2010 Cow Elk Fest

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Posts: 100
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2007 12:20 pm
Location: Colorado

2010 Cow Elk Fest

Post by speedgoat » Wed Nov 24, 2010 3:01 pm

Holy Moly, what a hunt... I do not have any pictures yet but I have been hunting elk twice a year (2nd and 4th rifle seasons in CO) for 7 years and have never had this much fun!

Day 1: I was sitting at the bottom of a successful valley in the past and did not see any movement on the hill. I had a feeling they may be on top and I could not see them so I walked past another hunter in our group at the top of the hill and headed west. I went about a quarter mile, kind of staring at my boots as I walked and almost walked right into the back of a spike bull standing there on the path. The wind was in my face and he and I stood there watching each other for 30 seconds before he wandered back down the hill towards where I was sitting. I caught my breath and kept going down the trail on top when I bounced 3 more elk, they blew out to the left of me before I could see if they had antlers or not. 100 yards further I rounded a corner and there in the middle of the trail was an elk pawing at the ground eating. Wind was still in my face so I slowly sat down, raised my rifle got him in the scope to see what he was. He looked directly at me and I thought he was a huge Y (which I had never seen before), when he turned his head he was a 3x3 but had legal brow tines. I let him walk, which he did after we watched each other for a few minutes and he caught up with the other 3 I scared. Another hunter in our group got out his video camera sometime this day as there were almost 100 elk milling about 500 yards over on adjoining property.

Day 2: I started out in the same seat. At about 8am I heard this noise, sounded like a waterfall and a bunch of cats. About 5 mins later I looked to my right and about 800 yards down that valley I saw what was making that noise (running elk making a mewing noise as they ran), dozens and dozen and dozens of elk running across the meadow headed up the other hill. I threw up the binos and saw cows, bulls and yearling. I saw some stop on the there way and linger but they contuinued coming for at least 10 minutes total. Of course I got punchy not seeing any movement again in front of me except for a cow showing her neck at over 300 yards I decided to get up, walk to the right following the fenceline up to see if the elk came over to our land. There were fresh elk tracks everywhere I continued up to the next dip and saw elk crossing the fence. They were going too fast to get a shot. I continued walking and caught 3 coming across in front of me I ran down the hill and set up. The slowed down and they herded up. I had a herd of elk standing on the land in front of me and I could not shoot. They started slowly moving and I could not see a legal bull. I decided on the last cow but they were started towards the fenceline. The last cow stopped at the fence, I pulled th trigger at 250 and missed her. I thought the shot was more like 400 and shot over her back. That day 3 others in my group all got cows milling around in the same general area. Another older hunter in our group was on the other side of a high meadow and got a cow he shot in the leg and had to be tracked for hours before another hunter in our group got her against a fenceline she could not hop due to the leg and got her tagged.

Day 3: With all of the success at the other part the day before I decided to go there hoping to tag out at dawn.. I saw nothing… then as the sun came up I saw a single cow, only a neck shot at 350 up the hill. I was not comfortable as she was quartering away so I let her walk. I took a walk in the middle of the day and heard close shots. My uncle shot at a herd crossing a service road and I caught them in my binos as they were crossing the powerline, he missed them. I sat there until dark and did not see another animal. I got my headlamp out, started to walk out and turned to my right. All I could make out on a hill 50 yards away, 3 heads, all cows standing there watching me. I waited but it was too dark to even see what they were in the scope. There were so many spike bulls spotted so far that I did not want to risk it. My dad got a cow near a meadow and dropped her on a service road.

Day 4: A friend saw a lot of elk the day before out on the far other end of the property from where I was with his binos. I decided that’s where I wanted to go this morning. Another friend tagged out a few days before and wanted to go with me. When we got out to this ridge overlooking the powerline the wind was gusting somewhere around 30 mph. It was almost pitch black but we sat down and I started glassing. I saw what I thought were 3 elk grazing in the middle of the powerline 400+ yards away. My buddy saw them too, it was actually 10 elk, but in the wind it was way too far for a shot. I knew there was a jeep trail a few hundred yards that would put us right over them and so I grabbed my rifle and we ran before they decided to move. When we got to our next spot I ranged them at 242 but the wind was just too much this close to the edge of the property and I wanted to get closer. Just then I looked down the jeep trail and saw a shadow coming right at us in the middle of the trail, I thought it was an elk. Thank God I did not raise my rifle, it was my friend who saw them the day before coming at us in the dark. We told him what we saw and he looked through his binoculars to see them and noticed they were moving away from us. He said, let go (yeah, this will work I thought). We literally ran to the end of the property where I thought they would cross and sure enough we got there seconds before they were 150 yards directly in front of us 50 yards below us in elevation. Now we are trying to coordinate shots and from his vantage my friend could not see them but I had a clear shot as they came closer. I rested on the solid branch right infront of me and heard the bullet hit her and the herd stopped, she turned around walked in a circle, quartering to me I did not hear the second bullet hit her and did not know if we got her or she was still walking around. My friend shot and dropped one in her tracks. The other two guys were confident she was hit hard so we "shooed" the other elk away and went down to find the 2 cows less than 50 yards apart. The strangest part was the fact that as we were sitting there gutting them, 2 cows came right back into the field with us and we had to yell at them to leave again, 20 minutes later I noticed 3 bulls came into the field and joined us, they did not hang around as long as the cows. Over the radio we heard that a friend missed for the second time this week and for the second year in a row and my friends father dad got a cow and dropped her on the service road.

Day 5: We still had a landowner mule deer tag and scoured the property for that and one last elk to make the hunt 100%. I had to hike in about a mile to get my blind and I was too tired to take my rifle with me. Sure enough a beautiful 4x4 muley stood 150 yards from me. The only elk we saw that day were bedded and we went back over the far side of the property and saw the same group of about 100 sitting there, walking around and sleeping. We called it a day around 2pm, packed and left the next morning at 4am. The week was very cold staying below freezing and we saw snow and wind everyday. Overall everything went well. It is a hunt I will never forget. 8 elk for 9 guys, all cows, go figure.

m gardner
Posts: 768
Joined: Mon Feb 18, 2008 5:24 am
Location: Mesa, Arizona

Re: 2010 Cow Elk Fest

Post by m gardner » Wed Nov 24, 2010 5:51 pm

Good hunt. Eight cow elk make for some serious good eating!! Congratulations. Good job. :thumb

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