Mathews Inc.
cnelk seein elk @ 11,000’
Elk
Contributors to this thread:
cnelk 10-Oct-19
yooper89 10-Oct-19
cnelk 10-Oct-19
elkmtngear 10-Oct-19
Vonfoust 10-Oct-19
cnelk 10-Oct-19
cnelk 10-Oct-19
cnelk 10-Oct-19
BOWNBIRDHNTR 10-Oct-19
cnelk 10-Oct-19
Jaquomo 10-Oct-19
cnelk 10-Oct-19
cnelk 10-Oct-19
cnelk 10-Oct-19
cnelk 10-Oct-19
cnelk 10-Oct-19
cnelk 10-Oct-19
longspeak74 10-Oct-19
cnelk 10-Oct-19
cnelk 10-Oct-19
Vonfoust 10-Oct-19
cnelk 10-Oct-19
elkmtngear 10-Oct-19
Bake 10-Oct-19
cnelk 10-Oct-19
cnelk 10-Oct-19
cnelk 10-Oct-19
cnelk 10-Oct-19
cnelk 10-Oct-19
cnelk 10-Oct-19
cnelk 10-Oct-19
cnelk 10-Oct-19
cnelk 10-Oct-19
cnelk 10-Oct-19
Ucsdryder 10-Oct-19
Scoot 10-Oct-19
cnelk 10-Oct-19
cnelk 10-Oct-19
cnelk 10-Oct-19
Bowbender 10-Oct-19
cnelk 10-Oct-19
cnelk 10-Oct-19
cnelk 10-Oct-19
Destroyer350 10-Oct-19
cnelk 10-Oct-19
cnelk 10-Oct-19
elkmtngear 10-Oct-19
COHOYTHUNTER 10-Oct-19
cnelk 10-Oct-19
yooper89 10-Oct-19
Scott in Camo 10-Oct-19
IdyllwildArcher 10-Oct-19
cnelk 10-Oct-19
cnelk 10-Oct-19
cnelk 10-Oct-19
cnelk 10-Oct-19
TrapperKayak 10-Oct-19
Ucsdryder 10-Oct-19
BOWNBIRDHNTR 10-Oct-19
Bowbender 10-Oct-19
Vonfoust 10-Oct-19
Bowbender 10-Oct-19
Brotsky 10-Oct-19
Twinetickler 10-Oct-19
sdkhunter 10-Oct-19
Paul@thefort 10-Oct-19
Brun 10-Oct-19
Scoot 10-Oct-19
Deertick 10-Oct-19
cnelk 10-Oct-19
Deertick 10-Oct-19
cnelk 10-Oct-19
Quinn @work 10-Oct-19
Deertick 10-Oct-19
Grubby 10-Oct-19
KHNC 10-Oct-19
Elite 1 10-Oct-19
Shiras42 10-Oct-19
Wv hillbilly 10-Oct-19
Bowboy 10-Oct-19
Charlie Rehor 10-Oct-19
Old School 10-Oct-19
Deertick 10-Oct-19
WV Mountaineer 10-Oct-19
ryanrc 10-Oct-19
orionsbrother 10-Oct-19
cnelk 10-Oct-19
RogBow 10-Oct-19
Paul@thefort 10-Oct-19
Stoneman 10-Oct-19
t-roy 10-Oct-19
ryanrc 10-Oct-19
yooper89 10-Oct-19
wooddamon1 10-Oct-19
wyobullshooter 10-Oct-19
Grunt-N-Gobble 10-Oct-19
cnelk 10-Oct-19
Jaquomo 11-Oct-19
Native Okie 11-Oct-19
badbull 11-Oct-19
BULELK1 11-Oct-19
midwest 11-Oct-19
carcus 11-Oct-19
Deertick 11-Oct-19
Deertick 11-Oct-19
Deertick 11-Oct-19
Deertick 11-Oct-19
Deertick 11-Oct-19
Bowbender 11-Oct-19
cnelk 11-Oct-19
midwest 11-Oct-19
Bowboy 11-Oct-19
cnelk 11-Oct-19
cnelk 11-Oct-19
cnelk 11-Oct-19
altitude sick 11-Oct-19
cnelk 11-Oct-19
Deertick 11-Oct-19
Deertick 11-Oct-19
cnelk 11-Oct-19
Deertick 11-Oct-19
cnelk 11-Oct-19
cnelk 11-Oct-19
Deertick 11-Oct-19
cnelk 11-Oct-19
Vonfoust 11-Oct-19
KHNC 11-Oct-19
Dirty D 11-Oct-19
Treeline 11-Oct-19
otcWill 11-Oct-19
Brotsky 11-Oct-19
Scoot 11-Oct-19
Heat 11-Oct-19
Ron Niziolek 11-Oct-19
nmwapiti 11-Oct-19
Whocares 11-Oct-19
Jaquomo 11-Oct-19
midwest 11-Oct-19
JohnMC 11-Oct-19
BOWNBIRDHNTR 11-Oct-19
EmbryOklahoma 11-Oct-19
ElkNut1 11-Oct-19
Deertick 11-Oct-19
huntnmuleys 11-Oct-19
Grubby 11-Oct-19
elkmtngear 11-Oct-19
axle2axle 11-Oct-19
WV Mountaineer 11-Oct-19
Yellowjacket 11-Oct-19
Nogutsnostory 11-Oct-19
APauls 11-Oct-19
Bowboy 11-Oct-19
HuntinHabit 11-Oct-19
Deertick 11-Oct-19
Beav 11-Oct-19
mountainman 11-Oct-19
6x6 bull 11-Oct-19
WHOCARES 11-Oct-19
Grasshopper 11-Oct-19
Ucsdryder 12-Oct-19
From: cnelk
10-Oct-19
Some of you have heard this story in person, others have via text. So, I wanted to share it to those that havent.

