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Smokepole
09-12-2010, 05:40 PM
Just got back from the Western Slope; was fortunate enough to put an arrow in a bull, a five-pointer. I'll post the story and some more photos later, but first, a great big thanks to Westy for driving out 5 1/2 hours on Friday night. He thought he was going to get to do some calling for me, but he ended up saving the bacon (literally) by carting out a monster load of meat that we needed to get iced down. It was well over 100 lbs., both hind quarters minus the bone and the "bear tax." More on that later, here are a few photos:

http://i125.photobucket.com/albums/p46/cpwatts_2006/P9110150.jpg

http://i125.photobucket.com/albums/p46/cpwatts_2006/P9110099.jpg

Brad_A
09-12-2010, 05:44 PM
Way to go Smoke!

CCH
09-12-2010, 05:49 PM
Nicely done! Can't wait for details! I'm a bit disappointed in the tree he's leaning against though.

Lost Arra
09-12-2010, 05:49 PM
Wow!

Congratulations Smokepole on the beautiful bull and having a friend like Westy.

It seems like you post a ho-hum, matter-of-fact dead elk photo every fall.

LA (green with envy)

colohunter303
09-12-2010, 05:59 PM
Way to go Smoke!!!! Nice Bull!! Cant wait to hear the story!

Timberline
09-12-2010, 06:10 PM
Yahoo! Excellent bull! Way to go!

Can't wait for the whole story.

Congratulations!

GlennGTR
09-12-2010, 06:13 PM
I feel tears of joy welling up in my eyes. Nice bull, looks like a good hunt. So now were ready for the rest of the story.

Huntsman22
09-12-2010, 06:22 PM
Smoke, they forgot to tell you that no self-respecting 6 pointer would be down there in the oakbrush. Too tight of cover for 'big' antlers. They'd just git stuck in there and perish. Jeez, everyone knows they (6's) only live near state record aspen forests......... Can I borrow your packhorse sometime? mine died.......

KurtB
09-12-2010, 06:37 PM
Smoke, Great job. What's Westy's number, we've got another goat hunt coming up? Can't wait to hear the story.

Take-a-knee
09-12-2010, 07:15 PM
Awesome, the trophy of a lifetime. Please elaborate on your archery setup when you have a moment or two.

JRaw
09-12-2010, 07:17 PM
Well done; can't wait to hear the whole story!

M Paulsen
09-12-2010, 07:26 PM
I too got teary when reading this. Especially when I saw the gray in his beard, as it reminds me of me. That is a helluva bull. What will you do with the rest of the fall?

Ed C
09-12-2010, 08:17 PM
Good job Smoke. I almost missed this , because I thought it was part of your last post:D world record tree.
Congrats. Good huntin partner that Westy

elmbow
09-12-2010, 08:37 PM
Congrats smoke, that is a world class bull, (as anyone who has ever hunted public land with a bow can attest to.) That boy of yours is turning into a man.

BTW, an Ent is one of those gnarly old tree herders from Lord of the Rings. I think the 6 pointers overheard the Ents talking amongst themselves about a greybeard in the forest looking for 'em and they kept their heads down.

Herb
09-12-2010, 08:37 PM
Nice Smoke.

Bushcraft
09-12-2010, 09:57 PM
Fantastic! Nice work on getting him down and getting him out. I'm looking forward to the rest of the story and pics.

Allen

Whitepalm
09-12-2010, 10:04 PM
Very nice Smoke! Congrats to you and Westy.

Scoutin' Wyo
09-12-2010, 10:49 PM
Congrats Smoke! You will never forget the first one you stick with a bow, man what a rush.


You know that pack horse just keeps getting uglier every year! Glad to see you're putting him to use.

mark s
09-12-2010, 11:49 PM
Congrats! Can't wait for the rest of the story!

Jon S
09-13-2010, 05:39 AM
Congrats Smoke on a great bull and recruiting quite the work horse. Good job Westy in showing Mr. Graybeard where the big boys hang out and how to call one in close enough to arrow :)

Kmassaro
09-13-2010, 06:09 AM
Nice bull. And I'm sure, a great story to accompany it. Can't wait.

