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Ryan's 2nd 1st Elk Hunt
Elk
Contributors to this thread:
Scoot 18-Oct-21
Scoot 18-Oct-21
Scoot 18-Oct-21
Scoot 18-Oct-21
Scoot 18-Oct-21
Scoot 18-Oct-21
Scoot 18-Oct-21
Scoot 18-Oct-21
Scoot 18-Oct-21
Scoot 18-Oct-21
JL 18-Oct-21
Treeline 18-Oct-21
adogg437 18-Oct-21
Scoot 18-Oct-21
rattling_junkie 18-Oct-21
smarba 18-Oct-21
BOWNBIRDHNTR 18-Oct-21
Scoot 18-Oct-21
Scoot 18-Oct-21
Daydreamer 18-Oct-21
Scoot 18-Oct-21
Scoot 18-Oct-21
Scoot 18-Oct-21
Treeline 18-Oct-21
drycreek 18-Oct-21
Scoot 18-Oct-21
Scoot 18-Oct-21
Scoot 18-Oct-21
[email protected] 18-Oct-21
APauls 18-Oct-21
APauls 18-Oct-21
Straight Shooter 18-Oct-21
t-roy 19-Oct-21
No Mercy 19-Oct-21
Scoot 19-Oct-21
Scoot 19-Oct-21
Scoot 19-Oct-21
Scoot 19-Oct-21
Scoot 19-Oct-21
Scoot 19-Oct-21
[email protected] 19-Oct-21
ND String Puller 19-Oct-21
Scoot 19-Oct-21
Scoot 19-Oct-21
Scoot 19-Oct-21
Scoot 19-Oct-21
Scoot 19-Oct-21
Scoot 19-Oct-21
Scoot 19-Oct-21
Scoot 19-Oct-21
Scoot 19-Oct-21
Treeline 19-Oct-21
BOWNBIRDHNTR 19-Oct-21
Z Barebow 19-Oct-21
Scoot 19-Oct-21
Scoot 19-Oct-21
Scoot 19-Oct-21
Scoot 19-Oct-21
Scoot 19-Oct-21
Scoot 19-Oct-21
Hancock West 19-Oct-21
Scoot 19-Oct-21
HUNT MAN 19-Oct-21
Jordan 19-Oct-21
APauls 19-Oct-21
Scoot 19-Oct-21
Scoot 19-Oct-21
Scoot 19-Oct-21
Scoot 19-Oct-21
Scoot 19-Oct-21
Scoot 19-Oct-21
Scoot 19-Oct-21
Scoot 19-Oct-21
Scoot 19-Oct-21
Scoot 19-Oct-21
Scoot 19-Oct-21
Scoot 19-Oct-21
deerhunter72 19-Oct-21
Buckeye 19-Oct-21
GhostBird 19-Oct-21
Scoot 19-Oct-21
[email protected] 19-Oct-21
GhostBird 19-Oct-21
Brotsky 19-Oct-21
drycreek 19-Oct-21
[email protected] 19-Oct-21
Scoot 19-Oct-21
APauls 19-Oct-21
[email protected] 19-Oct-21
orionsbrother 19-Oct-21
Ron Niziolek 19-Oct-21
Treeline 19-Oct-21
APauls 19-Oct-21
midwest 19-Oct-21
MA-PAdeerslayer 19-Oct-21
Wv hillbilly 19-Oct-21
Jordan 19-Oct-21
hunt'n addict 19-Oct-21
BigOk 19-Oct-21
[email protected] 19-Oct-21
BULELK1 20-Oct-21
Supernaut 20-Oct-21
Oryx35 20-Oct-21
Whocares 20-Oct-21
Scoot 20-Oct-21
Scoot 20-Oct-21
Scoot 20-Oct-21
Scoot 20-Oct-21
Scoot 20-Oct-21
Scoot 20-Oct-21
APauls 20-Oct-21
Scoot 20-Oct-21
Scoot 20-Oct-21
Scoot 20-Oct-21
Scoot 20-Oct-21
Scoot 20-Oct-21
Scoot 20-Oct-21
Scoot 20-Oct-21
Scoot 20-Oct-21
Scoot 20-Oct-21
Daydreamer 20-Oct-21
Fields 20-Oct-21
Brijake 20-Oct-21
HUNT MAN 20-Oct-21
Daydreamer 20-Oct-21
kota-man 20-Oct-21
APauls 20-Oct-21
BAT 20-Oct-21
Rgiesey 20-Oct-21
GLP 20-Oct-21
Grasshopper 20-Oct-21
Brotsky 20-Oct-21
BOWNBIRDHNTR 20-Oct-21
elkmtngear 20-Oct-21
ND String Puller 20-Oct-21
[email protected] 20-Oct-21
Bowfreak 20-Oct-21
deerhunter72 20-Oct-21
Jaquomo 20-Oct-21
Treeline 20-Oct-21
Scoot 20-Oct-21
EliteFan 20-Oct-21
JB 20-Oct-21
t-roy 20-Oct-21
drycreek 20-Oct-21
SIP 20-Oct-21
WV Mountaineer 20-Oct-21
Supernaut 20-Oct-21
orionsbrother 20-Oct-21
Bulldown 20-Oct-21
blue spot 20-Oct-21
pav 21-Oct-21
Beav 21-Oct-21
ki-ke 21-Oct-21
hdaman 21-Oct-21
GhostBird 21-Oct-21
Grunt-N-Gobble 21-Oct-21
midwest 21-Oct-21
DayDreamer 22-Oct-21
otcWill 23-Oct-21
ELKMAN 25-Oct-21
Scoot 25-Oct-21
BigSkyHntr 30-Oct-21
From: Scoot
18-Oct-21
Ryan’s second, first elk hunt… Some of you may remember that last year was supposed to be Ryan’s first elk hunt. We drew Montana general tags and were excited to give it a shot trying to get Ryan a crack at a bugling bull. However, my dad got very sick in the middle of the summer and in early September I had to give up on the idea of taking Ryan on his first elk hunt at that time- I couldn’t, in good conscious, leave Dad and the rest of my family during what turned out to be my dad’s final weeks. It was a rough time and elk hunting wasn’t really important to me during it. I’m glad I stayed home and I’m glad I got to be with Dad and my family during that time.

