Guests - If You want access to member only forums on HSO. You will gain access only when you sign-in or Sign-Up on HotSpotOutdoors.

It's easy - LOOK UPPER right menu.

mrklean

Colorado Muzzy Elk....A Learning Experience

11 posts in this topic

I wanted to do a little write up on my Colorado elk hunt I went on the other week, a group of 7 of us went out for a week, 4 muzzy hunters, 2 bowhunters and 1 hiker/photographer/packer.  We have family that has a cabin in the area we hunted so we planned on staying there 1 night before we were going to camp for 6 nights in the wilderness.  A couple quick pics of what my meals and gear were for the week, after hours of reading I tried as hard as possible to keep it around the 100 calories per ounce for my food I think in the end I was around 105 after I got done with all my weighing measuring, the only thing not in there was my Mountain House meals.   

IMG_0463.JPGIMG_0469.JPGIMG_0470.JPG

With having so many of us going we didn't need to double up on a lot of the items, water filtration, first aid, rope etc.  The night before we went out we took the scale out and made everyone get on we all average about 60 pounds with water except my father in law which at one  point was almost at 100 pounds and we slimmed it down to about 80.

IMG_0471.JPG

 

After sitting down the night before and finalizing our plan we were going to hit a trail head up in the morning and hike back about 3-4 miles and make camp, based off of the maps and Google earth we saw water and large enough areas to get off the trails to get in some decent hunting areas....that was our first big mistake which we regretted. 

We got up early ate a good breakfast and hit the trailhead, most in the group were early 30s with my father in his 50s being the oldest but we were all in decent shape...so we thought it didn't take more then 15 minutes of up hill walking at 9,000' of elevation with 60 pounds packs to humble us very quickly.  There was a lot of stopping as we made it down the trail as our lungs go acclimated to the thinner air but the amazing scenery made the trek a little easier.

IMG_0473.JPGIMG_0475.JPG

The trail took us about a mile in before we reached the wilderness and at that point we had another 2-3 miles back, as we got into the wilderness the terrain became steeper and steeper and our pace got slower and slower, it took us almost 4 hours to make it a little over 2 miles in, at that point we finally found a very tiny water source, we became concerned at that time not seeing any water, we checked our map and saw a creek about another half mile up so we headed on got there and it was dry as a bone.  We looked again and saw another spot about a mile up we walked about half a mile then split up with half the group relaxing, eating, and scouting and a few other going to check for water.  The area had great spots for a camp, elk sign everywhere but 0 water, the other guys came back and said it was dry up further to, we didn't want to walk a mile each day for water and didn't exactly trust the water source either so we decided we were safer to turn around instead of keep going deeper into the wilderness hoping to find water.  The trailhead at the start of the wilderness split off one direction so we sent one guy down that way to check one last water source before we totally scrapped that area and went back to the cabin.  He ran into a couple local hikers who said all the smaller creeks and drainages were all dried up and they hadn't had rain in awhile at that point we packed the trucks back up headed back to the cabin and ordered pizza.  8 miles of brutal walking for the day and we were right back to where we were at the start of the day.

MJ1657 likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On the way back to the cabin we stopped at a gas station, we got out of truck and a local sheriff pulled right up to us and started asking us how we did, we got talking to him and he became a wealth of knowledge of the area, told us different areas to try, and helped clarify some access issues we thought we had, he even pulled out his phone and showed us 2 trail cam pics of monster bulls in a different area.  Where we were staying butted up to National Forest land but we didn't think we could walk through all the private land to get there, he said since we were staying there we could use it as an access and that would put us in a good area because most wont walk that far back.  We took the walking trails from the homes back to the forest land there we split up as a group

