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Author Topic: Colorado trip and a few elk pictures  (Read 621 times)

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Offline Nebraska

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Colorado trip and a few elk pictures
« on: September 21, 2021, 01:11:52 PM »
My oldest son accompanied me on a trip to Colorado  to elk camp this past week..  Our goal was to fish  a little, hang out, and relax.
A group of guys I had hunted with for several  years finally drew the unit 61 Archery tag. It took 23 years to build enough points to draw the tag. I was one point behind them so I should have a chance to draw the tag in the next year or two.  Just a few pictures of the trip.
...
camp and Ted my son.
 

 
 looking south from camp
 

Unit boundary sign! Then
packing out Scott's bull. Glad my son   was along!

 
 


Third flat tire of the trip...Sharp stem got it fro.my dad's crp field I was checking out before I headed all the way home.

It was a good trip, a little bit too short and we got zero fishing done. So no trout pictures, the hour long trips to Montrose to fix tires took care of that adventure.  So at least I have laid eyes on the unit and know the country a little bit. I got to spend five good days with my oldest son and my friends, he and I hadn't taken a trip like that since he was 14 so it's been ten years.  :) it won't be 10 more I hope before the next one.

Offline barbender

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Re: Colorado trip
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2021, 02:04:26 PM »
I don't know what it is, when I go out West I really just want to fly fish for trout. But I always try to just "fit it in" around hunting, site seeing, and visiting family. So the fishing doesn't happen🤨 My next trip will be solely for fly fishing!!

That was a fine bull your friend got! Looks like a great time, even with the flats and no trout👍🏻👍🏻
Too many irons in the fire

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Re: Colorado trip
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2021, 07:06:22 PM »
Congratulations on the trip with your Son, and congratulations to whoever got that bull.  I have made several trips where I was the camp cook and many more when no shots were fired.  Just going is reason enough to go.. ;)

My 'once in a lifetime' Unit 61 hunt was in 2012, with my Son Marty serving as my guide.


 
It just doesn't get much better than this.  We have enjoyed 4 successful Elk hunts together.
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Offline Nebraska

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Re: Colorado trip and a few elk pictures
« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2021, 08:10:02 AM »
Just got more news from camp, another one of my hunting partner's was successful. 

Lincoln's bull

 






 

Good trip so far.

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Re: Colorado trip and a few elk pictures
« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2021, 08:21:03 AM »
Oh yes, nice indeed.  Hopefully they will continue to 'tag out'.  8)
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Offline Stephen1

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Re: Colorado trip and a few elk pictures
« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2021, 09:20:52 AM »
It looks like great. Lots of visiting and  little exercise! 
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Offline Ron Scott

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Re: Colorado trip and a few elk pictures
« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2021, 05:55:49 PM »
Well done!
~Ron

Offline thecfarm

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Re: Colorado trip and a few elk pictures
« Reply #7 on: September 23, 2021, 05:44:59 AM »
Thanks for the pictures.
Together with friends and family is a good time!!
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Offline Nebraska

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Re: Colorado trip and a few elk pictures
« Reply #8 on: September 30, 2021, 07:52:13 AM »
One final elk picture from the trip. Boys ended up 3 for 4. Brian got his bull 4 days ago. Camp is down, meat is processed, the guys got home night before last. They had a good trip for a bunch of flatlanders...



 

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Re: Colorado trip and a few elk pictures
« Reply #9 on: September 30, 2021, 08:22:01 AM »
Oh Wow !!!  3 for 4 is outstanding but still a disappointment for the 4th that did not connect.  I realize that he is bringing home many memories but still bitter sweet at best.  Waiting 20+ years for a 'once-in-a lifetime' Unit 61 hunt is a looong time.

