Hunting Washington Forum

Big Game Hunting => Out Of State Hunting => Topic started by: huntnnw on October 18, 2019, 08:23:09 AM

Title: Wifeís Idaho OTC elk hunt
Post by: huntnnw on October 18, 2019, 08:23:09 AM
My wife really wanted to kill her first elk this year. In the past sheís had some super close opportunities, but just poor luck with elk not cooperating. We applied outta state this year as usual and no luck , so she picked a unit we have camped in and I have meant to hunt for last 24 years , but never did . This area was shared to me about 24 years ago by a long time guide. We even bought archery tags that year to hunt it, but a fire closed the area. Never made it in to hunt , but 2 years later I went in to see it and was very curious as the area looked awesome. Over the years the area is always in my mind to hunt , but other hunting plans come up and its on the back burner again. Another factor is the herd over the last decade has been decimated by wolves and all I have heard how crappy the units are and not worth your time.

 Itís now fall and itís time to head in on Oct 9th day before opener with really no expectations and Iím fully prepared we may not see a elk, but we do have wolf tags. The morning of the 9th we load up for a long and a stressful drive knowing that snow is going to make the last 30 mi of dirt roads treacherous, plus we are operating on no sleep been awake for 24 hours since we both work graveyard. To our relief the roads were pretty decent except the last 7 mi where it was getting a little hairy ! Finally at camp 4-5Ē on the ground and 26 deg we get camp all set up at about 7 pm hungry exhausted and cold ! Go to fire up wood stove and it will not vent and itís super smoky ! It wonít burn look outside lots of smoke . At this point I am done we are going to bed.