With that chipper and uplifting start to this year’s story… we drew the same tags this year and we were excited to get Ryan his second chance at his first elk hunt! It was a weird year, with COVID and fires out West, among other things. My #1 and #2 spots were a ways away from each other, but both managed to get completely torched! Both areas were in the smack-dab middle of separate fires, so they were no longer options. I leaned on several resources- some friends, some bowsiters, and a few others as well. I got a ton of help and intel and I’m eternally grateful for all of it! Below is a little recap of our elk season. We had a blast and I’m thrilled beyond words to have been able to take my son on his first elk hunt. Follow along and you’ll see how it went for us. The season definitely took some twists and turns, and we had a blast along the way.

From: Scoot
18-Oct-21

Scoot's embedded Photo
Kevin "preparing" on the drive out.
Scoot's embedded Photo
Kevin "preparing" on the drive out.
In the middle of the summer I realized my cousin, Kevin, had the same tag as we did and I invited him to join us. I kind of expected him to decline, but to my pleasant surprise he decided to join. I grew up hunting deer with Kevin and his whole family and I was excited to rekindle some of the hunting mojo we had in the 70s, 80s, and 90s.

From: Scoot
18-Oct-21

From: Scoot
18-Oct-21

Scoot's embedded Photo
Ryan on the hike in.
Scoot's embedded Photo
Ryan on the hike in.
Our plan was to go to a little hidey hole in central Montana and pack in a couple miles, and hunt from that little spike camp. Kevin showed up at my place and Ryan finished school on Thurs, Sep. 9th and hustled home so we could hit the road. We drove until midnight, crashed at a hotel for the night, and drove into our spot by early afternoon on Friday. This is where we hit our first snag—the spot we were going to park wasn’t accessible. The last 2.5 miles of forest service road were gated and locked. I have no idea why it was closed, but it was clearly an open road on the most up to date forest service map and on OnX. Our 2 mile hike in became a 4+ mile hike in. Also, I didn’t know what country we’d be going through to get to our predetermined destination. But… without a quick, close backup plan, we took off in the direction of the honey hole we had planned on with our camp on our back.

None of us had ever been into this area. I got intel from a friend who lived about 50 miles away. He had never been there in September, but he said the area was full of rut sign every time he was there in October. We also knew it was a real pain to get to, so it sounded like a great place to me! The pack in was tough, but it went ok. We made it about half way to the honey hole and found a reasonable place to set up camp on the top of a ridge that bisected two nice looking cuts. The country looked like a beautiful place for elk to live.

From: Scoot
18-Oct-21
Sorry folks- I'm using the image tool and the pics won't rotate. I have no idea why, but man the use of pictures is frustrating as heck here! Nothing works right and it's always a wrestling match to get things how they should be.

From: Scoot
18-Oct-21

Scoot's embedded Photo
Just about to where we camped that night.
Scoot's embedded Photo
Just about to where we camped that night.
Camp was set up with about 2 ½ hours of hunting time left in the day. Kevin was shot from the pack in, so he hung by camp and glassed some areas from there. Ryan and I headed in the direction of the honey hole so we could scout out how to get there in the morning.

From: Scoot
18-Oct-21

Scoot's embedded Photo
Glassing on the way to camp.
Scoot's embedded Photo
Glassing on the way to camp.

From: Scoot
18-Oct-21

Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo

From: Scoot
18-Oct-21

Scoot's embedded Photo
Home sweet home!
Scoot's embedded Photo
Home sweet home!

From: Scoot
18-Oct-21

Scoot's embedded Photo
Kevin added a nice touch at camp!
Scoot's embedded Photo
Kevin added a nice touch at camp!

From: JL
18-Oct-21
^....that's a great touch!!

From: Treeline
18-Oct-21
Lining up to be an awesome trip!

