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View Full Version : No muzzleloader elk this year



Smokepole
09-17-2009, 08:55 AM
Just got back from the ML hunt, someone on another thread asked about it. I saw elk and had some chances the first two days but couldn't quite get a shot. Then it started raining and truth be told, hanging out, laying on your back staring at the bottom of a tarp shelter waiting for the rain to stop and/or wading through wet grass and brush just ain't my cup of tea so I cut the hunt short this year.

Did get to see some magnificent country, and also a bunch of grouse this year, must be a good year for them. Had two on the ground within ten yards that wouldn't fly, and a big male at twenty yards strutting for me. Twice, I was in small meadows and had hawks come flying in, diving at grouse I hadn't seen, and flushing them. Seeing the hawks come up empty was a reminder that better hunters than I fail to connect more often than not:

http://i125.photobucket.com/albums/p46/cpwatts_2006/DSCN0878-1.jpg

http://i125.photobucket.com/albums/p46/cpwatts_2006/DSCN0874-1.jpg

CCH
09-17-2009, 09:14 AM
Sorry it didn't work out but definitely some pretty country.

Otoejet
09-17-2009, 10:36 AM
Smoke, if you don't mind, what peak is that in the photo?

snakey2
09-17-2009, 10:42 AM
Looks like you got a lot from the hunt even without an elk. Pretty place!!

Smokepole
09-17-2009, 10:52 AM
Smoke, if you don't mind, what peak is that in the photo?

Sorry, but this is a place that was shown to me by a good friend on the condition that I wouldn't divulge the location.

elmbow
09-17-2009, 11:02 AM
The quality of a hunt shouldn't be measured by meat alone. Beautiful place Smokepole.

Ed C
09-17-2009, 11:29 AM
Awsome country I wouldn't mind that view while I was chowing down on some grouse.

hunting1
09-17-2009, 12:36 PM
Don't feel bad, I hunted my arse off in 75 and did not get anything either! That poor kid they found dead, but the 100's of search and rescue ran everything within foot distance out. I saw several grouse and my first mountain goats along with great country though! I still can not believe my week of elk hunting is over!!!! Time to start counting all over again!

Otoejet
09-17-2009, 12:52 PM
Smoke, no problem, just reminds me of a place we rifle hunt. I was just testing to see if my memory is still good.

Kmassaro
09-17-2009, 02:39 PM
Well, Smokepole, I guess your son will have to get the meat this year....

Smokepole
09-17-2009, 02:40 PM
The quality of a hunt shouldn't be measured by meat alone.

True, but it makes the story better if there's meat in there somewhere.


Smoke, no problem, just reminds me of a place we rifle hunt. I was just testing to see if my memory is still good.

Well, send me a PM and tell me what/where it reminds you of and I'll tell you if you're right.

It's in the San Juans, by the way.


Well, Smokepole, I guess your son will have to get the meat this year....

I'm counting on it. Would like nothing better than to take photos and haul meat on my back.

Scoutin' Wyo
09-17-2009, 02:47 PM
The quality of a hunt shouldn't be measured by meat alone. Beautiful place Smokepole.

X2

Thanks for sharing Smoke!

Herb
09-17-2009, 02:58 PM
Smokepole,

That is some pretty country. Any bugle activity down there??

wyoelk
09-17-2009, 05:28 PM
The quality of a hunt shouldn't be measured by meat alone. Beautiful place Smokepole.


X3

Anyone that does needs to have a long sit on a short stump and do a little thinking.

Great pictures Smoke.

Huntsman22
09-17-2009, 05:36 PM
Can I maybe get a taller stump? It's too hard to have a long sit on a shorty........

wyoelk
09-17-2009, 06:03 PM
I guess Don, I dont have that long legged problem you do....

Montanapete1
09-17-2009, 06:18 PM
If We all got an Elk or Deer every year it would be called "Getting", not "Hunting". Great pics, and you'll just save the monster for later! Right Smoke!

Smokepole
09-17-2009, 07:21 PM
Smokepole,

That is some pretty country. Any bugle activity down there??

Lots Herb. Multiple bulls morning and evening in the drainages I hunted. On Sunday I had my best chance at a shot (cow tag), I was up on a ridge where I'd had good luck in the past but all the bugling was down in the creek bottom below me so I dropped off the ridge about 500 feet straight down, blew the bugle and one of the bulls answered. I moved toward him (figured he had a herd), bugling as I went and he kept answering. I was getting close and figured the herd was still 100-150 yards off so I kept moving in (it was thick stuff with a lot of blowdown) which was a mistake. I wasn't 100-150 yards out but within 60. I looked up and saw three heads looking over a blowdown at me. Game over.

