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  • 2017 Self Guided Elk Hunt (Part One)

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    Three guys walk into a bar...They talk about things that would love to do in their lifetime. One guy says lets go elk hunting. That's something they all thought would be a great adventure, Just too expensive, one day when we have some money saved up... Well what if we don't hire a guide, do it on our own, drive out and split gas, no hotels and eat sandwiches the whole way. We might not have a great chance of success but we will get to see some beautiful country, and we will still be happy even if we come home empty handed. I'm sure we will have some stories to tell. Hours of research, where to go, what season, rules and regs, TAGS... We got it all planned out and off we went 37 Hours of driving switching turns behind the wheel. Two days later we pull into the ranger station in Idaho only to find out our first pick spot has a washed out road and a forest fire that has spread and closed down the whole north side of the hunt unit. a quick regroup on to spot number two. Seven more hours of driving we are in the middle of the wilderness with just enough daylight to set up camp in what seemed like a nice spot. Tents up and a trek up to the highest point around to listen to the bulls bugle in the night. That got our spirits up. They're out there, now we just have to find them. 60 degrees turns to 30 in the night and we wake up to a few inches of snow and a fog thick as whipped cream. When we left the weather report said lows in the mid 40's Highs in the mid 80's. We just were not quite ready for that kind of weather. With no visibility we decide to use our time to move base camp to a lower elevation. In the river bottom now the first half of opening day lost to the weather and moving camp, we are determined to get out there to see what the weather stirred up. Packs on and loaded a bit to heavy we hit the trail a few miles back. Stopped at a nice overlook off the trail, Cow calling along our hike. We decided to take a break and shed our packs, watch the evening set in and make a plan for tomorrow. Mid sentence my buddy says there's an elk, we all freeze. I can see for 1000 yards so im scanning frantically. Where. Behind that tree. Where, i don't see him... BE STILL. HES RIGHT THERE. Points at the first tree below the cliff we are sitting on. OH Snap. Rifle ready he takes a few more steps and POW. Right behind the shoulder with the 338 Win Mag at 80 Yards. he ran about 20 yards and stopped. POW Not letting him get away, This is the first Bull Elk I've ever seen outside of Cabelas, We haven't even seen a track yet. The second shot missed clean but it made him take another step and he fell over not a kick. We did it, Bull Elk Down. We were so excited we raced down the side of the mountain to claim our prize.
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