Opening day is here and this day is going to be covering miles on the quad glassing and looking for fresh elk tracks in the snow. We see lots of wolf tracks ! 30 mi that day and 1 bull elk track and no elk glassed up. Well thatís discouraging to end the day. That evening while heating up food we figured we will hike into a roadless area in the morning to the top of a mountain where we could glass for miles. Now back to wood stove this was the first time Iíve gotten it out since last year on this trip and I had a thought what if a damn mouse made a nest in pipe. Sure enough pull pipe off look down it and canít see.Yup top section was plugged with a nest! We needed the stove this night as temps plummeted into single digits.
Title: Re: Wifeís Idaho OTC elk hunt
Post by: Tapp8277 on October 18, 2019, 08:26:54 AM
Bumpy start, but can't wait to hear more!
Title: Re: Wifeís Idaho OTC elk hunt
Post by: boneaddict on October 18, 2019, 08:30:32 AM
 :tup:  Tagging along!
Title: Re: Wifeís Idaho OTC elk hunt
Post by: Rainier10 on October 18, 2019, 08:53:45 AM
 :hello:
Title: Re: Wifeís Idaho OTC elk hunt
Post by: trophyhunt on October 18, 2019, 09:00:07 AM
More please!!!  I miss Idaho
Title: Re: Wifeís Idaho OTC elk hunt
Post by: C-Money on October 18, 2019, 09:08:13 AM
Tag!  :)
Title: Re: Wifeís Idaho OTC elk hunt
Post by: huntnnw on October 18, 2019, 09:09:10 AM
Day 2 is here itís 3 am and boy did I like that wood stove  :chuckle: frigid and clear out. Today is a hour long ride on quad and 2 plus hour hike into where I wanna glass. We are bundled up in so many clothes to ride atv I can barely move. We arrive at trail and begin a all up hill hike in 5-6Ē of snow. We get in later than expected due to snow slowing us down. We cut 0 tracks , except some deer, bobcat, moose and martens which there are crazy amount here. We sit and glass and see nothing I am really getting discouraged now. I get up walk over ridge behind us to glass across a huge canyon and wonder why Iím actually glassing this cause there is no way we can even manage to get over there or actually pack one out. Wind is blowing on this side and Iím frozen. I am just about ready to walk over to wife and I see 6 elk walk over a saddle miles across a canyon. I ran over grab spotter and thereís a really nice 6x7 has a extra 11-13Ē 4th long beams and just a nice bull. I can tell heís rutting pretty hard the 5 cows hes with. Now with the excitement the wheels start turning and planning can we get over there , can we get out . We are not prepared to stay over night . Thank god to saved maps on phone we plan a route and it goes way better than expected ! 5 mi later we make it to under 400 yards where we last saw them enter timber and where I figured they bed since it was 10 am when they went in plus each side of this timber had big openings . We work down this ridge at 3:30 pm and get to 250yards of tree line and about the best view and shot opportunity we can find. We now try to get gun set up for a decent rest, so I set up my manfrotto tripod and shooting sticks making a perfect rest, now we wait! Silence nothing itís now 5 pm and I decide Iíll throw out a cow call we gotta make something happen as I really have no idea how the hike out to quad is going to be. I barely finish the first cow call bull screams back heís bedded right on tree line!! :yike: heís going bezerk but we cannot see him . Thereís a small spruce tree between my wife and myself sheís set up on what we thought offered the best shot opportunity and Iím on other side maybe 5í apart . After10 or so bugles bull walks out to 240 yards broadside screaming I can see him plain as day and Iím telling my wife shoot him!! She can see him from her position thereís a tree blocking her view , but heís moving across hill so itís a matter of time. Oh no he stops and walks straight down hill and now is 100 yards away in timber screaming , but will not come into view this goes on for a hour . While Iím calling behind wife on hill side 2 more bulls bugle and I glass up a herd of 17 elk feeding on hillside 550 yards away. Itís now almost dark and no shots! Ugh. We had to pack up and bushwhack miles to quad in the dark. We are trying to to get to this ridge to walk down to road and hit a pack trail! It was like Christmas  :chuckle: not on any maps and took us right to road. 9:15 pm at quad and ride back to camp . We are exhausted 11 mi day and Iím like we canít hunt those elk itís too much and there is no way we can turn and burn this at 3 am again. We decide to sleep in a little as we still havenít gotten caught up on sleep from being awake 28 hours.
Title: Re: Wifeís Idaho OTC elk hunt
Post by: huntnnw on October 18, 2019, 09:16:33 AM
Thereís is a strip of timber near top of mountain in this pic is where the elk were spotted. Off to right of the trees in center of pic
Title: Re: Wifeís Idaho OTC elk hunt
Post by: huntnnw on October 18, 2019, 09:17:35 AM
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Title: Re: Wifeís Idaho OTC elk hunt
Post by: huntnnw on October 18, 2019, 09:18:37 AM
.
Title: Re: Wifeís Idaho OTC elk hunt
Post by: huntnnw on October 18, 2019, 09:31:07 AM
Day 3 we get up around 6 am and reenergized and we are going to kill that bull! Finding that old pack trail has changed the game. Eat a good breakfast and begin packing our packs to stay in over night. All loaded up, hour quad ride hit trail at 12:30. We know atleast 1 mile of trail is all, but we can just cut mountain across. We hit the point in trail where we stumbled upon it in the dark and the trail is heading towards where we need to go! Holy cow this is unbelievable. 2 more miles later it went right to where elk were :chuckle: this was amazing and made this area very huntable. Got tent all set up some wood gathered for a fire and decided to watch a big brushy hill till dark. Nothing heard or saw that night.
Title: Re: Wifeís Idaho OTC elk hunt
Post by: full choke on October 18, 2019, 09:33:22 AM
Awesome pics so far!

