Richelle’s Elk Hunt begins!

Hunting isn’t always about meat or inches. 

Richelle drew a tough late season elk tag in our home state of Arizona.  This is a long hunt and isn’t really a trophy hunt, or a hunt with high success rates.  The season began for us at 3pm on Friday, because we are like many of you and have trouble living the real world.  With the first cold front of the winter season rolling in, I left the family in the truck, and hiked up a mountain.  It was an extremely difficult afternoon to glass, between the rain showers and the 30 mph winds, but I managed to glass up 3 bulls.  None of the bulls were what we had in mind for the first day, so I continued searching.  At last light, I heard another hunter shooting below me and later found out from some friends, that it was them.  Congrats to them, as they killed a 340 type heavy horn bull!

3rd morning bulls

That night was bitter cold (for AZ), but we built a fire and cooked some dogs.  After filling our bellies, we gave thanks for a wonderful day and I stewed in my sleeping bag, thinking about the next day.  Where to go?  How to approach?   The endless thoughts that run through your head.   

For the record…  

Richelle and I discussed all weekend what we were looking for in a bull, and we came to the conclusion, the right bull.  We don’t have a set number, although we would be kidding ourselves, if we stated we don’t have hopes for a giant.  Honestly, everyone does, but that’s not what we are all about.  We want to enjoy this hunt, as we finally have some time to enjoy a hunt together.   We like our game meat and the freezer is empty.  We like big antlers, but we are about hunting and spending time in God’s awesome wild creation.

The next morning, I decided we should look at some new country.  We hiked out to our glassing spot and found 20-25 cows and calves.  We also glassed up 4 mule deer does, which was AWESOME!   The kids got the opportunity to look at the elk and this made our morning.  That afternoon, we moved to another area and I left the sleepy crew in the 4runner.   They didn’t miss anything and we decided to call it a day.  Not the best day for a bull elk hunter, but we did have a GREAT game of hide-n-go-seek!  Again, hunting is so much more than what many perceive it to be.

Hide-n-Go-SEEK!!!

The third morning was  a short one.  We met up with our other crew, because our young nephew had a cow tag.  We turned up three young bulls, but again nothing we wanted to pursue, nor did we see any cows.  At 9 am, we headed for camp and reflected on an awesome weekend.  Below are some of the bulls we have encountered and taken from the past on this hunt.  Again, it’s not about inches, although we love big antlers. 

Richelle’s first bull from 2009, which was a similar hunt.

My mom’s bull from 2006, from the same unit we are hunting.

Giant bull a friend took on this hunt in 2008.

Giant set of sheds I picked-up from this area.
Huge beam bull we found from this area.  He is dead!

TO BE CONTINUED…

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