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View Full Version : Stool Pigeon hunt...



Huntsman22
10-12-2009, 09:55 AM
Well, you guys knew I had a Co. first season elk tag and would be hunting on foot this year. I went up on thursday to jobhunt in NW Co. and to head for the hill that night. The hunt for work was as successful as my elk deal.... I set up camp in the sleet....
http://i26.photobucket.com/albums/c124/huntsman22/elk%20season/IMG_1902.jpg
The uncharted waters of being without my ponies put a kink in my style, and that's not to say I was totally helpless. I just had to change my modus to staying close enuff to camp to be able to get one out by my ownself with a cheepo packframe and a kiddie plastic sled. My plan was to hunt the quakie benches nearby first day and hit a black timber hole the next.

The opener saw me on top of a lookout knob at first light, with an awesome view of one of my favorite-est spots on earth.
http://i26.photobucket.com/albums/c124/huntsman22/elk%20season/IMG_1918.jpg

About 400 head o' alks were strung out from left to right for about a mile.They was in the upper third of that sagebrush park, headed for the aspen groves at the right of the pic. I'm up on Gobbler's Knob about 2 miles away, just enjoying the show thru a 25x spotter. This patch of ground is not forest, but one of the premier hunting ranches in the area. The forest boundary is about the right edge of the pic. These afforementiond elks would be on the forest in no time, and huntable by all of us public land restricted lowlifes. I'm gettin' kinda excited about the prospect of dropping on down there, to go git me one of the many 6 point bulls in the bunch('cause I know where they are headed to hang out for the day)..... But the best laid plans........?

Just about the time they hit the edge of cover, it sounded like WWII over thatta way. The elk, instead of proceeding in the desired direction, panic-ted and went everywhere.They finally got their stuff figured out, and whooped a U-ie, and fled the scene.... In the ensuing melee, I spotted a big ol' bruiser bull that was gut-shot. He was all humpy acting, and kept walking in circles, looking to lay down. I watched him for a couple minutes and then the second volley hit. There was still cows and calves scampering to and fro, and every time some would run close to ol' bruiser, he'd catch new life and try to keep up. I kept switching from the bull to the escaping herd, and on one of my sweeps spots another big bull down, out in the open. I saw the wounded boy go into one patch of cover and never seen him exit....That means at least 2 bulls were hit, in my book.
After a bit, some guy just appears at the downed one. No orange vest or coat, just a cap. The lack of orange tells me, that the yayhoo knew he was where he wasn't 'sposed to be (like, duhhh.... this is private propitty..). I was amazed while watching him. Generally, when I get one down I give him the once over, and get right down to bizness. This guy, he just walks all around admiring his handiwork, then he lifts the horns and gives them a gander. He sits down next to him, and gets up and walks circles around him. Then repeats the process multiple, multiple times. He was there for maybe 20 minute before he even took off his waist pack/belt deal. He finally got out a knife and went to work. This guy never left the kill until after 10 oclock. Why heck, last year I had mine broke down, and almost packed 3 miles out by that time...... I reckon the newness of seeing downed critters wears off after a few. I decided to stay on the lookout and watch what was going to transpire. It was getting kinda hungry out, round abouts lunch time. So I gathers me up some dead buckbrush and had a nice little waming fire.

http://i26.photobucket.com/albums/c124/huntsman22/elk%20season/IMG_1913.jpg

Later on, 2 guys on mules show up to pack out the bull. Still, neither guy had on any orange excepting on their noggins. It took the 2 of 'em forever to get him loaded. One guy mounts up, the other hands him the leadrope to the packass. Mounty takes off dragging the spoils, leaving the other poor sap to hoof it out alone. That was after 2 oclock. I finally decided to jump off my perch, and stillhunt the benches between me and over there. No luck and no elk had been in there.... When I got back to the house, I had sweated up a storm. Time to heat a pot of water, shower, shave, eat and sleep...

http://i26.photobucket.com/albums/c124/huntsman22/elk%20season/IMG_1928.jpg

The second day installment later, to be continued ONLY if sufficient interest in my meatless, storytelling is generated<grin>.......Don

bamboobow
10-12-2009, 10:25 AM
I'm listening.........
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evanhill
10-12-2009, 10:33 AM
I'd love to hear more as well.

one-eyed Bob
10-12-2009, 10:40 AM
Welcome home.

scothill
10-12-2009, 10:49 AM
stop being a tease and get on with it

Bushcraft
10-12-2009, 11:02 AM
Here, here!

Second day installment please...and any other days as necessary.

Huntsman22
10-12-2009, 11:03 AM
begging don't become you...grin

Scoutin' Wyo
10-12-2009, 11:52 AM
begging don't become you...grin


And teasin don't become,,,,,, well on second thought yer perddy good on teasin folks, continue. :p


Oh, and I'll stay tuned iffen you decide. :D

Huntsman22
10-12-2009, 12:31 PM
Alright. here goes. Some of you sharpies have prolly figured out the title.