Looking forward to the rest of the story!
Title: Re: Wifeís Idaho OTC elk hunt
Post by: elkinrutdrivemenuts on October 18, 2019, 09:54:34 AM
@huntnnw
Check your pm's. 
Title: Re: Wifeís Idaho OTC elk hunt
Post by: huntnnw on October 18, 2019, 09:57:42 AM
Day 4 up before light we are going to glass that big hillside again do some calling and if we donít hear or see something we are going to head west on ridge. Nothing , so off we go and climb up to the top of a knoll and we hear bugles on the north face! Here we go. The elk sound like the are below us a few hundred yards, but then a bull screams out to our right! What the.. now we are setting up for a shot. Hour goes by and nothing, we heard a faint bugle to our left and I am thinking they winded us and have blown out. We continue on and hear and see nothing. My wife say we should go back to where that bull was bedded in that timber a couple days ago and glass across into timber. So 2 hours later and 11 am we are glassing timber and she spots a cow feeding! Holy cow here they are! Out comes the saved maps and aerial view Tuesday guide to Er o see if we can slide down mountain and shoot across. I mark elk and where I think we can sit and use measure option on map it says 298 yards ! This is going to happen. We move down find a opening and start see elk all over in timber, but no bull. Hour has gone by its 1 pm and elk are feeding into opening, 13 cows out now and here comes a 5 pt. While this is going on Iím lashing up branches to a tree and shooting sticks to make a good rest for wife as there is no way to shoot prone. Get rifle situated and no shots at bull, he beds! Crap. Then a bugle itís not the 5! I see him itís the big 6x7! Holy cow. We cut down rest as heís bedded just outta our sight. Move over 10 yards and lash it to another tree . Bull stands up broadside at 372 yards. Boom! A clean miss! Ugh ! Heartbreaking. Thx elk really donít know whatís happened and just go over ridge .
Title: Re: Wifeís Idaho OTC elk hunt
Post by: trophyhunt on October 18, 2019, 10:20:49 AM
 :yike:
Title: Re: Wifeís Idaho OTC elk hunt
Post by: blackveltbowhunter on October 18, 2019, 10:24:25 AM
Already Epic! Nice job on the pics and write up so far :tup:
Title: Re: Wifeís Idaho OTC elk hunt
Post by: HUNTINCOUPLE on October 18, 2019, 10:26:00 AM
Very exciting! :tup:
Title: Re: Wifeís Idaho OTC elk hunt
Post by: Ironhead on October 18, 2019, 10:41:04 AM
This is good stuff!
Title: Re: Wifeís Idaho OTC elk hunt
Post by: huntnnw on October 18, 2019, 06:31:33 PM
Okay back to hunt..end of day 4 had us double checking for blood and making sure it was a clean miss. After that we worked back over ridge to glass and call to see if we could locate herd. We didnít eat lunch that day so we still had a meal and snacks to stay in, but it began to rain and we were not prepared for rain and decided to walk out instead risk getting wet and below freezing temps. We heard a distant bugle as we left in bottom and figured that was the herd. Walking out in dark we cut 3 of the biggest wolf tracks we had seen on this trip and about 200 yards later they began to howl itís a eerie sound as it was pitch black and poring. We made it to camp around 10 pm.
Title: Re: Wifeís Idaho OTC elk hunt
Post by: sjhgraysage on October 18, 2019, 06:42:23 PM
Great story, can't wait for the next installment  ;)
Title: Re: Wifeís Idaho OTC elk hunt
Post by: huntnnw on October 18, 2019, 06:58:07 PM
Day 5 comes and we head into town and wash clothes, shower pick up a few things we need and leave the elk alone for a day.

 Day 6 we are up early refreshed and making the drive back to camp . We got the forecast and had lots of rain /snow coming Thursday thru weekend, so we loaded packs to stay in 2 nights. Back at the trail and off we go we start seeing elk tracks about a mile from camp and seeing more and more as we approach our camp. We arrive where we had previously camped and elk walked through our camp spot.. well
thatís a good sign  :chuckle:. Gathered wood and got camp settled itís now about 3 pm and I let out 2 bugles and nothing. We decide to walk down from camp about a 100 yards where we can glass and listen for a bit. We get to opening and hear what sounds like plates busting ! Baffled by sound I remember a huge wallow below that was frozen .. thereís elk in it ... I start glassing and see a 5 pt bull in it 454 yards away . He starts towards us and up the hill we are on and lose sight of him. The wind wasnít great so we move across hill to get a better wind , but thereís really no vantage point on this hill , so if we see him itís going to close! I set my wife up on shooting sticks sitting down next to a tree. I hid behind tree standing and cow called and keeping a watch out for any movement knowing Iíll see tines first . A min later I see his tops coming right to us ! I hide behind tree and tell wife heís coming fast I plug ear waiting what seemed like forever for the rifle to go off .. boom! I stand and all I see is tines! Bull down!