From: adogg437
18-Oct-21
Looks like you guys are off to a great stat! Good Luck

From: Scoot
18-Oct-21
Our second monkey wrench in the trip was unfolding over the course of this evening. First, in the two miles from the truck to our spike camp we hadn’t seen a lick of fresh (or even old) elk sign. Further, as Ryan and I headed in the direction of the honey hole, we continued to not see any elk sign. We also struggled to make our way through terrible deadfall that evening (some of the worst I've ever seen). We filtered water in a little stream and continued on our way up, under, and around all of the nasty deadfall. Getting back to camp in the dark that night was rough- we just couldn’t find a decent path to navigate the country. The deadfall was terrible and I knew we would: 1) struggle to get our camp through this mess, and/or 2) get an elk out through this mess if we shot one in the honey hole. On top of that, a complete lack of sign and sound related to elk made me question why we would choose to hang around in this area. It was a bit of a gamble and it seemed our choice to go here wasn’t going to pay off. After talking with Kevin, we decided to do some looking and listening in the morning, but if nothing made us want to stick around in the AM, we were going to cut our losses and bail out of this area.

The morning produced nothing of interest and we packed up and headed out of there. It was a large waste of energy and time, but I still believe it was worth the gamble. This one just didn’t pay off. If the G&F hadn’t shut the road down us I think we stood a good chance to get in a more productive area, but that wasn’t the case on this trip. Off we went to Spot #2.

18-Oct-21
Sweet!!

From: smarba
18-Oct-21
Keep it coming!

From: BOWNBIRDHNTR
18-Oct-21
Looking forward to the rest Scoot. Who's taller now? Ryan has stretched out!

From: Scoot
18-Oct-21
I tried to delete, then re-add the tweaked 2nd pic of the thread, but it won't work- says there's an error.

BWWNBIRD, it's official- Ryan passed me right around the time of this trip! The way my daughter is growing she may pass me too! She's 5'10" and still going up!

From: Scoot
18-Oct-21

Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
Spot #2 was my buddy Slevy’s honey hole. He’s been hunting it for a decade or so and he and his buddies have had some success there. I didn’t want to ask him about it, but told him I really wanted to get an elk in front of Ryan. He happily spilled the beans on this area, giving me tons of way points, info about wallows, campsite locations, etc. I was/am super grateful!

We drove 45 minutes to Slevy’s spot, set up camp, grabbed a quick bite to eat, then made a plan. Kevin was sore and tired from the pack out, so he decided to hunt around camp. Ryan and I headed for what we thought might be a better area (really had no clue, but it looked good to us). Kevin bumped an elk out of its bed 100 yards from camp that evening. He didn’t see it well enough to identify, but it was definitely an elk. He also had a whitetail doe 10 yards from him while in camp. He even had his bow in his hands! The idea of fresh backstraps appealed to him, but he gave her a pass on the off chance he stumbled into a good muley buck in the area.

Ryan and I had a fun evening. We took turns doing locator bugles or cow calls, trying to get an elk to respond. About 2/3 of the way through the evening, and with no responses to our credit, Ryan ripped a locator bugle from near the bottom of a cut, just 30 yards from a little mountain stream. A bull fired back from only 150 yards away. Watching Ryan’s eyes almost pop out of his head at the sound of that bull’s bugle was worth the price of the elk tag and more! “Yes, I did something right!”, was his sarcastic response (he wasn’t very confident in his calling skills). But he had definitely done it right. We moved in on the elk and, long story short, swirling winds left us without any further interaction with him. Dang!

From: Daydreamer
18-Oct-21
Been looking forward to a Scoot/Ryan story! Keep it coming

From: Scoot
18-Oct-21

Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
On the next day we hunted the area Slevy calls “The High Wallows”. This was a series of wallows on the higher side of a road near camp. As you can see, the wallows looked pretty quiet, but there was a lot of fresh sign around, so we knew elk were there, or at least recently had been there. On the way up to the wallows, in the dim light of morning, we heard what every elk hunter loves to hear- four different bulls singing their sweet mountain song back and forth. It was definitely music to our ears. We moved in on the closest bull and I started raking a tree. He wanted nothing to do with it and soon he bugled from 200 yards further away than before. We dogged him until he went silent. Unfortunately they all went silent after just 30 minutes of bugling. We called and searched that morning, but found nothing. That evening, in short, was a bust. We put on a few miles and in spite of lots of fresh sign, no elk seen or heard.

From: Scoot
18-Oct-21

Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo

From: Scoot
18-Oct-21

Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo

From: Treeline
18-Oct-21
That could be a good spot to catch an elk…

From: drycreek
18-Oct-21
That looks like good territory to prospect Scoot !

From: Scoot
18-Oct-21

Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
The following morning we headed back to the high wallows once again. On the way up the hill we heard a bull bugling his way down the hill about 400 yards to our East. He actually crossed the road about 50 yards from our pickup. We chased after him and stayed on him as long as we could. At one point we set up and Ryan could hear him glunking from less than 100 yards away. But, this country was so thick he never did lay eyes on the bull or any of his cows. Ultimately, the bull went silent and we totally lost track of him

From: Scoot
18-Oct-21

Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo

From: Scoot
18-Oct-21

Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo

18-Oct-21
Cow and calf call, cow and calf call, lost calf call and move towards the bull. Go to him. Hurry.

