Hunting Washington Forum

Big Game Hunting => Elk Hunting => Topic started by: 7mmfan on August 18, 2017, 10:44:09 AM

Title: My quality hunt is fast approaching
Post by: 7mmfan on August 18, 2017, 10:44:09 AM
With all the recent changes and push to bring this site back close to what it was when I joined 9 years ago, I decided to start a thread that I was reluctant to at first. It's no secret that the last couple years, often guys that draw quality tags get drug into a bunch of unwanted drama regarding possible trespassing, poaching, killing to small of a bull/buck, etc, etc, etc... So when I saw selected this year for the Cowiche Quality modern tag, I decided to not post anything. I have probed a little trying to get in contact with past tag holders, and made a couple good connections, but I didn't want to publicize anything.

That being said, I'm encouraged by what I've seen recently, and I know that what drew me here in the first place was reading peoples amazing hunting stories, and seeing pictures of animals. So, if we're heading back that direction now, I'd like to contribute what I hope to be an amazing, and hopefully NOT a once in a lifetime hunt. So here goes.

The Facts

- This is the 2nd time I've applied for a quality tag. Last year was the first.
- I drew with 5 points (leftovers from the category change a few years back). A friend of mine didn't draw with 25. I feel bad for him, but only kind of.
- I have hunted the unit a fair amount, but most of it has been spent in just a few spots.
- I've never killed a branch antlered bull, despite 2 bull tags drawn in the last 10 years. I prefer meat to horns and killed spikes both times.

The Situation

I applied for this tag, like most of us, with zero expectation of drawing it. My wife and I just welcomed our first child 2.5 weeks ago, a boy we named Grayson.

When I saw selected back in June, I knew my scouting time would be extremely limited. It has become even more limited as my wife had to have an emergency C-section, and I've had to stay close to home to make sure I'm there to help out as needed. Nothing like going through 28 hours of labor followed by major abdominal surgery, only to be sent home with a tiny human that's totally dependent on you!

I expect that now as we find our new normal, I'll be able to get a couple weekends in over there before my hunt comes on September 25. I have areas I've marked on my maps to check, areas I have found good rut sign in the past, and areas that members and friends have shared with me as legit locals for bulls in September. I feel good about this.

I have no experience with calling elk, short of tooting on my cow call here and there. I've never hunted elk in the rut. I'm trying to brush up on my bugling, but mom won't allow it at home with the baby, God forbid I wake him up. My commute to work is only 5 minutes, so there's minimal time available there to practice. Besides, I'm sure that somehow applies to the new distracted driving laws. I wonder what they'd write on that ticket?

My fitness level is average right now, which is tough for a guy that prides himself on being above average in that department. I went bear hunting with a buddy last night and we rode our bikes up some pretty moderate slopes a couple miles. I don't recall ever sweating that much. I feel good today though, so that's encouraging. Hoping to double down on this in the coming days and get some of my endurance back.

The Goal

Being as I've never killed a branch bull, my expectations aren't huge. That being said, I know the potential in the area, and the damage I could do with a rifle. My friend and I were talking about what's a shooter and what isn't. He wants main beam and tine length. I like mass and junk. Big eye guards and 4ths are also appealing to me. That being said, I will probably shoot the first nice 6 point or big 5 point (also weirdly appealing to me  :dunno: ) that I see. Score means absolutely nothing to me, I couldn't even tell you what a 300" bull looks like. I doubt I'll score him unless he's potential record book, which I don't expect. I will shoot any bull I get a clean shot at the last day, and maybe the last 2 days depending on how things are going. It all boils down to that meat in the freezer for me. I haven't bought beef in 5 years, I want to keep it that way.

Most importantly, I want to soak it all in. The idea of being in the woods with a couple good friends hunting elk in the rut when virtually no one else is in the woods hunting, is a dream come true. I can't wait to blow on that bugle and get the first response, and make my move. I'm really excited to get in close to a herd with an active bull, wait for him to bugle and cut him off with a bugle of my own and throw the challenge at him. While I'm prepared to shoot out to 500 yards, I'd prefer to kill him like the last few I've killed, staring at the whites of his blood shot, pissed off eyes.

I'll update this is I go along, and if anyone has anything to add or suggest, I welcome all input. More info is better than less, and these quality tags are so few and far between that I don't think anyone should worry about sharing info. PM's are suggested though, you know, for modesty.

Thanks for following along guys.   :tup:
Title: Re: My quality hunt is fast approaching
Post by: Jpmiller on August 18, 2017, 11:18:39 AM
Good luck to you! Look forward to reading of your journey and success.
Title: Re: My quality hunt is fast approaching
Post by: Gringo31 on August 18, 2017, 11:22:01 AM
Quote
Most importantly, I want to soak it all in



 :tup:

You got it really figured out!  Enjoy every min!!!
Title: Re: My quality hunt is fast approaching
Post by: Timberstalker on August 18, 2017, 11:24:06 AM
Looking forward to it, 7mmfan.  Best of luck on this hunt. :tup:
Title: Re: My quality hunt is fast approaching
Post by: SkookumHntr on August 18, 2017, 11:29:06 AM
Good luck man!! Nice Draw!! :tup:
Title: Re: My quality hunt is fast approaching
Post by: baker5150 on August 18, 2017, 11:42:38 AM
Thanks for posting, looking forward to hearing how things go.

