indeed a woman to cherish. My pop (a rifle hunter) moved his anniversary a month later because he always missed it.

No disrespect intended, but these two sentences are fascinating:

"Today is my 33rd wedding anniversity (second time) so this evening Tricia and I will celebrate with dinner, love and effection."

I am hoping that you meant anniversary and affection, but the other words are more interesting.

I think that 'anniversity' is a cross between anniversary and adversity - which is a good description for the reality of surviving 33 years with someone. There are good times and struggles - both of which combine to enrich the whole.

'Effection' is a little trickier - I found a couple of definitions for this word that might fit:

"producing a deep or vivid impression; striking"

"adequate to accomplish a purpose; producing the intended or expected result"

and most likely

"prepared and available for service, especially military service"

As you can tell, I get a little distracted waiting for 'the rest of the story'...

From: buzz mc
25-Sep-15
I'm looking forwards to the rest of this. Congrats on the anniversary.

From: elvspec
25-Sep-15
Thanks for the story and congrats on your anniversary!

From: LUNG$HOT
25-Sep-15
Great story so far Paul. Thanks for bringing us along. I can't believe your going to interrupt it for an anniversary.

From: trublucolo
25-Sep-15
Happy anniversary to you and the Mrs., great story so far- will be waiting........

From: TD
25-Sep-15
Cool Paul.... Congrats! I'm more like you than I thought.... you married up too.... =D

Following closely.... this is gonna be good....

From: drycreek
25-Sep-15
Looking good so far Paul. Hope there's a blood trail at the end. And at 68 myself, you have my respect to still be able to do what you do.

From: BULELK1
26-Sep-15
Good reading here Paul.

Happy Anniversary!

Good luck, Robb

From: 6x6 bull
26-Sep-15
Great story and pics as usual Paul!! Thanks for taking us along on another one of your epic adventures.

From: ki-ke
26-Sep-15
Happy Anniversary Paul!

I echo what many others have said above. You certainly seem to be one heck of a role model for many here, from young to old!

Hope the "anniversity" was free of adversity...and that the love and "effection" had a better "end of the trail than did your wayward shot on that tasty looking bull......

Thanks for sharing. You have my vote.

From: Don K
26-Sep-15
Looking forward to this.

I hope I am still chasing Elk in the mountains at 75. Congrats on the 33 years !!

From: Paul@thefort
26-Sep-15
Ok, ok, the celebration is over until next year and YEA, my spelling boo boos seem to have sparked some interest. No hidden meaning so for you English teachers out there, you can put away the dictionaries. :) (I do stand corrected)

33 years ago I lived in Ohio and was not elk hunting then, only Oct-Nov WT hunting so one can see there was no conflict with getting married in September. Enjoyed the jabs but lets get going so I can tell, --ie, As Paul Harvey stated, "Now you know the rest of the story".

I surely appreciate the good comments so far and I will continue to try to string you along, as long a possible.

My best, Paul

26-Sep-15
Same here, Don. I'm 43 and getting already starting to get whiney about how hard it is.

From: Paul@thefort
26-Sep-15

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
So as I stated, I moved my first spike camp over farther east the following day, to where I had the action on that first day.

The camp consisted of two water proof 32 oz 10x12 tarps, one for a tent and one for a outside rain shelter, also for storing equipment.

The grove of mature Fir trees gave me good shelter from the sun and wind. I positioned this camp 1/4 mile down wind and back in the timber in a clearing, from the action so not to alert the elk of my presence.

From: Paul@thefort
26-Sep-15

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
When alone, one has a lot of time to ponder. To ponder the next move, to ponder that action to take, to ponder how to get within 40 yards of a wild elk.

From: Paul@thefort
26-Sep-15

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
To make sleeping a little more comfortable and the ground more level, I added some Fir boughs on the ground which also added some insulation under my air mat and bivy sack.

From: Paul@thefort
26-Sep-15

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
That evening, the full moon of late August rose in all of it's glory for me and all of the night critters to enjoy.

Wonder what those critters "thought" about the moon?

Later in the evening, I heard two elk banging their antlers together from across the ridge. After that a few light bugles.

I just knew there I would be the next morning.

From: Stayfit
26-Sep-15
Great story Paul! Congrats on setting the example and demonstrating that age is just a number. Now hurry up with the story please.

From: Paul@thefort
26-Sep-15

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Six AM came quickly, but within a few minutes, I was up and dressed. I washed down the granola bar with a cup of hot water, slung on the back pack, and bow, and then headed across the meadow, down hill, across the creek, up the other ridge 500 yards to where I had heard the elk sounds the evening before.

