Contributors to this thread:
My Epic Year Is Under Way
Look forward to following along!
Awesome man. Keep us posted!
Congrats on all the stars aligning in your life Rob! To say I’m envious would be an understatement. Can’t wait to follow along. Good luck, stay motivated!
Epic year is right! Best of luck!
Good start to a great year all the way around!
Awesome! Life is looking good for you, Congtats!
Congrats on the tags.Good luck look forward to hearing about your hunts.
Extra gas cans. You don't want to drive back to maybel every time to get more gas.
Maybe a Bowsite name change as well? Exciting times.
I have extra gas cans if you need ‘em! Let me know.
Fire and rehydration tome
Ok so let’s rock some pictures...
Thanks for taking the time to post the pics and story.
Good luck this year.
Thanks for taking us along!
That 5x6 looks familiar. Have some video on my phone of a bull that looks just like him a couple years back.
Little more group therapy...
Exciting year ahead! Good luck keep us posted
Lots of really good bulls. I also like the last one. Great width and thirds. Not sure I understand the last picture though. Hope you find that guy in Sept.
Do we have a Mike Mitten sighting?
Note- I only see the pic of the fish when I look on my computer, not my phone. Weird...
Thanks for the thread, really enjoying it. Good luck on your hunt!!!
Oh My, What a problem to have!!!
The 7 point at the tank in the sage gets my vote.
Damn! Is this unit 2 or something? Some amazing bulls for Co.
Damn! Is this unit 2 or something? Some amazing bulls for Co. i see now that it is! Good luck!
I see now that it is. Good luck!
Holy Moly. It is going to be fun!
Yeow! You’re seeing tons of bulls and way more action than I ever had on my hunt! Some great bulls for sure! Can’t wait to see more pictures and the results!
that's a riot coelker. looks like a russian. hacked for sure. Banana 5 or old man are the ones i'd go after. Big & typical racks are best. lol
Oh man. What a hunt to be on.
Incredible bulls! I'll be keeping an eye on this one. Great pics. Nice job putting in the scouting time. It will pay off.
Looking like you have more than a few customers;-)
Good luck closing the deal on a good one!
Excited to follow along. Has been fun so far. Good luck!!!
This is a great follow....have a blast and thanks for passing it on to your son!
Good luck! Sorry I couldn’t meet up with you this weekend! On the plane for Lima now...
good luck will be following along for the conclusion
exciting! Best of luck!!
Exciting!! Best of luck !!! Following... also
Good genetics in your area fo sho
Looking good so far Rob! Excellent thread, will definitely be following this one. Happy hunting.
That sounds normal to my endeavors. So, I fail to see the hardships. However, I do understand the hustle and bustle though. But, soon enough you will be there for good and all the running will be done. Relax and enjoy this once in a lifetime opportunity. Good luck brother and God Bless
Wow! What a weekend. Hopefully you got all that stuff out of the way and the hunt will go smoothly. I'm heading up just south of you on Wednesday to set camp, pull cameras and last minute scouting. Good luck!
Good luck with those tires and hope to see you connect. What a great bunch of bulls to choose from. Will be keeping an eye on this story
You're getting me interested now! Can't wait to see how this develops! I feel you about the blown tire. Just cached my camp this past week in the back country. My tires were more than a little worn, but like you I was hoping to milk it a month or so longer. Thank the Lord my tire didn't go flat until after I hit the pavement and was out of the nasties. Let's just say I am riding on some sweet new treads now. Too close to season to be waylaid by a flat tire!
Pretty Freakin' Awesome!!!
Thanks for sharing, I wish you all the luck to get the one that makes you smile every time you see him on your wall!
Those bugs are just moths. The long exposure makes them look like they are 4 inches long.
Really cool trail cam pics!
Can’t wait to follow this hunt!
Looks like you have a great hunt upcoming!!! Oh man I know I am milking the last few miles out of both my truck and boat trailer tires. My truck I have over 100,000 and still hoping to take them out west mulie hunting.
Might want to throw in a second spare and a patch kit, Adam!
When I hunted that NW CO country, I had 2 spares and would take 4 to 6 five gallon gas cans, just in case!
Coelker (wyelker now!) is already having a hunt of a lifetime! And making memories enough for several lifetimes!
Get out there and kill a whopper!
gawd those are some big bulls ....
Great story and pics! Anxiously awaiting an update.
Fun! and well described. Thanks from this guy waiting till Wednesday to head for AZ to hunt bugling bulls through the 26th if needed.