From: APauls
18-Oct-21
Oh ya baby! Worth the price of admission!

From: APauls
18-Oct-21
Helllloooooooooooooooooo???????

18-Oct-21
Scoot- sorry for the loss of your father. Some things are much more important than hunting.

From: t-roy
19-Oct-21
Holy cow! Ol Grinner is growing like a weed!! Good stuff, so far! Keep it coming, Scoot.

From: No Mercy
19-Oct-21
EXCELLENTTTTTTTTTT!!! I've been waiting for a Scoot/Ryan story!

From: Scoot
19-Oct-21

Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
From there the routine involved the three of us going out in the morning, hunting until mid-morning, the heading back to camp. I absolutely hate leaving the elk woods in the middle of the day, but the elk weren’t saying a peep by about an hour after sunup (actually, they didn’t say anything all day most of the days) and we were simply making elk aware of our presence by being there. None of the wallows we found, and we found plenty, had any sign of fresh activity, so that didn’t seem like a good option. Instead, we went on a grouse drive most days. Ryan was our official grouse slayer and he loved that role! The area was loaded with grouse (well, at least before Ryan got there!) The elk hunting had been tough, but the grouse hunting helped to lift his spirits a bit. In total, he put quite a hurtin’ on the grouse in the area and we ate some during the trip- it was a treat!

From: Scoot
19-Oct-21

Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo

From: Scoot
19-Oct-21

Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo

From: Scoot
19-Oct-21

Scoot's embedded Photo
Pull and pray method... something to teach your son (but only when cleaning grouse)
Scoot's embedded Photo
Pull and pray method... something to teach your son (but only when cleaning grouse)

From: Scoot
19-Oct-21

Scoot's Link

From: Scoot
19-Oct-21

Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo

19-Oct-21
Keep focused!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

19-Oct-21
Heck of a good time so far! Following closely

From: Scoot
19-Oct-21

Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
Keep focused, Paul? We were laser focused! We took every moment perfectly seriously and never deviated from the task at hand! Well... maybe we strayed once in a while...

From: Scoot
19-Oct-21

Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
Hard to focus with the kind of scenery the Rocky Mountains provides a guy...

From: Scoot
19-Oct-21

Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo

From: Scoot
19-Oct-21
On Wednesday morning we hadn’t heard a peep. We were slinking along through the flat area near the high wallows. I suddenly “felt” something to my left and looked- there was a small bull looking at me from about 100 yards. Ryan and I dropped down low and hid immediately. I sent Ryan up ahead and Kevin stayed back and to the left. I started cow calling- I hoped the old adage of “you can sometimes fool their eyes” would apply to this situation. The young bull didn’t figure out what we were and when I called, he came closer to Ryan. He hung up at about 50 yards and behind some cover. I sneaked back and away from the guys, then moved into the wind to try pull the bull on the upwind side of them. The bull came closer still. He was at about 30 yards from Ryan, but behind several trees and branches. In spite of my effort to pull him upwind of the guys, after a couple minutes the bull turned and went straight downwind of Ryan. It was clear when he hit their scent trail- he sharply swung around and trotted off. Ryan caught a glimpse of a previously unseen elk exiting with him too. We were close, but no cigar. Unfortunately the second half of the adage above is also true “you can’t fool their noses”.

From: Scoot
19-Oct-21

Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
Here's a pic of Ryan, as he slinks up as close as he dares to the small bull. The bull is about 50 yards straight ahead of him in this picture, behind all of the trees.

From: Scoot
19-Oct-21

Scoot's embedded Photo
Ryan mocking my picture taking "Here's some Montana grass, better take a picture!"
Scoot's embedded Photo
Ryan mocking my picture taking "Here's some Montana grass, better take a picture!"
Some random pics from the trip.

From: Scoot
19-Oct-21

Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo

From: Scoot
19-Oct-21

Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
These next two pictures go together!

From: Scoot
19-Oct-21

Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo

From: Treeline
19-Oct-21
Spectacular hunt so far! Getting some elk action!

From: BOWNBIRDHNTR
19-Oct-21
We cooked grouse and puffball mushrooms on flat rock during our elk hunt. Outstanding meal! Nothing beats hunting with your kids.

From: Z Barebow
19-Oct-21
Looks like woodpeckers have been after your stick legs! LOL! (I am one to talk!)

From: Scoot
19-Oct-21

Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo

From: Scoot
19-Oct-21

Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo

From: Scoot
19-Oct-21

Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo

From: Scoot
19-Oct-21

Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo

From: Scoot
19-Oct-21

Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo

From: Scoot
19-Oct-21

Scoot's embedded Photo
Even got my ugly mug in a pic
Scoot's embedded Photo
Even got my ugly mug in a pic

From: Hancock West
19-Oct-21
Definitely some family resemblance there scoot.

