Successful fall hunting

Muzzleloading Forum

Help Support Muzzleloading Forum:

Joined
Aug 14, 2022
Messages
348
Reaction score
807
Location
idaho
In 8 days of hunting I harvested an cow elk and doe deer during traditional muzzleloader season on draw tags in Idaho. Deer was taken at 75 yards, looking directly at me from behind brush. Took her in the neck seated and from a bipod rest. Elk was taken broadside at 85 yards through the shoulder. It broke the leg directly below the elbow joint in the shoulder, through both sides of the lungs and destroyed the heart, lodging under the skin between ribs on far side. As heart was destroyed and there was no exit wound, no blood trail, but with a destroyed heart she only went 20 yards and dropped dead. Nice, fat 3 year old cow.

I shot her with a 24" 54 cal CVA frontier hunter with CVA 385 grain deerslayer conical with 100 grains of Pyrodex RS and using a musket cap.

Pictures show the damage to the shoulder leg bones, the recovered bullet and an unfired bullet.
 

Attachments

  • elkresize.jpg
    elkresize.jpg
    867 KB · Views: 0
  • bullet.jpeg
    bullet.jpeg
    466 KB · Views: 0
  • bullet1.jpeg
    bullet1.jpeg
    1.1 MB · Views: 0
  • bullet2.jpeg
    bullet2.jpeg
    521.4 KB · Views: 0
Last edited:
Joined
Aug 14, 2022
Messages
348
Reaction score
807
Location
idaho
Thanks, everyone. It was an exciting hunt this year. Weather changed 3 days after the start of the season, so the day after I got my deer, the bulls started bugling. By 7 days after season open, after several cold fronts, lots of rain and thunderstorms they were in full rut. The morning I got the cow there were three separate bulls bugling and chasing cows around my stand and they bugled well into mid morning. Elk were moving so best to stay put and let them come to me and it worked out as planned. Exciting. Good weather, lots of elk, no wolves in the area, and lots of activity. Deer is cut up, vacuum packed and in freezer, key elk cuts to be vacuum packed on Wednesday and then allowed to age for a couple more days before freezing, elk meat prepared for hamburger grinding on Thursday and I will be smoking a big rack of elk ribs to have for dinner on Thursday night.

Life is good right now.
 
Joined
May 10, 2022
Messages
70
Reaction score
47
Congradulations on a FINE hunt! I was in Colorado last week on my Cow elk trip but this great state allows Free Range Grazing of sheep and they have pushed back the date for them to be out of the area. Every day I saw hundreds of sheep and only month old elk sign. My Son and I have been going on this hunt for years and unless the state changes this policy probably our last. He has friends that come to your state and speak very highly of the experience. Again Congradulations!
 
Joined
Aug 14, 2022
Messages
348
Reaction score
807
Location
idaho
Congradulations on a FINE hunt! I was in Colorado last week on my Cow elk trip but this great state allows Free Range Grazing of sheep and they have pushed back the date for them to be out of the area. Every day I saw hundreds of sheep and only month old elk sign. My Son and I have been going on this hunt for years and unless the state changes this policy probably our last. He has friends that come to your state and speak very highly of the experience. Again Congradulations!
Sheep and elk mix well. What doesn't mix well is the guard dogs and elk. I grew up sheep ranching and herded sheep free range in the hills of Idaho, Colorado and Nevada as a kid and later in Wyoming as an adult until I found an easier way to make a living (Marine Corps.. Lol) But having the guard dogs do help keep the wolves out of the area, so it is a bit of double edge sword. As long as the sheep (and consequently the guard dogs) are not right on top of your area, it actually improves the elk concentration as the elk will go where there are no wolves.
 
Joined
May 10, 2022
Messages
70
Reaction score
47
Yes plenty of dogs were there and there are no wolves in this part of Colorado but alot of Coyotes. All I know is if the sheep and as you pointed out the dogs are there the elk are gone. We are unfortunately in the area where all sheep are brought out of the mountains and down to the ranches, kind of a funnel so there are great numbers coming through. This is north of Steamboat Springs.
 
Joined
Aug 14, 2022
Messages
348
Reaction score
807
Location
idaho
Reds, it is a federal grazing lease, so it is feds (Forest Service and BLM) that authorize and issue the permits. State has little or nothing to do with it. We have sheep grazing here in Idaho as do all of the western states with federal lands. As a matter of fact, I usually set up camp about 100 yards from a traditional sheep bedground and camp site and 2 out of 3 years there are sheep there when I hunt. Again, the only time elk numbers are affected by sheep is if they are in the immediate area of your hunt (as was happening to you) as the guard dogs will run anything larger than a squirrel out of the immediate area and wolves they will pursue for tens of miles until they are run completely out. Wolves are much more of a problem and they are coming soon (many are there now) to Colorado. Wolves will clear a complete basin out for 30 miles. The elk will stop bugling and cow talking and will move on to other places. Several years ago a pack moved into my hunt area and it was one of the no grazing years. 2 weeks prior on scouting, you couldn't go out without seeing elk and several large herds were in the area, wolf pack moved in and I hunted for 9 days on horseback (so I was covering large amounts of area..several large basins) and not an elk to be found.

The guard dogs will run the wolves out of the area, so while if the sheep/dog combo is on top of you, it is a bummer, but they are a blessing in disguise, as the wolves will completely wipe clean your hunting area and the basins around you.

Take it from an old Basque sheepherder, wolves "no bueno" and guard dogs are the much lessor evil of a much greater evil.
 
Last edited:
Joined
May 10, 2022
Messages
70
Reaction score
47
Gotcha, thanks for the info. It will definitely help in the future. And again congratulations on your muzzleloader hunt. I’m back in Florida hunting pigs with mine and will be going to MD for deer in October. Fill that freezer one way or the other but with a “Smoke Pole”
 
Joined
Aug 14, 2022
Messages
348
Reaction score
807
Location
idaho
You are welcome. Smoke a porker and then get a whitetail...they are really good eating. Good luck filling the freezer.....beats the hell out of "tag sandwich" that I have eaten the last year!
 
Top