Sitka Mountain Gear
virtual tour guide needed-Wyo
Elk
Contributors to this thread:
ki-ke 06-Aug-18
cnelk 06-Aug-18
drycreek 06-Aug-18
orionsbrother 06-Aug-18
jdee 06-Aug-18
Deertick 06-Aug-18
Glunt@work 07-Aug-18
Lost Arra 07-Aug-18
ki-ke 07-Aug-18
wytex 07-Aug-18
orionsbrother 07-Aug-18
orionsbrother 07-Aug-18
WyoBowHunter 07-Aug-18
Bob H in NH 07-Aug-18
Cheesehead Mike 07-Aug-18
ki-ke 07-Aug-18
orionsbrother 07-Aug-18
Rocky D 07-Aug-18
GregE 10-Aug-18
jdee 10-Aug-18
jdee 10-Aug-18
hoytshooter1 10-Aug-18
ki-ke 10-Aug-18
BOHUNTER09 10-Aug-18
Cheesehead Mike 13-Aug-18
ki-ke 19-Jun-19
midwest 19-Jun-19
Bob H in NH 19-Jun-19
leo17 19-Jun-19
Jaquomo 19-Jun-19
ki-ke 20-Jun-19
ki-ke 20-Jun-19
ki-ke 20-Jun-19
ki-ke 20-Jun-19
ki-ke 20-Jun-19
ki-ke 20-Jun-19
ki-ke 20-Jun-19
ki-ke 20-Jun-19
ki-ke 20-Jun-19
ki-ke 20-Jun-19
ki-ke 20-Jun-19
ki-ke 20-Jun-19
ki-ke 20-Jun-19
ki-ke 20-Jun-19
t-roy 21-Jun-19
ki-ke 21-Jun-19
ki-ke 21-Jun-19
ki-ke 21-Jun-19
ki-ke 21-Jun-19
ki-ke 21-Jun-19
Brotsky 21-Jun-19
midwest 21-Jun-19
ki-ke 21-Jun-19
ki-ke 21-Jun-19
ki-ke 21-Jun-19
ki-ke 21-Jun-19
Brotsky 21-Jun-19
ki-ke 21-Jun-19
ki-ke 21-Jun-19
ki-ke 21-Jun-19
Solo 21-Jun-19
ki-ke 21-Jun-19
Ron Niziolek 21-Jun-19
rattles33 21-Jun-19
midwest 21-Jun-19
mountainman 24-Jun-19
iceman 24-Jun-19
GregE 24-Jun-19
ki-ke 24-Jun-19
t-roy 24-Jun-19
trublucolo 24-Jun-19
Southern draw 25-Jun-19
otcWill 25-Jun-19
ki-ke 25-Jun-19
From: ki-ke
06-Aug-18
I posted this on the Wyoming site, but then figured that most come to the elk forum at this fantastically supercharged time of the year, when we can smell the stuff of September....

Never been! So stoked for my first elk hunt in Wyoming.....Can't take the wait... Anyway, we are starting in Denver and will be on the road by noon. We are hunting just south of Buffalo. We don't need to be to our destination until 2PM on day 2 of our drive. To maximize the scenic value and get the most out of a day and 1/2 to get there, what would be your route? Also, where would you overnight, eat, drink and otherwise make the most of the drive?

Looking forward to my visit! Please help me make the most of it!

Thanks

From: cnelk
06-Aug-18
Denver to Buffalo? Thats less than a days drive.

If you take I25 you could stop in Chugwater and get some chili seasoning :)

From: drycreek
06-Aug-18
Head North.........:-)

06-Aug-18
Steve - If you get to Buffalo early and the weather's clear, head West and drive up to Cloud Peak and maybe head over toward Ten Sleep. Great canyon to drive through... and you might want to wet a line.

From: jdee
06-Aug-18
If it was me.......I would drive up to Buffalo early, get a room and just drive around the Big Horns for a day.

From: Deertick
06-Aug-18
The Bighorns? Eh ... there's so much more to Wyoming. Have you been to Jeffery City? Or maybe the rest stop in Shirley Basin? (LOL). I'm with the others ... get to Buffalo, get settled, rest, refuel, and -- if you have the energy -- drive around the Bighorns and find a spot to fish.

From: Glunt@work
07-Aug-18
Its 5-6 hours so I would just haul up there, get a relaxing dinner and then explore the Bighorns in the morning before you have to be at your spot. With another day, going up to Cody and seeing the Center of the West museum and then cutting over the Bighorns would be worth the extra miles but you need some time there to drink it all in.

