Elk Hunters live for September – Crisp mornings, golden aspens and hair raising bugles. It’s an experience unlike any other. 6 months ago my friends Kevin and Mark from TradGeeks talked about coming west for the first time and chasing elk with traditional bows. I’ve had a lot of people say they want to come hunt elk but never pull the trigger. Kevin and Mark were as serious as it gets and within days of planning, flights were booked and tags were bought. Fast forward to September and there we were. Pulling into our mountain home for the next 4 days.. We had no idea what await.
I don’t think we could have found a better campsite. It definitely didn’t suck spending a few days here.
Every morning and evening consisted of 3 miles in and 3 miles out. The miles. we put on once we were in our hunting area were too many to count.
Day one was incredible. We were up to our ears in elk all day and had several close calls. We didn’t get any sleep that night.. we were too excited.
Success! The afternoon of day 2, during a light rainstorm, Kevin was able to work in a small herd of feeding elk and put a perfect arrow in a beautiful mature cow. Smiles, high fives and hugs were followed by a long pack out. But, like any hunter knows, a heavy pack always seems lighter when you’ve been successful.
Two Elk in Less than 24 Hours? After a long night of taking Kevin’s elk into town, we slowly walked from camp, determined to be successful yet again. Not half a mile from camp we were slowly working up a draw filled with aspen and timber. I watched a cow stand up from her bed as we slowly climbed. After a long stare down, she slowly turned away and I worked around with the wind in my face. The bow hunting God’s were smiling down on me that morning and she fed right to me and a perfectly placed arrow at a mere 10 yards resulted in yet another punched tag.
The final pack out of the trip was bittersweet. We had successfully filled our both our tags with a full day left. The next day was spent cutting, grinding and packaging the beautiful elk meat as we laughed, reminisced and enjoyed our last day together before Kevin and Mark flew home back to PA.
A special thank you to Mark for going above and beyond to capture and preserve this hunt. The images you’ve all enjoyed are due to his hard work. Thank you, Mark.