A special thank you to the Bowsiters that helped in anyway way they could.

This elk hunt started early in the year when I decided to use my PPs in Colorado and apply for a Limited Entry unit. After talking to my buddy Deertick, he also decided to put for the same unit.

We knew we were pretty much guaranteed the tags, so it was just a matter of waiting for the confirmation email from the CPW in late May.

Once that came, it was time to plan and prepare. Many hours were spent going over maps, making phone calls and conversing about the hunt.

Since there was a ton of snowfall during the winter, any early scouting trip was delayed as the terrain was quite high in elevation.

From: yooper89
10-Oct-19
Here we go.

From: cnelk
10-Oct-19

cnelk's embedded Photo
cnelk's embedded Photo
cnelk's embedded Photo
cnelk's embedded Photo
I finally got to the area July 11 to do some scouting for the first time. I wasnt really concerned with seeing any elk, I wanted to put boots on the ground, see some spots I had researched on GE and look at the intel I got from talking to people.

I wasnt disappointed in the scenery.

From: elkmtngear
10-Oct-19
Yes!

From: Vonfoust
10-Oct-19
Waiting.....glad this is getting a write up!

From: cnelk
10-Oct-19

cnelk's embedded Photo
cnelk's embedded Photo
In this photo above, there are 5 legal bulls near the trees - center of pic - hard to see - but it was encouraging.

Also plenty of snow lingering at 12,000'

From: cnelk
10-Oct-19

cnelk's embedded Photo
cnelk's embedded Photo

From: cnelk
10-Oct-19

cnelk's embedded Photo
cnelk's embedded Photo
There were some atv trails that helped access some areas.

From: BOWNBIRDHNTR
10-Oct-19
Looking forward to this one!

From: cnelk
10-Oct-19

cnelk's embedded Photo
cnelk's embedded Photo

From: Jaquomo
10-Oct-19
Spoiler alert- I already know how this ends! :-)

From: cnelk
10-Oct-19
^^^ Yep! I do have a pic on the elk meat pole, but there is lots of story telling to do :>)

Plus, the weather is crappy today and I decided to stay home!

From: cnelk
10-Oct-19
I spent a couple days poking around, just enough info to go back home and put it all together on GE and reaffirm spots and locations.

The scouting trip was also a 'more than gentle' reminder that I needed to up my workouts

From: cnelk
10-Oct-19

cnelk's embedded Photo
cnelk's embedded Photo
July means elk scouting, camping and BROOKIE FISHING!

From: cnelk
10-Oct-19

cnelk's embedded Photo
cnelk's embedded Photo
I then returned again in early August and hung a trail camera on a spot I had selected on GE

I hiked up to this meadow and really liked this area

From: cnelk
10-Oct-19

cnelk's embedded Photo
cnelk's embedded Photo
This is a good sign when scouting for elk

From: cnelk
10-Oct-19
I didnt want to hunt the LE unit opening weekend of archery [Labor Day], so I went to my OTC area with my B List archery cow tag for a short 3 day hunt.