Congrats on the baby, hopefully momma recovers quickly.
Title: Re: My quality hunt is fast approaching
Post by: Southpole on August 18, 2017, 11:43:36 AM
Congrats on the draw! Just being able to hunt, when there is only 2 other guys in the unit, is pretty darn cool to me 8)
Title: Re: My quality hunt is fast approaching
Post by: 2MANY on August 18, 2017, 12:04:59 PM
As a responsible parent I can assure you that your life will only get busier as the child ages.
Make to most of your hunt.
No regrets.
Feed that family. :)
Title: Re: My quality hunt is fast approaching
Post by: WapitiTalk1 on August 18, 2017, 12:24:33 PM
Well sir, congrats on the tag but more importantly.... congrats on the new addition to your family!  Sounds like Mrs. 7MM had a rough go bringing the young Grayson into the world; glad she made it through and now safe and home with you and your son.  I know nothing about the unit you drew but know a bit about calling and hunting the elk rut.  I'd be more than glad to help you along with your calling and even discuss some various tactics to employ during that most special time of September.  RJ   
Title: Re: My quality hunt is fast approaching
Post by: bracer40 on August 18, 2017, 12:46:12 PM
Congratulations on both fronts, but most importantly the birth of your son. With most of my four kiddos out of the house, I sometimes forget what an amazing, overwhelming and a little scary it is to bring that first little one home....

Look for a pm from me when I have more time. I might be able to provide some "up to date info as your hunt approaches.
Title: Re: My quality hunt is fast approaching
Post by: GUscottie on August 18, 2017, 01:59:13 PM
Stoked for you! Love hearing guys getting into this for the experience and not necessarily the "score".

Good luck to you!
Title: Re: My quality hunt is fast approaching
Post by: h20hunter on August 18, 2017, 02:23:00 PM
Man...you guys got it all wrong. I've been out with this joker to plink. Sure he talks a big talk. Fitness. C'mon! You only had like 30 pounds of water weight plus gear, gun, ammo, and optics. Sheesh. Probably taking along that lil 7mm of yours. Underpowered. I saw you shoot up my steel plate at 175 yards tearing up my beautiful pvc target stand. Those piddly rounds only knocked the plate what....3 or 4 times what my 308 did. Lame. You are probsbly going to share this experience with that guy you claimed was your dad. Don't get me going on him. Acting all nice, being polite....then...then shooting the heck outta my steel also!


 :chuckle:

Dyn O Mite!

Looking foward to following along. Make sure I'm on the text list of bull down!
Title: Re: My quality hunt is fast approaching
Post by: kevinlisa06 on August 18, 2017, 02:27:46 PM
Congratulations to you on the birth of your child!
Good luck this season and fill that freezer!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: My quality hunt is fast approaching
Post by: 7mmfan on August 18, 2017, 02:49:52 PM
Man...you guys got it all wrong. I've been out with this joker to plink. Sure he talks a big talk. Fitness. C'mon! You only had like 30 pounds of water weight plus gear, gun, ammo, and optics. Sheesh. Probably taking along that lil 7mm of yours. Underpowered. I saw you shoot up my steel plate at 175 yards tearing up my beautiful pvc target stand. Those piddly rounds only knocked the plate what....3 or 4 times what my 308 did. Lame. You are probsbly going to share this experience with that guy you claimed was your dad. Don't get me going on him. Acting all nice, being polite....then...then shooting the heck outta my steel also!


 :chuckle:

Dyn O Mite!


Looking foward to following along. Make sure I'm on the text list of bull down!

It was actually 5 gallons, so closer to 40# but whose counting??? At least it started that way.

Thanks for the support, it's nice to read positive comments! I'm just grateful to have a wife that understands that my hunting isn't just a for kicks deal, and knows that I'm not leaving for a week long bender. She appreciates that its a passion and that it provides us with some of the best meat on earth, year after year! We'll see how she feels after a week solo with the kiddo though  :yike:  Now I just need to convince her that the huge vaulted entryway of our home is the perfect place for a European mount.
Title: Re: My quality hunt is fast approaching
Post by: h20hunter on August 18, 2017, 03:01:57 PM
Forgiveness,  not permission. Just saying.
Title: Re: My quality hunt is fast approaching
Post by: 7mmfan on August 18, 2017, 03:11:31 PM
Forgiveness,  not permission. Just saying.

Good point. I know she won't get up there on a ladder to take it down...   :bdid:
Title: Re: My quality hunt is fast approaching
Post by: boneaddict on August 18, 2017, 03:12:52 PM
Thank you for posting.  Looking forward to it unfolding. 
Title: Re: My quality hunt is fast approaching
Post by: Skillet on August 18, 2017, 03:25:10 PM
Good luck man!  Thanks for posting it up for us  :tup:
Title: Re: My quality hunt is fast approaching
Post by: 7mmfan on August 18, 2017, 03:45:36 PM
As a responsible parent I can assure you that your life will only get busier as the child ages.
Make to most of your hunt.
No regrets.
Feed that family. :)

This is what I'm expecting, and as much as I like my free time, I'm excited for it. I can't wait to see what this little guy grows into and the places that he'll go. I just hope to keep him steered in the right direction and well supplied with game meat  :) 

We just ate our last pack of steaks this week. Still have some burger left. The wife is finally experiencing a meat crisis for the first time since we've been married, and that was 2 deer we ate!
Title: Re: My quality hunt is fast approaching
Post by: JakeLand on August 18, 2017, 04:16:07 PM
We'll be following!
Title: Re: My quality hunt is fast approaching
Post by: Karl Blanchard on August 18, 2017, 05:14:40 PM
Congrats on the tag and even more so on the little one!  Pm inbound :tup:
Title: Re: My quality hunt is fast approaching
Post by: deerhunter_98520 on August 18, 2017, 05:52:49 PM
Congrats on a great thanks and the little one. Glad your posting your story, it's the main reason I visit here to see everyone's success  :tup:
Title: Re: My quality hunt is fast approaching
Post by: DeerThug on August 18, 2017, 06:19:25 PM
Sounds like you have an area in mind.   If you need so pointers let me know.  I can draw an x on a map.  Good luck.
Title: Re: My quality hunt is fast approaching
Post by: bowhunterforever on August 18, 2017, 06:20:35 PM
Congrats and good luck :tup:
Title: Re: My quality hunt is fast approaching
Post by: ffbowhunter on August 18, 2017, 06:55:10 PM
Best of luck I cannot wait to hear your story!
Title: Re: My quality hunt is fast approaching
Post by: Dan-o on August 18, 2017, 07:12:28 PM
Right on.