Great pics. Been following along whenever I have cell service from the high country in Wyoming...
It’s been great following along, I’m getting all fired up! I head to 201 in a few days for the start of my epic year!
Kinda crazy but I think I have several pictures of elk and deer in some of the same places that are in your pics...
Sorry but it has become apparent that one maybe 2 other hunters have been using this thread to "hunt". I needed to pull everything. It might be too late, but I am just wanting to make sure the last 2 weeks of my hunt I give myself the best chance to get the bull I am after.
In hindsight it is my own fault, but I truly figured that others who have invested 25+ years would want to hunt themselves and not ride someones coat tails... I will let everyone know after the season is over how it shakes out.
Just as heads up, I am taking my son with me this weekend for a 3 day weekend... Just he and I. Then I have 2 days next week, then the entire last week off...
Well dang it man. Please to a start to finish recap with pics after your hunt. This thread was awesome.
Sorry to hear this. Can't believe others would interfere with your hunt. But with muzzzie opening probably good to pull it. I would think the bow guys would be following their own plan. Good luck . Great to see you involving your son. Jim
Do what you've got to do. Don't let them ruin your hunt. Good luck - I hope they watch you stick a monster.
Dang it!! You had the best thread by far going. Was enjoying the updates! But do what you gotta do. Good luck the rest of the way!
I will be back and hopefully with an epic end...
Weaksauce! Sorry the wannabe's are ruining your hunt. Can't wait to hear about the rest when its over.
Damn! Loved following your thread. Good luck and can’t wait to hear how this ends!
Good luck. !! If you catch the thread poachers get their names or license plate so we can all give them the credit they are due
Kill a big one
I feel your pain bro........remember, no good deed goes unpunished. Sorry it happened and hope you can find a way to share that doesn't give up too much about where you are finding the action. Live and learn. People suck......at least some people.
Good luck man! You’ve put in a ton of time and figured out an amazing amount about that country! Kill a big one!
What an unfortunate deal. Good luck with the finish of your hunt. I hope you get a monster.
damn.... well keep us posted without pics.
Thanks for sharing what you did please give us the recap when done, alot of us enjoy your posts
That is pretty despicable behavior from someone who drew that tag and can't even find their own spot to hunt. I have really been enjoying your posts and hope you are having a great hunt and end up killing a great one. I drew the tag just south of you and I was going to start a scouting and update as my hunt progressed like you did, but a friend warned me about someone being able to find coordinates from the pictures, so I didn't start the thread. I was skeptical that someone would do such a thing in a severely limited unit, but I guess my friend was right...In any case I've been having a fantastic hunt, but haven't closed the deal on one I want yet. I'm home for two nights and then back for the duration or until I get one. I plan on posting the whole story with pics from scouting through the hunt once it's all over. Good luck to all!
Good luck, Brun!
Guys, turn off your location in your phone settings.
Fargin sneaky bastages.... ruining my elk fix!
So I figured out the issue and it ended up with a good bull being killed by a muzzy hunter... I had a pickup that almost felt like they were dogging me on several times over the last . They happen to know someone who knows me and had seen a picture shared with a friend. I cannot say for certain that they were hunting my intell specific, but they knew my vehicle and each day were somehow with a mile of my truck after light.
It could all be coincidence, but they killed the oh daddy bull.
Again as far as the phone settings, I always used screen shots of the photo to post and not the original. So they should not have had the data. And I alway took and posted those screen shots from home or at least well away from the unit.
I have 9 days left, here is hoping I find a big one...
The bull taped out at 375 3/8
Sorry to hear that news. Totally unethical behavior! Good luck man! This last week should be awesome!
Just enjoy the hunt. Don't stress. Best of luck this last week!
This should be a terrific week to be hunting.
Sorry to hear about this. The main reason I will never post a "Real-time hunt" and have the geotagging turned off of my phone for pics. Good luck and fill us in when you wrap it up!
That is part of public hunting. I felt pretty good about sharing because what are the odds that any of the 20 other elk hunters would end up in the same spot, especially considering i was intentionally hunting the most marginal and furthest away spots I could find...
Like I said I can not say for sure, but I have direct connections to only 2 other hunters on the hunt right now.
So out of the 20 tags... I am hunting/sharing a camp with one other guy who has an archery tag. I know 2 of the muzzy hunters personally, so from those numbers alone... 20 hunters turned into 16 elk hunters. I know that the voucher guys were definitely hunting on the ranches and private so there are 4 more gone, which brings us down to 12.... I felt pretty confident that I would not have an issue given the small number of hunters...