It was pretty much uneventful, other than calling in a couple spikes

From: longspeak74
10-Oct-19
Awesome!

From: cnelk
10-Oct-19

cnelk's embedded Photo
cnelk's embedded Photo
cnelk's embedded Photo
cnelk's embedded Photo
Labor Day Weekend brings out the knuckleheads. Some camper started a small forest a couple miles away.

The Forest Service ordered a helo for water drops, a couple slurry air attacks and it was under control pretty quick. But with all the beetle kill timber around it could’ve got bad real quick

From: cnelk
10-Oct-19

cnelk's embedded Photo
cnelk's embedded Photo
Here’s a better pic of the chopper

From: Vonfoust
10-Oct-19
"Labor Day Weekend brings out the knuckleheads."

Hmm, I was in CO for Labor Day last year:)

From: cnelk
10-Oct-19

cnelk's embedded Photo
cnelk's embedded Photo
After Labor Day Weekend, it was only a couple days later I headed to the LE unit to start my hunt.

I arrive at my campsite after work on Wednesday Sept 4th, set up my wall tent that evening and began the preparation for the next 10 days of hunting. Deertick wasn’t scheduled to arrive until Friday evening so I would be hunting solo for a couple days.

From: elkmtngear
10-Oct-19
Nice Digs!

From: Bake
10-Oct-19
This has been a great year for hunt recaps! I'm looking forward to this one!

From: cnelk
10-Oct-19
Thursday morning, Sept 5, I rode my atv in the dark to the pre-determined spot I had chosen to hunt for the day.

The starting elevation was about 10,300' and the intent was to hunt up around 11,000', a mile or so hike.

I made my way in the pre-dawn light uphill.

About a 1/2 mile later, I selected a likely spot to set up and do a cold call, just to see what the temperament of the elk was in the area.

Not 3 minutes later here comes a cow elk!

She even posed for a photo

From: cnelk
10-Oct-19

cnelk's embedded Photo
cnelk's embedded Photo

From: cnelk
10-Oct-19
I spent most of the morning on that ridge, poking around, doing a few call setups and then about mid-morning I dropped down to where I had placed my trail camera earlier on a scouting trip.

About that time, I heard a lazy bugle from across the valley. The wind was wrong to hunt that area, so I made a mental note of where it was and planned to hunt it soon.

From: cnelk
10-Oct-19

cnelk's embedded Photo
cnelk's embedded Photo
The trail camera showed there were a bunch of cow elk in the area - ‘Bull Bait’ !!!

From: cnelk
10-Oct-19
As I was leaving that area, I came across a fresh rub. This was on the same side of the valley I had just heard the bugle....

Hmmm......

I went back to camp and had some lunch

From: cnelk
10-Oct-19

cnelk's embedded Photo
cnelk's embedded Photo
I don’t know why I can’t add pics into the thread so I’ll post them separately

From: cnelk
10-Oct-19

cnelk's embedded Photo
cnelk's embedded Photo
I had only hunted 1/2 day and I was already having a great time

From: cnelk
10-Oct-19

cnelk's embedded Photo
cnelk's embedded Photo
Thursday evening was pretty uneventful. I heard some bugles way up on top so I followed them only find a cow bedded out in the open so I was pinned down from getting any closer. As the evening wore on, the elk moved off and I made a mental note in what direction.

So I backed out and I made my plan for Friday morning September 6th - the second morning of my hunt - and that was to go up where I heard the bugle the day before, and in the direction the elk went this evening. But I would hunt my way into the area from a different direction.

This is where I got to when I saw the cow bedded up in front of me

From: cnelk
10-Oct-19
Friday morning, I woke up to fog and mist. It had rained overnight. Everything was wet. Nice and quiet.

Again I rode my atv in the dark a couple miles up to where I started my hike up to 11,000'

The first thing I had to do was cross a small stream, and that meant willows. Lotsa willows. And that meant getting completely soaked while battling my way thru them.

I was so wet when I broke out of the willow bottom, I had to change my wet gloves as my hands were getting cold. And that’s not a good thing!

From: cnelk
10-Oct-19

cnelk's embedded Photo
cnelk's embedded Photo
I made my way up the slope. It was a pretty steep timbered slope for 3/4 mile or so and then popped out on a small meadow. I was only about ½ mile from where I saw the elk last night.

I was at 11,000' – Perfect. The slope I just hiked up was right behind me and it was pulling the thermals down and away.