From: Scoot
19-Oct-21
Haha yes, no paternity test needed!

From: HUNT MAN
19-Oct-21
Love those smiles!! Keep it coming!!

From: Jordan
19-Oct-21
Awesome, thanks for sharing your journey!!

From: APauls
19-Oct-21
You're supposed to step on or over those blowdowns eh Scott. Looks like a memory no one will ever forget. Way to do parenting right.

From: Scoot
19-Oct-21

Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
Ryan made a bow and arrow while we sat at a wallow.

From: Scoot
19-Oct-21

Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo

From: Scoot
19-Oct-21

Scoot's embedded Photo
The dreaded stinkeye!
Scoot's embedded Photo
The dreaded stinkeye!

From: Scoot
19-Oct-21

Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo

From: Scoot
19-Oct-21

Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo

From: Scoot
19-Oct-21

Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo

From: Scoot
19-Oct-21

Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo

From: Scoot
19-Oct-21
Unfortunately, we never heard another bugle on the trip. Things went totally quiet and we just couldn’t round up any elk that wanted to play. We ended up hunting Friday morning, then packed up our gear and headed out. We got home Saturday night at about midnight. The entire drive home, all 12+ hours worth, I had a knot in my stomach. I admit that I don’t handle unpunched tags, and more generally failure, too terribly well. Ryan’s first elk hunt had been a good experience in many ways, but mostly was a bust. It was the toughest elk hunting I’d ever had and unfortunately, that was his introduction to my very favorite kind of hunting. I definitely hoped he’d fall in love with it, but this was not a great start. But, as you all know, that’s elk hunting. Heck, that’s hunting in general. Public land, unguided, DIY (mostly, we definitely got some good help and intel) is no slam dunk on a general tag. I was disappointed, but in the end I consider myself dang blessed to be able to have taken my son to the mountains for a week. Quality time with Ryan and Kevin is immeasurably wonderful and I’m so glad we got to go.

From: Scoot
19-Oct-21

Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo

From: Scoot
19-Oct-21

Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo

From: Scoot
19-Oct-21

Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo

From: Scoot
19-Oct-21

Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo

From: deerhunter72
19-Oct-21
Lots of good smiles from that young man!

From: Buckeye
19-Oct-21
It may not have ended with a heavy pack but I am sure the boy learned a thing or two. And there is always next years elk hunt! Good on you for spending time with him. He looks like he is eager for his 3rd, second elk hunt! Thanks for sharing yalls adventure.

From: GhostBird
19-Oct-21
Good times guys... thanks for taking us along.

From: Scoot
19-Oct-21
But wait… there’s more! When we got home I stewed about the trip for days. I was so irritated and irritable, I really wanted to go back. Ryan had homecoming the next weekend and he was taking his sweetheart to the dance, so that weekend was out. He had missed over a week of school, so mid-week was a no-go. My work was crazy and it was a terrible time to go. By the following weekend, it’d be October already and probably getting pretty late to have a good trip. I tried to give up on the idea, but it kept nagging at me in my mind. I had a conversation with a friend from work that tipped my hand. She and I are just starting up a new grant project and we had a ton of work on our plate. Again, it was a terrible time to leave. She basically said “To heck with it, why wouldn’t you go? I’ll cover when you’re gone. Just do it.” She convinced me! Next step was my bride- she said the same. I asked Ryan if he could miss one more day of school and he said “yep”. I also talked to a couple buddies and they were in too- they didn’t have tags, they were just going to be callers, haulers, spotters, and guides for us. Gabe and Slevy were coming with us and I was so excited to go again.

19-Oct-21
The last picture tells it all, i.e., togetherness, having a wonderful experience, memories formed, and then, "just wait until the next time", is what keeps us coming back. Nicely done by all. Paul

From: GhostBird
19-Oct-21
... oh yeah baby.............................

From: Brotsky
19-Oct-21
You should have added Brotsky top that list of people that went along on round 2! Still regretting the decision not to elk hunt! Ha! great stuff so far Scoot!

From: drycreek
19-Oct-21
It ain’t too late to pull a rabbit outa his hat. Hang on boys, there may be a ride in him yet…….

19-Oct-21
YOU GOT TO BE KIDDING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

From: Scoot
19-Oct-21
Brotsky, ya can't say you weren't invited!

From: APauls
19-Oct-21

APauls's embedded Photo
APauls's embedded Photo

19-Oct-21
:) X 10

19-Oct-21
Good stuff Scoot. Lots of dad points. Props from the flatland.

Go get ‘em Ryan!!

From: Ron Niziolek
19-Oct-21
Good stuff Scoot. I'm really looking forward to the rest!

From: Treeline
19-Oct-21
Oh, my! From down and out to back in the saddle! Go get em Ryan!

Sounds like Brotsky missed out:-)

From: APauls
19-Oct-21

From: midwest
19-Oct-21
I'm all in Scoot!!! Giddyup!