As I came close to the meadow I detected a ghostly form some 30 yards ahead with head down and feeding.

It turned out to be spike bull elk but not legal to shoot in this area. I waited for it to move on and then advanced to the meadow.

From: Paul@thefort
26-Sep-15

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Looking out over the meadow, I found the reason for the antler banging. These two 5x5 bulls, were feeding 200 yards away.

There was no chance of getting closer as the cool currents of the morning were drifting down to them so I needed to stay on my side of the hill crest so not to be detected.

Larry Jones, a very well know Oregon bow hunters wrote an article in Bow Hunter Magazine a few year back titled, Stop, Look and Listen. ( and I might add, Learn).

This was now time to follow his advice.

From: Paul@thefort
26-Sep-15

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
The sun set on the second day without any more action.

From: Paul@thefort
26-Sep-15

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
So more pondering

From: Paul@thefort
26-Sep-15

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Exploring

From: Paul@thefort
26-Sep-15

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
just enjoying some of the finer aspects of nature

From: Paul@thefort
26-Sep-15

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
even the smaller critters need to store up energy before winter

From: Paul@thefort
26-Sep-15

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo

From: Paul@thefort
26-Sep-15

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
On the forth day I decided to build a blind at the edge of the meadow where I had seen the two bulls and hunt there in the the late afternoon.

A morning hunt was out of the question as I had to inter the meadow from the top with the wind at my back sending my human scent into the meadow.

I positioned the blind across the meadow to where I had seen the two bulls inter the timber and also where the meadow narrow down at this spot. Seemed like a good spot to try.

A simple blind made up of local logs, trees, and branches and I was backed up into the shade.

The wait was on.

From: Paul@thefort
26-Sep-15

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Later this coyote came across but with the swirling wind, it caught my scent, and turned tail.

I was hoping the winds would calm.

From: Sivart
26-Sep-15
Paul,

What happened with the first bull? Did your arrow hit a limb? I must have missed the punch line....

From: Paul@thefort
26-Sep-15

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
At 6:30 this spike crossed from my side to the other, 400 yards away.

A few minutes later, I hear what sounds like the worst elk caller I have every heard coming down the opposite ridge as every 15 seconds he was blowing a short elk scream. This went on and off for the next 30 minutes as the sounds came closer but still across the meadow and into the deep timber. Since I had not been over there, I had no idea what the conditions might be.

But wait, now I am hearing some good bull growls and grunts. This just mighty be the real deal.

Should I scramble over there or wait to see if he comes into the meadow. I chose to wait but he never came in sight.

I headed over there in the morning, heard him, gave out one small bugle and cow call, and he was gone in a flash.

Another day gone by.

From: Paul@thefort
26-Sep-15
I believe so.

From: Paul@thefort
26-Sep-15
You know, when we inter the elk's territory/home/house, it does not take them long to figure that someone or something as invaded their domain.

Their tempo changes, their patterns change.

This is when we hunters need to change our patterns so we do not blow the elk out of the area.

I would give it one more day before I headed down to my base base camp along the road, for a two day break to refresh.

From: Paul@thefort
26-Sep-15
Enter, enter, enter, enter, enter, enter, enter, --93 more times. Or stand in the corner.

From: Paul@thefort
26-Sep-15

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
No action or sounds the next morning but I left camp at 5 pm to head farther up the mountain to explore more country.

1/4 mile from camp and as I rounded and then passed by this side meadow, guess who was stand there?

This was the same, "good eater" bull I had missed the first evening but not 40 yards away like before, but 150 yards.

From: Paul@thefort
26-Sep-15

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
He stayed for a couple to pictures

From: Paul@thefort
26-Sep-15

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
turned tail and headed back into the dark timber.

The rest of the evening was quite with no action so I will be heading down to base came in the morning but will return for more action.

And yes, more action to come.

My best, Paul

26-Sep-15
Enjoying it all.

26-Sep-15
Me thinks you need a decoy:)

Thanks for taking us along! C

From: Paul@thefort
26-Sep-15

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Charlie, I have one but left it in the truck. Maybe next time.

From: Paul@thefort
26-Sep-15

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
The only problem with taking a day or two off during elk season is that, the decision to do so, might bite you in the ass at the end of the season. No calling back those lost days. But I took the risk.

So back up the mountain, but refreshed and with high hopes.