Smokepole
09-13-2010, 07:12 AM
Well, it was a great hunt, Unit 61 is a great unit with a ton of elk and lots of bulls so it was a good place for me to get my first bull, and my first big game animal with a bow. I'm not a veteran bowhunter, a novice actually, but thanks to the encouragement of Westy and Herb, I'm gonna get more experienced. Westy was/is my unofficial advisor, he helped me pick out the bow (shot many), spec out the other equipment, helped me with shooting form, calling techniques, you name it. And then helped me by packing out most of the meat!!

Thanks, man.

Take-a-knee, to answer your question I ended up with a Matthews Switchback XT, Trophy Ridge fiber optic front sight, and Vital Gear fall-away rest, basically what Westy told me to get. I couldn't ignore his advice, he was like a kid in a candy shop when we were picking stuff out. I just couldn't disappoint him. Here's a photo, sure to make elmbow cringe:

http://i125.photobucket.com/albums/p46/cpwatts_2006/P9130168.jpg


Herb was also very encouraging and gracious enough to invite me on a turkey hunt and call in birds for me to fling arrows at!!! And the stories he'd tell about his archery elk hunts were plenty to keep me motivated to practice my shooting and calling. Heck, just the description of the food he brings on his hunting trips was enough to keep me motivated.

Also, John Axelson, a friend and really good bowhunter, pointed me in the right direction by telling me about his hunt in unit 61 last year; he put me right in the middle of a bunch of bulls. He wrote the book, "Big Game Hunter's Guide to Colorado." Thanks John!!

http://www.amazon.com/Hunters-Colorado-Wilderness-Adventures-Guidebooks/dp/1885106556/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1284388091&sr=1-1

And last but not least, Timberline sent me some materials he'd written on shooting practice techniques, thanks Bill.

Anyway, back to the hunt. Westy and I went up the first weekend, to an area we'd scouted pre-season. The idea was for Mark to do the calling, using the same techniques he'd used to call in several early-season bulls over the past few years. They don't answer in the early season, but come in silently. Opening morning, we were walking in and spotted some elk at about 150 yards away. Three young bulls walked by at 47 yards, none really a "shooter," with the biggest being a raghorn 5-point. A good omen, nonetheless. We spent the day moving and calling, but not much was going on. The next day was as windy as a hurricane, so our calling was not very effective and the first weekend was history. No problem there, since the season lasts a month.

Then Mark got swamped at work, so I was solo for Labor Day weekend. I spent the long weekend looking over a few different places, calling as I went, with not much action. I went back to the location we'd scouted, and was seeing lots of elk but they were all spikes, no cows and no mature bulls. I had several spikes in close, two at 12 yards. At another location I had a nice bear come bounding down the hill at me, I had to yell to get him to stop, inside 30 yards. He weren't that impressed with me. The second evening I was glassing off the top to the west and saw a nice herd bull with a few cows, so I moved camp and tried to locate him again. I saw him again, from a distance; moved in and called to him, but he wouldn't come in, just bugled back a little. Then the weekend was over.

All week at work, I couldn't get that bull off my mind so I decided to go back and take another crack at him this past Thursday and Friday, before muzzleloader season started on Saturday. It rained hard on Wednesday evening as I drove up, so any tracks I found would be fresh, that was a bonus. Also, I'd heard from another friend hunting the unit that the bulls had started bugling on Wednesday, "like someone had thrown a switch," so I was hopeful that "my" bull and others would be sounding off and that would make finding them easier. So it was with high hopes that I started out pre-dawn on Thursday, but there's that old saying about the best-laid plans and it applied to mine. I heard no bugling, so I did a 2-mile loop through the area, stopping to call every so often. In the two miles I cut exactly one fresh set of tracks, so I decided to move over to the area that John had recommended. I'd never been there but his description made it easy to find.

I moved camp and got to the new area in late afternoon, and took a liesurely walk in on the ATV trail. No ATVs were about, but there were plenty of cattle. It was an area of mixed oak brush, aspen stands, and a lot of brushy ground cover--snowberry, serviceberry, choke cherry, mountain mahogany, currant, wild roses, you name it. The soil was thick and rich and the grasses and browse were profuse. There were lots of little springs, creeks and ponds too. Great country. I was moseying up the hill and got into a stand of big aspens so I decided to leave the trail and contour along the sidehill. I came to a little creek and was deciding how to cross it when I saw brown up ahead, and antlers, at about 100 yards!! So I ducked behind some brush, dropped the pack, and started a stalk. The wind was kicking up with gusts every few minutes to cover my noise, and the ground was soft. I figured out that cattle in the area aren't necessrily a bad thing--throughout the rest of the weekend it seemed like every place I wanted to sneak through had a cow path or at least an alley through the brush that I could use to my advantage.

