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Old 09-15-2018, 05:58 PM   #251
SwampRabbit
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Semi epic



Totally ******* ****** epic adventure



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Old 09-15-2018, 06:03 PM   #252
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No disrespect intended on the "semi-epic" note. If you read the next line, it pointed out that I was smiling.

However, I do try to resist hyperbole in writing. For example: "actual-epic" (as opposed to "semi-epic") might include the following: hand-to-paw wrestling of a grizzly bear, killing and skinning him with one hand while the other was locked in his jaws(black bear would only qualify as "semi"); chasing down a bull elk on foot and inflicting a mortal wound with a pair of fingernail clippers; defending an elk kill against a pack of huge wolves imported from Canada using only a Mojo dove decoy and a pack of chewing gum.

That kind of stuff would be truly-all-the-way-Epic.
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Old 09-15-2018, 06:06 PM   #253
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DRT View Post
And no one in the party was mauled by a bear.

Gary


Well...I won’t name names but one of our group snores “a little”. The first or second night there I had just dozed off when I hear rusty holler “is that a bear”??? I’m frantically scrambling for my pistol, which I can’t find in the dark, or my flashlight, but luckily...there was no bear. Just the snorer!!


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Old 09-15-2018, 06:07 PM   #254
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It was epic.

Thanks for sharing the pic with the rest of us.
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Old 09-15-2018, 07:44 PM   #255
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Epic hunt, y'all! Awesome setting, as well!
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Old 09-15-2018, 08:03 PM   #256
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Like sleeping at home for me then.
Quote:
Originally Posted by CRM_95 View Post
Well...I won’t name names but one of our group snores “a little”. The first or second night there I had just dozed off when I hear rusty holler “is that a bear”??? I’m frantically scrambling for my pistol, which I can’t find in the dark, or my flashlight, but luckily...there was no bear. Just the snorer!!


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Gary
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Old 09-15-2018, 09:56 PM   #257
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I had a great time. I feel a little defeated since I wasn’t able to kill anything but we definitely put in the miles and the effort. It simply didn’t work out. It’s a little intimidating hunting in the mountains and now at least I know a little more about aspects of elk hunting that I didn’t even know I didn’t know (if that makes sense). I was physically prepared but it was more mentally challenging than I expected. It’s humbling to keep working and only see a few elk. It was a great time and I definitely want to do it again but hopefully next time we’ll have better results.
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Old 09-15-2018, 10:11 PM   #258
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Default The Mountains Are Calling...

On day one, first thing in the morning, I made an awesome stalk to within bow range on what Ryan and I thought was an elk cow. As it turns out it was just a huge mule deer doe. Very steep terrain but it was a good way to get myself broke in to 10,500 feet! Later that day I made a stalk on 2 actual elk cows but it didn’t work out. Later in the week Scott and I got on elk a couple more times but it just wasn’t in the cards. Here’s a few pics from the trip.

We had rains almost every day and a couple times it sleeted or hailed. We couldn’t figure out what it was exactly so Ryan established it was “Sky Ice”!



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Old 09-15-2018, 10:44 PM   #259
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Here’s camp before and after Ryan, Randy, and Rusty left.



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Old 09-15-2018, 10:53 PM   #260
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This is the look of a killer with nothing to kill! As it turns out... The mountains were calling, but it was the wrong number!!!


And I couldn’t spend my birthday in Colorado without having a little Colorado beer. Forgot to take any pics of the other beer we had but I thought Old Chub was appropriate!




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Old 09-15-2018, 11:37 PM   #261
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Quote:
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It’s awesome!! I’ve got my wife talked into a camping trip already for July. AKA scouting for next year!!


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Haha now your talking! She will enjoy the weather there in July. Bring some cameras to leave out
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Old 09-16-2018, 11:11 AM   #262
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The stalk jeff made on the mule deer doe was freakin awesome. I watched the whole thing from the top of the mountain. He did everything absolutely perfect. When he got in range I’m just watching like “what the heck, why won’t he shoot it?” I almost screamed at him to shoot it lol. Then when it bounces off I realized it wasn’t an elk at all..


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Old 09-16-2018, 12:37 PM   #263
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And now the trip is officially over for me.



Back to reality, where you know what day of the week it is and your view from the toilet consists of painted drywall.

I sure do miss this view and fresh air when nature called (which now has a whole new meaning)



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Old 09-17-2018, 03:42 PM   #264
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There are already a lot of great stories on this thread and great pics. I have a few I will also share from my phone, but I'll go ahead and get started on sharing some stuff from my perspective:

First, I've been wanting to do a trip like this for years. I didn't want to spend a fortune on it, as I knew I wanted it to be more about the outdoor experience than just killing an elk. I'd been to Colorado once before, about 14 years ago, before my first child was born. We'd had taken a week vacation to Colorado Springs and just hung out, visiting Pike's peak, etc. I rode a rented racing bike around the hills there and the garden of the gods. And now that I had aged and picked up a bow, I wanted to go back and hunt there.

