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CO Archery elk hunt

Old 09-28-2007, 11:12 PM
Typical Buck
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Default CO Archery elk hunt

This was my 2nd archery trip to Colorado this fall as I'd hunted CO a few years back and was looking forward to returning again. I took over two weeks off this time around as I really wanted to take my time and enjoy the sights and sounds of the Colorado mountains plus give myself as many days to hunt as possible. I started out the first morning making about a 7 mile circle of various waypoints I'd marked on my maps and did hear one distant bugle, found sign, but saw no elk. For the afternoon hunt, I decided to do some serious hiking and climbeda steepgulch following a stream along the way. It was really steep and I think I spent more time on the ground than I did on my feet!! After climbing about 3 hours and 2000 feet up and smelling elk all the way up, I heard a bugle and was about to reach for an arrow when a rush of panic came over me. My quiver was gone. It was one of those rubber mount ones that pops into another rubber piece and I'd lost it on one of my many spills up the steep hillside. After a few choice words, I headed down the mountain which only took about 50 minutes and alot of slip sliding away!! I found a local bow shop and got a new quiver setup. Lost 5 broadheads plus arrows and quiver for around a $120 mistake. Chaulk it up to the cost of vacation!!

The next few days I had a few close encounters with both bulls and cows but my stalking attempts either failed or they saw me first and bolted. It's tough sneaking on them thru the lodgepoles on them. Each new day, I'd tell myself just keep going and possibly the persistence will pay off. After 5.5 days of hunting, I got a little break as we helped one of our party who had a MZ tag haul a cow off the mountainside so the afternoon we were given a break to haul out a few hind quarters. I continued the same routine day after day...get up at 4:15am, eat, drive to hunting area, hunt till around 11am, go eat, and do it again until after dark. On the 10th day, I was sneaking uphill along a game trail and came thru two pines to be greeted by a cow at about 10 yards. Even though I froze, she knew all wasn't well and trotted off briefly giving me an opportunity to draw back which she promptly saw and bolted. On the 11th day, I skirted a hillside just below the top of the ridge just after light. Suddenly I heard a loud bugle below and instantly took off at a good clip. It was around 7:40am but for some reason the wind was coming uphill already on that hillside and he was below and to my right. I closed the distant as quickly and quietly as possible as they just weren't bugling much and I wanted to get as close as I could while I could hear him. After covering a few hundred yards, I stopped behind a pine tree and kneeled down to access the situation. Wanted him to bugle one more time to further pinpoint him. He let out another bugle and I was really surprised I couldn't see him yet as he sounded really close. Suddenly I caught movement to my right and spotted a bull quartering up the hill right to me. This was a fairly open pine grove and when he went behind a few trees I grabbed an arrow. He stopped so I froze again until he started walking again. Then I nocked the arrow and waited for him to get behind some thicker pines to my right. I drew back and waited for him to walk into an open which would put him at about 20 yards broadside. I released the arrow as he came across and thwap...the arrow went right under his belly!! I couldn't believe it. Elk fever had taken over and I'd missed possibly the only opportunity I would get on the 11th out of 13 days to hunt. Wait...He jumped ahead a few steps and stopped behind some pines. I pulled out another arrow and nocked it. He continued to move and turned right slightly to my left and above me. I drew back and waited for the opening he was heading for. When he hit it, I took aim and fired. THWACK!!! The broadhead hit lower and back farther than I'd expected but I'd misjudged the yardage and his movement. In other words, I got flustered after the first miss and made a bad shot. I cow called to stop him and attempted to get another arrow in him but he was facing away from me and walked off before I could position for a shot. I flagged the first blood I found and he was pouring out pretty good. I called my partner on the radio and he made his way over to me. We'd given it an hour or so and decided to start trailing him. For the next 8 hours, it was flagging, crawling on hands and knees thru pine needle sections, making little circles to find more blood, and just staying with it. Finally at 4:30pm, we found him piled up in an old clearcut. He was on his last leg so I quickly zipped one in his neck and he expired about 30 seconds later. I was really disappointed in my shot but I was thankful we stayed the course and found him. Here are some pictures below of my first archery elk, some other critters I ran across, and some scenery pix as well. The trip was one that I'll remember for some time to come...

ironranger is offline  
Old 09-29-2007, 10:13 PM
Nontypical Buck
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Default RE: CO Archery elk hunt

Great story and pics!! Thanks for sharing!
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Old 10-01-2007, 08:48 AM
Fork Horn
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Colorado
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Default RE: CO Archery elk hunt

Great story and pics...thanks for sharing
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Old 10-01-2007, 08:52 PM
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Iowa
Posts: 24
Default RE: CO Archery elk hunt

Pictures and story were great! Thanks. Looking back, I bet you wouldn't have wanted one any earlier.
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Old 10-02-2007, 08:49 AM
Fork Horn
Join Date: Oct 2005
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Default RE: CO Archery elk hunt

i'm assuming National Forest - Any indication of which one?
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Old 10-02-2007, 08:56 AM
Typical Buck
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: McCall Idaho USA
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Default RE: CO Archery elk hunt

Nice work & story on the bull.

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Old 10-02-2007, 09:04 AM
Nontypical Buck
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: WV
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Default RE: CO Archery elk hunt

Way to go Iron Ranger. Beautiful pics and great story and Elk. Good to see you around again.
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Old 10-02-2007, 12:09 PM
Fork Horn
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: southeast missouri
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Default RE: CO Archery elk hunt

Greatstory Iron Ranger, I really enjoy hearing the details of hunts. I wish more hunters would recount their adventures in more detail. Thanks.
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Old 10-02-2007, 06:57 PM
Nontypical Buck
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Location: Elizabeth Colo. USA
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Default RE: CO Archery elk hunt

Congrats ironranger. Those are some great pics. that really add to the story. Looks like you were hunting high.
I think the archers found the elk hunting tough in CO. this year, mostly due to the warm temps. and the lack of bugling.
Any elk with a bow is a FINE elk.
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Old 10-02-2007, 08:16 PM
Nontypical Buck
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Location: pa.
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Default RE: CO Archery elk hunt

Great ending to a very nice trip. I love it out there!!!!
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