Anyway, I worked my way in on the bull, he was browsing. When I got to about 50 yards, I saw another set of antler tips, another smaller bull was bedded down in a depression. The bull I was focussed on was a small five-pointer, and I was going to go for a shot. Unit 61 has a lot of bulls, and big bulls; a lot of guys would have passed on this bull but I'd already made my mind up that I was going to take the first good opportunity for a shot that came along, and this bull was calm, browsing, and unaware of my existence. I got to 40 yards, which is the outside limit of my range, and decided I'd move in another five since the bull was still unaware and the wind in my favor. My heart was pounding as I tiptoed in closer!!! As I had these two in sight, a cow was calling below us, and a bull started bugling above, what a spot!! The bull's head was behind a few aspens, so I kept moving, but he must have seen motion because he bolted and took the smaller bull with him. Oh well, it ws fun while it lasted.

I kept on in the same direction and found elk sign everywhere. Lots of bear sign too. By then it was dark, so I started back down the hill on the ATV trail, I was about a mile from the truck. In that mile, I counted no fewer than five bulls sounding off; none sounded small or timid. Including one that was no more than 75-100 yards below me on the trail, he was ear-splitting until he got wind of me and crashed off through the timber. John had definitely put me in the right place.

So I came back the next morning, and had no trouble getting between two bugling bulls, with a third off in the distance. I called for an hour, using cow calls, hyper estrus calls, and bugles in different sequences. Sometimes in the set sequences that Mark had shown me, sometimes I'd bugle back at the bulls, and sometimes I'd use the hyper estrus call when they bugled. They sounded interested, and one moved closer, but they wouldn't come all the way in. Finally, at about 9:30 they moved away, up the hill toward the timber, and quit bugling. That was a fun morning hunt!!

They were showing something of a pattern; they were spending the night down in the basin bugling, and moving up the hill to the thick timber in the late morning. So for the evening hunt I decided to start up high near the timber, and it paid off. I was sitting on a log waiting for the "show" to begin, around 3:30, when a young man and a woman about my age came down the trail on horses, working cattle. I had just heard the first bugle, probably a few hundred yards away. They had two dogs, a cow dog and a Jack Russell. The Jack Russell didn't like me being there and let me know about it, barked his head off and I thought "there goes the neighborhood." But they called him off and were nice folks, asked me how my luck was and told me about a few other spots where they'd seen bulls. And as they turned to go, the bull bugled again, only this time louder. I just grinned at them, waved goodbye, and headed in the direction of the bull.

I followed him about a quarter mile down the mountain, him sounding off and me trying (not very successfully) to keep up. Finally, he seemd to slow down and bugled from the same spot for a while, so I moved in, angling down and cross-slope to catch up (the afternoon breeze was uphill). I wanted to get as close as possible before I started calling, and I didn't want to call from too far above him if I could help it. I could hear him right over a knoll about 100 yards away. I was tiptoeing along, looking for a place to set up, and loosening my pack straps to dump it when I glanced up and saw antler tips moving toward me at about 60 yards!!! I dropped the pack and found a big aspen to lean on to break up my outline. He came to within about 40 yards; he was a mature bull with a nice set of antlers, 6-pointer, and bugling every so often. 40 yards was as close as he got, then was moving past me. There were some gaps in the aspens, so I came to full draw but he didn't hit any of the gaps and then he was moving away, quartering. I followed him, keeping pace at about 40 yards, looking for an opportunity, but he never hit a gap in the trees big enough for me to call and get him to stop; if he stopped I couldn't be sure of whether his ribs would be exposed in the gaps, so I stayed silent, I didn't want him to know I was there. I followed him that way for probably 60 yards and then couldn't keep up and he was moving off. I cow called to try to get him to turn around, but he wasn't buying it, and come to think of it, I wouldn't have either, he'd just been through those aspens and not seen cows.

That got my blood pumping!!

