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ElkStalker

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I went out for an evening hunt tonight. It was about 3:00 when I left my vehicle at the gate. I had about a 1.5 mile walk to where I’ve been seeing a lot of elk and deer sign. Walking down the old logging road which was covered in about 3” of crunchy snow, there were Wolf tracks everywhere. I was feeling a bit deflated as what I’ve seen in the past is, when a pack moves in like this, they pretty much run every living thing out of the area. But I pressed on. I had given up on trying to be quiet. The snow was just too crunchy, so my focus was on getting into my spot. I knew that if I got there and hiked up the mountain, the sun had melted the snow enough that the grass would allow me to sneak up there in silence. About a 1 1/4 miles in, the logging road makes a sharp dogleg with a small pine on the inside edge (1st photo). This tree was blocking my view from anything around the corner. I took one more step to peer around the tree and was face to face to a bull elk, who also saw me at the same time. Mind you, I wasn’t trying to be stealth at this point, but it sure wouldn’t have hurt, darn it. As I was raising my rifle, he was whirling around, and by the time I had the hammer back, he was out of sight. He ran straight down the hillside in the thick, overgrown timber. Sounded like he curled up in a ball and rolled down the mountain. . I sat and waited for any sound of his footsteps and didn’t hear anything. Tried to find a way to get down the mountain after him, but it was way to wet for how steep it was. I went back and paced off the distance from where he was to where I was when we spotted each other. 20 paces. Closest I’ve ever been to a bull elk with a muzzleloader in my hand. That was exciting and a great reminder of why I go out there in first place. That encounter made the last 5 days of hiking worth it. It was also a good lesson as the reason this didn’t work out was that I was ultra focused on getting to the “perfect” spot and not expecting what I should always be expecting- Elk, right around the corner.
I got up to my spot and sat for about an hour. I saw a good flock of wild turkeys, elk and deer sign, an old wooden cross and one heck of a view. I walked out in the twilight and almost got back to the gate before dark.
 

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Ouch, I hate when that happens. I had it happen a few years ago, hunted all day leaving long before dawn and I was beat and hungry and it was getting dusky. I was insight of camp, so I put my head down and powered through the last little climb and not 20 yards from camp a HERD of elk exploded around me.

I would have been better off sitting in camp all day.
 

ElkStalker

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Beautiful pics. Looks like a nice area to hunt. The cross is interesting, any idea why it’s way out there?
This is timber lands that are way up behind a friends private land. I was surprised to see it. I talked to him the other day and mentioned the cross. Turns out, he put it up there and placed a solar light on it. It’s an old cross from the church that he obtained years ago. It really is a beautiful place to hunt and just sit and enjoy the scenery.
 

ElkStalker

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looks like you were in my back yard there Elkstalker! the wolves have thinned the herd this year. had tracks by the shop thursday . guess i need to get another dog.
I’m a bit south of ya, based on a post from you that I saw last night. I’d love to get up your way one of these days.
I think that this year, after elk and deer season close, I’m going to get out and try to hunt these wolves.
 

ElkStalker

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i always have a tag or two just for those coincidental sightings.
everybody is a bit south of me it seems!:D
I have a tag, but never see them when I’m hunting. Go figure! One of these days I’ll figure out what I’m doing. I’d really like to get in to a trappers course and get serious about trapping them. Would be a lot of fun, another excuse to be in the woods, and might earn a little money in the process. I think I’m pretty close to ya. I’m in the silver valley, east of Couer D’Alene.
 

ElkStalker

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A really good read. The same has happened to me so often I now try to remember the Following: Hunt all the way to the stand/blind/spot you hunt from.

I've been there...it kinda hurts.
Thank you! Yep, it’s was a good reminder/lesson to put in the tool box.
 
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