Vernon
09-18-2009, 07:21 AM
Smoke,

As others here have said, that is some incredible country. Hopefully I can make it out that way soon. BTW, our first ever early muzzleloader deer season opens this coming Monday. Be assured that I'll be out looking for my first ML deer. That gets followed up by a BP trip to the Mt. Rogers area in VA.

Ken
09-18-2009, 04:32 PM
Nice pic's...couldn't have been too bad of a trip on scenery alone.

Better luck with the next tag.

KurtB
09-18-2009, 07:59 PM
Smoke, I feel your pain. Just spent 7 days getting thrashed by the weather and came home for a hot shower and good meal. My buddy got a spike on Tuesday and I've been on good bulls twice this week. Loading up the teenage sherpa and leaving at 4 am for round 2. Keep thinking a bear will show up on the spike carcass and I was on a big bull in the same area on Thursday. I'm just not ready to throw in the towel yet. The aspens are worth the drive alone and one never knows, tomorrow may be the day. If not, Sunday may be the day......

Smokepole
09-19-2009, 07:47 AM
Actually, the rain was only one reason I packed it in early this year. The other being that there were just too many hunters where I hunt, including one a**-wipe bowhunter who thought it necessary to come out of his tent and give me a ration of you-know-what when I pulled into the trailhead after dark and got out of the truck Thursday night. I was planning on sleeping in the back of the truck and packing in the next morning. He was drunk, talking about "his" elk down the trail and the fact that he'd been having problems with people scaring off "his" elk. Thought he owned the place or something, and was packing a .44. I told him what I was about and he backed down and went back to his tent, but a confrontation like that between two guys wearing pistols with one of them drunk should never have happened anyway and left me wondering if my tires would be slashed when I got back.

This a**-wipe was talking about the fact that some "hippie chick" had the nerve to walk her dog on the trail during hunting season, said he was gonna start shooting people's dogs. The kind of person who really knows how to portray a good image of hunters for the non-hunting community. Never mind the fact that he chose to hunt along the first mile of a very popular trail. On the way out, I stopped in to talk to another party of hunters from Ft. Collins/Greeley, really nice guys, and the ass-wipe bowhunter was there talking the same garbage, about how non-hunters shouldn't be walking the trails during hunting season, he was going to start shooting people's dogs, etc. And complaining that all the muzzleloaders had ruined "his" hunt.

Anyway, in that spot there were a lot more people than ususal, a bunch of people on foot and on horseback so I packed out after four days and went to my second spot. When I hunted there two years ago my truck was the only one at the trailhead and there were no horse tracks on the trail. I was really hoping to spend a few days there and get to know the place better. But this year there were 4-5 camps at the trailhead, lots of horse trailers, and two parties of hunters who'd packed in 3 miles to "my" spot.

So I just went fishing. Got rained out there too, LOL.

I think I'm gonna take Herb's advice and seriously give bowhunting a go next year, but I damn sure won't be hunting along the first mile of a popular trailhead and complaining about people walking their dogs.

hunting1
09-19-2009, 09:12 AM
It was packed with hikers, hunters and horse trailers in southern CO second week, so I am not sure that you will find solitude? If Search and Rescue get called out, forget it!

Lost Arra
09-19-2009, 10:41 AM
Smoke: Next year might be better per a famous Yogism:

"Nobody goes there anymore. It's too crowded"

Scoutin' Wyo
09-19-2009, 10:44 AM
It was packed with hikers, hunters and horse trailers in southern CO second week, so I am not sure that you will find solitude? If Search and Rescue get called out, forget it!

I remember one year in the Flat Tops, a plane kept dropping into the meadow I had chosen to hunt that evening. It turns out they were searching for an older gentleman that got lost and eventually turned up in another camp the next morning. We also had a chopper land in the meadow by our camp to drop off the lost guy because he was camped just beyond our spot. If I remember correctly, they didn't have any SAR guys on foot and I ended up killing a bull along with my hunting partner. Go figure?

Smokepole
09-19-2009, 01:23 PM
"Nobody goes there anymore. It's too crowded"

You know, there's truth in that, I've been hunting the area for 8 years and the numbers definitely vary from year to year.