Looking forward to reading about it.
Title: Re: My quality hunt is fast approaching
Post by: jmscon on August 18, 2017, 08:14:54 PM
Thanks for sharing, can't wait to hear more of the story!
Title: Re: My quality hunt is fast approaching
Post by: 7mmfan on August 20, 2017, 05:38:41 PM
Went out and did a little shooting today to find out how the CDS on my new scope worked outside of my normal shooting ranges (up to 300 yards). Checked my group at 100 before I went long, then put a milk jug full of water at 400, 450, 500, 550.

Estimated my windage at 400, was off by 2" on my first shot, then 1 shot kills out to 550 yards! Those milk jugs didn't stand a chance.

It was a good workout hauling 40# of water in the pack uphill 2 miles to the cut I shot in, plus pulling my cart with collapsible bench. Felt great to shoot, and shoot well! Those bulls are in trouble.
Title: Re: My quality hunt is fast approaching
Post by: Elkcollector82 on August 21, 2017, 06:09:08 AM
Congrats on the draw. Bigger congrats on the new family member  :tup:

Tagging along.
Title: Re: My quality hunt is fast approaching
Post by: 7mmfan on August 21, 2017, 08:29:02 AM
Thanks everyone for the congrats on the new baby as well. I feel like I've been overshadowing that aspect of my life with my hunt story, but it is truly amazing.

He's such an amazing little person already. He only gets up once a night to feed, usually around 3:30, and lets us sleep 4-5 hours uninterrupted on either end of that. The changes that happen after only 3 weeks (unreal, he's already 3 weeks old today) are pretty amazing. Watching the visual recognition begin, the head/neck control gaining strength fast, and facial features begin to change, its amazing. My wife and I are definitely in love with the little guy, and it feels like he's been with us forever already. Couldn't imagine life without him  :)
Title: Re: My quality hunt is fast approaching
Post by: Skyvalhunter on August 21, 2017, 09:01:54 AM
Hope your buck holds still like those milk jugs. :chuckle:
Title: Re: My quality hunt is fast approaching
Post by: 7mmfan on August 21, 2017, 09:45:43 AM
Hope your buck holds still like those milk jugs. :chuckle:

Hey, those milk jugs can be quite elusive   :chuckle:  especially when you can't find them after walking 550 yards back to your shooting location, only to realize you put them 100 yards to the left of where you thought you did! Made for some tricky shooting through tiny gaps in trees. Was a lot of fun actually.

If history has any way of repeating itself, I'll most likely kill my bull this year inside of 15 yards. That's how it usually happens for me
Title: Re: My quality hunt is fast approaching
Post by: Elkcollector82 on August 21, 2017, 09:47:27 AM
Hope your buck holds still like those milk jugs. :chuckle:

Hey, those milk jugs can be quite elusive   :chuckle:  especially when you can't find them after walking 550 yards back to your shooting location, only to realize you put them 100 yards to the left of where you thought you did! Made for some tricky shooting through tiny gaps in trees. Was a lot of fun actually.

If history has any way of repeating itself, I'll most likely kill my bull this year inside of 15 yards. That's how it usually happens for me

15 yards or 550 yards. Just hope one gives you a chance. Good luck.
Title: Re: My quality hunt is fast approaching
Post by: 7mmfan on September 01, 2017, 10:12:31 AM
Finally going to make a scouting trip over there this weekend! I have 3 locations in mind that I want to get into. Traveling super early Saturday morning and coming home Sunday night to avoid the holiday traffic. I've been in contact with a couple of members who have given me some good intel lately, so thanks guys, you know who you are. From the sounds of things, theres a couple of bulls beginning to test their vocal cords out, so hopefully I can hear my first bugle of the season. Hopefully I can add some photos of big hard horned bulls on Monday!
Title: Re: My quality hunt is fast approaching
Post by: Karl Blanchard on September 01, 2017, 11:15:14 AM
Finally going to make a scouting trip over there this weekend! I have 3 locations in mind that I want to get into. Traveling super early Saturday morning and coming home Sunday night to avoid the holiday traffic. I've been in contact with a couple of members who have given me some good intel lately, so thanks guys, you know who you are. From the sounds of things, theres a couple of bulls beginning to test their vocal cords out, so hopefully I can hear my first bugle of the season. Hopefully I can add some photos of big hard horned bulls on Monday!
smoke is absolutely unbearable today out this direction!  Visibility is like 500 yards.  Afternoon winds have been blowing it out a bit though.  Worst it has been hands down so far this summer.   Good luck this weekend!  I'm out of town or I'd offer up a second set of eyes.
Title: Re: My quality hunt is fast approaching
Post by: 7mmfan on September 01, 2017, 11:47:39 AM
Finally going to make a scouting trip over there this weekend! I have 3 locations in mind that I want to get into. Traveling super early Saturday morning and coming home Sunday night to avoid the holiday traffic. I've been in contact with a couple of members who have given me some good intel lately, so thanks guys, you know who you are. From the sounds of things, theres a couple of bulls beginning to test their vocal cords out, so hopefully I can hear my first bugle of the season. Hopefully I can add some photos of big hard horned bulls on Monday!
smoke is absolutely unbearable today out this direction!  Visibility is like 500 yards.  Afternoon winds have been blowing it out a bit though.  Worst it has been hands down so far this summer.   Good luck this weekend!  I'm out of town or I'd offer up a second set of eyes.