I wish you the best with your future draw.  8)
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Offline barbender

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Re: Colorado trip and a few elk pictures
« Reply #10 on: September 30, 2021, 09:05:04 AM »
Beautiful bull! I had 10 or so preference points for Wyoming elk I had accumulated over the years, I had a very extended home building project that was preventing any Fall trips, so I just kept buying points. Well the one spring I got my notification from the Wyoming F&G that I needed to buy another point, or lose my accumulated points. I didn't want to give them another $50,so I just applied for a license thinking I wouldn't draw. Well I did draw, and was not prepared in any way. Went out and hunted, had never set foot in the area before. Managed to bumble into elk nearly every day, but I never got close enough to a good bull. After the season ended I realized it would likely take me 8-10 years to accumulate enough points to draw another bull tag, and that really bummed me out. I'd suggest to anyone that I'd not an experienced elk hunter that if there is an area you are interested in, get a cow tag and go hunt and learn the area before saving up preference points to draw a bull tag and have to learn on the fly. I think I'm back up to 4 points, it will probably take me 3 more to be able to draw that area again. 
Too many irons in the fire

Offline Nebraska

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Re: Colorado trip and a few elk pictures
« Reply #11 on: September 30, 2021, 07:27:34 PM »
Amen to that cow hunt first, going in cold turkey is rough.  I have a few points for Wyoming saved as well.

Offline barbender

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Re: Colorado trip and a few elk pictures
« Reply #12 on: September 30, 2021, 08:41:48 PM »
I really saw (stumbled in to would be more accurate) more nice bulls than I had a right to on that trip. My oldest daughter went with me, and great memories were made so absolutely no regrets other than using all my points up😊 The first morning, we almost walked into the middle of a herd of around 100 in the pitch black darkness. Walking across the middle of a large park, we kept hearing funny sounds. I told my daughter, "I think that's cow elk", and then a bull bugled! We had no idea where we even were, but needed some cover. We finally found some timber as light was breaking over the mountains, and spotted 3 bulls among some cows. We still had no idea how many elk were out there. They were quite a ways out yet, I figured if I could get to 400 yards I was comfortable at that range. As I was closing the distance, a shot rang out from the other side of the park!! In short order, there was a mass of elk on the move. I was on the ground prone, I had a nice, exceptionally wide bull in my scope but I wasn't taking a running shot on him at 400 yards😬. They all funneled out to the area opposite us, which was actually where the other hunter shot from. My daughter and I took off at a dead run across the park, I had seen some large rocks the evening before that I figured if we could get up on, we might be able to get a shot. Now this is where folks always say, "you're never going to catch those elk running!", which I would agree with except this was a huge herd meandering through heavy timber. As they are running, the bulls were still bulging so you could tell where they were at. It was truly amazing to be out in the middle of that! Anyhow, my daughter and I were making our way through the lodgepole as quickly as we can, but I had the feeling we would be running into them any minute. I heard my daughter hissing, "Dad!", so I paused, gave a good look as much as I could in the timber. I couldn't see anything...I backed up a step, and suddenly all I could see was eyeballs and ears 40 yards out. Then another explosion of movement as they all took off. I couldn't see the bulls, not that I could've got a shot in that situation (my daughter said she saw one or two of the bulls). Since they now knew where we were, instead of just running from a shot, they beelined it out of there and over the edge of the canyon. The bugling was soon miles up the canyon🤦🏻‍♂️ Sigh. What a rush being in the middle of all of those though! We made our way back, and ended up running into the other hunter who was searching for the cow he shot. There was no snow, I saw he had hit her in the back end as her butt was on the ground and she was trying to drag herself. I figured she wouldn't make it far. But when we came back, he said he lost her trail. I was wondering how, when she was dragging her back end  I offered to help him, so we went back and worked the area for a couple of hours. She was dragging herself, and then suddenly just dragging her feet and then her tracks became indistinguishable from all the other tracks in the pine needles (there was no blood). All I could figure was it was a maybe a muscle hit in the hams and the impact stunned her spine and legs and paralyzed them for a little bit. It was pretty frustrating that all of that happened, just for a wounded animal to get away. However, I was on that mountain for 10 days after that, and never came across her anywhere.
Too many irons in the fire

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Re: Colorado trip and a few elk pictures
« Reply #13 on: October 01, 2021, 10:32:05 AM »
That was a bummer. I understand  how things can go south once in a while just by dumb luck.

Offline snobdds

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Re: Colorado trip and a few elk pictures
« Reply #14 on: October 01, 2021, 11:10:26 AM »
How do you guys keep the meat from spoiling in the heat?