By then, other bulls were sounding off down in the basin, so I got back on the trail and went down the mountain, double-time. The wind was just about to change from uphill to downhill as the evening cooled, so I didn't want to move in too close until it switched and stayed constant. I came even with two buglers, and moved in as close as I could until the wind changed, and waited. Once it changed, I moved in between two, and was deciding which one to go after. Then I heard a third, closer than the other two, so I moved toward him, he was at 200-300 yards. But he only bugled once, and then shut up; I thought he'd maybe moved off or I'd spooked him. I was creeping through the brush, trying to decide which of the buglers to go for, when I passed a clump of oak brush and saw brown out of the corner of my eye and froze. Elk, at 50 yards. Then another one, at 30 yards, grazing broadside, with a nice rack!! This was the bull I'd heard bugle once and then go silent--he hadn't moved away, but he had his cows so maybe he didn't need to get in the bugling contest with the others. I squared my feet, backed away from the oak brush to clear a lane for a shot, and the elk obligingly moved a few feet more to offer a shot, still with his head down. I drew, aimed, and triggered the release; I saw the fletching hit a little high, but right behind the shoulder; heard a solid "thwack" and the bull switched ends and ran off. The rest of the small herd milled around for about 30 seconds and then ran off too.

I waited about 15 minutes; it was getting dark so I snuck over to the spot where he'd been standing to look for the arrow but couldn't find it. I found a few small drops of blood in the direction he'd run. I tiptoed down his trail, wanting to see if I could find any more blood. I topped a small rise at about 50 yards and saw him another 50 yards ahead, laying down. I'm pretty sure he knew I was there, but he didn't try to get up, which I took as a good sign. His antlers were swaying, like he was having trouble holding his head up. I froze, and watched him for another 15 minutes with an arrow nocked. Finally, his antlers went over sideways and stopped moving, so I thought, that's it, and walked down toward him.

Big mistake, rookie mistake. He got up and trotted about 100 yards, and stopped on a small rise, stood there for a few minutes, looking back at me. I could see an exit wound with a six-inch blood stain, and no arrow. Finally, just as it got too dark to see, he turned and walked slowly into the brush. I had no hope of finding him in that brush after dark, and shouldn't have been pushing him anyway, so all I could do was go back to camp.

What a sick feeling.

Mark got in at about 11:00 PM, and I repeated the story. I was down about the whole thing, but he kept encouraging me, saying it sounded like we'd find a dead bull in the morning.

So we set off before first light, and I took him to where I 'd shot the bull and we looked for the arrow but couldn't find it until we started following the trail and there it was, 15 yards down the trail, covered in bright red blood to the fletching, a good sign.

We followed the trail to where he'd laid down, then to where I'd last seen him, then followed a set of fresh tracks. Mark was painstakingly following the trakcs and I was out ahead scanning the brush for the bull. We heard a rock roll about a hundred yards away, but thought nothing of it. As we moved down the trail, we heard rustling in the brush, and then saw black. I mouthed the words "bear" to Mark and drew my pistol; he drew his too. Then I was looking at the biggest black bear I'd ever seen, he was looking over the brush right at me from 50 yards and his head looked two feet wide. We heard him run off, and I told Mark "I see antlers;" the bear had led us to the bull.

We approached cautiously, yelling with our pistols drawn (the brush was thick) but the bear was gone.

Luckily for us, the bear hadn't been at work very long, there wasn't much damage. We exchanged high fives and then looked at the elk more closely. In Colorado, the law says you need to leave "evidence of ***, naturally attached" to one of the quarters. The thing was, the bear had eaten the evidence!!!!! The mountain oysters (along with everything else) were gone!!!!

Now, some people will tell you that if an elk lays out overnight the meat will be no good, but that ain't necessarily so. I'm not saying it can't go bad, but if it's cool (it was) it won't. This is the second I've recovered in the morning, and the meat has been just fine on both.

I took a few photos just in case we got checked by the DOW, because I was thinking "a bear ate it" wouldn't quite cut it. The bear left a claw mark at the exit wound, as well as a "calling card" next to the elk, so I took pictures of all of it:

http://i125.photobucket.com/albums/p46/cpwatts_2006/P9110084.jpg

http://i125.photobucket.com/albums/p46/cpwatts_2006/P9110085.jpg


http://i125.photobucket.com/albums/p46/cpwatts_2006/P9110089-1.jpg

And Mark insisted on taking this photo for scale:

http://i125.photobucket.com/albums/p46/cpwatts_2006/P9110106.jpg


Here are some more photos:

http://i125.photobucket.com/albums/p46/cpwatts_2006/P9110128.jpg


It was great to have Mark along, but the thing about those young guys is, they're always hungry, eating all your food. I excused myself to take a leak, and when I turned back around here's what I found:

http://i125.photobucket.com/albums/p46/cpwatts_2006/P9110145-1.jpg

Actually, that shot shows the only damage the bear did (besides the evidence), he ate a little off the inside of one hind quarter, which we trimmed around carefully.


