On Monday we decided to hunt the area where Ray got his elk. Randy and the rest of the crew had been hunting that area too. Randy wasn't there though, because he had to go to court. See, it seems that before Ray got his elk, they were driving down the road and saw an elk up in a meadow laying down. Now, before you start thinking "well it was a road", let me explain. The roads out in the national forest are little better than off-road trails. We aren't talking graded, much less paved in most cases. Anyway, Richard grabs the binoculars to look for horns. None. He grabs another set to double check. None. By this time Randy had gotten out and stepped off the road to take a shot. Richard tells him "I don't see antlers, take a shot". Randy does. There is a puff of something, and it looks like he might have shot high and missed it. At that point Richard uttered words that will be forever remembered in hunting camp "It must be in shock, shoot it again!!!". Well, after the fourth shot the game warden came out of the woods, politely asked everyone to unload their guns and pointed out that you have to be 40 feet off road to shoot. The biggest crock of shit I have ever heard. To make it worse, if there is a fence you just need to be on the other side of the fence. Stupid law made for making money off poor bastards, but alas Randy wound up having to go to court to take care of it Monday morning.

Well, the day passed without event. We found one fresh pile of scat and I setup on that trail all day long. Didn't see a damned thing. We call it a day and are heading out. Suddenly about 400 yards in front of us a herd of elk go running across the meadow up and at an angle from us. Dwaine stops the truck and he and I jump out. We get setup and damned if there aren't two elk just standing in the middle of this meadow looking at us. All that noise and movement, and they haven't moved an inch. The first one was HUGE. Had a huge furry chest and I was betting it was a bull. I sighted in real quick, thought I saw antlers and decided to switch targets. The other one is much smaller. I didn't see any antlers so I took the shot from about 300-350 yards. Thwack. It went down like a rock. The other one went running off and then, in something that surprised everyone, it came running back and stopped to look at the one I shot. Dwaine though that the one I shot had gotten back up and had antlers and was thinking "oh shit, we weren't supposed to be hunting bulls, only antlerless". Well we got up there and sure enough, mine was still on the ground. Now Dwaine won't admit this, but he was actually in a position to take a shot much sooner than I was. Plus, Dwaine is a damned good shot. Now I think that he intentionally didn't shoot to give me the opportunity to get an elk (even though he has never shot an elk), but he says that wasn't the case. Either way though, it was an awesome experience. The shot was exactly where I placed it to boot. Anyway, here are some pics of my first elk kill.

Ray had already started to gut it before I got any pictures.

Here I am

That's Dwaine on the left.

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