This is my view. Stay tuned. It gets really good momentarily

From: Ucsdryder
10-Oct-19
“Needed to up my workouts”

Says the guy that always kills them next to the road!

From: Scoot
10-Oct-19
Luvin this! Keep it comin!

From: cnelk
10-Oct-19
Time was about 7am. I found a likely spot to set up and call on the edge of the small meadow.

I let out a slight bugle and mew within a few seconds, a bull responded off to my right side, a few hundred yards away!

Due to the position of the bugle, I didn’t like my spot so I adjusted about 50yds and then let out a cow mew.

Immediate bugle response and he was closer

From: cnelk
10-Oct-19
Before this hunt started, I had already decided that even tho this was a decent LE unit, if I had had a chance at a solid bull, I’d would take him. I wasn’t going to hold out for the biggest, because as we all know, there is always a bigger one.

From: cnelk
10-Oct-19
I gave another bugle - this one a bit tougher

The bull cut me off and he was committed. I put my calls away and latched up my release.

From: Bowbender
10-Oct-19
Look...... I only got five minutes left at lunch. Great story!! Lovin' it!

From: cnelk
10-Oct-19
I had pre-ranged the distance across the small meadow and it was only 35yds so I knew anywhere the bull appeared, I was going to have a shot opportunity.

From: cnelk
10-Oct-19
He was coming from my right and entered the small clearing at 35yds

I immediately knew he was a shooter for me.

I drew.

From: cnelk
10-Oct-19
He walked straight toward me. Closer. Closer.

I remember my pin hovering on the center of his chest, almost thumping him with a frontal

But then he bugled right in my face and turned mostly broadside – more broadside than quartering to me.

I settled my pin and Thwack!!! I saw my 465gr arrow sink to the fletching behind his shoulder at 20yds.

From: Destroyer350
10-Oct-19
Refresh. Refresh. Refresh.

Great story!

From: cnelk
10-Oct-19
He turned and kinda bolted but didn’t run. I immediately cow called a few times, then I didn’t see him momentarily as he went behind some trees, but he re-appeared across the meadow about 70yds away and he stopped. I could see the entry hole with a bit of blood, but it looked like the arrow may had broken off and come out. He then walked to edge of the trees and I lost sight of him.

A short video of right after the shot [may want to turn up the sound]

From: cnelk
10-Oct-19
After about 15 minutes, I went to where he was standing when I shot him. I found his track when he bolted and I followed them a short ways. It was here I found my broken off arrow shaft. I already knew I had plenty of penetration with the Slick Trick but finding part of the arrow is always a plus.

As I mentioned in the video above, I thought I heard the bull crash after 10mins or so but I still waited for my typical 45min before venturing over to where I last saw him...

Another short video when I walked to where I last saw him across the meadow

From: elkmtngear
10-Oct-19
I'm grinning!

From: COHOYTHUNTER
10-Oct-19
I feel like I've read this book.. ... but the suspense is killing me.

From: cnelk
10-Oct-19
Another little video and I’ll post up more photos and get on with lots more to the story

From: yooper89
10-Oct-19
Nice job Brad!

10-Oct-19
Great story. Congrats.

10-Oct-19
Nice

From: cnelk
10-Oct-19

cnelk's embedded Photo
cnelk's embedded Photo
Here is the entry hole

From: cnelk
10-Oct-19

cnelk's embedded Photo
cnelk's embedded Photo
As I mentioned earlier I was by myself so it took me a couple hours to break him down and prepare the meat for travel.

Gotta have the backstraps pic

From: cnelk
10-Oct-19

cnelk's embedded Photo
cnelk's embedded Photo
The first load I carried a front quarter, backstraps and loose meat - all that meat weighed 70lbs, plus the 20lb weight of my daypack, so that 90lbs sure made my toes curl going down 1000' in 3/4mi.

From: cnelk
10-Oct-19
It was about 11am by the time I got the first load back to camp. I sent out a few texts to Deertick and some other buddies, and was preparing to go back for a 2nd load when one of my Bowsite friends said he was in the area and would swing by to help me get the rest of the elk off the mountain.

I readily agreed! Especially since Deertick wasnt to arrive until late that evening.I really didn’t want Deertick have to pack meat on his first day of his hunt!

When my Bowsite friend showed up to help pack, he even brought another buddy so in one trip we went up and packed the rest of the bull off the mountain. It was raining again and we had to cross those damn willows.

They each took a hind quarter and I took the other front quarter and the head - another 80lb pack out.

