As fun as it getsContributors to this thread:
eddie c 28-Sep-18
HUNT MAN 28-Sep-18
Cheesehead Mike 28-Sep-18
Charlie Rehor 28-Sep-18
WV Mountaineer 29-Sep-18
Southern draw 01-Oct-18
I just finished up an epic year of elk hunting. I drew the early hunt in NM and unit 1 in AZ. Those hunts were September 1-14 and 14-27 respectively. My daughter really wanted to hunt elk this year and she had enough points to get a good tag so she put in for Unit 76 muzzle loader in Colorado. That hunt was September 8-16. I apply for about 40 hunts every year and don't expect to draw a lot. If I can pull one or two tags and then have all the stuff I don't have to draw, I'm good. This year I was extremely lucky in the draw. When August 30 rolled around I had already hunted POW blacktails and WY pronghorn. The early hunt in NM can be really good if it's dry. This year it was not. I still sat water most days and had chances at cows and small bulls.
This was a first for me. This Mt lion came in and drank while I was in the blind. Like most western states, NM has way too many large predators. When you see then during the day, there's just too many.
He was 20 yards away for several minutes. If only I had a tag.
They were just starting to bugle some on my last morning in NM. I got in on 2 good bulls, one in the 300 class but I didn't get a shot. I had to leave after 7 days of hunting to head to Colorado. There are a lot of elk in unit 76 and getting one with a ML shouldn't be all that hard, unless you are really picky. Amber used to shoot competitively with JROTC and she has always been a very good shot. I was certain that she would do well. We ended up seeing some pretty good bulls and had stalks every day. Like most of Colorado's elk hunting, unit 76 is a very physical hunt. Lots of steep country and the elk do not live close to the roads. We put in about 5 or 6 mile each morning and each evening. We did set up a spike camp a couple of times and that helped. Sometimes we ended up so far from spike camp that we just went back to the truck and back to the main camp.
From: eddie c
that second picture says " come out and play. I'm hungry".
Nice pic of the cat. Not many see them in the wild at any distance , let along in bow range.
Amber made a perfect shot at 153 yards with open sights. The bull went about 20 yards and piled up. The bull was exactly 2 miles from the road so you have to be ready to make several trips getting the meat out. I carried my frame pack during the entire hunt so I was ready to take a load out after she shot it. Amber loaded her day pack with all my excess gear and we headed for the truck. A bull this size will leave you with about 4 bags, 60# each of boned out meat. She shot the bull just before last light and we were packing meat about 90 minutes later. She went up a different drainage the next morning and packed out spike camp while I went for another load. She and I both went in for the last to bags of meat and antlers and we were done by about 2:00 that afternoon. It's a good thing she is young and in shape. I can't over emphasize the toughness of these mountain units in Colorado. You have to be in shape or you will not have a good hunt.
I knew the AZ hunt would be one of the best. There was a huge fire there about 6 years ago and the elk population was way up. Lots of elk generally means lots of bugling. I don't do much calling, I listen for bugles and let the elk call me in. It started out great with me close on a good bull the first morning. I actually drew on the bull twice but I just couldn't get the right shot. To explain this hunt would take an hour at least. I would get up early and hike into an area that had elk. I would listen for the biggest sounding bull and get as close as I could before it got light. Then I would sneak in and see what it was. I did this every morning and evening for 10 days, sometimes getting 4 or 5 stalk and sometimes only 2. I had at least 2 encounters every time I went out, except for the one evening I sat on water. I saw nothing that evening. Long story short, I set my sights on 340 as a minimum since I have already taken some really good elk and you will only get a couple of these tags in your lifetime. I missed a 360 class bull in the rain one evening and saw at least 4 in the 360-380 range, almost getting a 30 yard shot on the biggest one. I passed up dozens of herd bulls over 300 and had the most fun I've every had on an elk hunt. I've been on some great hunts but never had day after day action for 10 straight days. With 2 days left, I decided to take the next herd bull over 300 that gave me a shot. This bull followed a hot cow by at 20 yards on the second to the last day. He gave me an easy shot and he went down about 20 yards from where I shot him. I will remember this hunt forever.
Congrats to you and your daughter. Memories will last forever.
It's just the best when you can watch them go down. Bear razor heads can still get it done
Thanks for sharing your story! 2 great bulls and a memories forever. Congrats to your daughter as well.
wow! what a season. Congrats
Congrats and yea I agree wow what a season. Thanks for sharing.
Excellent Season, Congrats to both of you!
I don’t know how you do it... Sounds like this one season would be a good career for a lot of us mere mortals!
From: HUNT MAN
Congrats to you guys . Great season. Hunt
Thats Awesome Jim, thanks for telling the stories, great job!
Good stuff Jim! Congrats and thanks again for your input on NM. Cya in Omaha
Love the muzzleloader.......sold mine to a buddy but hope to get another someday. TC Pro Hunter?
From: Cheesehead Mike
Very cool! Way to go with the recurve! Two big thumbs up!
Sweet! Congrats Jim...thanks for sharing!
Saw Weeeet! Congrats to you both!
Thanks for sharing!
From: Charlie Rehor
Congrats on the terrific elk hunts! C
Congrats on a couple great hunts and thanks for sharing!
When u heading to the Henry’s for your buff?
Great stuff Jim! Grats!
I leave for the Henry Mts on Wednesday and the hunt starts on Friday. This is one of the final bucket list hunts for me. I hope it goes well.
Go getter buddy good luck!!!
Wow what a season!
From: WV Mountaineer
Great stuff man!!!!!!!
fantastic good work
Congrats and thanks for sharing.
Some super hunts there and some great memories. Congrats to you and your daughter. Well done & thanks for sharing.
What an exciting Fam-Fam affair!
Good luck, Robb
From: Southern draw
Congrats! Thanks for sharing.
Great post and pics! Congrats!
Way to go Jim! Definitely a season to remember. Congrats!
Congratulations & Good Luck.
Great season for you for sure! Congratulations to you and Amber on great elk and good luck on the bison over in the Henry’s! Can’t wait to hear about that one!