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Old September 24, 2019, 09:11 PM   #1
taylorce1
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Daughter's first elk!

My daughter drew a Muzzle Loader tag for a bull elk this year in a any bull unit. I had had problems finding a front stuffer that my daughter liked. Muzzle loading is a foreign concept to my daughter so I started asking around on a bolt action ML to get something similar to what she was used to. On another forum a CO resident who was moving to NC donated his Knight Disk Extreme to my daughter. He probably sent close to $1K worth of ML and accessories free of charge to my daughter (ML,150 Thor & 30 Federal Premium ML Bullets, and close to 500 primers).

We chose to hunt a wilderness area that my buddy had seen a lot of elk in the area while scouting for the bighorn he shot last year. The problem with the wilderness area was that it's a lot harder to spot elk in than the old burn scar we usually hunt. Because of commitments my daughter had as being a Fair Queen our planned six day hunting trip was shortened down to three days.

We got camp set up in the wilderness area late Wed night and because we hadn't been in that area before we didn't set out the next morning until after legal light. We didn't see anything but we found the rock that my buddy glassed a lot from and in the top center he said elk were always in the Aspens. We didn't find any elk but we got a good lay of the land.

20190920_144930 by taylorce1, on Flickr

The next morning we hunted our way into the glassing rock. We didn't see any elk again, but we heard some bugling, so off we went cow calling to see if any would respond. We were never able to get any response from our cow calls, of course we knew the elk were a long ways off from the sound of the bugling and we heard our last bugle about 9 am. I forgot to mention it was hot as well! I didn't have a thermometer with me but I'm guessing it was close to 90's my mid afternoon. So we never saw any elk in the evening during legal light. We also dealt with ants and yellow jackets swarming us most of the day, so to say the least my daughter felt like this hunt was going south quickly.

The night of the second day my buddy Cody showed up, he was the sheep hunter. He's been there for my daughter's first white tail, mule deer, and pronghorn so he really wanted to be there for my daughters first elk. We got up before daylight and hunted into our glassing area again. This time we spotted elk in the aspens where my buddy said that they always were. So we were working out a game plan on how to get there. We made our plan and my buddy took off with my daughter behind him, and me last in our file since I have the fused ankle and have the hardest time on the uneven terrain.

We were about 250 yards from our glassing rock when my buddy stopped. He turned and looked at us and he says "I smell them"! So we huddled up and decided we'd take a chance at cow calling and wait about 15 min for a response before continuing our original plan. My buddy blew on his cow calls and before we knew it a young spike bull was walking into sight. My buddy made a cow call again and stopped the bull at 37 yards and my daughter was ready. She let loose a 250 grain Areoflite bullet and hit the bull at the junction of the neck and front shoulder since he was sharply quartering towards us. The bull dropped at that shot and by the time she reloaded her ML she the bull was dead, of course she was shaking so badly that it took her longer than normal to reload.

20190921_084112 by taylorce1, on Flickr

So my daughter got her first elk down by 8:15 am on the first day of fall. So we decided since she was a blooded elk hunter she was adult enough to haul butt back to our camp and get the pack frames for the hard work. So as my daughter walked the 2.5 miles back to camp my buddy and I got to work.

We got through the yellow jacket stings, and managed to get the bull into game bags in a pretty short order. In fact we just sat down to eat a little snack when my daughter showed up with the pack frames. We argued a bit about how we were going to load the packs, but my buddy wouldn't let me divide it evenly. So I wound up with both front shoulders, back straps, tenderloins, and the head while my buddy loaded both hind quarters in his pack frame. We loaded my daughter down with both of our day packs and started the arduous 2.5 mile pack out with a selfie!

Resized_IMG_6017 by taylorce1, on Flickr

So I was the last one to make it back to camp obviously. However, I felt a huge accomplishment making it down off the mountain with that much weight and a leg that'll never be 100% again. My daughter did nag me to death when she came back looking for me after she dumped her packs, to let me carry her elk out. So I strapped my pack on her when we found a dead fall that I could set it on because I was so whupped I wasn't sure I could lift it up to get it on her back. She handled the last 1/4 mile of the trail like a champ with probably 70-80 lbs of elk on her back and my trekking poles in hand. At the end of the trail we took a picture with the good luck charm my buddies son had sent with his dad. We were back in camp and having celebratory camp lunch by 1:30 pm and packed up and headed down to the processor by 3 pm.

20190921_123611 by taylorce1, on Flickr

Resized_IMG_6024001 by taylorce1, on Flickr

I couldn't be more proud of my little girl!

