What I Found Walking In the Woods

For the last week I've been walking through the Colorado woods chasing elk.  I have been blessed in the last three years and have brought home a cow elk each year.  This year I did not draw a cow elk tag in the area I usually hunt.  This meant going into the high up places to look for bulls.

I have also been blessed with a wife who has developed a love for hunting.  She did draw a cow elk license, as did my uncle.  My wife and I got to elk camp after a long week of work.  We pulled in long after dark, plopped our sleeping bags in the canvas wall tent we share with my uncle, father-in-law, and cousin.  The morning came early and with it came a plan.  There was construction down in the valley below that was pushing the elk up around 7:00 in the morning.  We downed some coffee and quickly ate a cold breakfast in order to get into place to catch the elk on the move.

I sat with my back against a large aspen tree and watched the ridge above me where the elk might choose to cross.  After sitting for about an hour enjoying watching the squirrels play and chatter, I was jolted by a crack and a boom.  Someone had taken a shot.  I sat tight, hoping that the elk might choose to run past me.  Instead I heard several other shots, all very close.  Soon I could sit no longer and called my uncle.  I was sure that two of the shots were his.  He had a cow down and wanted my help to get in gutted and back to camp.  I found him quickly and started to help.  Several minutes later, my cousin crested the hill and told me that he would help my uncle as long as I went to help my wife with her elk.

I quickly headed over the hill to find my wife with her first elk, a small cow.  Her dad was soon there to help.  As is my wife's way, she insisted on doing most of the work of gutting the elk herself.  She had gotten it close to camp and in short order we had it back and ready to hang.  Fifteen minutes later, my uncle and cousin brought the other elk in, and we had two elk hanging in camp.  It was not yet 2 PM.  An excellent start to the season.

Pictures below the fold.

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