Sorry to hear. Was really enjoying the awesome pics. Hope you kill a giant.
So last weekend I hunted Saturday-Tuesday. Things became a mess and as mentioned above last night I was pretty heart broken to find the bull my son I had been working was killed by a muzzy hunter. The bull is said to tape out at 375 3/8. Regardless On saturday I had the bull dead to right I was just about to find my pin and shoot when he turned. Literally I was moving my pin onto the spot, my 20 and 30 yard pin had just passed and I needed my 40 yard pin in the pocket. When he stepped away. I backed out and hoped that we could find him later. Well the next day there was a surveying crew marking a power line in the area and they had 3 atvs and 6 guys working the area he was bedding in etc. This bumped him further. Instead of bedding in the trees on Sunday where he would have been safe he and his cows ended up in the open sage and he was killed by a muzzy hunter.
Saturday morning I made an epic stalk into 43 yards on the bull above (which ended up scoring 375 3/8) I missed my opportunity and now regret not trying for him sooner, instead I had hoped to let him be and find him monday. I found his gut pile instead.
Saturday night I set up on my point to glass. The week before from this spot I had seen over 100 elk and like 38 bulls. Many elk fed right past my location into the flats in the evening. Saturday the place was dead. I saw 8 elk total and only 2 bulls. One is a 340ish 6x6. Sunday we get up early and make a big loop in the open sage. We find many elk, but the herd bulls are all 340ish 6x6. I am happy to still have elk to hunt in a place where no one else has jacked up. My son and I had a day visit from a very good friend whom we call uncle Pat. It was great day having one of my best friends and my sons favorite "uncle" with us.
Sunday at lunch I ran my son to meet his mom and go back to school for the week. Sunday night I hit an area where I had many huge bulls, but the water is all gone and the elk are gone. I did call in 6 different bulls the last 30 minutes of light. They were all 6 points on at least one side, but not a shooter....
Monday morning I get up early and go look for my kicker bull, I find a gut pile and no elk anywhere.... Sadly I found out last night that a muzzy hunter killed him. A huge long walk for nothing...
Monday night I hit the big tree ridge again hoping that sunday was a fluke. Instead I find it even worse. At 3:00 in the afternoon I watch as 2 muzzy hunters drive the 2 tracks that bisect the area. this sends the few elk remaining way far out. Then they guys get off the atvs and proceed to walk into the bedding with the wind blowing up their back or at best case 90 degrees to their approach. This sends even more elk scattering. Seeing this I notice a small corner that has neither a road or an easy way to hike into. So I decide to drop off and sure enough find another 330-340 bull calling with 6 cows and 3 satelite bulls. I passed on a shot at him.
Tuesday morning I am up a little late, but glass near camp (we had over 200 elk by our camp until muzzy started) Then in 2 days the guys had all but a few blown out. So I decide to try dancing around private and hitting a near by spot. I find elk and what I beleive are 2 really good bulls (over 350) in the trees. However there are storm clouds wind blowing 10-20 in every direction, lightning etc. I bumped both bulls in the trees before I got a good look at them, but seemed to have huge frames and good points. Since the wind was crazy I backed out before I pushed all the country and will go back if the wind is right.
Tuesday night I sat a random water hole way out and did not see or hear a thing.
I return tonight and will have the last 9 days straight to hunt.
If I had to do it over, I would not bother to hunt at all during the muzzy week. The 3 days before or during the week. I should have taken my extra days off and hunted more earlier in the season....
I still have a huge 7x7 out there someplace that I have not seen since he rubbed off.... My other biug bull was 5.2 miles from where he was summering and watering so I am drawing a 7 mile circle on the map and going to kick every single bush to try and find him... He has to be someplace...
What's the good word, CO? I hope you have found a good one to chase and are closing in on him!
Man a legit 340 bull is a great bull, hope you can find one that meets your expectations. Enjoy the journey score means nothing. Good luck!
Hopefully an epic ending to the season today.
any word on how this ended?
Been checking everyday to see the conclusion to this. Good bad or otherwise let us know and thanks again for posting.
We want to know, good, bad, or ugly.
I would guess the time and effort he out into taking us along leading to a couple toolbags here using it to squash his time and effort probably diminished his desire to follow thru. Sucks because it was something that a lot of ppl enjoyed following. But like everything in life, one lazy douchebag can ruin somethin for everybody....