This is the type of country we were running into now

IMG_0478.JPGIMG_0482.JPGIMG_0483.JPGIMG_0485.JPGIMG_0486.JPGIMG_0487.JPGIMG_0488.JPG

We ran into a hiker and his wife further down the trail who gave us a ton of good info and areas a lot of people over look, he said he had been hunting that area for 20+ years and always wants to help people out so we had our plan of attack for the afternoon, one group of guys went to the top of the mountain at 11k and myself and my father in law were going to side hill it about 10k, the hiker said everyone over looks the middle range of the mountain and the elk just sit on the saddles of the hills.  We had a decent breeze so that helped mask some of our noise, everything was dry so you could be heard a mile away if you weren't careful.  We slowed walked the wood the entire afternoon spooking 1 cow and 1 unknown was and elk but was hidden to much to see what it was. The bowhunters saw a small 4 point right away in the morning and the last group saw tons of mulies but no elk.  Compared to the day before we were all happy, we decided to use the cabin as a base camp for a few more days since we could hike back to where we wanted and it wasn't to far of a hike into the hunting area.

The next day my father law and I decided to hike across to a different mountain top, they had always seen elk there later in year and we knew it was steep and nasty so figured there would be some elk in there. 

IMG_0489.JPGIMG_0491.JPGIMG_0492.JPG

 

Our goal once we got to the top was to head in toward the pines and slowly make our way down toward the aspens, as we got deeper into the pines the terrain got very very steep and unforgiving certain spots were almost a straight drop down 50+ feet so we found game trails and followed those toward the aspens as we got to more forgiving ground we found tons of elk sign trees ripped up fresh tracks everywhere and scat

IMG_0500.JPG

As we walked we kept focusing up and down hill since we had good glassing areas, as we were walking I looked ahead of us and saw a huge body behind a tree, I stopped and singled my father in law to stop and pointed ahead the trees were blocking the front half of the body so I couldn't tell what it was he has a straight on view and knew it was a bull but couldn't see if it was legal or not his binoculars went up and his eyes got huge, he didn't have his gun loaded it was sitting on his pack but he looked at me and said its huge shoot...but I had no shot and I wasn't going to take a center shot on an elk even if we were at 60 yards, he was telling me to take 2 steps to my right and take a head on shot not something I wanted to do either but figured maybe he would take a step and present a better shot as I stepped to the right he saw me and I saw a huge 6x6 set of antlers running up the hill.  I ran the situation through my head after everything settled down and kicked myself I don't think the bull ever saw me until I stepped to the right if I would have taken a couple steps forward there would have been enough trees to probably block his view of me but open it enough for a vital shot....We marked the spot on GPS to hopefully come back later in the week.  When we got back to the cabin no one else had seen anything all day hot temps were killing us

MJ1657 likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As the week went on I wish I could say each day got better but it didn't, the entire group kept seeing the same 4x4 and 2 cows but could never get close enough for a shot, the bowhunters had a couple different zone options we didn't so they did some day trips to different areas but never saw anything the 65-75 degree temps no rain made for a very very tough hunt.  Toward the end of the week I decided to head to the area my father in-law and I saw the bull as I got closer to the area I couldn't find a way to drop down to the aspens where we were and I didn't want to retrace our route we made to get in there and I don't think I could have figured it out either so instead I sat in a area that was close and with lots of sign I figured maybe I will get lucky. I sat for about 5 hours without a sighting and the winds were getting strong so I figured I better get moving so I didn't get caught in the rain stormIMG_0506.JPG

Was very cool to see the weather systems move over the mountains as I headed back the rain turned to a mist so I stopped at a small field we found early in the week with lots of sign and just sat till dark my only visitor had no I idea i was there got to about 15 feet from me.

IMG_0508.JPG

It was a great learning experience weather played a major factor and taught us some valuable lessons that's for sure, I can wait to go back but it will probably be a couple years now. 

Mike89, MJ1657 and ozzie like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for  good read ! 

Was this your first elk trip ? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, sportfish said:

Thanks for  good read ! 

Was this your first elk trip ? 