I had a booger of a time sleeping saturday night. First two were lights out. It bothered the heck outta me that this guy was getting a heck of a bull, and not going about it, as maybe honest as he could. And not having to play by the same rules we commoners live by. Now don't get me wrong, I don't wear flowing white robes, have wings, or have one of them lighted, wire, circle things above my balding pate, but....... Sometime in the night, it came to me that this guy will only get away with this, if I keep my yap shut. And all here know, that I have a hard time keeping quiet. About anything. Right? You are getting ahead of the tale. I woke sunday to 3 inches of slush, and figuring that it was about an impossibility of me getting a bull out by myself without A) either killing myself, or B) experiencing first hand, the "Fine and Pleasant" stuff that I'm too weeny-ized to want any part of..... You got it. I decided to notify the fish cops of the incident. Of course, to get aholt of this said officer was to take a bit of doing. I struck camp and had to drive about 15 miles to get cell service. Kept dropping the calls, so I headed to a local hunting lodge type set up, to borry their landline. The camp girl was most helpful as she had the wardens personal cell number. When I told him what was going on, he was most interested to hear more about the deal and wanted to meet up in person and see if I was for real. He was just over the mountain about an hour away, so I waited at the lodge for him. When he got all the details, he wanted me to jump in his truck and go with him to show him what's up, and help investigate. I had known this officer when I lived up there, and he remembered me from then. We had a good catchup visit on the hour long, grinding, spinning, mud-flinging drive into the ranch. The weather was nasty, with little visibility. Had a time locating the carcass, but finally did. My keen eye found it with the help of a few magpies and a circling crow.This fish cop stuff is a ton of fun. High tech, too. Why, I larned how to mark the carcass location, and forest boundary spot, and how to measure how far off the fence the carcass was, without having to step it off.. Just over half mile by gps. The actual boundary right there is 400 yards further than the fence, so that makes it further into the ranch. And all at the push of a few buttons. Simple really. I guess that I am not advanced enuff to even reach the 'simple' stage. I did learn one investigative/CSI type skill that I excelled at, however. I think I can hold my own with the best of 'em, when it comes to holding the little dna sample bottles, while they are being stuffed. Dang, I was good at that........Once the gps and dna stuff was done, we hoofed into the forest to find these guys spike camp. Time constraints led to cutting the camp search short. He wouldn't even let me go wander around looking for the gutshot bull. Oh well.... To get out of there was a challenge. Getting in was luxurious, in that we never left the cab of the truck. We slopped about a mile of mountain mud getting out, before we had to lay in it, to chain up the truck. He dropped me off at my truck and was going back to do a routine camp check at the trailhead. The plan was to make conversation with the non-res camp, that these guys are probably spiked out of. Should be a piece of cake to find out where their buddies are spiked at, success so far, legally tagged and proofed meat, as they are the only ones there with horses and mules. If he finds out their departure schedule, he may wait until the critter is out at the trailhead, to save himself a hump in, to search for them. The fish cop knows his stuff(and should after 31 years with cdow), his idea is not to be confrontational or power-wieldy, but to let them hang their own selves. When they tell him the kill location, he wants to see if they will admit the truth. If not, he will ask if there is any remote, slight chance that the bull was taken on private land without permission. Barring an admission, he will reveal the digital pics, gps evidence, dna samples. If that fails, he has a 'stool pigeon' (me), that is willing to testify to what he witnessed from long range. That stooly guy, tried to get pics thru his homemade spotter/camera deally, but the dang thing wanted to focus on the crosshair instead of the target, and the pics didn't come out. The Samson Law is over his head, too. The one other hidden card trick, that may be mentioned to them is, if this critter makes it back to Oklahoma, and the dna matches, it will then become a Lacey Act violation. And they won't want to face THOSE consequences.....
Admission, fines, forfieture and confiscations are assumed to be forthcoming. I'll update when I hear the outcome.......

Here is a night pic of the suspects trailhead camp, replete with loud music at all hours, full time generator noise, and light stringers into the dark GI tents and strung thru the trees around the mule pens.

http://i26.photobucket.com/albums/c124/huntsman22/elk%20season/IMG_1911.jpg

And since you all like gear reviews, I got one. All of my possessions are stuffed into an enclosed trailer. I searched hi and low for my filson huntin' coat and couldn't find it before I left. I stopped at Big R and bought one of the new carhartt waterproof/breathable coats. They come in some two-tone earth colors and some brighter stuff. I didn't like the men's color choices, so being a girly-guy size, I headed to the women's section. A sage green offering was most appealing. Snagged it up, and wore it in 3 days of intermittent rain, sleet, snow and it worked great. By the way, the filson was in the truck the whole time....I found it and wore it with the warden when I drug out an extra dry pair of gloves.