We got everything back to camp about 6pm. After a couple cold beers and a bit of BSing, the 2 buddies took off and then it was time to relax and prepare for the next day's hunt with Deertick and to help him fill his tag.

Deertick arrived about 1030pm. I was sound asleep at that time but he made sure I was awake in short order.

Its now time for Deertick to add to the story.... :)

From: TrapperKayak
10-Oct-19
Nice going! Great looking bull.

From: Ucsdryder
10-Oct-19
I can’t wait for this part of the story!

From: BOWNBIRDHNTR
10-Oct-19
Awesome job, congrats!!

From: Bowbender
10-Oct-19
It's a two-parter!! Yes!!

From: Vonfoust
10-Oct-19
This is making 'work' go much faster!

From: Bowbender
10-Oct-19
Work??? LMAO.....

From: Brotsky
10-Oct-19
Awesome job Brad! Congrats on your bull!

From: Twinetickler
10-Oct-19
Way to go man, fun story to read! All these hunt recaps sure make work either go by really fast or drag on waiting for the next update:)

From: sdkhunter
10-Oct-19
Great pics and story!!

From: Paul@thefort
10-Oct-19
But Brad, packing downhill is easy, so no complaining. Nicely done all around. my best, Paul

From: Brun
10-Oct-19
Really good story, bull and pictures. Thanks. Will look forward to the rest of the story.

From: Scoot
10-Oct-19
Nice work Brad!

From: Deertick
10-Oct-19

Deertick's embedded Photo
Deertick's embedded Photo
As Cnelk said, I rolled into camp “just in time” ... to miss the work. Lucky for me, I also already had this Wyoming cow in the freezer

From: cnelk
10-Oct-19

cnelk's embedded Photo
cnelk's embedded Photo
Over the next couple days we called in spikes, cows and calves and bulls. We got busted and winded - just having a ball chasing elk at 11,000’

From: Deertick
10-Oct-19
After spending the morning trying to recover from Colorado traffic, and also learning the general area, roads, trailheads, etc., we hunted first that first night.

And the first spot we walked in seemed productive. A cow elk startled in front of us ... and then Cnelk tapped my shoulder ... looked up the hill about 60 yards ... and said: "Bull ... BIG bull".

He was casually feeding and he hadn't seen us. Was this happening? I was 35 minutes into my hunt!

Oh, well ... nock an arrow ...

More later.

From: cnelk
10-Oct-19

cnelk's embedded Photo
cnelk's embedded Photo

From: Quinn @work
10-Oct-19
Congrats Brad. Thanks for sharing the story and photos.

From: Deertick
10-Oct-19
The bull fed, head down, 60 yards up a steep hill from us. While grazing, I couldn't see his head -- just his chest. I needed to close at least 10 if not 20 yards ... but ... WIND.

From: Grubby
10-Oct-19

Grubby's embedded Photo
Grubby's embedded Photo
Sweet!!!

From: KHNC
10-Oct-19
Well hell yeah! I got the giant pronghorn pic text from Deertick, but havent heard the elk story til now! Stop holding out! THose patients can wait. lol

From: Elite 1
10-Oct-19
The stories that are told on here are better then any penthouse forum stories I’ve ever read. Keep up the great work to all.

From: Shiras42
10-Oct-19
Great job Brad! Maybe you need to change your handle from cnelk to klnelk!

10-Oct-19
Nice bull. Thanks for taking the time to share the story.

From: Bowboy
10-Oct-19
Congrats Brad and hurry up deertick we all want to know your story ending.

10-Oct-19
Well done! Great write up!

From: Old School
10-Oct-19
Congrats Brad. It’s nice when all the prep work is rewarded with a bull.

-Mitch

From: Deertick
10-Oct-19
There's more ... (tomorrow morning)

10-Oct-19
Congrats Brad.

From: ryanrc
10-Oct-19
Thanks for taking us along Brad! By any chance could you post the video and instructions on how to make your hip waders agains. The white ones. Your creek crossing story reminded me that i still want to make those but forgot the details.

Thanks

10-Oct-19
Good stuff. As always.

Congratulations!

And more please.

From: cnelk
10-Oct-19
@ryanrc

Below is the video I made about 5 years ago that show the DIY waders I made for stream crossings. In fact, after this hunt was over, I hunted my OTC units for another 10 days and I used them a few times to access a spot that beavers had dammed up the stream

From: RogBow
10-Oct-19
Nice bull, great shot.