19-Oct-21
Had me scrolling by then BOOM, I’m back! Keep it comin

19-Oct-21
Awesome so far. Can’t wait for the bonus days! Nothing better than spending time with your children Hunting.

From: Jordan
19-Oct-21
So many years I went home to MO feeling the same Scoot.......I came back once and had an epic encounter with a bull and his 20 cows.......got close but no shot. Looking forward to hearing your Part 2!!!!

19-Oct-21
I'm still waiting....the rest of the story!

From: BigOk
19-Oct-21
The smile on his face says it all, ready for round 2!!

19-Oct-21
A bull elk is just a BIG grouse. Hammer time!

From: BULELK1
20-Oct-21
Man, Ryan has sure grown up over the years here on the Bowsite.

Fun thread Scott

Good luck, Robb

From: Supernaut
20-Oct-21
AWESOME thread, I'm hooked!

From: Oryx35
20-Oct-21
Man, I love bonus time! Looking forward to hearing how the rest of the hunt unfolded.

From: Whocares
20-Oct-21
Ya got us all hooked Scott. First story was fun. Good luck on this one! Good Dad! I also have a son that loves to go on adventures with me . We just spent a weekend at the shack and he shot a bunch of grouse. Makes a Dad feel good inside! Waiting for more story now... My son is Ryan also!

From: Scoot
20-Oct-21

Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
Ryan got done with school on September 30th at 3:00 and we were off! We drove all night and met Slevy at the camp he had set up during the day. After a quick nap (got about 2 hours of sleep), we headed for the woods. Slevy and Ryan headed out to one area and Gabe and I went to a different location. Ryan and Slevy struck out that morning. There was good sign, but they couldn’t find any elk that wanted to play. Gabe and I also had a quiet morning. Much of the fresh sign from the previous trip looked old now and there wasn’t much new stuff to replace it. I wasn’t optimistic after seeing the lack of good sign. We covered ground and Gabe bugled and we also tried cow calling too. It was “dangerously quiet”. As we headed back towards the pickup, Gabe gave one last locator bugle. Bam! a bull fired right back from about 250 yards away. Game on!

From: Scoot
20-Oct-21
We quickly talked and made a plan: 1) It was 11:00 AM and we figured he was in his bed, 2) his bugle didn’t sound aggressive, and 3) we needed to shift positions a bit to get the wind right. We moved to our left about 40 yards to get the wind right. Our plan was to cut the distance and try call him in. I had just started to move closer to the bull when he fired a bugle at us from inside of 100 yards- he was coming and he had changed his tune and now was screaming super aggressively! I could hear his antlers clacking against trees and branches as he marched in. I moved into an open spot, just in front of some cover, but didn’t dare move ahead any further. The bull was headed to our right, in the location of our previous bugle. I saw movement through an opening, then chocolate legs and tawny brown hide materialized in front of me- he was about 40 yards away. I didn’t see his rack well, but given the circumstances, I knew I’d shoot if given the chance. The bull paused, then fired an aggressive bugle at the intruder who he was looking for. Gabe paused, then called. The bull continued moving in the direction he had been traveling, then started to circle around us, seemingly to get our wind. We repositioned to try stay on the downwind side of him. He looped around, got straight downwind of us, and the fun was over. Dang it!

I beat myself up a good bit about this interaction. We made a plan of attack based on a passive, bedded up bull, but things changed really quickly and we didn’t shift gears (mentally) fast enough-- we replayed it a bunch of times. Any of you reading this ever replayed in your mind an interaction with an elk??? Haha! That’s elk hunting! But, I really did feel like we had snatched defeat from the jaws of victory on this interaction and I wasn’t happy about it!

From: Scoot
20-Oct-21

Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo

From: Scoot
20-Oct-21

Scoot's embedded Photo
Rugged and unforgiving, but beautiful (I’m talking about the background).
Scoot's embedded Photo
Rugged and unforgiving, but beautiful (I’m talking about the background).

From: Scoot
20-Oct-21

Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo

From: Scoot
20-Oct-21

Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
I hunted with Gabe the whole time on this bonsai trip. Poor Gabe- he obviously drew the short straw. Great guy, awesome hunting partner, and a friend who will give you the shirt off his back and always be there if you need help.

From: APauls
20-Oct-21
Oh man! That hurt ME! Keep at it!

From: Scoot
20-Oct-21

Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
That night Gabe and I had our turn striking out. Ryan and Slevy, on the other hand, had a fun night. They got out of the truck and hadn’t gone 200 yards and a bull started bugling. Soon they had four bulls bugling in their area and they decided to make a move on the nearest one. That bull quickly vacated the area on them, but they shifted and moved in on the next closest bull. They got as close as they dared and Slevy sent Ryan up ahead. He had a decision- go to the right of the thick brushy area ahead or go to the left. Slevy noticed a nice trail on the right side, so he sent him that way. Ryan was only 15 or 20 yards ahead of Slevy. Slev dropped some soft cow calls and the bull started bugling in response to them. Soon Ryan could hear hooves on the ground and they were approaching fast. Unfortunately- you guessed it- the bull went left, rather than right. Ryan had no shot, even though the bull was within range. It didn’t take long and the jig was up. The bull wheeled away from Slevy’s position and left in a hurry. Dang, so close! The first thing Ryan said when we met at camp was "Now THAT was fun!" He loved it.