From: Paul@thefort
26-Sep-15

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo

From: Paul@thefort
26-Sep-15

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
One has to love elk country

From: Paul@thefort
26-Sep-15

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo

From: Trophy8
26-Sep-15
Paul....this is good stuff! Looking forward to more.

From: Paul@thefort
26-Sep-15
Week two of the season, till in the tarp camp and exploring/scouting trying to learn the country. I hear a few early morning bulls bugling up high on the mountain at 12,000 ft but I did not go up there. Might have to wait for them to come down but the weather has been warm so I doubted they would come down anytime soon.

I will just deal with the elk I have.

I hunted the seeps that afternoon as it has been warm and took the chance and arrive early.

From: Paul@thefort
26-Sep-15

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Usually the cool air currents start to desend when the sun is dipping through the trees. This afternoon, the wind was calmer than usual so I arrived at 5 pm instead of 6:30.

I had not been there 15 minutes when this cow and very young calf came down the trail, jumped the log and walked to the wallow. The cow stood 30 yards away watching the calf frolic in the water.

From: Paul@thefort
26-Sep-15

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo

From: Paul@thefort
26-Sep-15

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo

From: Inshart
26-Sep-15
Man what a beautiful animal - nice photos Paul! That one with the calf under the belly looks like a post card.

From: Paul@thefort
26-Sep-15

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
As you can tell, the wind changed.......

From: Paul@thefort
26-Sep-15

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo

From: Paul@thefort
26-Sep-15

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Another day and another sunset

From: GhostBird
26-Sep-15
Loving it Paul... thanks!

From: Paul@thefort
26-Sep-15

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
I had not seem many cow elk but was glad to see these three, a few days later. Lots of downtime at camp.

A few bugles at night.

Still warm but just the start of the rut. Should start to heat up in the elk world.

From: Paul@thefort
26-Sep-15

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo

From: Paul@thefort
26-Sep-15

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo

From: Paul@thefort
26-Sep-15

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
More hunting, scouting, exploring

From: Paul@thefort
26-Sep-15

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
While hunting for elk I always keep a sharp eye out for the Dusky Grouse, a fine bird at the table for dinner.

From: Paul@thefort
26-Sep-15

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
and when roasted over an open fire are great eating, just add some salt to taste.

From: Paul@thefort
26-Sep-15

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
and then add to the dinner a hand full of Mountain Currant berries

From: Paul@thefort
26-Sep-15

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Jerky and trail mix for snacks

From: Paul@thefort
26-Sep-15

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
After 5 days with little action I headed back down the mountain to my popup trailer.

I had been hearing elk bugles during the night but the bulls were back in their beds at first light and I dare not bust them out yet.

The nights were becoming cooler so I will bring up my mt tent for more comfort.

ML rife season had started but I had only heard one shot and had not seen any ML hunters.

From: Paul@thefort
26-Sep-15

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
I could only hope and the elk would be at the end of this rainbow, a close range elk.

From: Paul@thefort
26-Sep-15
I could only hope that an elk would be at the end of this rainbow, at close range.

From: Paul@thefort
26-Sep-15

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
This time around, my camp consisted of a 2 man mt tent, and then both tarps arranged differently.

Good protection from rain and snow.

From: Paul@thefort
26-Sep-15

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
and grub. Instant potatoes and tuna make a good meal and is cheaper than the freeze dry foods.

I split the freese dried foods into two meals.

Did not use instant oatmeal this time for breakfast but usually do.

The Jetstove to boil water worked great as usual.

My jerky is duck, Kansas WT and pronghorn meat.

Hot apple cider was refreshing on cold mornings.

From: Paul@thefort
26-Sep-15

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
creek water to drink, bathe, and wash cloths

From: Paul@thefort
26-Sep-15

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo

From: Paul@thefort
26-Sep-15

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
wash cloths in a plastic bag and just add soap and then agitate.

From: Paul@thefort
26-Sep-15

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
other helpful products

From: Paul@thefort
26-Sep-15

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Camp slippers and to protect your knees from a lot of strain going up and especially down hill with a load, elastic knee socks. I would not leave home without them.

From: Paul@thefort
26-Sep-15

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
and a new product this year, a Spot Messenger, for communication with my wife via, satelite and email that I am OK or that I have an animal down.

Plus a SOS if you really get in trouble and need help.

From: Paul@thefort
26-Sep-15

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Cow pies make great targets

From: Paul@thefort
26-Sep-15
September 16 I returned to the seep in the late afternoon as I had had some close range action there over the past two weeks.

