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Thread: 2019 My First Elk

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Kamloops
    Posts
    72

    2019 My First Elk

    I went into the 2019 elk season with low expectations. Last year was a short trip which involved a whole bunch of rain and more grizzly sightings then elk. This year went a bit different.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Kamloops
    Posts
    72

    Re: 2019 My First Elk

    Arriving at camp on the 7th with my dad and uncle. The temperature was perfect, cool and blue skies. After a quick dinner around 5 it was time to head out and glass the burn and many slides of the area. The first night turned up one lone cow elk and 5 mtn goats, so far better then the fog and rain of last year. To bed with high hopes.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Kamloops
    Posts
    72

    Re: 2019 My First Elk

    The morning of the 8th we are off with our bows strapped to our packs to check out a large side drainage. My dad and uncle have been hunting the area for about 35 years and this side drainage is one of the honey holes. It turns out that the horse trail in has just recently been recut so hiking in is fairly easy. Glassing slides as we go and checking out the beautiful scenery it takes about 4 hours to reach the far end. Sitting down for a quick snack break we catch a glimpse of a cow elk at the top of one of the slides, up go the binos. Watching for another 20 mins another cow and a calf materialize and disappear again into the timber. There isnt much for sign in the area so we head back to the truck and back to camp. We finish setting up camp and have an early dinner. Dishes done and it's time to head out for some more glassing. It doesn't take long and we have a group of 6 cows and a nice bull at the top of what I call grizzly slide. Last year my brother and I chased a big 6x6 up this slide but all we got for our efforts was a run in with 2 griz. The bull is way up there, around 2600 feet higher than we are so we take note and carry on glassing. Farther down the valley we spotted another herd, 10 cows a calf and a nice looking 5x5. But just as the first group they were out of reach for the night.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Kamloops
    Posts
    72

    Re: 2019 My First Elk

    The 9th. The next day we started out looking for the bulls from the previous night but no luck. We drove down to the head of the valley and spotted a bull about 6km away. Looks like a different 5x5 with 3 cows. Because of the burn, all of the side roads have been closed for hunting. Knowing this we have been hauling our mtn bikes around and now we get to use them. An hour of riding and we reach the end of the road and start hiking. Another hour and a bit later and we are into the elks bedroom. There is sign everywhere and all you can smell is elk. But they are gone, all we saw were a couple of other hunters. Turns out they got there just ahead of us and must have blown the elk out. At least it was an easy ride downhill back to the truck. At this point the weather had started to change. Clouds were rolling in and by the time we were back at camp the mountains were fogged in and it was raining.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Kamloops
    Posts
    72

    Re: 2019 My First Elk

    Sept 10th. Opening day of rifle and it is pouring rain. Thankfully we have 12 days of hunting so there is no need to go tromping through the wet bush. Instead we do some camp chores. Fill up the water tank from the creek. Cut some fire wood and such. An early dinner and the fog has lifted enough for a little more glassing. We relocate the 6x6 at the top of the same slide. I'm starting to make plans in the back of my head on how to get up and at him. My dad and uncle had plans to check out a different drainage the next day so it takes a little negotiating to get them to agree on an attack plan. In the end though they agree to go after the one we see. Not much sleep for me that night.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Kamloops
    Posts
    72

    Re: 2019 My First Elk

    Sept 11. After a bowl of cereal it's out the door before 5:30. The first half hour of hiking is in the dark. Weaving through burnt timber gaining elevation with every step. An hour in and my uncle splits off to go up to a bench where he might be able to locate the bull from. My dad and I are headed straight up at the bulls last known location. The wind is going uphill but ever so little its turning up the valley giving us only one approach option without getting cliffed out or busted. We trudge on. 3 and half hours and we are almost at our mark, a bench/knoll where the burnt timber meets green timber 200 yards or so down from where the bull might be. My uncle calls on the radio "Yup, he's still there". He was able to catch a 10 second glimpse through the fog. Just after his call I hear the first bugle. Now just as we are about to crest the knoll I see movement, shit 4 does. We play the waiting game and let them move off without spooking them. Now its game on. My dad and I move to opposite sides of the knoll about 40yards apart, him to the right and myself to the left. We start cow talking to each other and the bull screams at us.
    At this point I'd like to say what is wrong with people. I hear 2 gunshots and figure my uncle must have ran up the slide and taken a long shot at the bull, something he wouldnt do. No it's someone down in the valley taking pot shots over my uncles head wtf!! My uncle said the elk were fogged in at the time of the shots and he could hear the bullets whiz by before he heard the gunshot. He was far enough away from the elk that the shots were definitely not ment for the elk. If this was you give your head a shake. Back to my story.
    At this point I'm not sure what's going on. Did someone shoot the bull?? 2 min passed and I hear crashing above me in the trees. And then a huge bugle, hes coming in! I figure hes 70 yards away so I give a cow chirp and hes screams at me again. Not going to need any drop chart for this situation. He comes charging down through the trees straight at me. He clears the last trees into the burn at about 30 yards I let him take a few more steps hoping he turns more broadside. It's now or never, the wind is going right towards him so I put a round right into his shoulder. Good thing for 200grain partitions. The bull reals and takes off to the right, straight at my dad. My dad has to dive out of the way and ducked behind a tree. Holy shit this all worked just as we had planned the night before. We start tracking the bull. It's not hard he went straight down hill and within 5 min we locate him. Hes a beautiful 6x7. Perfect spot out in the middle of the slide with tons of visibility, no sneaky griz will get us today. I radio my uncle and give him the news. A few congratulatory words and the work begins. We reached the animal at noon and with heavy packs it took untill 9pm to get back to the truck. What an exciting day.

    The next morning we had a little sleep in, we ate a huge breakfast as all we had eaten the day before was cereal and a cliff bar. We then started the long treck back up to get our gear and the other 2 loads of meat. Straight shot hiking in and back it took 6 1/2 hrs. I'm now hooked on elk!

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Cranbrook, BC
    Posts
    1,067

    Re: 2019 My First Elk

    Congrats on your first elk! The addiction has begun. Thanks for taking the time to share this great story with us.
    You can take the man out of the wilderness but you cant take the wilderness out of the man.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    4,874

    Re: 2019 My First Elk

    Great Story and congrats on your success.
    Hopefully you got lot of photos with your dad and uncle.
    Sure wish back in the day I had, as I had a similar first elk with my dad and uncles as well!!!
    Congrats!

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Lake Cowichan
    Posts
    111

    Re: 2019 My First Elk

    Thanks for the story would love to see pictures

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Lake Cowichan
    Posts
    352

    Re: 2019 My First Elk

    Great story, congrats on your elk!!

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