From: Scoot
20-Oct-21
The next day was pretty uneventful. Slevy and Ryan heard some bugling, but didn’t get on a bull. We heard nothing but silence in the morning, tried a different spot in the afternoon, and repeated the silence. Even though we didn’t hear or see an elk, at least we managed to find the area in MT with the greatest number of deadfalls per square foot! Haha!

From: Scoot
20-Oct-21

Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
One thing that did happen that day was a kick in the pants for me. I "felt" something to my left and snapped my head over to see this.

From: Scoot
20-Oct-21

Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
In the past I've always gotten a big game combo in MT- that allows me to shoot both a muley and an elk. However, this year I had bought Ryan a new pack, a new sleeping pad, a new sleeping bag, and an expensive license, so I decided I would save some money because "I'll probably never get in range of a decent muley anyway." Well... you know the deal! It's like they know!!!

I've certainly seen bigger muleys and I've also seen dumber ones, but I've never seen a muley this big that was this dang dumb. He let us walk up to 25 yards and he just stood there, broadside and begging to be shot. Oh well...

From: Scoot
20-Oct-21

Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
Slevy took Ryan under his wing on this trip and Ryan loved every minute of it. Just like Gabe, Slevy is an awesome hunting partner and friend. He's the life of the party and everyone likes Slevy. He's also a really skilled hunter and stalker- Ryan had plenty to learn from him. I'm super grateful that he and Gabe were willing to come with us and do their level best to help Ryan have a good trip and try get a crack at an elk.

From: Scoot
20-Oct-21
The last morning Ryan and Slevy went to an area they had seen a bunch of sign. Gabe and I headed back to the place we had called in the bull the first morning. Other than having a bear jump out of its bed from four yards from me, the morning was pretty quiet. One bull was all we heard, but we didn’t manage to get too close. Ryan and Slevy had an even quieter morning.

From: Scoot
20-Oct-21

Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
Gabe wanted me to end the story with this picture of a sunset (I usually end my stories with a pic of a sunset from the trip). Gabe took this picture and he claims it’s the best sunset picture ever taken. He mentioned he even used the “rule of thirds”, so you know it’s good. For Kevin, Gabe, Slevy, and me, a sunset pic probably fitting.

From: Scoot
20-Oct-21

Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
However, for Ryan’s sake, I’m going to end this story with this picture. It might be cheesy symbolism to most, but not to me- it’s of a sunrise coming up through the elk woods. To me it is the beginning of a great adventure for him. I believe he’ll be in the elk woods on many September days in the future. Hopefully he sees a lot of success doing that and I hope he remembers this trip with a smile. We worked hard, we both learned while doing it, and we had fun. I wouldn’t call this trip a “bucket list trip”, but I can tell you that I’ve dreamt of taking my son elk hunting since before he was born. I consider myself extremely fortunate to have been able to do that. I hope I can do it a bunch more times!

From: Scoot
20-Oct-21
Thanks for following along. Next year I’ll post a story about Ryan’s second elk hunt and his first elk kill. Can’t wait!

From: Daydreamer
20-Oct-21
Standing ovation Scoot! I call for an encore next year!

From: Fields
20-Oct-21
Super story!!! The end of one season, the beginning of many more!

From: Brijake
20-Oct-21
Great story, thanks for sharing!

From: HUNT MAN
20-Oct-21
Great stuff. Was pulling for you guys all season . Thanks for taking the time to post . Hunt

From: Daydreamer
20-Oct-21
Standing ovation Scoot! I call for an encore next year!

From: kota-man
20-Oct-21
Great story/hunt Scoot. Good stuff…

From: APauls
20-Oct-21
Awesome hunt guys!!! So many great memories in there. Stuff you'll cherish the rest of your life. Chickens, bugles, chances that didn't quite work out, camaraderie in camp so many great things. All it takes is one encounter to hook a guy.

From: BAT
20-Oct-21
Loved this story and your closing pic/sentiment. Thanks for sharing Scoot!

From: Rgiesey
20-Oct-21
I’ll be looking forward to next years version. Nothing better than taking your son elk hunting. Nice to have skilled friends to help coach up a young man.

From: GLP
20-Oct-21
Thanks for the write up. Loved this.

From: Grasshopper
20-Oct-21
sounds like an awesome trip for the memory bank! Next year is the year.

From: Brotsky
20-Oct-21
Not always about a bull on the ground! This is hard to beat! Next year I have a feeling Ryan will have his hands on a Wyoming bull! :)

From: BOWNBIRDHNTR
20-Oct-21
Great season Scoot. Neither you nor Ryan will forget it. Congrats.

From: elkmtngear
20-Oct-21
Absolutely a successful trip, great encore!

Nice recap, I appreciate all the great pics!

Best of luck to both you and Ryan next Season!