From: Paul@thefort
10-Oct-19
Brad, what are the bags ? I used heavy duty trash bags, without tape on the bottom, on my first elk hunt in 1989. The tape is a great idea. Paul

From: Stoneman
10-Oct-19
Good read on a snowy evening. Congratulations on another nice bull.

From: t-roy
10-Oct-19
Great read so far. Keep it coming!

From: ryanrc
10-Oct-19
Thanks Brad

From: yooper89
10-Oct-19
Looks like DuPont tyvek to me

From: wooddamon1
10-Oct-19
Great story so far, congrats on the bull!

10-Oct-19
Congrats Brad. Love when a plan comes together! Looking forward to “the rest of the story”!

10-Oct-19
Brad, Congrats on your bull.

From: cnelk
10-Oct-19
Yes, the waders are made from Tyvek house wrap

From: Jaquomo
11-Oct-19
Great job, Brad! On the hunt and the story. Nice work and congrats!

From: Native Okie
11-Oct-19
Good stuff guys! Let’s go, Deertick!

From: badbull
11-Oct-19
Really enjoying these elk story recaps from you Fort Collins guys (Deertick included). You guys are the "real deal" elk hunters and story tellers. Thanks for sharing and keep up the good work.........badbull

From: BULELK1
11-Oct-19
Sweet reading Brad

Congrats

Good luck, Robb

From: midwest
11-Oct-19
Atta buddy! The stories were better over beer, bacon, and walleye. :-)

From: carcus
11-Oct-19
Thanks for sharing

From: Deertick
11-Oct-19
The hunt from here was a great time ... I’ll summarize, as time is limited:

In spite of Cnelk’s experience, the elk were — overall — quiet that week, slowly getting more likely to bugle as the week went on.

We ran into plenty of elk, though.

Spikes were fun and plentiful. (Brad, you have that video?)

And we played with a Heads-up decoy a bit ... which helped Cnelk get a couple selfies with calves. (Brad ... hint, hint on the photos ... I don’t have on this machine)

Brad/Cnelk left to take his bull down to cold storage for a day, and I was able to call in a 6x7 to 30 yards. Wind held good, and I saw the lane he needed to get to. But a rag got behind me, and winded me. So close! (It was the largest elk I’d ever called in to range.)

And I then caught a big 5x5 out grazing at 6 pm ... he seemed to be ambling in a direction that would take him near me ... I rushed to get to a spot I knew I’d have a shot but missed getting there by no more than 30 seconds ... the bull beat me there, and ... winded again.

There were chances and there were chances over the week, but “third down conversions” were few, and “punting” became the logical thing to do more often, with so much time left on the clock.

From: Deertick
11-Oct-19

From: Deertick
11-Oct-19

Deertick's embedded Photo
Deertick's embedded Photo
Well, at some point, you need to take a shot at the end zone, and ...

From: Deertick
11-Oct-19
So, we had heard a bull in the night, coming off a hill near camp .

And the thought was to try to catch him on that hill as he came down the next night.

There was an “obvious” spot for his descent ... but the window of agreeable wind would be narrow. We thought if we did it right, we may not need to call at all.

We found what we thought was his trail ... the trail they were using. Now, anyone who hunts knows that that is a big assumption.... but ... we were right !

After sitting for no more than twenty minutes, “Elk!”.

Just a rag horn following a cow, but they closed the distance quickly.

Thirty yards and ... “I think he’s going to be broadside” was my thought.

How could it be? But this was the third “no-call” bull of the trip that would be in range — and the smallest ... eh, no matter ... it was the early part of the fourth quarter of the game and I needed points on the board, or so I thought.

He turned broadside and I shot ... angling the arrow through a narrow window (instead of waiting for nerves to settle and trees to get out of the way) ... the arrow looked good, and then ... as Cnelk called it (like a football ref): “No good, wide left”.

From: Deertick
11-Oct-19
The disappointment of a kicker missing a field goal in the 4th quarter is never easy to watch ... or experience.

But we were having fun ... and my MAIN GOAL of the trip — Learning — was going pretty well!

Cnelk ... post some of your photos as I go...

Anyway, I was glad that I’d been getting in shape. High elevation and vertical country and chasing Cnelk and elk was testing my fitness, but I felt good. CrossFit four times a week at 7200’ for a year paid off well.

The fourth quarter, though, was winding down. On our last morning, we knew we had one last chance to take a shot at the end zone. It would be tough, but we had been in the red zone all week. It had to happen soon.

