Day 6: Here is a beautiful snow lake that is just a mud hole now. We glass it (with binoculars) every time we drive by looking to see if a herd has been through it or not. Last time I saw fresh sign moving through it was Monday.

Holy cow!! One elk crossed back over in the same area where they went in last night. We just drove that area not more than an hour and a half ago! I quickly cover up all of his tracks. Based on yesterday, my guess is that the herd is not far behind. I’m just sitting and listening for any movement. It’s amazing how loud the forest really is. Birds chirping, frogs croaking, the bees sound like mini chainsaws there are so many of them, the chipmunks are scurrying up and down the trees. Every once in a while you hear a thud or something crashing through the brush. Usually it’s the chipmunks cutting the pinecones and the¬†cones dropping to the ground.

It used to startle me but now I know the sound so well I don’t pay any attention.

After driving the roads to see if anything moved last night – which nothing did – we got out to look through a meadow on the opposite ridge where we put the elk to bed to see if they went that far. Nope,not there. That’s good. Means that they didn’t go far. We decide to split up. Gary is going to sneak up over to where we think they spent the night while I drive to the other side of the mountain to pick him up.

Now this is what a fresh elk rub is supposed to look like. A big bull did this.

Sneaking around in the woods reminds me of when I was a teenager trying to sneak back into the house after curfew. Tip toeing and choosing every step super carefully because the floor would squeak in certain areas. Making sure that every move was dead silent so as not to wake mom and dad. That’s what this reminds me of only in the wilderness, I have to sneak around for miles.

Every step counts. Every step counts because the animals can hear far better and for much greater distances than we can.

Gary’s walk was important. He could tell where the herd split up. Three went back into the wilderness towards a lake back there. Based on the tracks I saw plus a second set that were made after I left, two went downhill back where they came from. I have pre-hunt jitters. Based on what we saw, we are going downhill. I’ve never been in that area ever. Makes me nervous to think that there are only two of us and me never having been in that location. I better run through everything I know and have learned for the next 19 hours. Day 6 was a lot of clues and I feel like we’re getting closer.

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