20-Oct-21
Way to go guys ! If it was only about the kill we wouldn’t be bowhunting elk. I’ve had my fair share of elk hunts that were awesome, but only have pictures and memories to show for them. But when you do kill one it seems like the world stops turning for a minute! Thanks for the write up Scoot! Get back after it next year!

20-Oct-21
Dreams are for dreamers and elk hunters, successful or not. Dreams are what keeps us coming back. Dreams are good. Nicely done. Paul

From: Bowfreak
20-Oct-21
Awesome trip! It is hard to see a trip to the Rockies in September with friends and family as anything but a success.

From: deerhunter72
20-Oct-21
It's not all about the kill. Great memories were made that will last a lifetime. Thanks for taking us along.

From: Jaquomo
20-Oct-21
Excellent, Scoot! Ryan is a lucky young man in many ways!

From: Treeline
20-Oct-21
Wow, you guys did well on the quick follow up! And came oh-so-close! Ryan is gonna remember that hunt vividly for the rest of his life! Excellent work, Scoot! Bravo!

From: Scoot
20-Oct-21
Thank you all for the kind comments! We're leaving in 30 minutes for a muley hunt in western ND!

From: EliteFan
20-Oct-21
Great story, pictures and everything else. It'll just be that much sweeter when Ryan sticks his first bull. Great times in the woods with your kids is invaluable. Tip of the hat to you both!

From: JB
20-Oct-21
Amazing story telling! Thank you for taking us along!! And good on you and your friends for passing it on to the next generation!!!

From: t-roy
20-Oct-21
Excellent recap, Scoot! “Now THAT was fun!” sounds like ringing endorsement, that Ryan is sold on this elk hunting thing….

Thanks for bringing us along, and good luck on the muleys!

From: drycreek
20-Oct-21
That’s a great ending to a great story Scoot, just proves you don’t have to kill to have a good hunt. You’ll recall little things about this hunt for years and so will Ryan. As for killing an elk, there’s always next year, and the next, and…….

From: SIP
20-Oct-21
Fantastic stuff

20-Oct-21
Great time had by all! Great story Scoot.

From: Supernaut
20-Oct-21
One of the best threads I've ever read. Thanks for sharing it with us and I'll be looking forward to next year's installment!

You and your son are both blessed to have each other.

20-Oct-21
The pictures display the attitude and enthusiasm. The story reinforces that and bears witness to the perseverance. Ryan is a lucky young man.

A great story about a great team of partners.

My hat is off to you guys.

I have no doubt that well earned back straps are out there already moving towards an intersection with your path next year.

From: Bulldown
20-Oct-21
Thanks for inviting me Scott! Nice recap and pictures. Was a great time experiencing a father and young son bonding while hunting! World would be a better place with more fathers like you!

From: blue spot
20-Oct-21
A good time had by all. And a little adversity makes success all the sweeter when that day comes.

From: pav
21-Oct-21
Nice recap Scoot. Father, son and friends made some great memories in the mountains. That's what it is all about! Thanks for sharing....X2!

From: Beav
21-Oct-21
Man i enjoyed the hell out of that! Great thread! Go kill abig mule deer!

From: ki-ke
21-Oct-21
Great story telling Scoot! Priceless memories. Thanks for sharing!

From: hdaman
21-Oct-21
Excellent recap of your family adventure!

From: GhostBird
21-Oct-21
Good Dad & good friends... and a fine young man. Can't wait for next years elk hunt story.

21-Oct-21
Good stuff!

From: midwest
21-Oct-21
Great job as usual on the story telling, Scott. You're a good dad and he's a lucky son. Thanks for passing it on.

Hope we can get together for that ND deer hunt one of these years soon!

From: DayDreamer
22-Oct-21
Thoroughly enjoyed following along through that story. Can't wait for next year!

From: otcWill
23-Oct-21
Enjoyed it Scott! Thanks for posting

From: ELKMAN
25-Oct-21
Awesome thread! I love these! So many great photos I actually feel like I was there... Also how is he like that Bino harness set up?

From: Scoot
25-Oct-21
Thanks again for all the kind comments, fellas.

Elkman, he really liked the bino harness. It's actually my brother's, but he sent it with Ryan since he doesn't have a place for a rangefinder on his. Ryan has little to compare it to, but he liked it. I didn't wear it at all, so I can't really say much about it, other than it looks like a solid choice to me.

FYI- muley hunting went like it usually does for us. We saw plenty of deer and everyone got a sneak or two on a buck. I managed to crew up on the biggest buck we saw on the whole trip... twice! Ryan got his first actual shot at a mule deer this trip. He slid up over a little hill, ranged the buck at 35 yards, and made a perfect shot.... right up until his arrow hit an unseen stick 2' in front of the buck. Damn, so close! It was a fun, fun trip.

With that, we have officially failed at whitetails, elk, bear, and mule deer so far this year! Damn, I suck as a guide!!! But, the best whitetail hunting is just ahead and we're looking forward to that.

From: BigSkyHntr
30-Oct-21
Great story Scoot, thanks for sharing!

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