We found the elk in the alfalfa and parked on them as fog rolled in and out. It was cooler today and the elk knew it. They were bugling like crazy. We watched them head out of the fields and up into the sagebrush flats. We waited until they were out of the area then we headed up into the hills to see if we could bed them. It worked like a charm and we spotted at least 4 shooter bulls (over 300) in the group. On the way up there I spotted a spectacular scene and snapped this photo:
This scene was even better in person!
We sat on that hill watching the elk for a long time and thought about going after them. But the weather report called for stronger, and more consistent winds this afternoon so we headed back for lunch to fuel up for a big afternoon. We have the elk down cold and Wes has a plan. It should be a slam dunk this afternoon. We just have a couple of "tiny" variables to deal with; like wind direction, lack of cover and about 200 head of elk to contend with. Piece of cake!
On our way back to town we spotted this little rattlesnake and decided to have a little fun with it.
Monday Afternoon Hunt
We went right back to the sage flats and the elk were right there like Wes had predicted. We had to walk about a 1/2 mile around the top of the hill then straight across a hillside covered with mahogany bushes before we went into "final stalk mode." When we got within 250 yards from the elk, Wes suggested we try to call the bulls up to us so I quietly crawled 40 yards ahead while Wes dropped back 60 yards. When I was settled, he began calling and got their attention. It took a while but they started to respond 30 minutes after Wes started calling. A spike bull walked right by me and he was followed by a cow and a calf. I hunkered down and none of them detected me. While the spike was between me and Wes, another bull started to come in. He was a heavy 5x5 that was a mature, 4.5 bull elk. I decided to shoot him since he was impressive and mature.
As the bull continued to approach, the spike and cow were getting nervous. We don't know if their body language was alarming the 5x5, or if it was some other factor, but he hung up at 100 yards and turned around before heading back to the herd. I did see one really nice bull that was in the low 300's but he was not ready for calling. As the sun began to set, the elk herded up and headed for the alfalfa fields a couple miles to the West. We took that opportunity to sneak out of there before we alarmed them. It was another fun evening. One of these hunts it's got to happen!