No action or any sounds so at 7 pm I did a few cow and calf calls.

HERE IS WHERE THINGS BECOME TENSE and exciting.

At 7:15 and 15 yards in the dark twisted timber behind me I hear a hoof scrape against a downed dried out log and then what sounded like an antler hitting a branch.

Within two seconds there was a 5x5 bull standing 30 feet away and looking out over the one acre meadow. My bow remained on my grounded backpack just a foot away but I was unable to reach for it as the bull was partly facing me.

Between the bull and me was a 3 ft in dia dead log that went from him to me. I was kneeling by one end in my make shift blind and in the shadows, down wind, and he was standing on the other side of the log, and at the other end 30 ft away.

I was looking at him under the bill of my hat and wishing him to cross the log and enter the meadow allowing me a close range shot.

But instead of crossing the log, he placed his nose on the log as if smelling something. What he was smelling was my scent as I had crossed this same log to collect pine branches for the blind.

He turned towards me, with his nose just inches off the log , and moved closer with his head down. Each step brought him closer and closer until he was only 8 ft away. Yes, 8 ft away and just over the log.

There in front of me, I could see his head and lower body, his 9 in brow ties on his antlers.

He paused for a few seconds, turned to his left and vanished into the dark timber.

All I could think was, Holy shi$$$$, did that just really happen.

Well that is bow hunting at it's finest for sure.

From: Paul@thefort
26-Sep-15

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
September 18, a meadow 1/4 mile from camp. 5:30 pm,

From: Paul@thefort
26-Sep-15

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
September 19, same meadow, 1/4 mile from camp, 6 pm.

Well guess who shows up?

From: Paul@thefort
26-Sep-15

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Mr. "8 steps"

From: Paul@thefort
26-Sep-15

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
but this time he is 120 yards away with more eyes and noses around him

From: Paul@thefort
26-Sep-15

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo

From: Paul@thefort
26-Sep-15

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
I tried to slip up to the head of the meadow as the wind was still blowing that way, but the cool wind currents in the dark timber was heading down hill and mixing together. The elk detected something and headed back into the timber.

From: Paul@thefort
26-Sep-15

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
and then the bull also disapeared but I heard him later farther back in the timber.

26-Sep-15
Great job with the pics! Your storytelling had me with you while the five point checked out the other end of the log too.

As an aside, that cider is great on a cool night. And a splash of some dark Lamb's Navy Rum from Canada makes it a real treat.

From: Paul@thefort
26-Sep-15
As soon as these elk disappeared, I hear another bull at the upper end of the meadow. I look around a tree and get busted by a cow 75 yards away. She scampers back to a bull with two other cows. They all head out of sight.

Well things are starting to heat up.

From: Paul@thefort
26-Sep-15
September 20, 7:30 am, 1/2 mile from camp.

I head up the hill to an upper meadow and set up a bull chasing cow, bull bugling and cow loudly calling with loud squealing, scenario.

I hope to call in the second bull from the night before.

I call and rake a tree, set up in the shadows. I give any bull time as the surrounding timber is thick.

Twenty minutes into the calling, I hear a bull bugle ones, and heading my way. He sould like he will be below me so I drop back 50 yards. Mistake. He shows up just up from there i was calling from. I never see him but we call back and forth. He leaves.

From: Paul@thefort
26-Sep-15
September 21, I hear elk bugling through out the night on the opposite ridge and check it out at first light but any bull that was there was gone. The weather was warm.

From: Paul@thefort
26-Sep-15

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Soon after the meadow hunt, I head for the seep and set there at 8 am. I hear a bull pass by in the timber grunting but he must have been tailing a cow and did not react to my best, cow calling.

I will return to the seep in mid afternoon and sit there till dark.

The seep is very quite except for this pine martin tring to find dinner.

From: FireWillie77
26-Sep-15
Im loving this, Thanks

From: Paul@thefort
26-Sep-15

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
this chipmunk

From: Paul@thefort
26-Sep-15

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
and my very favorite mountain bird, the Canada Jay or Camp Robber as they might be called.

From: buzz mc
26-Sep-15
I've pretty much wore out the refresh button on my phone.

From: Paul@thefort
26-Sep-15
Sept 21, 6:45 pm, at seep.

I heard a bull grunt in the timber 200 yards away but he seems to be heading to the upper meadow. I sweet cow call but he continues on, still grunting. I know where he is going.