Leading up to this trip, I usually would have expected to do a ton of research. However, work/life had gotten really busy and the hunt came faster than I could prepare for - mentally. An unexpected surgery also through my fitness for a loop and I didn't feel all that physically prepared either. But forget all of that, I was gonna go hunt and have fun trying to be "successful".

I had the longest drive of our group. A 5 hour drive from my place near Houston up to Mineral Wells to pick up Jeff. The next day we spent an entire day making the 12 hour trip from MW to Southern Colorado. The trip actually went by pretty quickly... probably because the reality of it all started to sink in. The guys that were already at camp had talked about insomnia the first few nights... but I actually slept really well and 5 am came pretty quickly.

The first 2 days, I spent getting to know Randy as we hunted/fished together before he had to head back home. I was fortunate to be able to get a better lay of the land that first couple days and finding new sign and areas that were on the slope/ridge across the valley from camp. Randy is an awesome guy, and I look forward to be able to hunt with him again. I was never a good public land hunter... and I got to watch and pick up on things that I hadn't really learned when I first started out public land hunting.

Unfortunately, what I re-learned about public land hunting was the presence of... well... other hunters. Not a big deal really when it is archery... but muzzle loader season opened and we got the influx of what I always called "pumpkins"... the folks walking around in orange who are trying to "sneak" up within a 100 yards of something. It dawned on me real quick how bad these animals were going to be pressured.

After the first 2 days, I hadn't laid eyes on a single elk. I could only live vicariously though the other guys who had seen elk elsewhere or earlier. It wouldn't be until Monday evening, after exploring an area and picking up Jeff, that I'd see my first elk... right at last light, very close to where I had parked the truck on a forest service road.

The next couple mornings would be spent checking new spots, while the evenings would be focused on where I saw that single elk. Tuesday night was my first, and last real chance at an elk. I posted it about earlier... but needless to say, I was within 40-50 yards, but not 30 of some elk. To make matters worse... the spot they happened to come to, I had been sitting at earlier before deciding to move to get into a better position to stalk them where I had seen em the evening before. But that is how it works out sometimes. I would spot only one more elk before the week was over. And that was Wednesday night when I sat back in the spot 40 yards down and happened to spot an elk on another slope about 400 yards away. Without any time to put on a stalk, I could only note the location. I drifted back and forth between slopes based on the wind for that evening but I figure the pressure eventually got to them at some point.

Public land hunting is definitely not easy. There are nuances that exist and mantras that some hold to... and some don't. For instance... in a lot of place, folks wont hunt an area where a truck is already parked... some don't care. I'm assuming the price of an elk tag dictates to some... that you don't matter. Oddly, I have heard that this still happens no matter how far into an area you get... even 4, 6, 10 miles in. So I am not so sure that packing in would have made a bigger difference... but again... I just don't know.

What I do know is that 1 week went by awfully fast... even though there were definite moments of mental and physical fatigue. I had a blast and spent a lot of time with a few great folks. Wouldn't trade it for a dead elk!
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Old 09-17-2018, 04:04 PM   #265
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Nice trip man.. when I saw y'all going I wanted to join in.. but the dates coincided with our 25th wedding anniversary trip. Hopefully y'all plan another one for next year.
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Old 09-17-2018, 04:23 PM   #266
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Swampy, that trip was "successful" as soon as y'all committed to do it. I've read completely through your rucking thread, so I know how hard you've trained and prepared. Heck, it's even inspired me to begin hiking around the neighborhood with a 50-lb sandbag in my son's old Scout pack to train for a possible trip with the Old Farts in a couple of years. I've also seen Colorado before but not hunted there. It's awesome just driving through. The fact that y'all camped and hunted and did see elk really makes it priceless. Thanks for taking us all along to live vicariously with you on this hunt.
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Old 09-17-2018, 04:53 PM   #267
SwampRabbit
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A picture of Jeff's new bow, rested up against a tree... zoomed out for dramatic effect.



Maybe you are supposed to zoom in on the bow...

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Old 09-17-2018, 05:03 PM   #268
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SwampRabbit View Post
There are already a lot of great stories on this thread and great pics. I have a few I will also share from my phone, but I'll go ahead and get started on sharing some stuff from my perspective:

First, I've been wanting to do a trip like this for years. I didn't want to spend a fortune on it, as I knew I wanted it to be more about the outdoor experience than just killing an elk. I'd been to Colorado once before, about 14 years ago, before my first child was born. We'd had taken a week vacation to Colorado Springs and just hung out, visiting Pike's peak, etc. I rode a rented racing bike around the hills there and the garden of the gods. And now that I had aged and picked up a bow, I wanted to go back and hunt there.

Leading up to this trip, I usually would have expected to do a ton of research. However, work/life had gotten really busy and the hunt came faster than I could prepare for - mentally. An unexpected surgery also through my fitness for a loop and I didn't feel all that physically prepared either. But forget all of that, I was gonna go hunt and have fun trying to be "successful".

I had the longest drive of our group. A 5 hour drive from my place near Houston up to Mineral Wells to pick up Jeff. The next day we spent an entire day making the 12 hour trip from MW to Southern Colorado. The trip actually went by pretty quickly... probably because the reality of it all started to sink in. The guys that were already at camp had talked about insomnia the first few nights... but I actually slept really well and 5 am came pretty quickly.