Mark was also very good with the photography, he showed me how he makes bulls look big by getting waaaay back in the background, he had me pose for this one, makes the bull look huge:

http://i125.photobucket.com/albums/p46/cpwatts_2006/P9110144.jpg


Here's one with a really cool hat:

http://i125.photobucket.com/albums/p46/cpwatts_2006/P9110111-1.jpg


Packing out:

http://i125.photobucket.com/albums/p46/cpwatts_2006/P9110155.jpg

Back at camp:


http://i125.photobucket.com/albums/p46/cpwatts_2006/P9120162.jpg


This elk was one of the fattest Mark or I had ever seen:

http://i125.photobucket.com/albums/p46/cpwatts_2006/P9120165.jpg


Another one in the books!!!!!!

http://i125.photobucket.com/albums/p46/cpwatts_2006/P9110158.jpg

CCH
09-13-2010, 08:41 AM
Simply fantastic!

Kmassaro
09-13-2010, 08:54 AM
Great story. Taxidermy bills await!

mgutman
09-13-2010, 09:40 AM
Congrats and great write up. Thanks for sharing!

Buck W
09-13-2010, 09:43 AM
Big congratulations, Smoke!! Great story, write up and pics!

Lost Arra
09-13-2010, 10:06 AM
Great story!
First big game animal with bow???
What a way to start!

Your experience kind of shoots down my "elk hate cattle" excuse.

snakey2
09-13-2010, 10:07 AM
Outstanding, the hunt, the outcome and the story.

Cleve
09-13-2010, 10:24 AM
Wow, great tale and pics. Thanks for sharing it with us. Definitely gets my "gotta get hunting" juices flowing!

Smokepole
09-13-2010, 10:32 AM
Great story!
First big game animal with bow???
What a way to start!

Your experience kind of shoots down my "elk hate cattle" excuse.

Thanks. Elk may hate cattle, but this area had enough great food/cover/water that the habitat may have overcome their disdain. I think the cattle may have worked to my advantage too. Their trails and alleys through the brush made sneaking around easier, and along with the number of elk in the area, I think the elk may have been less leary about noise in the brush.

CCH
09-13-2010, 10:37 AM
There are a lot of cattle up on that plateau and a lot of elk. I don't like hunting around the cattle but in that area, the elk really don't seem to mind them and can be found in close proximity as smokepole found. If the cattle have room to move and are moved, they don't seem to make a huge impact.

colohunter303
09-13-2010, 10:58 AM
Great story smoke and a great Bull. My bull had a ton of fat on him like that too. We measured near 3 inches on his rump. Its crazy how big bodied the anials are around there.

evanhill
09-13-2010, 11:46 AM
Thanks for sharing your story. The thing that I kept thinking as I read was that this would have been a great hunt even if it didn't end up with meat in the freezer. Passed on buying bow tags this year, mainly due to lack of time and secondarily because I didn't feel accurate enough with a bow yet. Your story has me motivated to practice more and plan a good hunt out in Eastern Oregon next year.

elmbow
09-13-2010, 12:59 PM
Despite using that contraption that you call a bow, but looks more like something Leatherman would market as having 28 functions, Ya dun good, and I'll give you a break since your a crippled old man. Smart though, getting young whippersnappers to tote your load.

chambero
09-13-2010, 01:19 PM
You'll have a hard time ever topping "the bear ate it" story. That's hillarious.

Congratulations!

Buck W
09-13-2010, 01:40 PM
Smart though, getting young whippersnappers to tote your load.

At the same time that Smoke and Westy were in their warm sleeping bags with bellies full of backstrap, bacon and butter, and having sweet dreams another story was unfolding. Westy's older brother arrowed a nice bull just before dark near Mt Adams. If the cell phone pics I took can be converted to a postable format, I'll try get him to tell the story.