I was worried about smoke, but this may be my only weekend to scout so i'm going. I'll learn the lay of some land and put boots on the ground in some places I'm excited to see. Forecast up high calls for a S/SW wind both days so hopefully that helps some.
Title: Re: My quality hunt is fast approaching
Post by: DaveMonti on September 01, 2017, 11:54:19 AM
Best of luck 7MM!  Following along now!
Title: Re: My quality hunt is fast approaching
Post by: Pegasus on September 01, 2017, 12:00:26 PM
Grayson says you need to get this hunting elk stuff out of your head and stay home with him and Momma. PS: He says it is time to change his diaper.
Title: Re: My quality hunt is fast approaching
Post by: 7mmfan on September 01, 2017, 12:02:09 PM
Grayson says you need to get this hunting elk stuff out of your head and stay home with him and Momma. PS: He says it is time to change his diaper.

No son of mine will talk to his Dad that way!  :chuckle:
Title: Re: My quality hunt is fast approaching
Post by: GUscottie on September 01, 2017, 01:23:16 PM
Excited for your hunt! Good luck and can't wait to hear how the scouting goes.
Title: Re: My quality hunt is fast approaching
Post by: Falcon on September 01, 2017, 10:46:34 PM
Great post.   The best part of the hunt is the journey IMO.
Do what you do and make it a great experience.  A big bull is a bonus. 
Soak it all in.    Looking forward to your story :tup:
Title: Re: My quality hunt is fast approaching
Post by: RB on September 02, 2017, 12:26:54 AM
Right on looking forward to reading more about this hunt!  :tup:
Title: Re: My quality hunt is fast approaching
Post by: Eric M on September 02, 2017, 03:28:12 AM
Looking forward to the story. Good luck with the little one. They change so fast. Watching/remembering this with my youngest grandson right now. The time goes quick.
Title: Re: My quality hunt is fast approaching
Post by: 7mmfan on September 04, 2017, 08:18:35 AM
Well my Dad and I had a successful weekend scouting. We bugged out at 2 a.m. on Saturday morning, and came home mid day yesterday, hoping to not hit any traffic. We set the cruise control at 75 and never touched it the whole way home, fantastic!

The smoke in a lot of that area is unbelievable right now, especially in Thorp on our way back through yesterday. It felt like we were in the fire. I feel terrible for those of you who are having to live in that right now.

We spent a lot of time Saturday bouncing around on nasty roads. I have hunted portions of that unit, and knew the roads were rough, but some of the ones we found Saturday afternoon took the cake. 4 wheel low, 1st gear, and crawl. It was the only way to move without rattling the truck, and us, to pieces. 

We covered a lot of ground, getting to know the lay of the land. I was able to effectively check off a few large areas. We finally made it to the area that I was really interested in about 4:30 Saturday afternoon. We shouldered our packs, grabbed our scopes, and headed up the trail. We had a vantage point in mind to do some glassing for the evening. We had a super productive evening seeing almost 100 elk in 2 big groups, and several bulls, including, the one I'm hoping to track down in a couple weeks. We heard lots of cow talk, and several bugles. Man it got the blood pumping! No photo opportunities, so I'll leave it at that!

Sunday morning, different area, fewer elk, but plenty to go around. One thing that I really enjoyed about this weekend, and the elk, was being able to observe elk that are just being elk, and not being pushed around by an orange army. They were so vocal, and often we could get in pretty close if careful, just because they weren't so high strung. It was a lot of fun.

All in all, a super productive weekend, it felt good to stretch my legs in the elk woods once again, and spend some quality time with my Dad. I know at 60, he still has many good years of hunting ahead of him, but I'm more aware than ever now that those will be gone before I know it, so I'm cherishing them as best I can now.

Heres one good smoky sunrise pic for your viewing pleasure!
Title: Re: My quality hunt is fast approaching
Post by: bracer40 on September 04, 2017, 08:33:19 AM
Sounds like a good scouting trip! Thanks for sharing.
Title: Re: My quality hunt is fast approaching
Post by: Elkcollector82 on September 04, 2017, 09:23:11 AM
Sounds like you had a great trip. Being outdoors with your dad and bugling bulls. Only way to beat that is standing over a tank of a bull in coming weeks. Good luck.  :tup:
Title: Re: My quality hunt is fast approaching
Post by: huntnphool on September 04, 2017, 10:57:49 AM
 Good luck, looking forward to the pics. :tup:

Quote
but only kind of.

 That was funny. :chuckle:
Title: Re: My quality hunt is fast approaching
Post by: 7mmfan on September 19, 2017, 08:10:43 AM
Well the time is almost here. 4 sleeps until I head east! Gear is basically packed, just needs to be fine tuned. I have a big presentation at work tomorrow, and then I'll spend the next couple evenings pre cooking meals for camp. I've already got chili, spaghetti, and fajitas cooked and frozen. Going to play with some breakfasts to see how the vac sealed boil a meal deal works on that front. Eggs, sausage and potatoes should reheat ok I think?

I've had an unexpected change to my group in the last week. A friend of mine that I grew up, who moved to LA a few years ago when he got serious about web development, asked me if it would be ok if he came and filmed the hunt. He's got some connections in the film industry that are very into hunting and the outdoors, and he's got some projects that he's floated to them for funding, but needs to show them what he can do with a camera in the field first. He's got top of the line 4k camera gear, and is hell bent on making a world class film out of this. At the very least, I'll have an awesome video documentation of my hunt to look back on for years to come. Super excited about it.

We're heading up and setting up camp Saturday morning and scouting for a day and a half before the opener. Hopefully we can get a few animals tracked down and get in on them Monday morning.