Fun weekend. And got to see some old friends on the jobhunt. Thanks for reading my inane tale. Don

P.S. What would you have done?

Otoejet
10-12-2009, 12:45 PM
Heck, Don seems like the guys from the Wild Bunch should congratulate you with a fully paid hunt on that patch o' private land. I think you made the right decision...one I really respect and would hope that I could make the same decision. We'll be leavin' Friday to hunt up the hill from your spot. Hopefully, Evan, his brother, dad and I can find some of the heard that was scattered from that WWII volley you heard.

P.S. You're not a stool pigeon, you're a man of principles. And I need to give you a call for a coyote hunt as well.

Huntsman22
10-12-2009, 12:52 PM
So, otoe....You sayin' you'd join me on the pigeon roost?

scothill
10-12-2009, 12:53 PM
I think you did the right thing, but then I think you already knew that.

Bushcraft
10-12-2009, 01:08 PM
Ditto what Scot said.

I probably would have asked the landowner if it was okay to go on a look-see for the other bull, after having done what you did with the game warden. It sounded to me like he didn't want you to take the time then and there. I don't know if he meant never, or just not then due to needing to get out of there.

I don't know if the gut shot thing taints the meat somehow with it being stressed for that long that way or not (I assume it would), but at least you or the land-owner could have put it out of its misery and maybe donated the hamburger meat to a food bank or something (if you found it less than palatable). I don't know how your regs would treat that situation.

snakey2
10-12-2009, 01:30 PM
I can see why you would "drop the dime" on those guys, that kind of thing is inexcusable. Not to mention it messed up your plans. Hope they get them with no further need for your services. Do you get to go back and hunt some more?

evanhill
10-12-2009, 01:41 PM
I think you showed remarkable restraint in not directly (covertly) interfering with these guys' activities. You did it by the book, in my opinion.

Scoutin' Wyo
10-12-2009, 01:43 PM
Ditto what Scot said.

I probably would have asked the landowner if it was okay to go on a look-see for the other bull, after having done what you did with the game warden. It sounded to me like he didn't want you to take the time then and there. I don't know if he meant never, or just not then due to needing to get out of there.

I don't know if the gut shot thing taints the meat somehow with it being stressed for that long that way or not (I assume it would), but at least you or the land-owner could have put it out of its misery and maybe donated the hamburger meat to a food bank or something (if you found it less than palatable). I don't know how your regs would treat that situation.

Ditto what they said.

Did you get in some more hunting?

Otoejet
10-12-2009, 02:05 PM
So, otoe....You sayin' you'd join me on the pigeon roost?

Yes I would....especially over there. It was way too crowded last year with out of state yayhoos.

Kmassaro
10-12-2009, 02:57 PM
Knowing the folks who run the ranch next to where Huntsman22 goes, I'll simply say that getting permission to trespass on the ranch isn't that easy. That's a commercial operation, expensive, and they don't want any boot tracks on it that don't come with a big check.

Huntsman22
10-12-2009, 03:02 PM
Yup, but since I was riding shotgun with the warden, and it is shotguns job to open the gates, I now know the lock combo's....... And no, they will not give permission to look.

Scoutin' Wyo
10-12-2009, 03:50 PM
Knowing the folks who run the ranch next to where Huntsman22 goes, I'll simply say that getting permission to trespass on the ranch isn't that easy. That's a commercial operation, expensive, and they don't want any boot tracks on it that don't come with a big check.

Isn't that a shame when a land owner is more concerned about the "big check" than the health of the game animals that is bringing them that "big check".

Bushcraft
10-12-2009, 04:05 PM
That is pretty weird.

It seems to me that after having assisted the game cop, that they should not be worried that the bull was somehow shot intentionally from the wrong side of the fence and that our upstanding citizen wasn't merely looking for an unethical way to get in there circuitously, without a big check in hand, to tote his trophy off. In other words, they ought to have expressed their appreciation for turning in the looters by allowing him to follow up the wounded bull that was going to die anyway since he had a pretty decent idea of its whereabouts.

Hard to say what their rationale for not doing so would be from where I'm sitting.

Uncle Jake
10-12-2009, 04:11 PM
Did good Don.

2 miles away? Now, if you would have had one of Idaho Lad's rigs instead of your mouse gun .260, you could have harassed the poachers a little :rolleyes:

None the less, hope they get what is coming to them.

Around here, there is considered to be two kinds of poaching:

- Horns

- Meat

The second is tolerated to an extent, considering the times we live in. But there is no quarter to the first.

Glad to hear that you were able to get a job!

Scoutin' Wyo
10-12-2009, 04:20 PM
That is pretty weird.