CCH
09-13-2010, 01:57 PM
Now if Westy would just go hunting for himself... :D

Smokepole
09-13-2010, 02:13 PM
He's been on that quest for a few years now, he just hasn't found himself.

Westy
09-13-2010, 06:04 PM
Westy's older brother arrowed a nice bull just before dark near Mt Adams.

A Rocky Mountain and a Roosey down inside 24 hours! I love that I'm surrounded by studly bowhunters - I'm one lucky sherpa whippersnapper. The irony is that Padre played Papa Sherpa for my brother - I hope I can keep up like he can when I'm his age.

Thanks for letting me tag along Smoke - had a great time, as always. Very nicely executed on a beautiful bull. Like you once told me, "Any big game animal with a bow is a trophy." Yep, and an awesome first bull to boot.

I've been dreaming about the run-out of that basin for the past two nights. What do you say we take the long-route next time we go - I'm sure you know what I mean. Only five more years - then you can help me pack out. You didn't think that meat-totin' was free now, did ya?

Okie-dokie, back to work so I might get to hunt with my bro this weekend.

Bushcraft
09-13-2010, 07:54 PM
Awesome write-up and photos Phil. Hung on every word.

I couldn't seal the deal and make a clean, ethical shot opportunity happen on the same 5x5 on three different days in the tangled rainforest and reprod jungle that is Forks, WA. Definitely finding a new shangri-la next year.

Ya sure lucked out man, they don't make hunting partners too much better than Westy.

As I told Buck earlier today after seeing Jame's bull haul-out pics, I hope I can "represent" with the uber cool HPG cap this year, too.

Congratulations on a job well done.

M Paulsen
09-13-2010, 08:01 PM
RE unit 61: is this a good place for packing into the backcountry or more of a hunt from a vehicle basecamp sort of place? I've got enough points that I could get a tag there and i'm wondering how people hunt it.

Randy
09-13-2010, 08:51 PM
Congrats Smoke! Nice elk, stories and photos. Thanks for sharing.

Smokepole
09-13-2010, 09:09 PM
I've been dreaming about the run-out of that basin for the past two nights. What do you say we take the long-route next time we go - I'm sure you know what I mean. Only five more years - then you can help me pack out. You didn't think that meat-totin' was free now, did ya?

I'm there, that would be an awesome hunt. Or, at the very least, if you stick one give me a call and I'll send someone right up to help you tote the meat......

Smokepole
09-13-2010, 09:14 PM
Thanks for sharing. You're welcome Randy, but really no thanks are necessary; I've been telling this story to anyone and everyone who'll stay still long enough. I told the story to a guy on a street corner in downtown Denver three times, until I saw the white cane and the tin cup and realized he couldn't hear me.

Smokepole
09-13-2010, 09:18 PM
RE unit 61: is this a good place for packing into the backcountry or more of a hunt from a vehicle basecamp sort of place? I've got enough points that I could get a tag there and i'm wondering how people hunt it.

There are lots of roads and ATV trails; some roadless areas but not a lot. There are a few places you could get a few miles from vehicle access, but not many. The good thing is, since tags are limited and vehicle access is good, most people don't go far off the roads becasue you don't have to to be in elk. I know of one or two places where you could go 2-3 miles and probably have the place to yourself, mostly.

DWP
09-13-2010, 09:40 PM
Very cool story. Awesome first big game bowkill as well.

I will be back in NE Oregon on the 23rd trying to get my 1st elk with my bow.

Good luck to all in their seasons this year...

Ken
09-14-2010, 03:41 AM
Congrats Smoke!

Great Bull and story. Having all thos Elk around you while trying to get a shot has got to be great fun.

Nicely done.....

southernMd
09-14-2010, 06:09 AM
Congradulations, Awsome hunting story!

Smokepole
09-14-2010, 08:58 AM
Passed on buying bow tags this year, mainly due to lack of time and secondarily because I didn't feel accurate enough with a bow yet. Your story has me motivated to practice more and plan a good hunt out in Eastern Oregon next year.

Thanks for the congratulations, all. Evan, when I wrote up the tale, I didn't do it to motivate others, but reading your quote, now I'm glad I wrote it up!!! I'm motivated for next year too, bow-hunting is a kick in the pants!!