All this snow up high is worrying me a little bit. Any of you guys with more experience have any input if a foot of September snow will move those animals out of the highest country there? The ground I scouted over Labor day was 5500-6500 feet, so its definitely getting snow right now. I know if those animals move downhill to much, they'll be in a jungle, so I'm hoping they stay up in the alpine where they were. 
Title: Re: My quality hunt is fast approaching
Post by: Southpole on September 19, 2017, 08:49:38 AM
Snow levels are supposed to drop down. I think the weather will be working in your favor.
Title: Re: My quality hunt is fast approaching
Post by: fishngamereaper on September 19, 2017, 08:53:31 AM
Enjoy the snow. The big bulls stay high until they can barely walk through the snow. Your golden.
Title: Re: My quality hunt is fast approaching
Post by: Jpmiller on September 19, 2017, 08:56:23 AM
I've run into bulls up high in snow before so hopefully they'll stick around for you, just don't forget us when you're a big time movie star!
Title: Re: My quality hunt is fast approaching
Post by: 7mmfan on September 19, 2017, 08:58:18 AM
I've found solitary bulls up high before in the snow as well, but that is usually in late October, early November, well past rut. I'm trying to decide if the cows will move down, and the bulls will follow, and how much snow it will take to make that happen.
Title: Re: My quality hunt is fast approaching
Post by: Pegasus on September 20, 2017, 07:59:10 PM
I have always been told that it takes a snow high enough to reach their bellies before the big uns will move on down. That has also been my personal experience. Good luck and stay high.
Title: Re: My quality hunt is fast approaching
Post by: Karl Blanchard on September 20, 2017, 08:55:10 PM
I wouldn't give it any thought man.  The snow is short lived.  Chase the bugles, they are absolutely cranking right now!
Title: Re: My quality hunt is fast approaching
Post by: brocka on September 20, 2017, 09:40:04 PM
I wouldn't give it any thought man.  The snow is short lived.  Chase the bugles, they are absolutely cranking right now!
Couldn't agree more

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk

Title: Re: My quality hunt is fast approaching
Post by: 7mmfan on September 20, 2017, 09:45:19 PM
It didn't amount to much so I'm not worried.  I would just assume that if the cows moved, the bulls would follow, at least short term. They need to breed. My guess is co.ing out of this weather and with a little warm up coming,  they'll be rip roaring up there. Getting pumped!
Title: Re: My quality hunt is fast approaching
Post by: 7mmfan on September 23, 2017, 04:06:38 AM
And we're off! This day couldn't get here fast enough. No cell service where I am going, so I probably won't update this until I get home. See you guys on the other side!
Title: Re: My quality hunt is fast approaching
Post by: JakeLand on September 23, 2017, 05:55:09 AM
And we're off! This day couldn't get here fast enough. No cell service where I am going, so I probably won't update this until I get home. See you guys on the other side!
Good luck!!! Whack one
Title: Re: My quality hunt is fast approaching
Post by: DIYARCHERYJUNKIE on September 23, 2017, 06:07:22 AM
Tagging. Good luck!
Title: Re: My quality hunt is fast approaching
Post by: Timberstalker on September 23, 2017, 06:51:47 AM
Good luck, 7mmfan.
Title: Re: My quality hunt is fast approaching
Post by: Turner89 on September 23, 2017, 08:43:47 AM
Good luck  :tup:
Title: Re: My quality hunt is fast approaching
Post by: DaveMonti on September 23, 2017, 08:57:37 AM
Give it your all!  Best of luck!
Title: Re: My quality hunt is fast approaching
Post by: Jpmiller on September 23, 2017, 09:04:58 AM
Good luck to you sir and know that myself and many others are very jealous of you.
Title: Re: My quality hunt is fast approaching
Post by: h20hunter on September 25, 2017, 01:59:13 PM
Woooo hoooo!

Title: Re: My quality hunt is fast approaching
Post by: 7mmfan on September 26, 2017, 04:37:52 PM
I promise I won't wait too long to update this thread, but I have to take care of some business first. First of which is storing a hide to be tanned! What's the best way to store this until I can get it to A Tannery, or taxidermist to take care of for me?
Title: Re: My quality hunt is fast approaching
Post by: Stein on September 26, 2017, 04:41:26 PM
I would call your taxi, they probably have a preference.
Title: Re: My quality hunt is fast approaching
Post by: 7mmfan on September 26, 2017, 04:46:24 PM
I don't have one and i haven't made my mind up who i'm going to use yet. I read some different opinions online, looking for more.
Title: Re: My quality hunt is fast approaching
Post by: Stein on September 26, 2017, 04:48:53 PM
Well, I am no expert, but when I called mine he wanted it kept dry and in a cooler with ice.  That was based on a plan to drop it off on the way back from Wyoming, so it was only on ice for 2-3 days.
Title: Re: My quality hunt is fast approaching
Post by: Timberstalker on September 26, 2017, 05:01:50 PM
Your time is up!  We need pictures! :chuckle:
Title: Re: My quality hunt is fast approaching
Post by: 10thmountainarcher on September 26, 2017, 05:02:09 PM
I promise I won't wait too long to update this thread, but I have to take care of some business first. First of which is storing a hide to be tanned! What's the best way to store this until I can get it to A Tannery, or taxidermist to take care of for me?

