Last month I went on a Elk Hunt that my two son's and I did in Colorado after applying and waiting 18 years to draw.
We had a wonderful Elk hunt and it was a first on so many levels for all three of us. We had waited 18 years gathering preference points and we finally drew in area 61 near Nucla, Colorado. We were unfamiliar with the area so we hired the Gravey Brother's Guiding Service and it was a first ever guided hunt for the three of us. Stan Garvey runs the company and he and his brother Joe guide on hunts along with Dustin Gravey Stan's son and Doug a long time friend of the family. In fact Doug's dad had his own guiding service in the past and it is closed now so Doug guides for Stan. The last first is that this is the first time in my 27 years of Elk hunting that we were actually hunting during the rut. The rut was winding down but the Bulls were still bugling. So the guides would take us out before daylight to the spot they wanted to hunt and then as it was just getting light they would either make a cow call or bugle and we would wait to see who called back. When a bull responds then the game is on and your guide leads you in a quest to get close to the bull and to evaluate the rack and size of the bull it to see if it's a shooter and one that you want. I passed on several really nice 6x6 bulls the first two days and even a very large 5x5 that was bigger then the bull I eventually killed.
The season was a 5 day season and we hadn't killed anything during the first two days. On the morning of the third day Monday the 12th Jim, Glenn, and I were all anxious at breakfast at 4 AM and we talked about who would get the first bull. We were each going with a guide to a different area and we would find out later how each of us did. I had Stan Garvey that morning and Jim had his Brother Joe. We drove for two hours (40 miles) in a Chevy pickup and did a huge box on the roads to end up in a remote area just 5 miles above our base camp. Stan and I headed out in the dark and we went over a small ridge and then descended into a valley filled with aspen's, pines, and scrub oak. After we went about a 1/2 mile Stan made an Elk Bugle and in almost an instant we had three bulls answering back. Stan evaluated the quality of the bugles and told me which one he thought was the biggest and most mature. We started our stalk and it lasted about 25 minutes and we were really close and when the bull would bugle it was such a rush. Then some cow Elk got between us and the bull and spooked the bull and he went with them.
So Stan moved us a few hundred yards and started over with a fresh bugle. We quickly were on another bull and after a 20 minute stalk we saw the bull I ended up taking. He's a 7X6 and he scores 281 which is a really good bull but not a super bull. He was really hot after Stan Called him in and he basically stepped in between two stands of scrub oak at 100 yards giving me a 10 inch opening to shoot at. The Sako 338 did it's job and he went a very short way and was piled up at 7:30 AM.
My 7x6 Bull taken Monday
Well the day was still filled with more firsts as Jim shot a 6x6 that is perfectly symmetrical and scored the same as my bull and he got his at 8:30 AM. Glenn got a 6x6 that scored 300 and was the best in our group and He got his 9:30 AM. His bull was a fighter as he had two main points broken off but he is an awesome Bull
My Sons Jim and Glenn with their Elk racks after the Elk was caped