Author Topic: Our rifle elk season, 2 of 3 tags filled  (Read 214 times)

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Offline Okanagan

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Our rifle elk season, 2 of 3 tags filled
« on: November 24, 2020, 12:21:30 PM »
My son and I plus a friend hunted Roosevelts and the other two killed branched antler bulls. Both killed in deep canyons.
 With several deer and a couple of bears in our family we are running out of freezer space so I quit and did not hunt once we got the second bull out.  The grandsons and I are living in small places or still at home so only my two sons have freezers (five altogether).

My son, D, found two legal bulls in a canyon the day before the season opened.  One was a small but pretty 4x5 and the other a larger, heavy and tall 4x4, call it a big raghorn. Opening morning D set up his friend on a rest across the canyon from where he'd seen the bulls, and the 4x5 stepped out on cue at 7:20 AM, 325 yds away. Friend B shot without apparent effect so D shot, and both hit it fatally.  Both shooting .338 Win magnums but different bullets.  B's first elk and he was all smiles!

They packed out half that day and got the rest out by noon on the second day.  B headed home and son D went after the 4x4, tracking a small herd that he figured held the bull.  The herd traveled through two canyons/basins and he lost the tracks just before dark.  The next morning he moved ahead of their last direction, found the herd and spotted an elk rump.  He watched that elk for 20 minutes and saw two cows meanwhile, before it moved into a clear enough spot to ID it as a legal 3 point bull, which he shot at 93 yards, about 8:30 AM. 

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Interesting "devil points" on the eyeguards of this bull.  I'd have liked to see what his rack would look like in 2 more years.

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I had hunted (level ground  :biggrin: !) without seeing elk.  At our 9:30 radio contact D said he had a bull down.  He asked me to drive to cell phone range and call his son and get help to pack meat the next day, plus cut open a brush choked trail on the ridge above his bull. By noon D carried a daypack of boneless meat up to the end of the trail where I met him with my old frame pack plus some lunch and electrolytes.  We traded packs and he dived back down into the canyon after another load of elk meat.  Two skookum 20 and 22 year old grandsons arrived too late that afternoon to get a load of meat from the bull.  By then the rain had turned into a sleety, wet snow.

We pulled my Zuki as a windbreak near a fire and tied a tarp to it to sit under, great evening.  D had carried out at least 100 lbs. of elk meat to that point, 35 in the first large daypack load.  Superb flavored tender bull, maybe our best tasting ever.

D and the boys packed out the rest of the bull in one trip the next day by 1:30.  Killer loads.  Code's Kifaru pack weighed 117 lbs. R's weighed 109 and D's about 90 including his rifle and remaining gear plus antlers, all through wet snow laden limbs and brush.  Code is second in line in this photo.

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 It was 450 yards horizontal and 800 vertical feet up from the elk to the trail above and another 200 vertical up in the last half mile of trail.  Large bodied bull, likely 3 1/2 years old.  Some of the biggest Roosie bulls get as big as the average moose I killed in southern BC, Canada, way heavier bodied than mature Rocky Mtn bulls I have killed in Idaho, but with smaller antlers.

I saw a herd of cows that morning with no legal bull. 

 
« Last Edit: December 01, 2020, 02:58:12 PM by Okanagan »

Offline nastygunz

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Re: Our rifle elk season, 2 of 3 tags filled
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2020, 03:16:24 PM »
Now thats an adventure!

Offline bambam

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Re: Our rifle elk season, 2 of 3 tags filled
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2020, 03:29:14 PM »

  Awesome !

Offline pitw

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Re: Our rifle elk season, 2 of 3 tags filled
« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2020, 06:39:32 PM »
Congrats to the clan on an awesome job. :yoyo:
Rest assured that I'll never let one of them pack a gun/bow/knife on any hunt I'm involved in. :biggrin:
I say what I think not think what I say.

Offline remrogers

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Re: Our rifle elk season, 2 of 3 tags filled
« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2020, 09:53:13 AM »
When they hit the ground, All the work starts. Congrats on a couple of nice bulls.

Offline JohnP

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Re: Our rifle elk season, 2 of 3 tags filled
« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2020, 10:49:24 AM »
Welcome back and thanks for a great elk hunt story.  My elk hunting days are over and so might be my deer days.  Do you have to draw for a tag or just buy one?
When they come for mine they better bring theirs

Offline Okanagan

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Re: Our rifle elk season, 2 of 3 tags filled
« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2020, 01:50:53 PM »
John, there is a general elk season, open to all, over the counter.  The eastern half of the state is spike only for over the counter, and you have to draw to hunt a bigger bull.  The wet west side is open for 3 point or better bulls, plus some special draws. 

Where my son has zeroed in to hunt for the past 20 years it is so miserable and has such low success rate that on opening day of rifle season, only 3 vehicles other than ours drove up the dead end road we hunted.  Bow hunters are catching on to the area and this year it got hit by several bow hunters. 

   My meds are working well enough that I am able to walk and hunt off trail and even some fairly steep country for short distances, wonderful compared to a year ago.