You already have one down?
Title: Re: My quality hunt is fast approaching
Post by: h20hunter on September 26, 2017, 05:04:36 PM
He does indeed. ;)
Title: Re: My quality hunt is fast approaching
Post by: 10thmountainarcher on September 26, 2017, 05:06:17 PM
He does indeed. ;)

Quick work, I like it! Congrats canít wait for the story and photo.
Title: Re: My quality hunt is fast approaching
Post by: 7mmfan on September 26, 2017, 05:16:03 PM
Have one down??? Hell, I'm home already!
Title: Re: My quality hunt is fast approaching
Post by: 7mmfan on September 26, 2017, 05:34:59 PM
Here's a teaser. There's more in the cooler. I've never run out of room in the meat fridge before...
Title: Re: My quality hunt is fast approaching
Post by: elkrack on September 26, 2017, 05:48:34 PM
Congrats!👍🏻 Waiting just waiting
Title: Re: My quality hunt is fast approaching
Post by: luvmystang67 on September 26, 2017, 05:57:00 PM
Tizzag
Title: Re: My quality hunt is fast approaching
Post by: teanawayslayer on September 26, 2017, 06:01:21 PM
Pics or it didn't happen! It's easy to take a pic of a fridge full of meat! Come over to my place you can take the same pic.  :chuckle:. Seriously congrats can't wait for pics!
Title: Re: My quality hunt is fast approaching
Post by: bracer40 on September 26, 2017, 07:08:29 PM
Can't wait for the story! And pics of course...
Title: Re: My quality hunt is fast approaching
Post by: Jpmiller on September 26, 2017, 07:25:53 PM
congrats! cant wait to hear and see more
Title: Re: My quality hunt is fast approaching
Post by: 7mmfan on September 26, 2017, 07:47:10 PM
Momma is requiring personal time. I'm logging off for the night. I'll post in the morning. Sorry guys
Title: Re: My quality hunt is fast approaching
Post by: bracer40 on September 26, 2017, 07:50:40 PM
Happy wife happy life
Title: Re: My quality hunt is fast approaching
Post by: scottfrick on September 27, 2017, 04:35:08 AM
Tagging along. Canít wait to read story :tup:
Title: Re: My quality hunt is fast approaching
Post by: 2MANY on September 27, 2017, 08:50:37 AM
Awesome.
Love on that family. :)
Title: Re: My quality hunt is fast approaching
Post by: 7mmfan on September 27, 2017, 09:19:07 AM
Alright, where to start?

We left town early Saturday morning and headed east. We got into our camp spot at approx 8:30, and got everything setup. Anyone who has a fully stocked wall tent camp, knows it takes a while to get everything done. So by the time we'd got the kitchen set up, firewood cut, and lunch cooked, it was about 12:30. I took off and went to scout a spot I'd been thinking about. I walked in past the closed road signs, following all the tracks of vehicles that didn't care. I reached the elevation I wanted and dove off into the woods, heading up into a canyon. I had just made it around the corner, out of ear shot of the bottom, and I heard a bugle. YES! a few minutes later, another one, and then another one. All the same bull though. I made my way to a high point above the canyon and pulled out the binos and tried to find him, but couldn't. I could see lots of tracks in the remnants of the snow that had flown earlier in the week, and a short time later, I could hear elk talking and making noise below me in the timber. By this time it was about 5:30, and I was happy with what I'd found. I knew I wouldn't put eyes on the bull unless I went in after him, so I backed out. On my way back down the road, I met a group of 6 very drunk atv riders. They knew they weren't supposed to be there and dropped their masks and zoomed by me. Oh well. Heres Quality Elk Camp 2017.
Title: Re: My quality hunt is fast approaching
Post by: 7mmfan on September 27, 2017, 09:32:44 AM
My plan for Sunday morning was to scout near where I had scouted over Labor Day weekend, and see if I could track down those bulls again. I had spoke with an archery tag holder on my way in that was hunting up in that area and he said he had hunted that bull for a couple days but could never quite make it work. That was encouraging! He told me where he had last seen him and said they had been there for a couple days. I knew the spot and knew that if I came in from above, the thermals would screw me. So we made a game plan to sneak up the creek bottom and then work uphill to the area.

Sunday morning came cold and crisp. Nice and frosty. We left the truck and headed uphill an hour and a half before light. As we neared the location I wanted to be in, I realized I had forgotten to put my boots on that morning and was hiking in my tread free romeos. I was looking at the mountain ahead me and wondering how it would work. It went surprisingly well!

I let out a locator bugle.... nothing. Climbed the hill a little further, another bugle.... nothing. We ended up climbing the whole ridge, and checking every nook and cranny in the upper end, and never saw an elk. I found where they had been, and the direction they were headed though. We waited for the thermals to switch, and then headed down the spine towards an area I felt was likely they would be. By now though it was near 11:00 and I didn't hold much hope of spotting anything. I periodically cow called, or threw out weak bugles hoping for a response, that never came. Then by chance, we spotted a cow work her way across an opening a couple hundred yards below us. This was the first elk we'd actually laid eyes on in 2 days. It was very encouraging. Given the time of day, I knew she would be bedding nearby. Also encouraging.

We backed out, and that evening I made my way to a vantage point for the area and watched and listened until about 6:00. At that point, I heard a group of animals get out of bed and make their way out of the timber. I never saw them, but knew they were there. I dropped down from the ridge, and onto an old road bed and began tailing them. I had only gone a couple hundred yards and I peaked into an opening and there was a cow standing there feeding. I backed up and found cover and waited until dark just listening, hoping for a bugle. None came.

I knew there were elk in the area, and I knew where they weren't from that morning. I knew that the big bull I had seen earlier in the season was still there somewhere, and I assumed he was with this group of animals, just wasn't talking. I made a plan to be back in there first thing in the morning, opening day.
Title: Re: My quality hunt is fast approaching
Post by: 2MANY on September 27, 2017, 09:50:07 AM
Hhhhhmmmmm.
The plot thickens.
Title: Re: My quality hunt is fast approaching
Post by: dreamingbig on September 27, 2017, 10:16:48 AM
With a cape cool and dry is your friend.  Salt only as a last resort.  Once dry you can roll, wrap and put in freezer but I would suggest getting it to your taxi asap.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: My quality hunt is fast approaching
Post by: 7mmfan on September 27, 2017, 10:19:46 AM
The alarm went off 3:45. I was surprisingly slow out of bed. The 9.5 miles in romeos the day before had taken more of a toll than I expected. But once up and moving, I loosened up nicely. Coffee brewed, breakfast choked down, gear checked, double checked, BOOTS tied on, I grabbed the shooting iron, and we hit the road.

