A low pressure system has moved over this part of Colorado and it was much cooler, but very foggy. We drove up the back side of the mountain we hunted yesterday morning so we could glass, but the fog had pretty much socked us in. We walked a few hundred yards down the mountain and set up at a popular crossing. We were hoping they would bugle as they moved from the alfalfa fields to their bedding area. If that happened, we would work them. After a couple of hours waiting we realized the elk were either not talking or had moved east in a different direction. Once the fog lifted we checked a game camera to see if any elk had moved in last night, or moved out this morning. The camera confirmed that our elk had entered the fields last night. But they did not go west in the morning like they did yesterday. Tracks confirmed the elk did, in fact, go east to bed in the sage and mahogany flats at the top of a ridge. We tried to find them and we did spot 120 head from a glassing spot overlooking the flats, but only one shooter was seen and the odds of pulling off a stalk on him were low. We decided to head back for lunch.
While looking over the game camera shots from last night Wes had captured two nice bulls, and the bull I had passed up yesterday morning. I made the right decision.
The bull I had passed on yesterday (click to enlarge)
One definite shooter (click to enlarge)
Another definite shooter (click to enlarge)
Sunday Afternoon Hunt
We knew where the herd was but there were still a group of bulls around somewhere. Our job was to find them. Wes and I headed up to the top of the mountain to glass. It took us an hour but Wes spotted a bull - a BIG bull. He was a 6x6 with 18" tines all around and a spread between 45-48". Wes estimated him at 330-340. We took off after him, but he was a long way off. We moved down the mountain and across the valley, then we passed below the bull to get the wind before moving west to make a final approach. We had no idea where he was by now, at least 90 minutes had gone by. When we hit the meadow where we had seen the bull earlier, we spotted several bull elk, but they were all small. Wes didn't think it was likely that our big bull was herded up with a group of 2.5 year olds, but it was getting late and we had no options left.
We went high above the bulls and walked along a barbed wire fence which was the western border. As we moved closer we almost walked into a 5x6 that was not a shooter. He hadn't seen us yet so we moved quietly and Wes suggested I get into position and nock an arrow. He moved back 50 yards and began calling.
At first nothing happened, then I could hear an elk walking toward me. The bull appeared 20 yards in front of me. He was far too young to shoot. He then crossed under the fence. Just then I heard another elk approaching and this one was bigger. But still not a shooter. I could have killed either elk that Wes called in. They might have been small, but boy was that ever a lot of fun to watch those two bulls call right into my lap. It was a great night!