October 14, 2018 by Mike
I just got back from my trip to Colorado. I don’t know if this makes any sense, but the big take home thing I learned is: Colorado smallirado. I had this big family tradition hanging over my head of going out of state to hunt. Now that I’ve done it I realize that hunting right in my own state and sometimes just two hours from my house is just as awesome. I thought I did enough training to be ready spiritually, physically, and mentally. It turns out I was wrong. If all those things were in place maybe I’d have seen more elk.
I left my wife at home with two children alone, an eighteen hour drive, and a considerable expense. In fact at the end of five days of hunting I saw no elk. I’ve seen more elk on the 41 freeway heading to visit family in Fresno. I did learn some valuable stuff. Although that leaves me discouraged. I allow myself to work even harder to kill an elk.
The first time I saw elk was back in 2006. I spotted a herd with a giant herd bull. I could see his rack with a naked eye from hundreds of yards away. I had to leave before I could hunt them because I didn’t set aside enough time for the hunt. I had a flight to catch back home. I thought I was prepared.
On this recent hunt I missed my two children so bad, I had a bellyache. I kept changing my thoughts to focus on the moment. I didn’t set up the camp as far as I wanted because it was hot and I was worried about getting all that meat out by myself. I couldn’t use the road I planned to get to the trailhead with because the oil company bought the lease on the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The company decided not to allow the public to use the road to access the BLM on the other side of the oil lease. To add to all this I saw zero elk.
I did find a giant four by four mule deer the penultimate day. I crept thirty yards from him, but no deer tag. As weeks went by I contemplated this elk hunt and there were additional things I learned.
I’d do it all again. I look back now and consider how far I’ve come since 2006. Now I can hunt alone. I bought all the gear for backcountry hunts. I’ve killed bucks in the backcountry and packed them back to the truck in the heat. I train with a huge rock in my pack. I’ve been out of state four times now. I’ve done research using paper maps, websites, and google Earth. I would have attempted few of these things had I not become an elk hunter. Now I just need to be patient until elk seasons rolls around again. I can buy or draw another tag. I know I’ll do it all again.Read More