From: Bowbender
11-Oct-19
Settled in with a cup of coffee.....

From: cnelk
11-Oct-19

cnelk's embedded Photo
cnelk's embedded Photo
Yeah as John said, we played with a couple spikes one evening. I was carrying a Headsup Decoy and those spikes wouldn’t leave!

From: midwest
11-Oct-19
Great story telling, John!

From: Bowboy
11-Oct-19
John, please keep it coming!

From: cnelk
11-Oct-19
Another morning here comes this big calf so I played with the Headsup. I kept the attention of the elk and it walked within feet of John - who is just in front of me and to the right

From: cnelk
11-Oct-19

cnelk's embedded Photo
cnelk's embedded Photo
The elk were just tame!!! :)

From: cnelk
11-Oct-19
I had a great time just calling and going out hunting with Deertick everyday. We had a nice camp, good food and great weather.

11-Oct-19
One of the FCK

Fort Collins Killers

From: cnelk
11-Oct-19
Each day we were into elk. It was a total blast. It was a daily grind tho. Side hilling and climbing steep slopes for 5-6 miles each day. On Friday, Sept 13th. Deertick decided it was going to be his last morning to hunt.

So we made a plan, went and hiked up to 11,000' again and we called in another bull.

Deertick will tell you his point of view about this particular morning’s hunt ??

From: Deertick
11-Oct-19
Like we said ... fourth quarter ... time for one last drive.

But the defense was playing well. We set up, called, and after 20 minutes heard hooves ... thump thump thump ... coming in. The defense was making a mistake ... then ... “cow”. She came first, ahead of the bugle. Cnelk hadn’t heard him, but he was there, and after finding us, she returned to him ....

At that point, we had time for “One more play.” It was end-zone or bust. No trick plays now ... just good hard-nosed hunting. Cow calling in deep timber ... the go-to power play.

At 20 minutes, a rag horn emerged at 18 yards in front of me. How do they do that?

Nervous, he turned to go.

I stopped him at an even 40.

Calmly, I shot for the end zone.

A field goal — I mean rag horn — would win ... but ... a damn nest of spruce branches “tipped the ball” ... defense wins again.

From: Deertick
11-Oct-19
Hit the upright.

I sent Cnelk to the site ... any chance at blood?

Nope ... but what did he find?

Show em, Cnelk.

From: cnelk
11-Oct-19

cnelk's embedded Photo
cnelk's embedded Photo
I went up to where the bull was standing and I happened to notice some old bones right nearby. I thought Hmmmmm.... someone else got an elk here....

I then looked to my left and see a last years deadhead just laying there!

From: Deertick
11-Oct-19

Deertick's embedded Photo
Deertick's embedded Photo

From: cnelk
11-Oct-19

cnelk's embedded Photo
cnelk's embedded Photo
So we strapped it on my pack and I brought it home.

From: cnelk
11-Oct-19
John's photo of the arrow in the small tree really depicts what many of us have experienced while hunting elk. Sooo close.... discouragement and exhaustion - knowing the season is over

From: Deertick
11-Oct-19
I miss a rag ... Cnelk gets a 300” bull!

What a game. A defensive struggle. I’m just glad it wasn’t played in snow.

I learned a ton:

Pick better shooting lanes.

Cold calling works better if you wait longer ... 20, 30, 40, 60 minutes.

Hunt areas “softly” and you can hunt them all week.

Enjoy the game. “I ain’t here for a long time, I’m here for a good time.” That’s the attitude that makes it worth it.

From: cnelk
11-Oct-19
Thanks for tagging along and all the replies and PMs.

Looking forward to 2020, but not sure what that holds yet

From: Vonfoust
11-Oct-19
Fantastic write up! Thanks and congrats Brad!

From: KHNC
11-Oct-19
Damn John! Two years in a row of finding large dead heads! Who would've thought? Great story, glad yall had a good time. How many points did yall burn for that LE unit?

From: Dirty D
11-Oct-19
Great write up guys, thanks for sharing!!

From: Treeline
11-Oct-19
Great work! Congratulations!

From: otcWill
11-Oct-19
Enjoyed it. Thanks for the story!

From: Brotsky
11-Oct-19
Excellent story men! Enjoyed it greatly! Good friends and September, the best things in life!

From: Scoot
11-Oct-19
"Good friends and September, the best things in life!"

I like that, Brotsky! Congrats on a fun and productive season, fellas!