The first 2 days, I spent getting to know Randy as we hunted/fished together before he had to head back home. I was fortunate to be able to get a better lay of the land that first couple days and finding new sign and areas that were on the slope/ridge across the valley from camp. Randy is an awesome guy, and I look forward to be able to hunt with him again. I was never a good public land hunter... and I got to watch and pick up on things that I hadn't really learned when I first started out public land hunting.

Unfortunately, what I re-learned about public land hunting was the presence of... well... other hunters. Not a big deal really when it is archery... but muzzle loader season opened and we got the influx of what I always called "pumpkins"... the folks walking around in orange who are trying to "sneak" up within a 100 yards of something. It dawned on me real quick how bad these animals were going to be pressured.

After the first 2 days, I hadn't laid eyes on a single elk. I could only live vicariously though the other guys who had seen elk elsewhere or earlier. It wouldn't be until Monday evening, after exploring an area and picking up Jeff, that I'd see my first elk... right at last light, very close to where I had parked the truck on a forest service road.

The next couple mornings would be spent checking new spots, while the evenings would be focused on where I saw that single elk. Tuesday night was my first, and last real chance at an elk. I posted it about earlier... but needless to say, I was within 40-50 yards, but not 30 of some elk. To make matters worse... the spot they happened to come to, I had been sitting at earlier before deciding to move to get into a better position to stalk them where I had seen em the evening before. But that is how it works out sometimes. I would spot only one more elk before the week was over. And that was Wednesday night when I sat back in the spot 40 yards down and happened to spot an elk on another slope about 400 yards away. Without any time to put on a stalk, I could only note the location. I drifted back and forth between slopes based on the wind for that evening but I figure the pressure eventually got to them at some point.

Public land hunting is definitely not easy. There are nuances that exist and mantras that some hold to... and some don't. For instance... in a lot of place, folks wont hunt an area where a truck is already parked... some don't care. I'm assuming the price of an elk tag dictates to some... that you don't matter. Oddly, I have heard that this still happens no matter how far into an area you get... even 4, 6, 10 miles in. So I am not so sure that packing in would have made a bigger difference... but again... I just don't know.

What I do know is that 1 week went by awfully fast... even though there were definite moments of mental and physical fatigue. I had a blast and spent a lot of time with a few great folks. Wouldn't trade it for a dead elk!
Another good write up. I still think you should could write a book.

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Old 09-17-2018, 06:20 PM   #269
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I cant make this up.



After getting in truck after work

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Old 09-17-2018, 07:14 PM   #270
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Glad y'all had a good trip. Next season you can put the lessons from this season to good use. Every year will improve the way you hunt.

Gary
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Old 09-17-2018, 09:21 PM   #271
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I cant make this up.



After getting in truck after work

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That's a God Nod, right there!
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Old 09-17-2018, 10:56 PM   #272
spidermonkey
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Well, guess I might as well put in my .02 worth... actually in my case, prob more like .01! I truly had the most enjoyable hunt I’ve prob ever had with this ragtag band of trad hunters! Ryan was the only one I had met in person prior to going on this epic journey. I had built him a tripod last year, and met him/visited with him when he came to my house to pick it up. I talked to Randy once on the phone, and Scott and Jeff only through text. But, by the grace of God, he put together a group of hunters that REALLY meshed together well, and complimented each other’s skills. I had the time of my life brothers, and WOULD NOT trade it for anything! We stumped together, I got over “a small portion” of my fear of shooting “in front of others” (still stink at it though!) and just generally felt overly blessed to be in yalls company! It was awesome being around/hunting with, guys who like this passion we all know as traditional archery! Cuz now that I’m back at home, I’m back to “flying solo”! It truly was an Epic Journey brothers, we “counted coup” on lots of critters, including elk, and enjoyed to its fullest the gift of the High Country that the Lord laid out before us. It was hard by bout day 7 of waking up at 4:30-5, just to hit the mountain marathon once again! But it was never dreaded, a struggle, or something you didn’t want to do, cuz you just never know what could unfold on that particular day! We stuck to it, gave it our best, and never gave up. Good friends, brothers, and newly found trad hunting buddies, tend to help in that regard! Good Huntin, and God Bless, Rusty
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Old 09-17-2018, 11:45 PM   #273
Killer Miller
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Can't say it better than that buddy. I wasn't there but wish I could've been. Looked like an awesome time just following this post. There wasn't a work day that went by I was not checking this post on every lunch and break to see if someone got lucky.
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Old 09-18-2018, 09:50 AM   #274
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You must have thought we wernt looking when you center punched that tiny lime down a slope at about 20 yards on the first shot... Just sayin

The mountain across from camp didn't have a name (I checked your book too)... so I'm gonna call it mount K2MA... as it both Kicked and can Kiss My .... I don't know how many times I said "I'm not going up that stupid mountain again" only to do it all over again because the sign on it was sooo convincing.
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Old 09-18-2018, 06:47 PM   #275
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Really enjoyed reading the posts guys. Sounds like a good trip with great folks. That’s what makes life long friendships. The mountains are special, they just keep calling you back
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