Avoid the Arbys in Douglas.

From: Lost Arra
07-Aug-18
>>If you take I25 you could stop in Chugwater and get some chili seasoning :) <<<

Just don't count on buying gas in Chugwater. I still can't believe the station closed.

From: ki-ke
07-Aug-18
Great info! Most of it...... : ^ )

Rick, doing a bit of fishing sounds like a great idea. We will talk soon...Thanks again for the info. Looks like there is also a brewery in Ten Sleep. Bonus!

Glunt- Arby's always avoided at all costs, regardless of 20. Cant believe people actually eat that reconstituted dog food...

From: wytex
07-Aug-18
I believe they have a gas station in Chugwater now.

07-Aug-18

orionsbrother's embedded Photo
orionsbrother's embedded Photo
Pre-Brew Pub pic.

Can't attest to the Brew Pub. I'll be looking for your review and virtual tour.

07-Aug-18

orionsbrother's embedded Photo
orionsbrother's embedded Photo

From: WyoBowHunter
07-Aug-18
Eat at the Wagon Box in Story.

From: Bob H in NH
07-Aug-18
Ten Sleep is a quaint little town, I recommend the elk burger at whatever pub that was we found!

If you're into history, head up to Little Big Horn in MT and check out the info on Custer's last stand.

07-Aug-18

Cheesehead Mike's embedded Photo
Cheesehead Mike's embedded Photo
Cheesehead Mike's embedded Photo
Cheesehead Mike's embedded Photo
Ahhh yes... Tensleep Canyon...

From: ki-ke
07-Aug-18
Mike! Can I get there in a morning hike? That looks fantastic!!

07-Aug-18
You were addressing Mike, but Tensleep is about an hour and a half drive from Buffalo depending on whether you get tied up behind a motor home.

My buddy instructed me to watch my step in the canyon because of snakes.

From: Rocky D
07-Aug-18
Go to Jeremiah JOHNSON’s grave in Cody.

From: GregE
10-Aug-18
You've come far, Pilgrim

From: jdee
10-Aug-18

jdee's embedded Photo
Moose in the Big Horns
jdee's embedded Photo
Moose in the Big Horns
jdee's embedded Photo
jdee's embedded Photo
Go look for some Moose or Antelope

From: jdee
10-Aug-18

jdee's embedded Photo
Big Horn Mule Deer
jdee's embedded Photo
Big Horn Mule Deer
jdee's embedded Photo
Big Horn elk
jdee's embedded Photo
Big Horn elk
or some mule deer or elk

From: hoytshooter1
10-Aug-18
Lost Arra, there is a new gas station in Chug..... the old one didn't close, it burned down. New one is in the same place as the old one Ki-Ke......Stop in Cheyenne for lunch, go to the Luxery Dinner. only a few miles off I-25. Old train car converted into a dinner. good grub.. If you need some more info, hit me up with a PM and I will give you my phone number. I live in Cheyenne and I know this side of the state pretty well.

From: ki-ke
10-Aug-18
PM on its way Hoytshtr....

From: BOHUNTER09
10-Aug-18
Spent a night in Chugwater. Failed to fill up with gas earlier and the Chugwater station was closed. We were among a pretty big group there. A long night in a Subaru Brat. Did get a p&y goat near Casper so it was worth it

13-Aug-18
PM sent ki-ke.

We didn't see any snakes in September...

From: ki-ke
19-Jun-19
Follow up from my 9/18 Wyoming tour!

I always make it a point to see as much country as I can whenever I travel to hunt. Planning an extra day or 2 on either side of the trip is not only a great way to wind down from grown up land, but also allows time on the back end to deal with meat, buy some local swag for wife and kids and see where the locals eat (drink).

On this trip, end destination was Southeast end of the Bighorns with Triple 3 Outfitters. THAT....was an experience and a story for another thread. On the way in, following advice above, we flew into Denver, got a car and headed north. Took a left at Casper, headed north on 20, then back east on 16, where my rental car seemed to top right in front of Ten Sleep Brewery! Like the scene from The Quiet man, where Micks horse knew to stop in front of the saloon, there we were!....good horse. After sampling what TSB offered in the way of nite life and home made beer, we overnighted up the street in a weird little hotel.