IMG_6029 by taylorce1, on Flickr
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Last edited by taylorce1; September 24, 2019 at 09:48 PM.
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Old September 24, 2019, 11:09 PM   #2
CD1
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Queen of the Fair and punching a bull tag, that's quite a week! Great pics, great story, great hunt! Until you've cut up and hauled an animal out on your back, you just don't understand the level of fatigue that comes with it. Great job to all. Love the pic of your daughter with the stuffed animal elk.
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Old September 25, 2019, 02:12 AM   #3
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Awesome!
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Old September 25, 2019, 02:13 AM   #4
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That is a memory both of you will share for your lifetimes!
Congratulations on a sucessful hunt!
Still wanting badly to get out there & experience it!
I was yet again "unsucessful" in getting a PA elk tag.
Time to set the Mrs down and flat out tell her, i don't care, i'm making it happen!
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Old September 25, 2019, 05:49 AM   #5
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Good story, thanks for posting.
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Old September 25, 2019, 07:07 AM   #6
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That was a great story! I loved the pictures and the narration. Good on your daughter, you and your friend.
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Old September 25, 2019, 07:40 AM   #7
taylorce1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CD1
Queen of the Fair and punching a bull tag, that's quite a week!
She was crowned queen back in August at the county fair, this was just a parade commitment she had to attend.

Here is a picture from earlier in the season.

IMG_1934 by taylorce1, on Flickr
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Old September 25, 2019, 09:24 AM   #8
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What an awesome memory for you both to cherish. Great job!
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Old September 25, 2019, 10:24 AM   #9
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Fantastic.

I hope my kids are interested when they're old enough to get their own tags.

Quote:
...So I wound up with both front shoulders, back straps, tenderloins, and the head...
That's a whole bunch of NOPE!
I can't do it any more. I can carry the weight, but my back can't handle sharp jolts or slips. It hurts at the time, but I really pay for it later on; and the more weight when it happens, the more pain later.

Last year, I packed just the front quarters, flanks, tenderloins, backstrap, and head of a little fork-horn muley about 3/4 mile back to camp. My night wasn't terribly unpleasant before bed, but it took about 2 hours before I managed to roll over to get out of bed in the morning.
(Arthritis and bulging discs.)
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Old September 25, 2019, 01:36 PM   #10
taylorce1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankenMauser
That's a whole bunch of NOPE!
I can't do it any more. I can carry the weight, but my back can't handle sharp jolts or slips. It hurts at the time, but I really pay for it later on; and the more weight when it happens, the more pain later.
I understand all too well. Since I shattered my right leg I can't do what I used to. My right ankle is also fused so it makes walking up and down hills or navigating uneven terrain very difficult. This was kind of a test to see if I can still do a wilderness hunt, as I've got an eye on some big game hunts on my list after my daughter graduates. I might have to hire a pack service to get me in and out, but I think I can do some hunts that I didn't think I'd ever be able to accomplish after my injury without a guide service.
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Old September 25, 2019, 01:42 PM   #11
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Congrats to the young lady on her muzzleloader elk.
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Old September 25, 2019, 03:52 PM   #12
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Super cool, congrats
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Old September 25, 2019, 08:44 PM   #13
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Great story! Thanks for sharing. I bet you're proud! Congrats to you and your daughter.
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Old September 26, 2019, 08:42 AM   #14
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Good for her. Those are the memories that never go away.
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Old September 26, 2019, 08:29 PM   #15
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Awesome story. Kudos to the both of you.
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Old September 27, 2019, 07:03 AM   #16
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She's quickly becoming my favorite Hunter.
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Old September 27, 2019, 11:06 AM   #17
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A story you will share, forever

What a great adventure and thanks for sharing it with us. ……

Be Safe !!!
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Old September 27, 2019, 03:05 PM   #18
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Congrats to you daughter and to you for surviving it with the ankle!
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Old September 27, 2019, 07:58 PM   #19
taylorce1
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She got the horns back today, and she's still smiling!

20190927_141100 by taylorce1, on Flickr
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Old October 1, 2019, 06:38 PM   #20
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congrats to you both!
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Old October 15, 2019, 11:45 PM   #21
taylorce1
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Old October 19, 2019, 08:24 AM   #22
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Its great to see young hunters still enjoying the outdoors, great story and congrats on a great memory.
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Old October 21, 2019, 07:57 AM   #23
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A lifetime memory, for sure!! Congrats!
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