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Elk, Moose, Bighorn, WT - '14 hunt story
Contributors to this thread:
DanJ 08-Jan-15
Bowboy 08-Jan-15
Mule Power 08-Jan-15
orionsbrother 08-Jan-15
IdyllwildArcher 08-Jan-15
Grubby 08-Jan-15
t-roy 08-Jan-15
westslope 09-Jan-15
Beav 09-Jan-15
OTT2 09-Jan-15
Reflex 09-Jan-15
Julius K 09-Jan-15
JMG 09-Jan-15
Horn Donkey 09-Jan-15
mn_archer 09-Jan-15
HUNT MAN 10-Jan-15
boschman158 10-Jan-15
trkyslr 10-Jan-15
DanJ 12-Jan-15
Medicinemann 12-Jan-15
Jack Harris 12-Jan-15
From: DanJ
I enjoy reading the hunt reports from various folks on this site and figure it's not fair to consume and to not give back. So, while a little bit late but maybe good timing now that Winter is here, I've put together a little summary of my season. I tagged this as a sheep thread as that was what the bulk of my season was. But it could be tagged as an elk thread – there's a dead elk here, or a WT thread for similar reasons. Scratch that, I'm making it an elk thread.

I made a brief summary of my season from last year and this year isn't much different really – a few consolation prizes. Here's the last one for reference - A bull, a doe, a buck

This year I put more time into my early season scouting. Hikes with friends, hikes on my own, hikes with my daughter. My buddy below drew an awesome late season archery ram tag and we did a day scouting but got stuck in clouds. He put a ridiculous effort into getting ready for this hunt and ended up killing an awesome ram the first weekend he was up (out of 3 weeks he packed in for). This shot shows us stuck in the clouds and the rocks look like King Kong on the left I think.

I had a specific bull elk that I'd run into in previous seasons and this year I wanted to see if I could locate him again. There is a specific basin high up that he liked to hang in so I put in many days hiking in and taking photos. Never found that big elk in the pre-season but I ended up getting routine photos of a nice bull moose. Ultimately, this moose trumped my elk interest and I ended up putting in solid time during the archery season for him. I had lots of chances at some smaller bulls but never got another look at this bull.

We received a significant snowfall right at the start of the season – whether that changed his pattern up or just the oncoming rut I don't know, but he was gone.

I still got a little elk hunting in. I ran into a couple guys that were just getting going elk hunting so I took a few days in the season to get out with them and work together to find some elk. We got onto bulls but never got great shot opportunities on legal bulls (need to be 6pt, had some awesome chances on 5x5's). Day 1 hunting together was probably a highlight as we chased and created an encounter with a herd of elk high up. The bull came charging in once we got in tight but ended up being a 5x5. Shortly after that we hiked a little higher up and ended up finding a band of 4 bighorn rams. We spent hours watching them and closing the distance. Eventually, we found ourselves just over 100yds from the rams as they drank water from a creek in 2' of snow with a waterfall beside them – they had no clue we were there. Until the wind shifted. These moments will haunt me the rest of my life I imagine.

The last day of the archery elk mountain season I opted to close the deal on a young elk for the freezer. I wanted the meat and that would take the pressure off from the rest of the season so I could focus on sheep hunting. I went out for an evening hunt with my buddy Liam. We hiked into an area that often produces and before making a noise heard a big herd bull bugling. After a quick rock-paper-scissors session I moved up to shoot and Liam started calling. The bull was fired up but wasn't moving. However, some cows started to make their way to us. Long story short, I shot a nice young calf/cow and watched a small 6x6 satellite bull walk by at 15 yds headed straight to Liam's calls. He got an arrow off on the bull but it was deflected by the lone branch in front of him. So close to a double-header but an awesome night, nonetheless.

After weeks of coming home from hunting and not having results my daughter was “very proud” of me when I brought this elk home. Puts some of the trophy hunting element into perspective.

I spent the rest of Sept and Oct chasing sheep. Got close many times and just never got to fling an arrow. Busted stalks, rams too close to call on length, too many sheep for a clear shot. I experienced a variety of forms of frustration. The best ram I had a chance on was this curly guy. I spent 3 nights camped following him around and then he evaporated in a blizzard. 65Yds and he brought body guards. Here are a few other photos from the sheep season.

I took a few weeks after sheep season to recoup and started to get the itch to hunt again. After hunting sheep everything else just didn't seem to measure up. But I ended up putting a few days into some Whitetail action and shot a young buck for meat and just plain ole longbow fun.

Enjoyed reading other success stories and hope you enjoyed mine.

Ps For those wondering, the B&W shots are all film pics from an old Leica camera, and the digitals are from a sony RX100M3.

From: Bowboy
Nice pictures thanks for sharing!

From: Mule Power
Thanks for sharing Dan. Believe or not out of all those awesome pics one of my favorites was your daughter standing next to the table next to that trophy looking cut of meat.

Congrats on a great season!

Great summary and pics. I like the picture with your daughter too.

My youngest was eager to help me as I trimmed and packed the meat from my elk and deer. The freezer paper packages are all adorned with the labeling and hieroglyphics of a five year old.

makes me smile every time I pull out a package of meat.

Thanx for taking the time to write it up.

I'm super envious of your hunting opportunity.

One of the best parts of the hunt is bringing an animal home regardless of its trophy status and cutting it up with the kids. Grats on that, good times.

From: Grubby
Lucky Canadian! Thanks for sharing.

From: t-roy
Nice story & GREAT pics!

From: westslope
Just what I needed for a mid winter day while dreaming of archery season! thanks-great pics!

From: Beav
Thanks for sharing!

From: OTT2
Great story, thanks for sharing. Love the pics also.

From: Reflex
Awesome pictures! Thanks for sharing your story and congratulations on your successes.

From: Julius K
I love those black and white pics!

From: JMG
+1 on the black and white photo. Thanks for sharing.

From: Horn Donkey
The black and white hiking photo is now my desktop.

What an awesome season you had. Really enjoyed the write up.

From: mn_archer
very nice, that last mountain picture is the stuff magazine covers are made of!


That was great. thanks for posting. Hunt

From: boschman158
Sounds like we hunt the same neck of the woods.... I was hunting 406 and that snow pushed the elk right out of the area we were hunting... Never got on the big moose til after the season ended and the only ram I got into bow range of was short of legal... Thanks for posting! Awesome photos

From: trkyslr
Awesome story!!!!

From: DanJ
Thanks guys. One other B&W film shot that I took this season that I liked was this one. We hiked all day and got close to a few sheep despite the lack of visibility. Just a cool mood to this shot.

From: Medicinemann
Cool pix!

From: Jack Harris
very well done! These are the posts that make Bowsite great, with excellent photography. Thanks for sharing and congrats on your success

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