I just returned home from my D.I.Y. Elk hunt 2 days ago, and thought I would share a few pics that tell some of the story. We had 2 tags and were able to kill 2 bulls in 4 days. The amount of work that went into this hunt is literally undescribable. My buddy killed his elk on the evening of the opening day, right at last light. We were 7 miles away and 2000 feet of elevation above the truck. The next day we packed his elk back to the truck and hike back up to camp by dark, 14 miles round trip, 3 people. 2 days later i was able to kill my first ever Elk, a true wilderness bull. Although it was a small 5x5 raghorn, it is without a doubt, my most prized animal I have ever taken. (And I have taken alot!) I also shot mine at dusk, which meant butchering and packing back to camp in the dark. Then we made the decision to pack the Elk and everything we had back to the truck the next day....in 1 trip! This time it was only 5 miles to the truck but with a pack over 90lbs, it was without a doubt the hardest hike of my life.
This trip was as perfect as I could have imagined, and was a completion of 4 years of Elk hunting for me to finally harvest my first elk.
Living out of a backpack for 6 days is as mentally taxing as it is physically. We had to deal with temps from sunny and 75 to 19 degrees and blizzard like conditions. If you are unfamiliar with a wilderness area, it means foot travel ONLY, no 4 wheelers, no bicycles, no deer carts, only horses and humans. We hiked to elevations from 8500ft up yo 11300ft and at 1 point had to pump water out of a mudhole. I loved every minute of it and wouldn't have changed a thing!! Hope you enjoy the pics.
My partners MONSTER 6x6 opening day Bull.
A rough morning on the mountain....
My First Elk..
A much needed beer and celebration toast at the truck!!
And the nightmare of luggage, meat, and guns at the airport.