The forecast was for overcast and light/variable winds all day. I planned my approach based on morning thermals. I got to my staging area an hour before light and waited. The wind was swirling everywhere, driving me crazy and shaking my confidence in the plan. We stuck it out and hoped that when we got out in the open it would steady a bit. At 6:55, the sun peaked over the horizon, and offered us an amazing blood red sunrise. An omen
Title: Re: My quality hunt is fast approaching
Post by: 7mmfan on September 27, 2017, 10:22:53 AM
I ripped out a locator bugle.... nothing. We started moving forward toward where I had seen the cows the night before. The wind still swirling. I got a point where the grade we were walking on turned to the right and I knew that if we went too far up it, we would most likely wind anything in the flat beside us. I chose to just peak around the corner into a large sagebrush hillside. At first, I didn't see anything. I commented to my Dad that I couldn't believe there wasn't any animals in there. I moved just to left, about 10 feet, and bam, thereís a bull. He was way up at the top of the hill side, about 300 yards away, but even from there I could tell he was a good size bull with the naked eye.

I pulled up the binos and got a better look at him. He was not the BIG bull in the area, but he was a wide, long 6 pt bull. He turned and walked into the brush and disappeared. I pulled out my cow call and gave him a few seductive mews. I was instantly greeted with a chuckle. I cow called again, chuckle sent back. 3 times we did this, and I realized he wasn't going to move so I pulled a tactic from the Elknut play book. I began cow calling feverishly, almost distressed, and then immediately followed them with a bugle and a chuckle.
Title: Re: My quality hunt is fast approaching
Post by: 7mmfan on September 27, 2017, 10:26:50 AM
It was instantaneous.

There was no response, just action. I immediately heard brush breaking and limbs snapping. He was on his way. I had the gun on the sticks ready. Unbeknownst to me, my Dad had moved up behind me and suddenly, he's talking in my ear about something, and I almost whisper yell at him, " Don't move! He's RIGHT THERE!" And almost on que, he stepped out of the brush 40 yards away looking right at us.

Part of me would like to say that I looked him over, counted points, judged his 4ths, etc.. etc.., but at that point, I had a nice bull in front of me, that I had just called in to archery range. I told you guys in the beginning, that I would probably shoot the first decent 6 pt that I saw, and it just so happened that it was the first bull I saw, in the first 30 minutes of shooting light, on the first day.

He turned slightly, giving me a slightly quartering to shot. I placed it on his shoulder and let it fly. The resounding THWACK! was almost deafening. He took off like nothing had happened. I chambered another shell, put it on the front of his shoulder and sent it, tumbling him head over heels. He was down.

I leapt up and took off across the sage brush hillside like I was walking on air. When I was about halfway to him, I stopped, and let it soak in for a minute. There, a short distance away was a large elk horn sticking up in the air above the brush. A sight that I will never forget. Dad and I slowly worked our way to him, ensuring he was down for good. Dad and I had a big hug, and a few minutes of reflection.

One thing that's very important to me is respect for the animal. I won't ever set a gun, or a pack, or any object on a dead animal. I won't ever straddle them, or sit on them. They deserve better than that. I don't enjoy killing them. The more I do it, the more I realize that its so instinctual. I run on auto pilot, hunting my butt off, strategizing, and making moves, and only after the trigger is pulled, and the animal is down, do I come down from the hunt and feel some remorse. I never regret killing an animal, it's all part of the cycle, and I will always be a part of it, but I have an immense amount of respect for the life I've taken, and ensure that it's not wasted.
Title: Re: My quality hunt is fast approaching
Post by: 7mmfan on September 27, 2017, 10:29:59 AM
I had been sitting marveling this animal for a few minutes when I remembered, my buddy Jordan was filming all of this! He had done a fantastic job of just staying back out of the way and getting everything. I said, "Man that is going to be awesome video the way he came in!" He just kind of looked at me and said, " I didn't get it. I didn't know he was coming so fast and I was trying to change lenses on the camera when you shot!" He was super bummed, but I really couldn't have cared less. He knew the hunt was more important to me than the video, and he kept that in mind the whole time. We did get some awesome footage, just not the kill shot. Oh well.

The work began. We took some great photos, moved him down to a flat spot and broke him down. The trigger was pulled at 7:15, and we were heading downhill with the first load at 10:30 or so. Dropped that off headed back up at 1:30. The last load was substantial. I had decided to pack the skin out to be tanned, so my load was a 30# bag of scrap meat, the hide which had to weight close to 50#, and the head, another 35# or so. The Exo pack creaked and groaned a little, but nearly as much as me when I shouldered it. The pack held everything steady and securely, and I we made the 2 mile trek back to the truck. What a relief to drop that pack on the tailgate!

We got it all back to camp, and used the remaining daylight to trim up the meat, and bone the quarters out. We had a great dinner, a couple drinks, and great campfire that night. It was the epitome of elk camp.

There you have it boys! That's my hunt. I accomplished exactly what I wanted out of it. I could have waited, and I'm certain I would have had opportunities at bigger bulls, but I have zero regrets, and now I'm home hanging out with my family again for a couple days before I have to head back to work. Thanks for following!
Title: Re: My quality hunt is fast approaching
Post by: RB on September 27, 2017, 10:38:04 AM
WOW nice Bull and great write up congrats!
Title: Re: My quality hunt is fast approaching
Post by: 2MANY on September 27, 2017, 10:43:33 AM
Awesome!!!