We got a big bull one night and packed it out that same night.  That next day we broke camp and headed home, where we packed the meat in ice.  The next day, the taxidermist to came so he could skin the mount.  In those two days, a significant amount of meat began to rot, which baffled me.  It was in the mid 50's in the mountains and 70's in town. 

Now I don't go hunting until the temps freeze at night consistently, which is after the middle of October in Wyoming. 

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Re: Colorado trip and a few elk pictures
« Reply #15 on: October 01, 2021, 11:48:11 AM »
I wait until it's cold too. If you're hunting when it's warm, all you can do is rush to get the meat out and to a locker to get it cooled off. My Uncle is an outfitter up towards the Powder River on the WY/MT border. There is a steady stream of animals headed into the processor in Buffalo to get them chilled ASAP until the temperatures drop. This issue came up the last time we were out elk hunting in the Bighorns. My daughter drew a cow tag, so we went out for the early cow season that opened October 1st. Now mind you, the year previous when I had my "any elk" tag, I passed on cows nearly every day. So my daughter had the attitude of, "what should we do after we get my elk?". Well what we found unfortunately was there were way more people on the mountain for the early cow season than the bull season we had hunted the year before. The thing with this area (38) is that it sits on a broad plateau with a lot of open country, and a lot of it is open to ATVs. The elk get harrassed so much that they drop down (or go up) into roadless, inaccessible areas. I'm fine going into those areas to find the elk, the problem is when it is 60-70 there us no way you are packing an elk out from 2-3 miles in some where and getting the meat cooled down before it spoils. My daughter and I finally found some elk. They were in a place I really didn't want to go😂 but I would've for her, outside of the fact that if we got one, would we get it out before it spoiled?. My daughter looked across at the elk we were glassing, they were probably 3 miles in over 2 drainages and several thousand feet of up and down. She said, "I don't know if it's worth it for a cow, Dad". Phew!😂 We'd been on a few death marches where I made some gross miscalculations and got to come out of a canyon in the dark, got back to the cabin about 10:30. So us flatlanders were starting to learn what those ridges and valleys in front of us actually meant😊
Too many irons in the fire

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Re: Colorado trip and a few elk pictures
« Reply #16 on: October 01, 2021, 02:00:10 PM »
I wait until it's cold too. If you're hunting when it's warm, all you can do is rush to get the meat out and to a locker to get it cooled off. My Uncle is an outfitter up towards the Powder River on the WY/MT border. There is a steady stream of animals headed into the processor in Buffalo to get them chilled ASAP until the temperatures drop. This issue came up the last time we were out elk hunting in the Bighorns. My daughter drew a cow tag, so we went out for the early cow season that opened October 1st. Now mind you, the year previous when I had my "any elk" tag, I passed on cows nearly every day. So my daughter had the attitude of, "what should we do after we get my elk?". Well what we found unfortunately was there were way more people on the mountain for the early cow season than the bull season we had hunted the year before. The thing with this area (38) is that it sits on a broad plateau with a lot of open country, and a lot of it is open to ATVs. The elk get harrassed so much that they drop down (or go up) into roadless, inaccessible areas. I'm fine going into those areas to find the elk, the problem is when it is 60-70 there us no way you are packing an elk out from 2-3 miles in some where and getting the meat cooled down before it spoils. My daughter and I finally found some elk. They were in a place I really didn't want to go😂 but I would've for her, outside of the fact that if we got one, would we get it out before it spoiled?. My daughter looked across at the elk we were glassing, they were probably 3 miles in over 2 drainages and several thousand feet of up and down. She said, "I don't know if it's worth it for a cow, Dad". Phew!😂 We'd been on a few death marches where I made some gross miscalculations and got to come out of a canyon in the dark, got back to the cabin about 10:30. So us flatlanders were starting to learn what those ridges and valleys in front of us actually meant😊
Like my dad use to tell me, if you shoot something down there...bring a fork, knife and an appetite becuase that is the only way you're getting it out. 
Bow season opens in Wyoming usually Sep 1 for elk and deer.  Yeah the weather is nicer, but it's hot.  I have seen trailers with two chest freezers and generators on them to keep the kill from getting hot.  It's just still weird to me to see a truck going down the road with a freezer and generator running.  But, I guess you have to do what you have to do. 
Anymore, I just go when it gets cold and only take if it's convient.   I donate the meat anyway, I have prime cattle on my land we have butchered. 

