With my Idaho trip ending up as a bust and no other elk tags in my pocket, I was desperate to find a late hunt. My meat from the previous year is almost out and I actually got the okay from the wife to find an elk hunt. When does that ever happen? Almost never for me. Don’t get me wrong my wife is supportive of my hunting habits. But It’s usually me letting her know what tags I’ve drawn and when I’ll be gone. Not, “You need to find us an elk for the freezer!”
I began doing my homework. Most of the hunts were over so I turned to Colorado’s leftover tag list. I watched it like a hawk waiting for a decent tag to get turned back in. I’m no expert on Colorado so I sought out the help of my good friend Joseph. Joseph helped me the year before when I had 7 bonus points for elk burning a hole in my pocket. He gave me some good advice and after a hard-fought season, I was able to come away with my biggest bull to date. I got it done with my bow and with my brother hunting by my side.
Joseph told me some good units to be watching for and said he would help me out with some spots where he’d seen elk during those seasons. While sitting at work my phone rang and it was Joseph. He never calls me so I picked up. He said a good tag was just added to the list and I should buy it ASAP. I got online and put the tag in my cart and somehow it was still there when I hit submit. I had my tag.
Joseph sent me a lot of good spots and I researched them on google earth and made some plans. My father-in-law Jeff agreed to come along and we met in Colorado for the hunt. We showed up a day before the season started and headed up the mountain. The roads were wet and muddy but we managed to get to where we wanted to set up camp. We set up camp and then went for a hike to check out some of the spots. There were some good areas but we weren’t seeing many animals. We didn’t quite make it as far as I wanted to before dark but I knew where I wanted to be at first light. We ended up seeing a couple of spike elk just before dark and that got us really excited.
That night another car pulled up and decided to be our neighbor. Early the next morning we could hear him get up and out on the trail really early to try and beat us out there. By the time we started hiking, we could see his headlamp heading in the direction I wanted to be. But we stuck to our plan. I wanted to be on that ridge at daybreak and that is right where we went. We never saw him again on the trail and we made it the couple miles back and onto our ridge just as it was starting to get light. We sat down and started to get settled. It was still a bit too dark to start glassing.
As it started to get lighter I pulled up my binos and the first thing I saw through them was a bull! I said, “there’s a bull” to Jeff and he said, “well you better shoot him then.” My mind was made up. We were about 650 yards away and just outside of my comfort range. I needed to get closer. So we started making our way down our side of the mountain. He was feeding and paying us no attention. Eventually the hill cliffed out and we had nowhere else to go. We had made it to 400 yards and the cliffs helped give me an open shot through the tall brush.
I set my pack on the edge of the cliff and had a solid rest. The bull was feeding and I thought I needed to take the first shot opportunity he gave me just in case that other hunter was close by. He paused and I eased back on the trigger. I’m not sure what happened but the bull went a few steps and stopped again broadside so I put another one in him. This one hit him good but the bull kept on going. I wasn’t going to let him go so I put another one in him and it dropped him in his tracks! I had my elk down in the first light of opening morning!
It took us two trips to get that thing out but the pain and sore muscles were worth every heavy step. I was extremely grateful for the help that Joseph gave me. I sent him a waypoint of where the elk went down and it was within about 50 yards of his waypoint he gave me. My Colorado success is all owed to him. EHUNTR is a resource for hunters. I was lucky to have Joseph helping me along the way with this hunt. But sometimes friends like that are hard to come by. EHUNTR is in the process of developing something to help hunters in units that might be foreign to them. And all of you Colorado hunters are lucky because that is the state we started with. So be on the lookout at EHUNTR.com to help you out on your next Colorado hunt.
Anyone else had any late season success?