Thursday, January 10, 2008

Elk hunting in November was fun!

We had a great camping spot about 30 miles North of Flagstaff. There were enough tall pines to break the winds and plenty of downed Aspen to provide a little firewood. The weather was cold but snow free. We even had decent cell phone coverage.

We went up the day before Thanksgiving to set up camp. My hunting partner left to go back south to host Thanksgiving day at his house. Opening day was the Friday after Thanksgiving so he was returning at 0-dark-thirty Friday morning.

I stayed. I had told my wife that I had been drawn (hurrah!) but it was the hunt that started right after Thanksgiving. My wife asked if I was going up early. We have obviously done this before. She then announced that we must have our family turkey day early. Bless her heart!

I had taken a leftover turkey leg and thigh with me. I sat at the fire pit on Thanksgiving day and enjoyed another round of turkey. A few phone calls were made to wish family happy turkey day. All in all not a bad way to spend the day. I can't say that I would want to spend every Thanksgiving day this way. Well let me rephrase that. I would want this every time unless I was drawn for the elk hunt every time also.

It was nice that there is a heater in the pop-up and we had plenty of propane. Some of the nights were in the teens.

It was the third day of the hunt when this nice little elk had the audacity to try to sneak by me. I do not tree stand hunt as most of those units are built for smaller people. I am 6'7" tall and run about 290 depending on the time of year. There isn't any way that I am going perch in a tree like some little birdie. I find a spot to sit that is hidden a bit or still walk. This time I was still walking.

I know that all of you will envious of my fine red-plaid wool Filson hat. This hat is hard to beat in cold weather!

The shot was a clean heart shot but I was surprised how far an elk can go with a blown heart. It was a stroke of luck at the same time. He went far enough that he dropped near an old two track path that was drivable. Sweet! Field dress him, get the trailer, and load him up.

We went back to camp to wash up and change before heading to the meat processors. A quick inventory showed that I definitely did not have enough personal libations to last through the rest of hunt. In to town we went to drop him off and stock up.

We stayed another 4 days. My hunting buddy did not get lucky but it wasn't for lack of trying. It just works that way sometimes.

I could not figure out a way to make a permanent mount on the Bronco so I took the antlers home and mounted them above the fireplace.


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