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Re: Colorado trip and a few elk pictures
« Reply #17 on: October 01, 2021, 03:10:15 PM »
Yeah I know, the weather is still downright hot at that time of the year (usually anyways). I was just up in the Bighorns mid-September and it was in the 90's😬. If I ever have an early hunt, I'll probably rig a freezer up in the camper too. I love elk meat so I won't be donating it anywhere😁
Too many irons in the fire

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Re: Colorado trip and a few elk pictures
« Reply #18 on: October 01, 2021, 09:11:32 PM »
How do you guys keep the meat from spoiling in the heat?

We got a big bull one night and packed it out that same night.  That next day we broke camp and headed home, where we packed the meat in ice.  The next day, the taxidermist to came so he could skin the mount.  In those two days, a significant amount of meat began to rot, which baffled me.  It was in the mid 50's in the mountains and 70's in town.

Now I don't go hunting until the temps freeze at night consistently, which is after the middle of October in Wyoming.
I remember reading once that you could field dress, prop the chest open to allow for maximum heat transfer, place the overnight cooled carcass into an on old and unused sleeping bag during the day and let it out at nighttime for a re-cool. Just repeat the cycle. Out at night then in again during the day. 
Keep in mind, 40 years ago in an American Hunter publication put out by the NRA. So I was 10ish🤷 failing memories and all. Take it for whatever you want.
Trying harder everyday.

Offline Nebraska

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Re: Colorado trip and a few elk pictures
« Reply #19 on: October 03, 2021, 10:56:11 PM »
@snobdds 
Long winded explanation..
How we do it.

All three if the bulls were killed in oak brush faces. Just happened that way. The over night Temps were  into the thirtys with a few mornings with frost.  When our group kills one  we usually  put the elk on its chest rolled up on its legs  then we cut the hide in the center over the spine and skin it down. The bull on my wall got caped forward from just behind the shoulders (kind of a pain to skin on the ground) but got it done. Then the rest split down... If the animal isn't going to be mounted then split all the way from tail head to the back of the head.  The skinned down hide forms a ground cloth then.
Have a 5x7 emergency tarp as a ground cloth beside you.
Have several good cheese cloth game bags and a plastic trash bag to protect your pack. (Have a good day pack with an internal fame and padded waste band  and good fitted shoulder straps.) 
I use Kifaru, Badlands is another. The trash bag protects your pack from the meat juices when you haul meat out.
So once skinned work the quarters out from the top, cut the lower legs off and leave them. Set the quarters on sturdy brush or hang them from poles or branches in the shade away from the carcass a bit. (Bears)
 Take your neck meat  and the loins and trim . 
Once the out side of the carcass is cleaned up you can carefully cut along the transverse processes  of the spine. 
You can slide your hand in there to grab the tenderloins out with out getting into any guts. It takes practice and probably I have an advantage in doing some of this because of my training.  I do them last just in case I hit gut..
It was over 80 degrees when my buddy rolled into camp a sweaty shirtless mess. He was carrying loins and tender loins they got tossed into the cooler right away. He recovered his bull and had it  quartered  and the meat was cooling in the shade during rest of the day. It was on  a bed of gamble oak branches.  We got to his bull about 9 in the morning next day. 2 miles in from road.   Boned the meat out and packed it out,  the meat it was cooled all the way through like it was in a fridge. By two the bull was out  in  camp and the boned out meat was on ice in a couple big coolers.
If you get the hide off the carcass nights are usually  cool enough to cool the meat especially if it is broken down into quarters. We leave the bones behind. Only meat we have lost so far is to bears.  It takes lots of ice once down. I brought up 80 pounds for the elk when I ran into town to get the tire fixed after Scott got into camp. It took more the next day.
Our group has maybe gotten a dozen elk over the years butcher the game like the Eskimo guides up north, on the ground where it falls and  leave the bones behind for mother nature's clean up crew.
It works for us.


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