"One thing that's very important to me is respect for the animal. I won't ever set a gun, or a pack, or any object on a dead animal. I won't ever straddle them, or sit on them. They deserve better than that. I don't enjoy killing them. The more I do it, the more I realize that its so instinctual. I run on auto pilot, hunting my butt off, strategizing, and making moves, and only after the trigger is pulled, and the animal is down, do I come down from the hunt and feel some remorse. I never regret killing an animal, it's all part of the cycle, and I will always be a part of it, but I have an immense amount of respect for the life I've taken, and ensure that it's not wasted."

That paragraph right there sums up my thoughts 100%.
Congrats and thanks for sharing.
Title: Re: My quality hunt is fast approaching
Post by: Skillet on September 27, 2017, 11:10:24 AM
Thanks for letting us tag along 7mmfan.  Great write-up.  Congrats on a great hunt  :tup:
Title: Re: My quality hunt is fast approaching
Post by: GUscottie on September 27, 2017, 11:42:56 AM
Awesome story! thank you for taking us along on the journey.
Title: Re: My quality hunt is fast approaching
Post by: HUNTINCOUPLE on September 27, 2017, 11:53:29 AM
Congrats all the way around! :tup:
Title: Re: My quality hunt is fast approaching
Post by: Timberstalker on September 27, 2017, 01:09:13 PM
Congrats.  What a great write up and an awesome way to show what it is all about.   :tup:

Thanks for sharing.
Title: Re: My quality hunt is fast approaching
Post by: elkrack on September 27, 2017, 01:22:25 PM
Thanks for bringing another great thread to this forum! Great bull!
Title: Re: My quality hunt is fast approaching
Post by: Watimberghost on September 27, 2017, 01:32:56 PM
Great bull! Thanks for sharing your story :tup:
Title: Re: My quality hunt is fast approaching
Post by: bowhunterforever on September 27, 2017, 02:36:56 PM
Great bull and story :tup:
Title: Re: My quality hunt is fast approaching
Post by: SeatoSummit88 on September 27, 2017, 02:53:02 PM
Nice job getting it done!  That is a great bull, I would have choked to see something like that up close!  Meat for Dayzzz!  :tup:
Title: Re: My quality hunt is fast approaching
Post by: Elkfever on September 27, 2017, 03:44:53 PM
Thoroughly enjoyed reading your story.  I couldn't agree more with the statement you made about harvesting an animal and the feelings and respect that goes along with that.  Thanks for sharing.
Title: Re: My quality hunt is fast approaching
Post by: DOUBLELUNG on September 27, 2017, 04:34:47 PM
I like it.  Thanks for sharing
Title: Re: My quality hunt is fast approaching
Post by: Jpmiller on September 27, 2017, 05:12:32 PM
I know I would be the same way with a quality tag if I ever draw one. I don't have the brand new family excuse but I'm glad there's someone else who goes "oh, there's a bull" and takes it lol. Congrats on a great hunt and a great animal!
Title: Re: My quality hunt is fast approaching
Post by: JakeLand on September 27, 2017, 05:19:52 PM
Right on !!! Great story and awesome bull  :IBCOOL:
Title: Re: My quality hunt is fast approaching
Post by: mkcj on September 27, 2017, 05:52:17 PM
Very well spoken! Great Elk! congratulations!  :tup:
Title: Re: My quality hunt is fast approaching
Post by: Turner89 on September 27, 2017, 08:54:04 PM
Great job 7mm :tup:
Posts like that keep me coming back to this site :tup:
Title: Re: My quality hunt is fast approaching
Post by: bracer40 on September 27, 2017, 10:00:19 PM
Great job 7mm :tup:
Posts like that keep me coming back to this site :tup:
:yeah:
Title: Re: My quality hunt is fast approaching
Post by: Gearhead1940 on September 28, 2017, 05:22:32 AM
Great story and congratulations on the beautiful bull!
Title: Re: My quality hunt is fast approaching
Post by: E35alex on September 28, 2017, 06:12:53 AM
Man, that is an awesome write up. Congrats on the bull. Love how you took all the meat off that elk. Respect!
Title: Re: My quality hunt is fast approaching
Post by: 7mmfan on September 28, 2017, 08:48:02 AM
Thank you for all the great comments guys, I appreciate it. My only regret is being done SO FAST, and not getting to spend more time in the woods. Momma is glad to have me home, and I'm heading to Idaho in a couple weeks so these brownie points count for a lot!

I started cutting meat yesterday and it's crazy to me how big everything is. I've killed several elk, but never a mature bull. They are crazy big animals. Going to be lots and lots of good chewing.
Title: Re: My quality hunt is fast approaching
Post by: quadrafire on September 28, 2017, 08:58:01 AM
Congrats....That is just a great story. Thanks for sharing
Title: Re: My quality hunt is fast approaching
Post by: gee_unit360 on September 28, 2017, 09:18:31 AM
Great story... congrats!
Title: Re: My quality hunt is fast approaching
Post by: Brushbuster on September 28, 2017, 09:56:32 AM
Congrats on your quality hunt success. I enjoyed your write-up. Thank you for taking us along on your journey.  :tup:
Title: Re: My quality hunt is fast approaching
Post by: Fish4Fun on September 28, 2017, 09:58:45 AM
Congrats on a nice bull and the write up was excellent.  :tup:
Title: Re: My quality hunt is fast approaching
Post by: swanny on September 29, 2017, 09:18:58 AM
Congrats! Great story and a very nice bull. You put the work in it sounds like and were rewarded, good job