Next AM, nice and early, we drove into Ten Sleep Canyon, stopping at a couple places along the way to wet a line. Caught a few fish in the most spectacular country I've ever fished! Thanks Cheesehead Mike!! Headed further into the Bighorns and drove a few miles off the main road. Hiked a couple miles into a creek that looked good on a map, but turned out to be a 4' wide (at most) crik, with very little fishable water. Even so, the schools of 6-9" cutthroats were a blast for awhile. After pulling the size 14 grasshopper out of my rookie flyfisher buddy Tommys' thumb, we headed back to Ten Sleep, ate at the saloon and finished the evening at the Brewery. Disclaimer: I'm really not a big drinker, even though it sounds like that's all we did...LOL

What amazed me, besides the beauty of the country, was the sheer volume of game we saw. Everywhere! We stopped stopping to look at antelope after 3,873. Mulies were all over and the Ag field had goats, Mulies and tons of whitetails. Saw just a few elk once we got into the Bighorns.

Mike, no snakes!

Loved Wyoming! Y'all that live there live in a pretty place. We may have been lucky, but didn't meet anyone that leaned towards the business end of the douche nozzle. All very nice folks. The tamale lady at the brewery was a bit quirky, but very interesting to converse with. Of course the beer helped.

Thanks again to all that offered advice! A few pics to follow

From: midwest
19-Jun-19
I love Wyo...headed there in a little over a week! Looking forward to the pics, Steve.

From: Bob H in NH
19-Jun-19
Ten sleep brewery is cool. They do st Patrick's day gold fish races. Interesting!

From: leo17
19-Jun-19
Glad you had fun? Any pics? How did the hunt go?

From: Jaquomo
19-Jun-19
So, you didn't hit the meth lab outside Kaycee, I take it? (:

Ok, Steve, now bring us the hunt story!

From: ki-ke
20-Jun-19

ki-ke's embedded Photo
ki-ke's embedded Photo
Nice sign, good looking guy from back east holding it up.

From: ki-ke
20-Jun-19

ki-ke's embedded Photo
ki-ke's embedded Photo
Good place. Love the sign! "Good beer for good hunting!" I guess there are folks who believe that hunting without beer is like....?....FISHING without beer!

From: ki-ke
20-Jun-19

ki-ke's embedded Photo
ki-ke's embedded Photo
Ten Sleep Saloon was the place to be after fishing. Good food, great stuff on the walls.

From: ki-ke
20-Jun-19

ki-ke's embedded Photo
ki-ke's embedded Photo

From: ki-ke
20-Jun-19

ki-ke's embedded Photo
ki-ke's embedded Photo
EVERYwhere......

It seemed that 99.9976 % of the antelope bucks we saw were this age class. Saw just a few bigger, but not a one, even on big private that reminded me of what you see in NM goat land. Looks like a 72" er would be REALLY nice...

From: ki-ke
20-Jun-19

ki-ke's embedded Photo
ki-ke's embedded Photo
Cute lil' fellers....

From: ki-ke
20-Jun-19

ki-ke's embedded Photo
ki-ke's embedded Photo

From: ki-ke
20-Jun-19

ki-ke's embedded Photo
ki-ke's embedded Photo
The browns wore some spectacular colors!

From: ki-ke
20-Jun-19

ki-ke's embedded Photo
ki-ke's embedded Photo

From: ki-ke
20-Jun-19

ki-ke's embedded Photo
ki-ke's embedded Photo
Ten Sleep Canyon ranks as one of THE nicest road trips.

From: ki-ke
20-Jun-19

From: ki-ke
20-Jun-19

ki-ke's embedded Photo
ki-ke's embedded Photo
Hard to sleep after looking at this through the scope the day before the hunt starts....

From: ki-ke
20-Jun-19

ki-ke's embedded Photo
ki-ke's embedded Photo

From: ki-ke
20-Jun-19

ki-ke's embedded Photo
ki-ke's embedded Photo

From: t-roy
21-Jun-19
Keep it coming, Steve!

From: ki-ke
21-Jun-19

ki-ke's embedded Photo
ki-ke's embedded Photo
I consider myself extremely fortunate to have had the opportunity to hunt the Trip 3 ranch. Those that have been on BS for any time will remember Craig Smith, the previous owner, who sadly passed away 3 or 4 years ago. I actually booked this hunt with Craig. The hunt was postponed twice, once because Craig made a scheduling booboo and the 2nd time........because he died...

So it was with some trepidation that I moved ahead with triple Three after the new owner, Phil Rutt took over the reigns. Turned out to be the right decision...

6:30 AM...1st day. Surrounded by bulls. They're everywhere! Our weapons are useless!

