Sunday, October 7, 2012

Boulder Mountain Muzzloader Bull Elk Hunt

Wow! I've been such a slacker! Oh wait, that is because I've been hunting elk and hiking in the fresh mountain air for days and days to be exact! It was one of the hardest, yet most fun & rewarding experiences I've ever done in my life...and to have Josh by my side the entire time was awesome! Here is my end result....

 I drew my tag for the much anticipated Boulder Mountain elk hunt last spring with 14 points. Josh went down early to scout a few days before my hunt and then I met him the night before opening day. We stayed at my parents home in Bicknell which was so nice. I don't know if I would've lasted as long had I been camping in a trailer or tent. It was so nice to go home and shower, have a nice hot meal and go to bed. My Mom watched our kids for the first few days and then the other grandparents watched them for the other half. It worked out perfectly and we couldn't have done it without them. We had such great help!

Josh was an amazing elk guide throughout the whole hunt! He did a great job and I couldn't be more proud of him. It was so fun to spend time with him in the mountains and see him doing something that he really enjoys. We got into elk each morning and night. Getting a good shot on the other hand was the challenge, but I knew with time we were going to get one, we just had to stay persistent. 
I did, actually get two shots on two different nights at about 108 yards and 120 yards.
It's very surreal getting so close to such big beautiful animals and hearing them bugle. There is nothing like it. I was a little scared and intimidated of them the first couple days, but after that I loved it! It's such a rush! 

The morning I got my elk we had gone out the night before and heard a ton of elk bugling at dark, so we left them alone and decided to come back the next morning, knowing that they wouldn't be far. I wasn't feeling the best that night and then were were debating weather to go out or not. Luckily, I was feeling ok in the morning. I told Josh this was the last day I was going out. I was exhausted and ready to go home and see my kids. We got dressed and hit the dirt road once again. When we got closer, we unloaded the four wheeler and road for about 15 minutes. We then hiked down a little into some trees that were near a flat. By this point it was just barely getting light. We saw a bull with about 5 cows feeding in the meadow, and could hear a few more bugling to the West, North and South of us. The sun came up and they stayed there for good while. We couldn't ever sneak up close enough for me to get a good shot at the one in the flat, so we just watched them for a good while.

Coming in from the other side moving toward the hillside was another elk and some cows. They were all headed toward the ridge to the West of us, including the ones in the flat. At that point we moved fast...RUNNING up the ridge on the other side, down and up again. We could hear them all going crazy up there! We were trailing them and I had to slow down a little to catch my breath. Josh, the mountain man can literally run up a hillside no problem. It's so crazy! I finally caught my breath a little and then caught up. We could see them up ahead in a clearing. There were about 5 bulls and close to 30 cows!! Tons of elk everywhere, bugling like crazy. We were super close, within 75 yards away and they had no idea. I got up next to a tree to get ready. I saw one chasing a cow and then he went into the trees and then I saw another one come out super closet to me, only about 50 yards from me. I leaned into the tree and squeezed the trigger as best I could and he went down!! It tried to get up a little so I walked a little closer and shot it again just to make sure. It all happened so fast! We walked over and I was really happy and super relieved! It was bigger than the other two I had shot at. Josh said he thought it was about a 330-340 class bull. I was very happy.

It was a little after 9 am when I shot it. We had to drive the four-wheeler back to the truck, and go around a different way. Then were unloaded the four wheeler again, hiked back in and started to gut it. My Dad and Uncle came out to help us get it out, but their radios weren't working so they finally found us just about when we were all done gutting it and ready to carry everything out. Josh carried the head & hide down himself. My Dad and I put the quarters on the four-wheelers back to the truck. We got done at about 3 pm. It was a long, hard day but so worth it. I'm glad I had the chance to go on a once in a lifetime hunt like this.

Shot him the morning of Wednesday October 3, 2012 
Shot him with a Thompson Center Muzzleloader 50 cal 
Shot him at roughly 50 yards away
Mature 6 point Elk, scored 330
Has a 45 2/8 inch spread

Thanks to all those who helped out in any way, and a big thanks to both sets of grandparents for watching our little munchkins. Also a huge thanks to my awesome hubby for being patient with me and being the best elk guide I've ever known. I love you so much, your a rock star!

Speaking of Josh. He killed at 197 class buck on the Boulder!!! He had got a muzzleloader deer tag so we could carry two guns. He said "You never know when you might stumble upon a giant," and those words came true for him! It happened right after I had missed a bull and we were just riding around on the four-wheeler. I saw 3 deer near the edge of some trees. He stopped to look at him and said "I'm going to go kill that deer." We pulled off a little ways ahead of them, he snuck down by some pine trees where they were. I was behind the four-wheeler watching it all happen. Then I heard a bang, and just like that the deer was down. I walked over and he had the biggest smile on his face. I don't think either of us knew he was that big!! He was SO happy and I was happy for him. It was incredible! We must be living right =)

Good Times!!


Ryan and Amber said...

Congrats mighty hunters! :) Glad y'all survived!

Requel said...

You guys are disgusting!! I've never heard such a play by play. Kinda cool yet kinda sad. Do you eat them? Just tell me you won't be mounting the antlers! Good for you to last so long...champion hunter!

Requel said...

You guys are disgusting!! I've never heard such a play by play. Kinda cool yet kinda sad. Do you eat them? Just tell me you won't be mounting the antlers! Good for you to last so long...champion hunter!

Don M. said...

Great Job, I harvested my bull this year after putting in 17 years for the early rifle draw, we've hunted deer down there the last 12 years and that buck is surely a giant. I got my elk over by big lake, you're terrain looks very similar. Congrats.

Don said...

Also is that buck the big deer that was hanging out around Lake Philo, if so please contact my email, we have been tying to find that deer on the rifle hunt and I want to know if I'm wasting my time.