Quickly I gathered up, and headed down the creek to circle around and come in the botton of the meadow where I had a good observation/blind. I look hard but saw nothing.

Ok, now what. 20 more minutes of legal light. I cow and calf called and threw in a few small bull bugles.

Nothing!

Tried again. Wait, movement in the timber? A large mature cow elk just 50 yards away had just stepped out and was looking my way. 15 more minutes of legal light. I calf called and she approach but was heading to my right and into some thick stuff. I looked for a shot opportunity at 25 yards. She was behind a tree and then I heard her move off but back to the previous position. I calf called again and this time she would pass at 40 yards out front.

She moved forward. 9 more minutes of shoot light.

I drew back. 7 more minutes of shoot light.

I tried to focus as she was now broadside. 6 more minutes of shooting light.

The arrow was on its way, with just 5 more minutes of shoot light.

I hear the solid hit!

From: Paul@thefort
26-Sep-15

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
I find evidence of a good hit at the edge of the timber where she disapeared.

From: Paul@thefort
26-Sep-15

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
and then this

From: Paul@thefort
26-Sep-15

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
and

From: Paul@thefort
26-Sep-15

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo

From: Paul@thefort
26-Sep-15

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
and the arrow.

It became dark but the amount of blood showed up under my head lamp like a beacon to follow. I continued to follow along until I saw my light reflecting off of dead elk at the end of the blood trail, 200 yards into the very dark timber.

From: Paul@thefort
26-Sep-15

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
As I found her

From: Trophy8
26-Sep-15
Paul...Congrats!! Great story!

From: Willieboat
26-Sep-15
Great story Paul !! September can't get here fast enough again.

26-Sep-15
Congratulations Paul. Thanks for a great story.

From: huntnmuleys
26-Sep-15
love it! dandy cow man. killer story.

From: Dirty D
26-Sep-15
Paul you're a STUD!!

Love the story and the excellent recap, congrats on the great cow for the freezer!

Matt

From: Paul@thefort
26-Sep-15
8 pm.

Dead cow elk down and out.

As I admired this fine wild animal that I had just ended it's life, I knelt next to her, placing my hand on her still warm hide and I thanked her for her contribution to my hunt and for giving up her life to nourish mine. Surely a humbling experience.

OK, now what? A few options went through my mind.

Just leave her to the morning and then process her. NO, the coyotes with find and eat her and I might lost 50% of the meat.

Gut her out, prop here up off the ground, and then leave her until the morning and then process her out in the light of day. NO, the gut smell will surely bring the coyotes, and then lose all of the meat. Maybe a bear may show up.

Hike back to camp a 1/4 mile away, retrieve meat bags and rope, make sure I have extra batteries and knife sharperner, have something to drink and eat and then return and process her. YES!

9 pm:

Returnd to elk and started the process. Cut back and removed hide on one side, and removed front shoulder and rear quarter, back strap and neck meat.. Left bone in as I did not want to trying to remove meat from bone in the dark with only a head lamp. Too easy for a sharp knife to slip.

10pm: Turned over elk and processed the other side as before along with both tenderloins.

11pm. Removed ribs from both sides and placed all meat on a nearby log to cool.

11;30pm: bagged up all meat. six total including ribs.

12am. Five trips out to the meadow 200 yards away to carry bagged meat to meadow.

1 am: Completed packing meat

1:15 am: cut down 5 inch tree and removed all limbs and then strung the 15 ft log between two trees to hang meat.

2 am. Finished hanging meat off ground

2:30 am. Resting

3 am: heading back to camp, tired for sure.

3:30 am, back at camp.

4 am, finished any food I could cram into my mouth.

Drank some hot cider..

4: 45am, notified wife that I had a animal down via, the SPOT Messenger.

5 am. Thought about taking a nap and then head down the mountain later in the morning to contact packer

5:15 am: Changed mind about waiting. Packed up every thing except tent and tarps and headed down with a heavy backpack.

6:45 am, arrived at road and trailhead

7:30 am. called wife with cell phone higher on the mountain with coverage, and let her know I was out.

8 am, called friend and he said yes, would be there to help with his three mules.

8;30.am, back a popup camper. boiled water for a pan shower and fresh cloths.

11am. met friend at trail head with mules. We would ride up on two and lead one.

12pm, left trailhead

1:15pm: stopped at camp and picked up tent and tarps.

1: 40pm. arrived at hanging meat and packed on two of the mules

2pm: headed down. I hiked down so I could take some more pictures but I also know from experience that riding down is a lot harder on the body and legs than riding up.

