Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Pronghorn closeout and Elk prep

Garth and I made the trip to Ely again, this time in Garths new Jeep Sahara! We camped south/east of Cherry Creek and hunted north of McGill. When I say "we" hunted, I mean I dumped Garth off in a ditch close to a game trail and water source for 14 hours, then went into town for more Elk recondo and rifle practice. We certainly saw a lot of Pronghorn, but no go for this year.

I did confirm a 24 hour meat locker/processor in Ely, I sent the details via TXT. Here's the catch. He requires Elk to be quartered. I don't mean field dressing quarters like the minimum requirement by Nevada statues, but the traditional quartered beef way. You cut it in half from head to tail, then each half into a quarter with the last rib in the butt section, the rest in the front! YIKES. We need to discuss this in great detail. He recommended a sawsall. We can probably dismantle at camp then take it in, I have some ideas and will consult with others. I still think that taking the traditional quarters (legs) off is the best first step, if anything, that is the only way you can pick it up. Also, if we have to carry it by hand, it will take 3-4 people per elk, and dismantling down to 7 parts will be required (front legs, hind legs, rib cage & neck, back and hip, head cape heart and liver). I guess that is 9 parts but you get my point. Just the heart & liver last year was easily 20 pounds. The head/neck and cape last year was pushing close to 100 pounds, which was why we didn't keep it.

It seems that with every effort comes mistakes (I guess that is learning). I was never 100% comfortable with the info I was gathering on the Grouse. As it turns out, the birds we saw last year, and the ones that Garth scared up stalking Pronghorn are Sage Grouse. Season for Sage Grouse is Sept 25-Oct 9.  Blue grouse are up in the mountains and are smaller, about twice the size of a chukar. I can also confirm large numbers of chukar up in those mountains, we heard them squawking like monkeys every evening and morning. If somebody doesn't get an elk week one, we can plan a combo Elk Sage grouse hunt Sept 26-29.

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