Kmassaro
09-14-2010, 11:35 AM
There is just nothing like drawing back on a big game animal. Hard to explain, but once you've done it, you understand. Congrats again.

Smokepole
09-14-2010, 02:01 PM
Hey Don, can I borrow your meat grinder? I have some tough old cuts I need to grind up for burger:

http://i125.photobucket.com/albums/p46/cpwatts_2006/P9140171.jpg

Westy
09-14-2010, 02:06 PM
Hey Don, can I borrow your meat grinder? I have some tough old cuts I need to grind up for burger:[/IMG]

I just had deja vu.

elmbow
09-14-2010, 02:22 PM
Hey Smoke, you adding any suet to your ground? I like to add at a 90/10 mix.

Smokepole
09-14-2010, 03:04 PM
Never really added any suet, I thought that stuff was for bird food?

elmbow
09-14-2010, 08:45 PM
just a suggestion paizan

Westy
09-14-2010, 08:46 PM
From: Westy
To: buck.w
Subject: FWD: Re: Colorado Archery Bull

Hey Dad,

Please see elmbow's comment below.

Love,
Westy


That boy of yours is turning into a man.

Huntsman22
09-14-2010, 08:46 PM
Hey Don, can I borrow your meat grinder?


Smoke, I'd be glad to loan you my grinder, but............
It's one of the(few)things that I forgot at home, when I vacated. I don't believe that I will bother to ask the soon-to-be ex-wife for it ,either. If you need it, and want to call and ask her for it, and drive to Elizabeth for it, I'd be glad to give you her number. I just can't call, if you know what I mean..........

Jon S
09-14-2010, 08:53 PM
Good looking bull, that Westy photoshopped huge rack picture is awesome. Who knew you could use technology in the field to stretch antlers?
I have a meat grinder, it is the Kitchenaid version that attaches to the end of the stand mixer if you want.
I have ground an elk, more than a few deer and had no problems. I cube them into about 1" chunks for easier feeding, definitely not as easy as a big grinder, but works well for one animal at a time.
Let me know if you need/want to borrow it.

Smokepole
09-14-2010, 10:01 PM
Thanks Jon, but I think Don'd disown me if I ground those into burger. He's funny like that. And I need the inheritance.

Smokepole
09-14-2010, 10:08 PM
From: Westy
To: buck.w
Subject: FWD: Re: Colorado Archery Bull

Hey Dad,

Please see elmbow's comment below.

Love,
Westy

Buck, I think Westy wants you to raise his allowance, since he's turning into a man now.

Jim N
09-14-2010, 10:16 PM
Nicely done! Am looking forward to the rest of the story.

evanhill
09-14-2010, 10:16 PM
I'm liking the way this whole adventure is shaping up. First Smokepole has to run off a bear to get the elk, then he has to run off a soon to be ex wife to get the meat grinder. Makes me wonder what the next challenge will be.

Westy
09-14-2010, 10:20 PM
Makes me wonder what the next challenge will be.

That's an easy one Evan - Depends.

Smokepole
09-15-2010, 05:34 AM
Just remember "Mr. he-man load packer"--what I pack in, you'll have to pack out.

Evan, give me a 400-lb. bear, any day.

Jon S
09-15-2010, 06:07 AM
Smoke, if you had contacted me for the grinder, I would have made up a story about my wife not allowing it out of the house, come and picked up those ragged cuts and brought you back some ground something! I promise they would have been elk (at least in part). Then, I would have invited you and the family over for a night of grilling for some backstraps that a friend was dumb enough to try and grind up, so I saved him from his lunacy.

Smokepole
09-15-2010, 06:12 AM
Then, I would have invited you and the family over for a night of grilling for some backstraps that a friend was dumb enough to try and grind up, so I saved him from his lunacy.

Nice, what're we having for wine and the side-dishes?

scothill
09-15-2010, 06:52 AM
Buck, I think Westy wants you to raise his allowance, since he's turning into a man now.

Westy told me the other day he is shaving and everything now.

CCH
09-15-2010, 08:19 AM
Westy's a man now? Was there a side trip to Trinidad? :)

I can testify that you couldn't have a better hunting partner regardless of manhood.

Lost Arra
09-15-2010, 09:29 AM
Smoke: How many preference points did that tag require? My deciphering on the CDW page looks like 10 for a resident. Well worth it.

