I wish that I had taken more pictures of where we were hunting, but I was too busy trying to figure out where the elk were hiding!! The first day they were all over the place. I had a herd of probably 15-18 run about 100 yards in front of me, but they were uphill and I couldn't get an angle on them. To top it off, another hunter a few hundred yards away wound up getting one as I chased them his way. Oh well. Then I set up on a hillside watching a meadow and damned if about 10 didn't wind up walking about 30 feet behind me. I tried like hell to get turned around as slowly and quietly as I could, but that wasn't happening. Foiled again. So I decide to move higher up on the ridgeline since there are trails all over where I am at and guess what? Another one winds up walking up behind me in the treeline about 75 yards away. I actually got around to take a shot at it, but it was a tough shot between a bunch trees. I don't know if I hit it, but I doubt it. It took off and ran down a pretty steep cliff, and I wasn't following it.
That's when everything went to shit. Dwaine and I thought that we would try to walk the ridgeline to where the rest of the gang was located. Off we go, only to run into a road that isn't on any maps. No problem, we will just follow it for a while. Well, after about an hour (or at least what seemed like an hour) we decided "screw this". We had a GPS and it was showing us getting closer to the truck, then getting farther away... not good. Then the batteries died. Now let me tell you, I've always been pretty cocky about finding my way around. Map, compass, watch the sun, no problems. Well I don't know if it is just a matter of altitude or what, but the damned sun never passed overhead. I swear it rose and set in the same damned part of the sky. Things were getting dire when we realized that it used the same batteries that I had spares for, and we were back in business. We walked like dogs though, climbing up and down ridges trying to get back to the truck. Now it was only 1 mile away, but let me tell you we must have walked 5 miles up and down those ridges.
On Sunday we actually got a dusting of snow. I totally forgot to take any pictures though. I headed back up to the area I was in the day before, but there weren't any elk running around up there. A couple of times I had some walk around me in the trees, but I could never get a good shot off. The woods were just too damned thick. Dwaine and I decided to go driving to see if we could find the road to hell from the day before, and in fact we did. Totally unmarked on the map. We followed it around and found a couple of really nice meadows, and oddly enough we found that it went around and came out on the other side of the meadow the day before. Made me really glad we stopped following it (though to be fair, we weren't following it in that direction).
We got back to the gang towards the evening to find that Ray had killed a cow. It was probably 700-800lbs, and that was after gutting it. It took them almost 3 hours (we showed up around 4:00 and they killed it around 1:00) to drag that thing what couldn't have been a 1/4 mile over a ridge. It was huge. To top it off, apparently Ray shot it at a full run from about 100 yards. Said he was aiming at it's nose and managed to hit it in the neck. Of course, for the rest of the hunt we had to listen to "Dead Eye Ray" talking about what a fine shot he was!! I didn't get any pictures of it before they gutted it, but here is what I have:
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