Friday, December 16, 2016

My dad's elk hunt

After many years of applying, my dad finally drew out on his limited entry elk hunt this year. We were all so excited for it to be his turn. We did quite a bit of scouting throughout the summer and set up our game plan for the September hunt.
I drove up on Friday morning to help set up camp and do some last minute scouting. I had been growing my beard out for about a month in preparation for the hunt.

When I got up there I was so happy to see how bright and brilliant the fall colors were.

I brought my RZR along for the hunt.

My cousin Jaron and his dad Rees (my mom's twin brother) came on the hunt too. Here's a view of our awesome elk camp.

This year was a very, very hard hunt. The weather was about 20 degrees warmer than normal and there was a bright full moon each night with no clouds. Normally on this hunt the bulls are bugling and fighting and in the full rut, which makes for a much easier and a much more enjoyable hunt. This year however was a different story. The rut hadn't started and the bulls were hunkering down in the deep pines. We couldn't get them to respond to cow calls or bugles with anything more than a half hearted belly grunt while they were lying down. They would leave the trees. Because of the full moon they were up all night feeding and bedded down all day. They would stop moving before 8:00 am and wouldn't get back up and about until after 6:00 pm. It made for a very challenging hunt for us.

Saturday night was the BYU vs UCLA home opener. My dad and I headed down from the elk camp to go to the game with my mom and Tucker. It was Tucker's 11th birthday so we had him come along.

The views from where we hunt are so amazing.

There is one area that we take the four wheelers over a creek. This year some beavers dammed up the creek right by the crossing and caused it to be flooded under about 3 feet of water. We had to tear the dam down to drain the water enough for us to cross. Each time we did this, the next day the beavers had repaired the dam. It helped illustrate the saying, "busy as a beaver".

I had to head back home Monday to help the kids out and I left my dad and Jaron up there. That night Jaron got my dad in on a great bull and they downed him before sunset. I drove right back up Tuesday morning and helped them pack the elk out.

It wasn't too long of a hike, but it was straight up hill. Jaron and I had a great time getting it out.

My dad had a bad knee and was pretty exhausted so Jaron and I did the heavy lifting. When we got to the top we had my dad put the pack on for a photo op. Looking good dad!

I was glad that my dad was able to harvest his elk and that we had an enjoyable hunt.

I shaved my beard off in stages. First was the trucker look.

Then the handlebar mustache.

Then the creepy mustache.

Then the angry nazi mustache.

Clean shaven and handsome!