Smokepole
09-15-2010, 11:55 AM
I know a guy (resident) who drew with 9. Great unit!!!

Westy
09-15-2010, 12:28 PM
Was there a side trip to Trinidad? :)

Nope. I'm happy being a male sherpa whippersnapper for the time being - thanks for the unsolicited referral to your doctor anyway.

CCH
09-15-2010, 01:32 PM
Nope. I'm happy being a male sherpa whippersnapper for the time being - thanks for the unsolicited referral to your doctor anyway.

:D ..............

Kmassaro
09-15-2010, 08:25 PM
FWIW, Unit 61 took a minimum of 9 preference points for residents, and 14 for nonresidents according to the latest data out there for archery licenses.

charlieh
09-16-2010, 07:14 AM
Smokepole, congratulations on a great hunt, and thanks for a very well-told, informative story. The Uncompagre Plateau is a special piece of real estate.

Huntsman22
09-20-2010, 08:04 PM
smoke, my long time co-worker and friend arrowed a 350+ bull this weekend. He didn't have to go clear across the state. He just went across the river from CCH's house.........

Smokepole
09-21-2010, 06:55 AM
Well now, ain't that something. I've seen photos of two in the last two days that would top that, both from friends of mine.

I wouldn't be surprised if Herb shows up with a few photos that'll dip your hat in the creek.

Huntsman22
09-21-2010, 06:46 PM
C'mon, Herb......

wd
09-23-2010, 07:57 PM
Westy's a man now? Was there a side trip to Trinidad? :)

I can testify that you couldn't have a better hunting partner regardless of manhood.


Hey, what's up with that comment?

Trinidad Bill

Smokepole
09-23-2010, 08:05 PM
Hey, what's up with that comment?

Trinidad Bill

Good question, I think he's got some 'splainin' to do.

Wanderlustr
09-24-2010, 05:54 AM
Congrats! Great job!

summitteer
09-26-2010, 07:18 AM
Congrats Smoke! Nice Bull, great story. I can't wait to start my hunt.

Two more weeks.....

OpsBulldog
09-26-2010, 01:07 PM
FWIW, Unit 61 took a minimum of 9 preference points for residents, and 14 for nonresidents according to the latest data out there for archery licenses.

ugh, 9 points.
At 1 point a year, its gonna take what feels like a lifetime to get enough points to get out of a crowded OTC area...I'm SOOOO tired of bugling in other bowhunters....

Smokepole
09-26-2010, 04:05 PM
Ops, how far are you going in from the road? Most of the places I hunt, 3-4 miles will separate you from the others.

OpsBulldog
09-26-2010, 04:21 PM
I've been hunting unit 18 for the last 4 years, primarily over by the King Mountain Ranch area, but no matter HOW far I hiked in I was tripping over hunters and guides. Tons of out-of-state traffic, primarily from Minnesota, judging from the license plates at the various trailheads.

So this year, I hiked in almost 5 miles through some pretty tough terrain, to hunt the border of the west side of Rocky Mountain National Park. We did see some elk (TONS of moose!) but damned if I again wasn't doing battle with tons of other bowhunters. I figured 5 miles in would do it, (and probably would have killed me packing out the meat!) but I called in more hunters than elk.

Starting to get frustrated. It seems that to save enough points to get into the "sacred areas" will amount to 1, maybe 2 of those hunts in a lifetime.

And I am not in a position to pay $4,000 for a private guided hunt, either.

Some day I'll get to savor the taste of backstraps, just not this year. Cheers to those of you who bagged your bull this 2010 bow season; well done!!!

Smokepole
09-26-2010, 07:16 PM
I'd say, keep looking for a spot where you can get 3-4 miles in and be alone during bow season, they're out there.

Herb
09-27-2010, 01:13 PM
Smokepole,

Finally got time to catch up, great detail of the hunt. Pretty easy to get hooked on those archery elk hunts, September is a special time in the woods.

I can see Westy comes in pretty handy, don't let him talk you out of too many of those steaks.

I'll see if I can find some pictures to satisfy Don.

Once again, well done, first archery elk and a fine bull too, solo hunt with some good help packing, can't get much better than that. Those tenderloins looked really good too.

Smokepole
09-27-2010, 03:03 PM
I can see Westy comes in pretty handy, don't let him talk you out of too many of those steaks.

Thanks Herb. What steaks?