Was certainly enjoying all of the excitement, anticipation, and pictures.
Would certainly love to hear the conclusion. Win or lose, those are still exceptional experiences.
NW CO hunts are special, but definitely not a walk in the park. Low overall elk density and huge expanses that they can hide in with enough private land and National Monument lands that are off limits add to the difficulty. Not to mention, elk are just naturally tough critters to get on the ground, especially with a bow in hand.
It is certainly a huge downer that someone decided to abuse someone else’s hard work, time and effort to kill an animal that he was focused on. Low doesn’t begin to describe that kind of person.
No recap? Was hoping to hear how it turned out!
My Unit 2 follow up. So here is how things went down. As I was afraid, I had someone jump my information. It was not from bowsite, but from someone I considered a pretty good friend. I had been providing some limited updates on my facebook page, a person whom I have known for years was asking questions etc. No big deal, except they had an uncle with a Muzzy tag. This person had access to private land in the better of the unit, but despite that access they were dogging my truck Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday of the muzzy opening. They ended up killing my target bull (which I had really good opportunities to kill twice) on Monday night of Muzzy. I am 99% certain that the “kid” was filtering all my information to his uncle. After all I picked the most open and least hunted areas in the unit on purpose. The bull ended up scoring 375 3/8. That deflated me pretty bad. Considering they were not even out hunting. They literally were driving until they saw my truck then stopping and glassing. I am willing to bet they would have never been anywhere close to the bull unless they had my information.
So with that defeat I set out to find another good bull. On Friday night (second weekend muzzy) I found a very decent 6x6 out in the sage flats that was over the 350” mark. I was on him several times the next couple of days but never got into range. Tuesday night I was heading back to camp when I cut a tire. Wednesday morning I hunted from camp until 11ish and went into Craig to get my tire fixed. Wednesday night I went back out to where the new bull was running and could not find him or his cows. Thursday morning find his cows and a new bull (not big enough) in the same relative area. I spend Thursday night and Friday morning searching… No luck on relocating him. Friday at Noon I get a call from the CPW, they ask me about a vehicle. I had seen this vehicle on 2 different occasions. Come to find out the vehicle was suspected of poaching a bull on Wednesday. The location of the gut pile they found was less than 700 yards from where I left the bull on Tuesday night… I cannot say for certain but I am convinced the poached bull was the one I was after as he completely disappeared… So now I needed a new bull. I worked hard and found a good bull over 360 in a new little area. Problem was the bull was bedding and watering on private, but during the night he and his cows were feeding out into public. So Friday night Saturday and Sunday I hunted this bull hard. On Friday night I had the perfect set up, the elk went to water, they were heading off the private onto the public and I was in perfect position. I had the lead cow feed in front of me at 36 yards, then the next 7-8 cows fed out. I could see the bulls antlers over the junipers and he was going to step out at 38 yards. Perfect. I was only needing him to come out 8 yards when the only truck I had seen for 4 days pulls up and spooks the elk back onto the private. I mean all I need was seconds not even 5 minutes.
On Sunday I had my wife calling for me and my son. We got super aggressive with the same big bull and after 3 hours of dogging him he made a mistake, I had him so dead to rights. 18 yards walking in the trees. Walks into a little opening and a perfect chance, I draw settle in on my pin he steps a little and I release the shot. This truly was the first time in my life I have ever had a limb deflect my arrow. The arrow hit way low and cut a nice chunk from his brisket. We spent 6 hours dogging the bull but he never gave us another chance.
It is hard to explain the emotions. On Sunday night we made one last desperate play. I had a 330 6x6 in range but never got a good shot angle. It was really defeating how it ended up. Things I learned, I will never “wait” for the rut again. I am not sure if we had a bad year of what but it was simply not that great. I had better luck calling and a lot more action on the first weekend than I had the last 2 weeks combined. They were calling some, but nothing special. I can also say I had more people blow up hunts and areas on this hunt than I typically do on my OTC hunts. I had ATVs driving into bedding areas, I had horse people driving into stalks, I had muzzy hunters doing stupid stuff like sitting water holes with the wind backwards. I also had 3 different surveying crews on ATV driving all over. I mean all over. I had a bull poached, had a friend sell out my information etc. If I had it to do over, I would have been super aggressive with calls, stalk, etc.