From: ki-ke
21-Jun-19

ki-ke's embedded Photo
ki-ke's embedded Photo
Assembling on the ridge. Lots of eyes, especially in open country...

From: ki-ke
21-Jun-19
All the action in the last 2 pics happened by 6:30 AM. Soon after the herd above moved over the ridge, a lone bull pulled off the herd and started moving loosely in our direction. Still at about 1000 yards out in the sage, I was bouncing the glass between him, the 15 smaller bulls within 150 yards of me in 3 directions, and trying to sort the direction and source of the dozens of unseen bulls that were coming off their evening feed grounds, bugling non stop. It was absolutely surreal! I've elk hunted for better than 30 years and in some amazing places. I've never experienced ANYTHING like this!

The smaller bulls in our immediate AO begin to move off. The lone bull is still moving in our direction, but no decision has yet been made. Quick, instinctive judgement has him classed as heavy, mature, but narrow & maybe a bit uneven. I keep scanning.

We are sitting in a huge sage flat, interspersed with expanses of 4-5' tall greasewood thickets. A couple meandering creeks are cut deep into the flat, like crooked, overgrown, WWII trenches. Between the greasewood and trenches, this open country is spectacularly perfect for sneaking and covering ground quickly.

We are positioned on a bump in the flat that gives us a view of hundreds of yards in every direction.

The lone bull is now about 600 yards away and still slowly moving in our direction.....

From: ki-ke
21-Jun-19

From: ki-ke
21-Jun-19
For the moment, I'm pinned down by a few dink bulls that have stalled at around 50 yards. The bulk of the herd sounds like they've dropped off the other side of the ridge. Their deafening, non stop bugling makes the easy to track by ear.

When I turn my attention back to the lone bull, he is now at 350 or so and still moving in my direction. My attention meter has ticked up a few notches.

I am a predator 1st and trophy hunter 2nd. I LOVE to eat elk. Yes, I've paid top dollar and cashed in 9 years worth of points to be here. The evening before, I looked over probably a dozen bulls that were bigger than this one and a couple absolute tanks. I am certain that much of the bugling on the other side of the ridge is coming out of their lungs. I've killed a few way bigger than this lone bull. I've been hunting for less than 1 hour.

All that crap in the last paragraph barely gets a second thought as I begin to plan how I will kill this lone bull.

I guess that he will wrap around a little finger ridge about 200 yards upwind from me and start to work his way out into the sage/greasewood flat. Once there, I guess that he will hit the trail of the smaller bulls from earlier and loosely follow where they moved off to. A leg of the creek with an 8' deep trench meanders in that direction. I quickly discuss my plan with Adam, my guide and before he says 3 or 4 words in response, I rudely ditch him and take off at a sprint, drop into the trench and run for 150 yards.

When I pop up and peak over the bank, the bull is less than 100 yards out and is just picking along, browsing here and there as he goes. I drop down again and move towards him another 20 or so yards and run out of trench. When I peak over, he is still about 80 yards out. I am out of trench...I now have just clumps of sage and greasewood bushes to use as cover. When he moved, I moved. He stopped, I stopped. Then, a gimme. He dropped his head into a greasewood bush and started killing it. I stayed low and sprinted. I made another 15 yards. He stopped, walked 10 more yards and began to slay another bush. I made another quick 15 yards. This may happen!

From: Brotsky
21-Jun-19
Did it happen? Did it happen? :-)

From: midwest
21-Jun-19
Cruel, Steve!

From: ki-ke
21-Jun-19
Sorry Nick!

Long day.....

At this point, I was officially out of cover, but at what seemed like within my shooting range. I was on my knees, beside the last scrawny clump of sage then all there was between the bull and me was a sandy, dead level wash about 40 yards wide. He was now walking on the high side of the opposite bank, moving like had nowhere to go without a thing to worry about.....

I ranged a bush about 20 yards in front of him. When he came to that bush, he would be dead broadside at 50 yards. At 10 steps shy of where I wanted to shoot him, he decided to walk in the wash and dropped off the bank and continued walking and now would pass 10 yards closer. Great!! 40 is better than 50. This was meant to be!

