Idaho Elk Trip 2010: Day 2

Bagel, Peanut Butter, Honey and Bacon Sandwiches-flattened!

Woke up early the next morning, no alarm clock needed as I was filled with anticipation. Got dressed, ate some breakfast that the hotel offered and then drove to the grocery store to get some food for our sandwiches.  We each made four bagel, peanut butter and honey and bacon sandwiches to take with me on this trip. Back to the hotel, made our sandwiches, took showers, loaded the truck and were headed to the trailhead by 8am.

Rudy lacing up the boots before the hike in

 

Taking a breather!

Working down the 800' drop in elevation

After a forty minute drive, we arrived at the trailhead. We took our time to quiz each other on items that we did want to forget and stretched for a good fifteen minutes. We threw our packs on and headed up the trail. I say up because it is a 1900 foot climb in elevation from the trailhead to the summit and then an 800 foot drop in elevation to the level ground of our first campsite. We made fairly good time (2 hours 40 minutes) considering that the distance from the truck to the first camp was 5 miles. Greg made a comment in the first half mile of the hike that his “legs were on fire” and not in a good way. Which, shortly lead to his next comment, “I may have bitten off more than I could chew”! Later in the hunt he commented that he thought that if he made it through the Marine Corps boot camp, he should be able to make it through this….he was wrong! Nothing against The Corp but 2 totally different things!

 

Setting up 1st camp

Once we found some level ground and no dead trees hovering over us we setup camp. A short time later, I was ready to head out and do some hunting. Greg said, “That he would not hunt that evening, but would tag along.”  We setup on a point for the evening, which overlooked a small lake and where nothing would come from behind us. I made several location bugles, but had no response.  Greg was not comfortable in the dark in bear backcountry, so we headed back to camp before darkness blanketed the skies.

After arriving back at camp, we decided to top off all the water bladders, bottles and cube for the next day. As we were walking back to camp, we heard a bugle west of camp. Once we arrived at camp, the bull bugled again and this time he was less than 200 yards away! I was scrambling for my bow and as I am getting my Who’s ‘Yrr’ Daddy call ready. Greg starts ripping his Velcro on his release to put it on, I “sshh” him and told the bull was right there! I whispered to Greg that I was going to run at him about 70 yards and sit in front of some trees. Greg continued to make more noise, so I “sshh” again, I called with the  Who’s ‘Yrr’ Daddy call, the bull immediately came back with a bugle, this time he was much closer and I took off running. I got about 35 yards from camp and saw antler tips, so I dropped down right in front of some small pine trees and was nocked and loaded. The bull was a big 6 point on his left side and he had just a single tine off his main beam on the right side. If his right side matched his left side he would have went in the 320”+ category. The bull was just walking along perfectly as he was walking upwind away from me, he was on target to provide me a slightly quartering away shot at 32 yards. Well about this time Greg had setup downwind from me and gave a few excited cow calls, the bull froze in his tracks and was now looking my way. He didn’t provide me with a shot as with the rise in the terrain, I could only see the top eight inches of his back. He shot me a nervous grunt and trotted off about 60 yards. I could still see the bull’s legs, so I tried to sneak up on him but Greg’s second cow call spooked him further.  Even though we didn’t get it done, we learned a lesson that evening to make sure that both hunters on the same page when it comes to setups. What an exciting way to end the first day of the hunt.

Jetboil Flash boiling and ready to "marinate" the Mountain House

We fired up the Jetboil Flash, ate some Mountain House, discussed the failed setup on the bull and hit the tents. Instead of crickets for background noise, we had elk bugling all night long and 2 bulls circled our camp several times. I was surprised I fell fast asleep, dreaming about the next day of hunting.

Idaho Elk Trip 2010: Day 1

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