3:30 pm: arrived back at trailhead.

4pm: all meat in the cooler and then overnight in plastic bag next to a nearby stream to keep them cool.

5 Pm: Back at the pop up for a good meal and sleep. I would be heading home in the morning with my prize. A trophy for sure!

Interesting day for sure in the elk woods. My eleventh elk with the bow.

From: elkmtngear
26-Sep-15
Well done, Paul! Great documentation with pictures...very hard to do solo!

Next Season will make an even dozen for you!

Best Wishes, Jeff

From: Paul@thefort
26-Sep-15

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
A few extra pictures.

Thanks for following along on my solo journey.

Lots of down time in camp so bring along a few paper- backs to read.

Also I tore up my topo map into strips to use as white trail markers coming out and back in, in the dark to the downed elk. The red tape does not show up with the head light. My GPS unit only got me within 73 ft of the elk because of the tree coverage and only two satellates. In the dark, at 73 ft, it would have been hard to find the elk and then the trail back to the meadow's edge. A small roll of toilet paper would serve that purpose.

I surely enjoy the solitude of a solo hunt with days of seeing no one. Just the wind in the trees, a thunderstorm, squirrels in the trees, and of course, th bugle of an elk.

My best, Paul

From: JJJ
26-Sep-15
Awesome story and pictures! Thanks so much for sharing!

26-Sep-15
Congratulations!

From: Paul@thefort
26-Sep-15

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo

From: Paul@thefort
26-Sep-15

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo

From: Paul@thefort
26-Sep-15

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo

From: Paul@thefort
26-Sep-15

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo

From: Paul@thefort
26-Sep-15

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo

From: Paul@thefort
26-Sep-15

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo

From: Paul@thefort
26-Sep-15

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
THE END

From: Zackman
26-Sep-15
Excellent storytelling! congrats

From: 808bowhunter
26-Sep-15
Awesome story! I only hope I can still get after it like you at that age! Congrats on the elk

From: JLS
26-Sep-15
Outstanding story Paul! I love it. Thank you for sharing your adventure and for being such an inspiration to so many on Bowsite.

Your friend has some very nice looking mules.

From: trublucolo
26-Sep-15
Well done Paul.

From: loopmtz
27-Sep-15
Sweet!

From: TD
27-Sep-15
Cool stuff Paul. Freezer is full, great job. Congrats.

Thanks much for a GREAT story and sharing it with us.

I think I've said it a dozen times but it's true, I wanna be like you when I grow up.... I keep thinking I'm gaining ground but I'm just as far behind as I ever was. Closing hard on 40 years married though..... =D

You're right about the flagging tape at night. I found some cool cord I carry now instead of para cord. It's made for guy lines for tents and stuff, has reflective material woven in it so it stands out when you shine a light on it. I've used it to mark trails and such to use in the dark and it works great. I still carry flagging tape but also have that cord in my pack now too. And when I get up at night and wander around I don't clothesline myself on the clothesline anymore....

From: Quinn @work
27-Sep-15
Paul,

That's awesome! Congrats and thanks for sharing the story and photos. You're inspirational to be able to do this at 75 years young. You're the man!

From: APauls
27-Sep-15
Congrats and thanks so much for sharing! I have no idea how you remember the story with such detail to recite to us later. It sure is a gift. Thank you for using it!

From: Overland
27-Sep-15
Superb.

27-Sep-15
Awesome!! Great read. Thanks again for sharing

From: Gene
27-Sep-15
Wow! Congrats on getting it done! You are an inspiration to us all!!!!

From: mnbowhunter
27-Sep-15
Congrats paul. Cool read.

From: dlpassthru
27-Sep-15
Man... that was awesome. You are a stud.

27-Sep-15
How have I missed this thread so far?

Great photos and story, Paul. Thanks for letting us tag along.

From: Dennis Razza
27-Sep-15
Great job Paul! I really enjoyed the pictures and story.

From: trkyslr
27-Sep-15
Great thread Paul and congrats on a great trip!!! Co is a beautiful state!

From: Pyrannah
27-Sep-15
fantastic

From: GhostBird
27-Sep-15
Congratulations Paul!!!

Awesome trip.

From: Bill in MI
27-Sep-15
This made for a great Sunday morning read. Congrats and way to get it done. Very impressed I am....as usual lol Bill

From: brianhood
27-Sep-15
Thanks for sharing Paul.

I envy the time and patience you put in to your hunts.