It seems to me that after having assisted the game cop, that they should not be worried that the bull was somehow shot intentionally from the wrong side of the fence and that our upstanding citizen wasn't merely looking for an unethical way to get in there circuitously, without a big check in hand, to tote his trophy off. In other words, they ought to have expressed their appreciation for turning in the looters by allowing him to follow up the wounded bull that was going to die anyway since he had a pretty decent idea of its whereabouts.

Hard to say what their rationale for not doing so would be from where I'm sitting.


The outfitter would probably lead an unknowing client to that stoved up bull and make it look like he is the bestest elk guide in CO. Ya gotta think more like a money hungry guide/outfitter Allen!

Smokepole
10-12-2009, 04:49 PM
Good on ya' Huntsman. You didn't kill and elk, but you bagged a couple poachers, that's almost as good.

Bushcraft
10-12-2009, 05:16 PM
Huntsman,

Does Colorado give you preference points for turning in poachers? I ask because WA gives a significant number of points for turning in poachers. 10 or so I believe, which is a tremendous amount since one can only garner one point per year. It radically improves the odds of successfully drawing a highly coveted permit/area.

Anyway, it might be worth looking into if possible.

Allen

wyoelk
10-12-2009, 05:27 PM
Good job Don!

I love the Lacey Act.

We had to turn in a fellow hunting with us that started taking too many elk. Filling his wifes tag, shooting some during bow season and not tagging them, shooting more during rifle season..... Enough was enough and we called the G/F, told them how to get to the trailhead and about what time they should be there. They showed up and caught him coming out with a rifle killed elk. They played real nice, asking if this was his only elk for the year. Let him go for the night, or so he thought. They tried to sneak out at midnight but we called the warden and let him know. I hear there was a right nice scene at his house in the morning, several G/F trucks, HP's and locals. A regular serial killer you would of thought...

This is where the Lacey Act comes into play. We hunt in Wyoming but have to leave Wyoming and head into Colorado for a bit before retuning back to Wyoming. Crossing state lines.... The next morning the warden explained to him that his rear was in a sling and now that included a federal sling because he had crossed state lines with a poached animal. The thought of those fines brought out the truth and we no longer have to hunt with that guy. His wallet is a touch lighter as well.

Huntsman22
10-12-2009, 05:52 PM
Bush, I don't know if they reward stool pigeons or not. And it don't matter to me, anyway. Just glad that maybe my area will be a little cleaner for awhile. Word of this stuff gets out real quick. I just hope they can make a good example of the guy. His packer is only gonna face trespassing... Seems like a few of you guys woulda turned them in, too. Glad to hear that I ain't the lone ranger on this...

CCH
10-12-2009, 06:56 PM
Can't get all excited, as I'd expect nothing less of you Don. Good show though. You should have had Sawtooth with you as a sidekick. He was pure hell on a marmot poacher.

Otoejet
10-12-2009, 06:58 PM
Don, there certainly is a "reward" system for something like this. I'd expect a thank you of some sort from the DOW. Evan's big brother is studying to be a DOW officer, and I'm sure he'd love to pick your brain a bit on this one. Especially since we hunt the same unit as you.

Eagle6
10-12-2009, 07:18 PM
Way to go, Don. In this day and age, integrity is sometimes hard to find.

Huntsman22
10-12-2009, 07:22 PM
This ain't integrity. It's pissed-off-edness at having elk stolen from me. And you.

Otoejet
10-12-2009, 07:37 PM
Tomato- Tomahto

evanhill
10-12-2009, 10:05 PM
This ain't integrity. It's pissed-off-edness at having elk stolen from me. And you.

I knew there was a reason I had visions of Hayduke running through my head when I read this story. Purity of motivation. Direct action. Results.

Ed C
10-12-2009, 10:31 PM
Thanks for the post Don.
You did the right thing.



otoejet not all out of state hunters are yahoos.

Huntsman22
10-13-2009, 05:32 AM
edc, you and dolly coming out again this year?

Eagle6
10-13-2009, 06:39 AM
Don--point taken! And way to go

Otoejet
10-13-2009, 08:15 AM
Thanks for the post Don.
You did the right thing.



otoejet not all out of state hunters are yahoos.

They certainly are not...it just seems that in this GMU there is an ever increasing number of yayhoos with license plates other than green and white and they certainly fall into the yayhoo category. To be fair, there are yayhoos from Colorado as well.

Huntsman22
10-13-2009, 09:14 PM
To be fair, there are yayhoos from Colorado as well.

Otoejet's right. Way more than our fair share.........And this area, has enuff of both to go around.

David in OR
10-13-2009, 09:25 PM
I knew there was a reason I had visions of Hayduke running through my head when I read this story. Purity of motivation. Direct action. Results.

lol "Hayduke lives."