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Elk Hunt Trail Diary: Day 10

Roberta Kellis's picture

Another cold, foggy, wet morning. Starting off by staging a truck at our exit point and then checking the roads.

Staging a truck at our exit point.

Our first hunt took us back to yesterday's area only this time we will approach from the upper end, not the lower end.

Our first hunt took us back to yesterday's area.

Nitro-Pak Preparedness Center

We sat and cow called in a couple of spots. One time off in the reprod crap we heard a Grouse disturbed and fly off, then some thuds and brush breaking. After a while of being in complete "ready" mode, I couldn't take it anymore. It's so important that you and your hunting team mate(s) have some sort of unspoken language via hand gestures. I gestured to Gary to stay there, watch the open area at ready, and that I was going into the sh*t thicket to investigate. So, in I went. I found an okay ally where the 6' tall ferns were laying down in front of me. This is the game entrance for sure. There were trails and beds all through the area. After seeing fresh deer tracks and spider webs clear up to my height but prolific at about 7' up, I determined that it was a big deer that we spooked. 

That's why I went into the wall of crap, because I knew Gary wouldn't and he was in a much better advantage point as shooter than I was. I tell you what, I wouldn't have done this in the year prior. Being out here is such a confidence builder.

Nothing much came in that hunt either except we did find evidence that cows had been there earlier (the look and smell of scat tells many secrets) and that the bull has been working a very large territory for quite a while. These photos are of older rubs made a month or two ago. To me, they looked like last year's rubs so I asked Gary how he knew they were this year's. He pointed out that the leaves were still on the broken branches and that the branches were on top of this year's ferns. Because these plants live in direct sunlight all of the time, when they were made deceives the novice. After putting all of that together and rummaging through the rub, he is absolutely correct. I felt like an idiot for asking but I tell you all to ask every time no matter what. How else will you learn?

By the way, I was wrong. This is a scrape, not a rub. Gary pointed out that an elk will do this to the ground just like they will do on a tree or bush. He showed me how everything was all tore up and uprooted, but there are no indentations of his body where he laid down.

Very interesting. I never knew to look for scrapes, too. See! I'm learning all the time. You can't get this kind of an education without getting out of the truck and just pounding the ground. It also takes an outstanding partner/teacher. But that in this photo, it is clearly a bed because you can see it has been played in.

Some of the views here are breathtaking. I love God's Country as we call it up here.

The perfect way to end an evening.

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