From: midwest
27-Sep-15
Thanks, Paul. Great read and congrats on bringing home some of God's finest protein!

From: BigSky
27-Sep-15
You sir are truly an inspiration to us all.

Congrats on 33 years of marriage and the hunt.

Bigsky

From: otcWill
27-Sep-15
A classic my friend!! You are a true role model for younger bowhunters. Life is good!

From: Butts
27-Sep-15
Great tale woven through the Colorado Mountains. Were you not able to bring your one wheeled Travois that usually accompanies you.

From: RogBow
27-Sep-15
Great story Paul

From: Paul@thefort
27-Sep-15
Butts, not in a Wilderness Area, only by hoof or foot.

27-Sep-15
Love the story Paul!

Congrats on your elk.

From: Z Barebow
27-Sep-15
Another classic by someone who is a great guy and a genuine Bowsite asset. Thanks Paul.

From: Well-Strung
27-Sep-15
Those brothers from bowsite you randomly met do sound like good guys.. They must be handsome, charming, tough and skillful elk hunters!

In all seriousness Paul you are an inspiration and a hell of a hunter and outdoorsman. We were more than happy meeting you and look forward to keeping in touch. I've read your stories and advice for years. If anyone was sitting near my trail cam at that seep, I'm lucky and glad it was you. We appreciate you offering to not mess us up and it's proof of your character. We wouldn't have it any other way to offer you some insight and share our food/stories with a fellow bowhunter, bowsiter and CBA member.

I have to say your determination, perseverance and woodsmanship skills are to be admired from a person of any age, let alone in your mid 70's. You are an inspiration to many. I have no doubt you would have filled your tag had you not met us, but we were honored to help out.

Our family also really enjoyed you stopping by camp as well. We were rooting for you and are so happy you broke your streak and got your 11th elk! You have our utmost respect as a person and hunter and it was an honor. Proud to be apart of your story and look forward to our next meet up.

From: Paul@thefort
27-Sep-15

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Bob and Drew, Thank you. Paul

From: tj
27-Sep-15
Congrats on all points God Bless!!

From: midwest
27-Sep-15
Lots of Bowsite class in that pic right there! Nice work fellas!

From: BOWNUT
27-Sep-15
Thank's Paul. Great season and a great hunt.

From: Bowboy
27-Sep-15
Great pictures & story Paul thanks for sharing. Congrats on a fine cow elk!

From: elmer@laptop
27-Sep-15
Great read. Thanks for taking.us along.

From: Beav
27-Sep-15
Awesome job Paul and congrats! Thank you so much for sharing, this is the very bet thing about Bowsite.

From: CD
27-Sep-15
Thanks so much for sharing! That was awesome!

From: HUNT MAN
27-Sep-15
That was great . Thanks for posting. Hunt

28-Sep-15
I hope i can still go hunting like you at 75. great hunt, congrats.

From: sitO
28-Sep-15
Always an adventure, thanks for sharing Paul...congrats!

From: ELKMAN
28-Sep-15
Very nice! Great story! Congratulations!

From: Chaseasl
28-Sep-15
Congrats on a successful hunt

From: Sivart
28-Sep-15
Great Story!!!!

28-Sep-15
Paul, I've followed your 2015 and if I have it straight, so far this year you have archery harvested: -multiple geese -3 turkeys (1 Nebraska, 1 East Co, 1 West CO) -antelope -grouse -elk -one cowpie

With deer season ahead of you, I'd say your freezer will be full for a while!

(Plus you started a new Becoming a Bowhunter program in your area)

From: Heat
28-Sep-15
Right on Paul! Thanks for sharing all the awesome pics and story. Congratulations!

From: tacklebox
28-Sep-15
Fantastic! Congrats

28-Sep-15
Well, done Paul I expect elk sausage breakfast when we go duck hunting...GOOD JOB!!!!

From: Old School
28-Sep-15
Paul - Thanks for the story and great photos. Looking forward to next September already. --> Mitch

From: cnelk
28-Sep-15
Enjoyed every pic and post Paul! Great job!

TFS!

From: T Mac
28-Sep-15
Well done, thanks for sharing and congrats on your cow.

From: Bowfreak
28-Sep-15
Great story and pics. Congrats on a great trophy and thanks for sharing.

From: GotBowAz
28-Sep-15
Great hunt Paul, thank you for taking the time to post it. Your a huge inspiration for me to keep on doing what we love most. I hope im still humpin the hills at least half as much as you do when I am your age.