Yep for most in the group it was our first real trip out West, next trip will probably be mule deer, tag soup on elk hurts a lot more with how pricey those tags are.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I hear ya , I just eat a Montana elk tag for $880 . I could go back with the rifle but it would be more money and time off from home 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sounds like you had a good trip even tho you didn't score, great pics to!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice recap.  Lack of success always hurts, but an experience you'll never forget.

 

mrklean likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now



  • Posts

    •   No expert here either but I've talked to a couple.    Would your new, expanded slab be conducive to making the addition another zone or zones?  You could maybe run that expansion off different lines from the manifold above the slab so you don't have to route and pour over seams.   Definitely insulate below with GOOD insulation.  As mentioned, heat doesn't really rise the way we think it does; it moves to the cold and the earth will soak it up.   Heating your loop would be cheapest with a natural gas fired boiler, propane second.  Geothermal is expensive to put in so your payback on a new system is long.  Air source heat pumps are great until it gets really cold.  In the end, radiant in floor is the most efficient way to heat, but yes, it's slow to respond.  But if your toes are warm, you will be too.
    • I appreciate the response, I take nothing personally and didn't mean to be snippy in my reply. There are a lot of great comments on here and I will keep you posted on what I decide. Thanks again. 
    • Ice is quickly thinning on those northern lakes that still have ice with dangerous conditions on most lakes. The Wisconsin River is now open even in its northern stretches, but ice chucks can be seen melting along the river's edge. The lower Wisconsin River has finally dropped to near normal levels. Some walleye and brown trout are being caught on the Menominee River both trolling and angling from shore. Low water and cool water temperatures slowed the walleye run so far on the Oconto River. Anglers along the Wolf River have been starting to catch walleyes. A few sturgeon have been seen along the Wolf River, but warmer temperatures are needed for the sturgeon to start their annual spring spawning run. Walleye and sauger action on the Wisconsin River and Lake Wisconsin is slowly picking up.The steelhead season opened on the lower stretch of the Brule River last weekend and anglers reported good successPhoto Credit: DNRSpring steelhead fishing opened last Saturday for the lower stretch of the Brule River and there were lots of fishermen and fisherwomen on the river many who had a successful opener. .
    • I apologize if that came out wrong. The idea might very well be the best route to go. It's just that over the past 25 years or so I have seen many attempts to save a dollar that cost a buck and a half to do lol.    Here are my two cents. If you have a slab and you want to pour on top of it while keeping the same footprint that sounds pretty doable and could probably save some money if you don't have to change drain lines, run water, heat runs, electrical etc into the slab.   If you intend to tie into the existing slab and run zones of pex across the joint and have the new and old floors end up at the same elevation it still can be done. Some contractors will not want to mess with tying into and raising the elevation of the slabs and will prefer to start from scratch especially if you as the homeowner want them to warranty the finished product.  The critical thing would be to use enough rebar drilled into the old slab and have enough compaction and sufficient footings to make sure the slabs stay where they are without settling. That would make all kinds of problems with the pex.    Hopefully that response came across better.
    • It'll be interesting to see if the team plays a little harder in front of a different goalie. 
    • Hawg, I'm with you on this one !
    • Check and see if you have a video output on you device. You may be able to record to a digital device.
    • Just use plain old spray paint in a can. I've done it many many times and seems to stick really nice. Nothing special either I can't even tell you the brand because I have no clue. But as mentioned doing 2-3 light coats helps.
    • no expert here, but heat doesn't rise. heat radiates in the direction of least resistance (R value). warm air or water rises because it is less dense than colder air or water.  If you don't insulate you will be heating the ground under your cabin and the earth is a very large heat sink $$$. get some info from an expert in the radiant field as far as tube diameter, spacing, water temp, manifolds, length of runs, and so on. it varies on amount of windows (solar) ceiling height and room type (bed, bath, living area,  storage etc.). once you pour over the tubing you get to live with it. I did my own Home 15 years ago and got some good advise (wish I would have taken it all)
    • Sonar works from above, cameras need to be submerged. What am I missing here?
  • Our Sponsors