 We were 298 yards from camp, few hours later we had the meat at camp and settled in for a long next day. We awoke at light packed camp and took first load out. Dumped it off and back in. 9 hours of hiking and was at truck with a few min of light left.
Title: Re: Wifeís Idaho OTC elk hunt
Post by: huntnnw on October 18, 2019, 07:00:31 PM
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Title: Re: Wifeís Idaho OTC elk hunt
Post by: Mfowl on October 18, 2019, 07:09:14 PM
Great story and pics! Congrats!
Title: Re: Wifeís Idaho OTC elk hunt
Post by: full choke on October 18, 2019, 07:29:17 PM
 :tup:
Title: Re: Wifeís Idaho OTC elk hunt
Post by: Lincoln4 on October 18, 2019, 07:44:01 PM
 :bow:  Great Story.
Title: Re: Wifeís Idaho OTC elk hunt
Post by: Tschaefer72 on October 18, 2019, 08:21:19 PM
Way to stick with it. Congrats to you guys on a great bull!
Title: Re: Wifeís Idaho OTC elk hunt
Post by: idaho guy on October 18, 2019, 08:42:07 PM
Thanks for posting thatís a great story 👍
Title: Re: Wifeís Idaho OTC elk hunt
Post by: Widgeondeke on October 18, 2019, 08:56:04 PM
Another phenomenal read tonight.  Thanks for sharing and congrats to the huntress   :tup:
Title: Re: Wifeís Idaho OTC elk hunt
Post by: SWHUNTER on October 18, 2019, 09:27:26 PM
Great write up and pics. Congratulations to you two! Thanks for sharing.
Title: Re: Wifeís Idaho OTC elk hunt
Post by: WAcoueshunter on October 18, 2019, 09:41:38 PM
Great story, thank you!  Congratulations to you and the wife!

Feel like Hunt-Wa is on a roll, some great stories getting posted.
Title: Re: Wifeís Idaho OTC elk hunt
Post by: SuperDave on October 19, 2019, 09:17:18 PM
Congratulations on a great hunt and nice bull!
Title: Re: Wifeís Idaho OTC elk hunt
Post by: bowhunterforever on October 19, 2019, 10:41:58 PM
Great write up and bull :tup:
Title: Re: Wifeís Idaho OTC elk hunt
Post by: fowl smacker on October 19, 2019, 11:01:45 PM
That was fun, thanks for sharing.   Good job on the bull.
Title: Re: Wifeís Idaho OTC elk hunt
Post by: TVHunts on October 20, 2019, 05:20:07 AM
Great story and great bull!  Congrats to the both of you, you earned that one.
Title: Re: Wifeís Idaho OTC elk hunt
Post by: sjhgraysage on October 20, 2019, 09:46:27 AM
Congratulations!
Lots of hard work paid off nicely!!
Title: Re: Wifeís Idaho OTC elk hunt
Post by: elkboy on October 20, 2019, 10:28:35 AM
One of my favorite posts of the year! Thanks for writing it up! Congratulations to both of you.
Title: Re: Wifeís Idaho OTC elk hunt
Post by: ShaneTyTrey on October 20, 2019, 03:30:10 PM
Awesome, way to get it done, congratulations!
Title: Re: Wifeís Idaho OTC elk hunt
Post by: Machias on October 21, 2019, 08:12:37 AM
Awesome, congrats to both of you!!!  Great write up and great photos!  What a dandy bull!!!
Title: Re: Wifeís Idaho OTC elk hunt
Post by: trophyhunt on October 21, 2019, 09:01:26 AM
Really great story, I absolutely love it!  Very cool your wife is hard core with you, congrats to you both on an epic trip!  You have a great area there, love Idaho! 
Title: Re: Wifeís Idaho OTC elk hunt
Post by: C-Money on October 22, 2019, 09:48:33 AM
Such a nice bull! Great hunt! Congrats!
Title: Re: Wifeís Idaho OTC elk hunt
Post by: mikelonsford on October 22, 2019, 11:24:06 AM
Great write up and photos!  Thanks for sharing, Congrats to your wife and to you!

Good Luck on your other hunts this year,

Mike
Title: Re: Wifeís Idaho OTC elk hunt
Post by: Tapp8277 on October 22, 2019, 12:33:32 PM
Thanks for taking us along for the ride. Congrats on a great bull and even better memories!
Title: Re: Wifeís Idaho OTC elk hunt
Post by: gee_unit360 on October 22, 2019, 02:05:35 PM
Great story, congrats!
Title: Re: Wifeís Idaho OTC elk hunt
Post by: pianoman9701 on October 22, 2019, 02:17:53 PM
What a great story and great bull. Congrats to you both.
Title: Re: Wifeís Idaho OTC elk hunt
Post by: Muleyslyr on October 23, 2019, 01:33:43 PM
Sounds like quite the adventure! Great story and congrats to your wife!
Title: Re: Wifeís Idaho OTC elk hunt
Post by: Shawn Ryan on October 24, 2019, 06:08:19 PM
Good to have a wife that hunts as hard as you.  Nice write up of a good hunt. Glad she got her opportunity on a real nice bull.