Despite all of that it was one of the best damn times I have ever had. I spent days in the field with my son. He called in his first bull ever, he caught horny toads and salamanders, he learned how to follow a blood trail(even a poor brisket hit trail) I looked back at my journal and passed shots on 24 different 6x6. These were shot shots. I had over 48 bulls in bow range. I had a 375 bull under 40 yards twice. I shot a 365 bull in the brisket on the last day. As I look back I would have given anything to get the plate from the truck that poached. I have since spent 2 days looking for the truck in nearby towns hoping to find the poachers.
Lastly, I would not hunt it Solo. I would try a lot harder to recruit a caller. My wife who has always been my hunting partner simply did not hunt with me except for the first day and last day. Without her I was lost. There is simply so many ways a good caller can make a difference.
Some other things, the later start date screwed me. I had a trail camera on a water hole where several monster bulls were hitting. The last week before season that pond turned into a wallow. The bulls were wallowing in it hard. Sadly on the Thursday before season started the hole was dry and there was not another bull at it. The next closest water hole was not far away, but none of the big bulls were at it. Those bulls disappeared. Had we had a normal start date I would have had 2 days of heaving wallowing.
Also the other thing was all the traffic. Opening weekend was the holiday weekend so there lots of vehicles and atvs. Then second weekend we started seeing muzzy hunters showing up. Muzzy season there were a ton more people around. We had a few groups of 7-8 guys helping one with a tag. We also had more guys with the outfitters on muzzy as well. Then once muzzy ended the Rifle hunters showed up. Since the end of archery was only 3 days from the start of rifle there was no real break as muzzy ended. Instead it got a lot more crowded.
I will work on a nice epic picture thread of video to share… I am happy I had the chance and I would do many things different, but unless I can find that pick up truck, I will never draw the unit again… Oh by the way if a person had a muzzy tag or a rifle tag, you should be able to kill a 360+ bull any day of the week…
Thanks for the update. Too bad about the twig deflecting your arrow.
Sounds like quite the adventure, too bad about the interference from others, but it sounds like you made the best of it. Thanks for bringing us along through all the ups and downs.
Great story minus the interference. Wish your story could have ended different but you had one heck of an adventure, so many close nailbiters that went slightly wrong but I give you a heck of a lot of credit for getting so close to a few whoppers. Murphy's Law definitely applies to bowhunting. Thanks for sharing!
I really hate the fact that "helpers/scouters" are allowed to be out hunting in these extremely high demand units. They do it Utah,Arizona and all the really high end areas. Just adds tons of pressure and makes a once in a lifetime tag really tough to fill in some cases. Glad you enjoyed yourself anyway! I had a buddy that waited 16 years to draw AZ two years ago. He didnt tag one either, passed on several around the 340 mark. Makes it tough after he had given up applying in other states for 4 years prior, since he "just knew" that was the year he would draw.
I enjoyed all the pictures and posts from your season. Sounds like you saw a lot of sights of many lifetimes. I hope you enjoyed yourself even with the extra stress of the value of that tag.
I was hoping for a rabbit out of the hat. It can happen in those top units. Been there, got a t-shirt.
Obviously, you had one hell of an experience. With your family. That, that, is totally worth it!
Thank you for sharing your experience here. Amazing, once in a lifetime! Thank you!
Thanks for the recap. Sorry about all the interference. The worst thing about top of the line tags.
Not to sound like a downer but this is the reality with these type of hunts. There are some very good animals available and everyone has the ideal that they are going to take a 350+, maybe 370+. Yes, these type of animals are there but there are very few of this caliber and the competition to get them is fierce. Not to mentions there are literally hundred of people waiting in the wings, pre-scouting years in advance for these tags, guides with paying clients, poachers sneaking across the borders. Looks lou's just out calling elk for fun, recreational motorized users and people taking in the sights/ wild horses. Everyone sees these epic posts/threads with great animals and neglect to see the cons of such hunts.... sorry that you had to experience this and have a negative impact on your hunt. Its not fair but is it is the unfortunate reality, I'm sure there are many that share the same experience. Sorry you didn't connect on your hunt, hopefully there was still a positive to the experience for you spending time in the outdoors with your family, that's the best trophy of all....
Thanks for the recap and early play by play. Sorry it didn’t work out. You made thousands of folks workdays less productive as we kept hitting “refresh”!
Thanks for the recap as many of us had been wondering what happened. It seems like you had a lot of little things happen at exactly the wrong time, which can be part of hunting, but the part about your "FRIEND" dogging you and moving in on your spots is unforgivable in my opinion. I glad you still had a memorable experience and got to share it with your son. I hope you find the poacher.