Sorry that this update will be short. It is after 10 Mountain and I am just back from our afternoon hunt. It was a long, tiring day.
We saw six bulls this morning from the top of the mountain. One of them was a shooter for me, but not quite as big as the bulls we've been chasing lately. He would be right around book at 260-270 net. He looked good for me and we headed after him. Wes knew a funnel which the elk were heading to. It was a gamble, but if it worked I'd have a very close shot with over the shoulder video. We tried it, but the bulls never showed. There was zero wind this morning so stalking was basically out of the question anyway.
The temperature was 93 at Fort Collins today. Not very good elk weather! Still, we headed out with water and gatorade. But as we drove to the ranch, several thundershowers moved in and we had a strong North wind. Perfect!!! To top that off, we spotted the elk from the road and they were feeding in the red breaks.
100 yards was as close as dared get from this bedded 6x6.
We drove as far as we could then loaded our packs and hiked the rest of the way. Wes found the elk but they were now bedded in a terrible spot for us. They were basically at the top of a bald hill with a 360 degree view of everything. We stalked to within 100 yards but didn't dare get any closer. The strong wind started to peter out and that was going to be trouble. But what was worse was it started to swirl and we decided to back off another 200 yards downhill. The elk were going to feed down a ridge and Wes knew the only funnel which takes them there. As we approached it, the trail was beaten into sand.
If you look hard you can see Wes on the top left of the ridge. We setup just to his left.
We waited on those elk for hours. But something happened and they caught wind of something. They ran up the hill then stopped and kept looking south. Whatever they smelled bothered them immensely. And it turned the elk back up the hill instead of down to us. We had a good setup but it just didn't work out for us. We saw one lone bull feeding at the top of the hill as the sun went down and then spent the next 2 hours figuring out a way to get off that mountain without blowing out the elk. We think we were successful but tomorrow will tell us for sure.
This video footage is even more spectacular than this photo. I was 200 yards from this sky lined bull.
Overall, it was a pretty frustrating day. We found the elk but the weather is just not cooperating. Hunting elk when it is 90 degrees is just gross.