'21 Wyoming Elk Semi-Live

np307

Eight Pointer
Yesterday evening we found a herd. Buddy got a shot off but we couldn't find blood and it got dark. We came back this morning and found blood. Trailed for 1.5 miles over the mountain then down into the next valley. Based on two of the beds, it looks like a grazing shot maybe around the brisket. Blood was pinpricks the whole way and the elk was very obviously keeping up with the herd. We are going to sit near that area for the evening and maybe come back tomorrow morning. We will almost certainly leave tomorrow though with more snow possibly coming. Don't want to get stuck up here.
 

appmtnhntr

Twelve Pointer
Yesterday evening we found a herd. Buddy got a shot off but we couldn't find blood and it got dark. We came back this morning and found blood. Trailed for 1.5 miles over the mountain then down into the next valley. Based on two of the beds, it looks like a grazing shot maybe around the brisket. Blood was pinpricks the whole way and the elk was very obviously keeping up with the herd. We are going to sit near that area for the evening and maybe come back tomorrow morning. We will almost certainly leave tomorrow though with more snow possibly coming. Don't want to get stuck up here.
Keep at it
 

np307

Eight Pointer
Well yesterday evening we had another opportunity. Found a group with 30 minutes of light left and we made a play. Unfortunately there was no shot and it got dark on us. Chris decided that he was ready to head out so we left this morning. Got down the mountain around 9:15 and are planning to be back tomorrow evening. This was an incredible trip, one that will stick with me forever. I'll post a recap at some point on the way back with pictures. Thanks everyone for following along.
 

np307

Eight Pointer
We arrived in Wyoming on 10/13 after plenty of snow. We weren't sure what the forest service roads would be like and started our trek up the mountain very carefully. After crossing through the first park we knew there wasn't really any chance of trying to get back down the mountain so we kept pushing. We climbed up to 9200 ft and found a flat spot and made camp. In hindsight, we probably should've camped lower as thats where everyone else was but we were somewhat out of the wind so our spot worked well.

We awoke on 10/14 to even more snow. We walked down an adjacent forest service road that had trees across it and were breaking tracks through the snow. We were walking in snow deep enough to shut down the entire county we are from for a week, just for everyone to understand how out of place we felt. We walked almost 7 miles total and cut some elk tracks but didn't see anything super promising. We decided on the way back to cut the trees out of the road and drive down it in the morning to put us closer to the tracks we saw.

On 10/15, opening day, we drove back a little ways on the forest service road along with several other trucks enjoying the fact that we had cleared it. We started walking and bumped a group of mule deer does which had us hoping that elk would be up there too. Meanwhile it was still snowing. And cold. And windy. By the time we hit the 3 mile mark, the snow was up to at least 16 inches with some places over 20. We weren't cutting any new tracks and were getting concerned about being able to get an elk out if we did stumble across one so we turned back. We went back to the tent for lunch and the sun started to poke out. The spirits started to lift a little and we discussed the need to try a different spot. We picked one out and made our move. We got to the new spot around 1:30 and started making our way down the trail.

Not even 100 yards down the trail, we noticed that there were no boot tracks and a ton of elk and deer tracks. So we got a little excited and kept walking until about 650 yards from the car I saw elk ahead of us, walking toward us. We immediately got down and started looking them over. At first it looked like only cows but then I saw two spikes at the back of the group of maybe 10 elk. They were maybe 100 yards away and bunched up so there was no shot. They started moving to our right but also still towards us. They kept coming, and kept coming, and kept coming. Finally, one spike branched to the right and cleared into a gap. I squeezed off a shot and he dropped immediately from the high shoulder shot. My buddy tried to stop the cows to get a shot but it was too much chaos and he wasn't able to. Meanwhile, the bull was trying to get his front legs under him so I put several more rounds into his chest until he expired. We laughed and high-fived about how incredibly fast the whole thing had happened. Then we got to work. By 4:30, we had all the meat back at camp and settled in for the evening.

On 10/16 we turned our attention toward finding a cow. We tried several different spots but with the break in the weather there were tons of people out. That afternoon we decided to drive down and check out some other roads. We drove up one and things looked very promising so we got out with a little over an hour left. We walked down this road around 3/4 of a mile when we heard a bugle. We both thought we had gone crazy or were near another hunter when we started hearing mews. I looked down the slope and a group of cows were walking along the valley. We scrambled to get down but they were too quick. We had to swing back around a different way but we caught up to them. Probably 50 elk. My buddy posted up and had a shot at a cow by herself. As the herd left, none looked wounded but we went to check for blood but couldn't find any.

10/17 we returned first thing to the site from the previous day. After sweeping through again, we found blood. Drop by drop we followed the trail in the snow for over a mile and a half but it was futile. Almost certainly his shot was low and she would be fine. We walked back to car and got a bite to eat before heading back into the area the herd had been since there was so much sign from multiple days in there. We sat til around 6 when a coyote moved through and we took it as a sign to move back toward the truck. With around 20 minutes remaining, we spotted elk over 600 yds away on an adjacent hill. My buddy was pretty sure he could close to 200 with enough time to shoot. He closed the distance, but couldn't relocate the elk once he got into position. It got dark and we had to leave. On the way out, he decided that since we had accomplished the mission of punching my tag and he had had multiple opportunities for his tag, he was okay eating his tag and heading home. We got back, packed up camp, cooked up some more tenderloin, and went to sleep one last night.

10/18 we loaded up and left around 8:15 and got back to pavement around 9:15. It has been a whirlwind trip but its been a blast. On the way out we say a beautiful 5x5 mule deer buck and plenty of does, as well as some antelope. We'll be back for sure
 
Top