From: Heat
11-Oct-19
Great hunt guys, really enjoyed that! Nice bull Brad!

From: Ron Niziolek
11-Oct-19
Thanks guys. Enjoyed it very much!

From: nmwapiti
11-Oct-19
Fun read. Thanks!

From: Whocares
11-Oct-19
Good story. Thanks.

From: Jaquomo
11-Oct-19
Great job, both of you! John, thanks for mentioning the "hunt softly" concept. If more bowhunters had the patience and discipline to do that, a lot more elk would be killed and the hunting would be better for everyone.

That "run and gun, spook 'em and find some more" strategy sounds really macho and cool on social media. But the guys who kill big bulls on a regular basis these days virtually all hunt "softly"and surgically.

From: midwest
11-Oct-19
Dag nabbit, John! Horseshoes and hand grenades….next time, buddy!

Thanks for the stories!

From: JohnMC
11-Oct-19
Fun read! Sounds like that area going to have a lot of dead falls in a couple years when all the trees with broadheads start to fall! ;)-

From: BOWNBIRDHNTR
11-Oct-19
Great teamwork...both hunting and story telling. Thanks for sharing it with us!

11-Oct-19
Congrats, Brad. Get em' next year, John "treekiller" Haeberle.

"Dag nabbit"? My grandma used to say that, Nick. She was cool too.

From: ElkNut1
11-Oct-19
Didn't read it all but enjoyed what I did have time for! Congrats guys, well played!

ElkNut/Paul

From: Deertick
11-Oct-19
"Dag nabbit"?

Many other expressions occurred to me at the time (and still do!). My grandmother had quite a few terms, too ... but generally a little more (R)-rated.

I wasn't all that upset, honestly. I have the cow already in the freezer, and a WY general tag good for rifle hunting; antelope are abundant, too.

I told Cnelk before we went down there that my goals were:

1. Enjoy time with a friend 2. Learn more from elk-teachers 3. Kill an elk

2 out of 3 ain't bad. And the two I got, I got in spades. Always a good time to share camp with Brad. Doing so during elk season, with bugling bulls and great scenery, was great.

I saw a lot of bulls that week -- big ones, little ones, in-between ones. If we had done this, that, or the other thing ... if we chose a different week ... if, if, if.

I'm not playing that game. It's hunting, after all ... not life. I've been successful at the important things, and this was for fun!

From: huntnmuleys
11-Oct-19
Great write up! Sounds like an outstanding hunt

From: Grubby
11-Oct-19
I feel pretty lucky just reading about these hunts..... going on them is way better.

Thanks for sharing

From: elkmtngear
11-Oct-19
Great write up, Gentlemen!

It's always a success, when you're into the elk every Day. I've experienced the opposite, many times over the Years. Always helps, to have a good Buddy with you...makes it a quality experience.

From: axle2axle
11-Oct-19
Nicely done guys! A fun read...and best of luck next year Deertick! Kevin

11-Oct-19
Great season fellas. Congrats to you both on a great hunting camp together

From: Yellowjacket
11-Oct-19
Deertick, At least the tree shots we could see you have a good choice of arrows! (Fmj what I shoot). Lol Thanks for both of you sharing!

11-Oct-19
Very nice!!

From: APauls
11-Oct-19
Write on guys! what a great story, I very much enjoyed following!!!! Thanks for taking the time

From: Bowboy
11-Oct-19
Great write-up! Thanks for taking the time to share your adventure.

From: HuntinHabit
11-Oct-19
Hey John, long time no talk! Looks like a great hunt, and very successful. Congrats to both of you!! It's now been 11 years since my last elk hunt, that's crazy. Someday I'll get out there again...

From: Deertick
11-Oct-19
HuntinHabit ... I am pretty sure it's illegal to wait that long between elk hunts, so I don't know that I would post that on the internet ... heh. Hopefully that means you're just too busy with those big NE whitetails.

From: Beav
11-Oct-19
Great recap fellas!! Thanks for sharing with us!

From: mountainman
11-Oct-19
Enjoyed the recap. Thanks!

From: 6x6 bull
11-Oct-19
Congrats Brad! Great story and even better bull!!

From: WHOCARES
11-Oct-19
Theses storiescare fun but makes me realize its 12 months wait again!

From: Grasshopper
11-Oct-19
Thanks for the adventure shared, congrats on the successful journey!

From: Ucsdryder
12-Oct-19
Congrats guys!!! 2 dead trees?! That’s impressive!

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