Congrats on your success, Yes sir, that's a trophy in my book.

Oh and good on you to bring the SPOT along with you too. it's got to make the ones at home feel a little more at ease.

From: AZBUGLER
28-Sep-15
Thanks for the great story Paul. Congratulations to you!

From: XMan
28-Sep-15
Greatly enjoyed reading your hunt Paul, congratulations on the elk!

From: goelk
28-Sep-15
Thanks Paul for sharing.

From: Paul@thefort
28-Sep-15

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
I have had a few PMs concerning my camera and how I carry it.

The best option I have found is I use a fanny pack, but turned around to the front. (see picture)

It is aways handy for quick removal.

Thanks for the kind comments as it was fun bringing the hunt to you especially to you guys that may never hunt elk but maybe this type of story will urge you on to take the big step.

I do have a light weight tripod but did not use it on this trip just to keep all weight down some. I wish I had had it as many times I had to "prop up" the camera on a rock, log, or my pack.

Elk back straps are on the grill, got to go.

My best, Paul

From: CurveBow
28-Sep-15
Congratulations Paul!!!

Thank you for bring all of us along!!

>>>>-------->

From: easeup
28-Sep-15
thanks again Paul. I liked the ride too

From: JohnB
28-Sep-15
Always enjoy your stories and pics Paul; you remind us all to stop every now and then and take in what the creator gave us thanks!

From: IAHUNTER
29-Sep-15
Paul, thanks for sharing your story! I live in Fort Collins too, did not get out much this archery season and want to say thanks for helping all of us connect from home through you post! If we ever cross paths dinner is on me, my friend!

From: Shiras
29-Sep-15
Awesome story, great pics and congrats on the success! Definitely an inspiration! Thanks for allowing us to join in on your solo hunt.

From: FLGator
29-Sep-15
Congratulations and thanks for posting!

29-Sep-15
Enjoyed it paul. congracts

From: Destroyer350
29-Sep-15
Thanks for sharing Paul and congrats on filling your freezer!!

30-Sep-15
Congrats Paul, thanks for sharing!

30-Sep-15
Awesome Paul!! Congrats! Thank you for sharing!!

Matt

From: Ishpeming
30-Sep-15
Easily one of the best write ups of the year! You are a master storyteller. My hunting this year may not happen at all because of my wife's cancer treatments. You have no idea what it means to me to at least follow along with a story like yours. It brings great memories right back to me. Thanks again.. Campbell

From: Full Rut
30-Sep-15
Thanks for sharing . Always enjoy your posts . I'll have my 12 year old son read this to help fuel a fire for a future elk hunt.... Ohio residents. ;)

From: Rocking R
30-Sep-15
Great story. Finally found time to read it from start to finish. Thanks for taking us along. Congratulations!

From: Jeff Holchin
30-Sep-15
Well done Paul, hope I can still do that in 25 years. As usual you told a very good story with lots of useful info, you are an inspiration.

From: trevore
01-Oct-15
Great story Thanks for sharing

From: Gaur
01-Oct-15
Thanks Paul. Read it all in one sitting. Great story telling and pictures. Congrats on the fine cow.

From: LTG 11
02-Oct-15
When I grow up, I hope to be half the man Paul is....

Congrats and thanks for sharing.

From: Jaquomo
02-Oct-15
Great job, Paul! You took a chance on Dary being available as a "packer" since he's like a leaf flitting in the wind, but glad that worked out too!

Thanks for the great photo essay. Talk son.

From: Paul@thefort
02-Oct-15
Lou, I checked out the area and there was another packer, for $250 that I surely would have paid. He would supple three horses, one for me, and the other two for the cowboy and pack horse. Good deal. That fact did allow me to hunt higher and farther and made the solo hunt more enjoyable as I knew I could get the meat out asap.

Yea, I was luckly Dary was available. What a good friend indeed. A leaf in the wind? you bet!

My luckly day both ways.

I forgot to tell about the bull I had heard before I killed this cow. As I was blood trailing the cow for the last few yards and in the dark, this bull was bugeling his head off just 200 yards away in the meadow where I had hit the cow.

Paul

From: MassBucks
02-Oct-15
Man, that was a good read! Thank you Paul, and congratulations on a fine cow!

From: Copperman
02-Oct-15
great read!

From: Hawk17
03-Oct-15
Paul,

Thank you for sharing such an awesome and inspirational story. Congrats on one outstanding hunt.

I really hope when I am 75 I am doing the same.

  • Sitka Gear