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Colorado Archery Trip


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#1 Ironranger

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Posted 27 September 2007 - 10:23 PM

This was my 2nd archery trip to Colorado this fall as I'd attended Elkatraz a few years back and was looking forward to returning again. I took over two weeks off this time around as I really wanted to take my time and enjoy the sights and sounds of the Colorado mountains plus give myself as many days to hunt as possible. I started out the first morning making about a 7 mile circle of various waypoints I'd marked on my maps and did hear one distant bugle, found sign, but saw no elk. For the afternoon hunt, I decided to do some serious hiking and climbed this gulch following a stream along the way. It was really steep and I think I spent more time on the ground than I did on my feet!! After climbing about 3 hours and 2000 feet up and smelling elk all the way up, I heard a bugle and was about to reach for an arrow when a rush of panic came over me. My quiver was gone. It was one of those rubber mount ones that pops into another rubber piece and I'd lost it on one of my many spills up the steep hillside. After a few choice words, I headed down the mountain which only took about 50 minutes and alot of slip sliding away!! I found a local bow shop and got a new quiver setup. Lost 5 broadheads plus arrows and quiver for around a $120 mistake. Chaulk it up to the cost of vacation!!

The next few days I had a few close encounters with both bulls and cows but my stalking attempts failed or they saw me first and bolted. Each new day, I'd tell myself just keep going and possibly the persistence will pay off. After 5.5 days of hunting, I got a little break as we helped one of our party who had a MZ tag haul a cow off the mountainside so the afternoon we were given a break to haul out a few hind quarters. I continued the same routine day after day...get up at 4:15am, eat, drive to hunting area, hunt till around 11am, go eat, and do it again until after dark. On the 10th day, I was sneaking uphill along a game trail and came thru two pines to be greeted by a cow at about 10 yards. Even though I froze, she knew all wasn't well and trotted off briefly giving me an opportunity to draw back which she promptly saw and bolted. On the 11th day, I skirted a hillside just below the top of the ridge just after light. Suddenly I heard a loud bugle below and instantly took off at a good clip. It was around 7:40am but for some reason the wind was coming uphill already on that hillside and he was below and to my right. I closed the distant as quickly and quietly as possible as they just weren't bugling much and I wanted to get as close as I could while I could hear him. After covering a few hundred yards, I stopped behind a pine tree and kneeled down to access the situation. Wanted him to bugle one more time to further pinpoint him. He let out another bugle and I was really surprised I couldn't see him yet as he sounded really close. Suddenly I caught movement to my right and spotted a bull quartering up the hill right to me. This was a fairly open pine grove and when he went behind a few trees I grabbed an arrow. He stopped so I froze again until he started walking again. Then I nocked the arrow and waited for him to get behind some thicker pines to my right. I drew back and waited for him to walk into an open which would put him at about 20 yards broadside. I released the arrow as he came across and thwap...the arrow went right under his belly!! I couldn't believe it. Elk fever had taken over and I'd missed possibly the only opportunity I would get on the 11th out of 13 days to hunt. Wait...He jumped ahead a few steps and stopped behind some pines. I pulled out another arrow and nocked it. He continued to move and turned right slightly to my left and above me. I drew back and waited for the opening he was heading for. When he hit it, I took aim and fired. THWACK!!! The broadhead hit lower and back farther than I'd expected but I'd misjudged the yardage and his movement. In other words, I got flustered after the first miss and made a bad shot. I cow called to stop him and attempted to get another arrow in him but he was facing away from me and walked off before I could position for a shot. I flagged the first blood I found and he was pouring out pretty good. I called my partner on the radio and he made his way over to me. We'd given it an hour or so and decided to start trailing him. For the next 8 hours, it was flagging, crawling on hands and knees thru pine needle sections, making little circles to find more blood, and just staying with it. Finally at 4:30pm, we found him piled up in an old clearcut. He was on his last leg so I quickly zipped one in his neck and he expired about 30 seconds later. I was really disappointed in my shot but I was thankful we stayed the course and found him. Here are some picture below of my first archery elk, some other critters I ran across, and some scenery pix as well. The trip was one that I'll remember for some time to come...


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Edited by Ironranger, 28 September 2007 - 02:31 PM.


#2 tomscheland

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Posted 28 September 2007 - 06:23 AM

hey great hunt and great bull...thanks for the share.....when's the steaks going to be ready....
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#3 runNgun

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Posted 28 September 2007 - 06:30 AM

Congratulations!
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#4 iamyourhuckleberry

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Posted 28 September 2007 - 06:36 AM

Tim,

Your pictures and story are absolulely incredible-they actually make me want to cry! It seems like I was only there yesterday. Now, I'm stuck in suburbia...Oh how I miss the mountains!

Congrats on your elk, and I hope Colorado will be blessed with your continued presence! ;)
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Lurking in McDonalds near you!

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#5 Rowdy Yates

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Posted 28 September 2007 - 07:24 AM

Congrats Tim! Great story and those photos are cool. It had to be a fun trip and an adventure to remember for sure. Thanks for sharing it.

You must have got your ankle back in shape with all that mountain climbing.

Edited by Rowdy Yates, 28 September 2007 - 07:25 AM.

"Keep the sun forever at your back, the wind forever in your face, and may forever God bless you out there on the trail."

#6 MuleDeer

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Posted 28 September 2007 - 07:41 AM

Way to go Tim. :yahoo:

Looks like you had an great trip. The pictures you took are superb.



#7 Whitetiger

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Posted 28 September 2007 - 08:58 AM

I wish I had a camera like that and a place to hunt thats as breath taking as all y'all have. I can get an ok pic from the local game lands but I dont have access close to what your hunting. Congratulations on a great hunt and good recovery. Persistance pays off.

#8 Charles

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Posted 28 September 2007 - 12:55 PM

You the man, Tim!!!

Thanks for the story and photos...
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#9 Ironranger

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Posted 28 September 2007 - 07:55 PM

Thanx everyone!! As I said, just a great experience and one that I'll remember for the rest of my life!!

#10 bonecollector34

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Posted 28 September 2007 - 08:24 PM

Congrats Tim

Very nice pictures and a wondefull trophy

Fatty


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#11 McBruce

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Posted 28 September 2007 - 08:36 PM

:clap: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:


way to go :)
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#12 paturbo

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Posted 28 September 2007 - 09:44 PM

Congrats Tim on a fine bull Elk. Thanks for sharing the story and pictures.


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#13 Larry $

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Posted 29 September 2007 - 11:21 AM

That is just too awesome Tim!!!! And great photos too - what an experience.
Elk: it's what's for dinner!

#14 Phil

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Posted 30 September 2007 - 05:55 PM

Excellent story to share Tim, sure glad ya scored with all the hard work paying off!
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#15 tdl12321

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Posted 11 October 2007 - 02:42 PM

great story even better pics!




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