As he neared broadside, I slowly drew. I followed him for 5 or 6 steps, then mouthed a quiet cow call. He locked on me immediately. As his elk brain tried to sort out the deformed sage bush that sounded like a cow but still didn't look right, I released. Just before impact, he started to spin towards me. The arrow still connected, tight in the "V", but slightly angling back. All but about 4" of the arrow was in him, but I was definitely concerned that the arrow was quartering back. At around 85 yards, he stopped, head low, looking rough. I launched another arrow, but missed. He walked back up the bank and into the greasewood and stopped again. I could see just his antlers as he stood there for what seemed like a long time, but was just a few minutes. Adam had watched the entire thing and at the shot, looked at his watch. When the bull dropped from sight, about 3 minutes had gone by.

I love bowhunting elk! There were several other bulls within 100 yards that had no clue what just went down. I had just cleanly killed a spectacular animal after a stalk that could not have been scripted better. Who reading this doesn't live for these micro moments??!! Impossible to adequately put words to it. There is a basal, primal, instinctive drive in us that is satisfied only by these moments. I'm not referring to the killing part. It is the moment when we actually CHOOSE to kill an animal..or NOT to kill! Most of us have made the latter decision of numerous occasions and I would bet, to a man, that you walked from those encounters with a big smile on your face, completely satisfied and good with that outcome!

Walking up on a dead elk with your arrow in him is a cool outcome as well. It was pretty cool to walk up on this bull. He had a tank of a body! On the scale at the butcher, hide, legs and head off, he hung at 486 lbs. I flew 310 lbs. of meat home. He was certainly ancient, showing 1 or 2mm of tooth above the gum line. Good bull to kill. His antlers had a tangle of electric fence wire wrapped around his antlers.The wire hadn't caused him any grief, but I'm sure he thought it made him rather intimidating.

I now had 5-1/2 days to explore, hunt with my buddy Tommy, drink the outfitters beer, etc.

From: ki-ke
21-Jun-19

ki-ke's embedded Photo
ki-ke's embedded Photo

From: ki-ke
21-Jun-19

ki-ke's embedded Photo
ki-ke's embedded Photo

From: ki-ke
21-Jun-19

ki-ke's embedded Photo
ki-ke's embedded Photo

From: Brotsky
21-Jun-19
That’s a cool looking old bull Steve! Beauty!

From: ki-ke
21-Jun-19

ki-ke's embedded Photo
ki-ke's embedded Photo
Some nice bulls on this place. Tommy had a great encounter with the bull on the left but it didn't go his way....

From: ki-ke
21-Jun-19

ki-ke's embedded Photo
ki-ke's embedded Photo
Called in this guy while exploring...Look at that body.....

From: ki-ke
21-Jun-19

ki-ke's embedded Photo
ki-ke's embedded Photo
Good beer on a great lookout. Watched about 300 head file past this rock. Also jumped a Golden Eagle at the top!

From: Solo
21-Jun-19
That's called a shining royal rack. What a bull....

From: ki-ke
21-Jun-19

ki-ke's embedded Photo
ki-ke's embedded Photo
Thanks for following along! Sunrise on our ride back to Denver was a great send off!

From: Ron Niziolek
21-Jun-19
Excellent bull, Steve! An old timer.

From: rattles33
21-Jun-19
Yep, special place. Way to close the deal.

From: midwest
21-Jun-19
Outstanding! Thanks for the story and pics.

From: mountainman
24-Jun-19
I sent you a PM Ki ke.

From: iceman
24-Jun-19
About time you share!! Awesome stuff, Steve! Congrats

From: GregE
24-Jun-19
NO Fair!!

You had him all wired up. :)

Great blades on that old bull!!

G

From: ki-ke
24-Jun-19
Thanks again to those who helped with the "pre game" adventure planning! Oftentimes, the tailgating is as much fun as the game itself!!

Jim- Your bull from trip 3 was a giant!! If I exercised a bit more restraint, I might have killed a big one too!! I consider myself VERY fortunate that I had the opportunity to hunt that place. Phil is booked on the archery hunts for something like 5 or 6 years out....and his prices are reflecting the demand....

Greg, yes, his bladed tops are almost knife sharp! Very cool. I left the wire on for now. It made caping him an interesting project...

From: t-roy
24-Jun-19
Great read, Steve! Congrats on a dandy bull! FWIW....I’d leave the wire. Adds a neat touch, IMO.

From: trublucolo
24-Jun-19
Nice ! Thanks for sharing and great bull.

25-Jun-19
Big Congrats!

From: otcWill
25-Jun-19
Good stuff, Steve! Did legoman kill anything? :)

From: ki-ke
25-Jun-19
Will-

Lego man is returning from a big hunt in the next few days. He almost bought it this time!! Report should be posted in next couple weeks!

Thanks!

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