Monday, September 8, 2014

....and that is why it is called hunting

It's hunting, not harvesting indeed.

10 days and 9 nights. It was a lot of work both in prep and in action. More lessons learned. Here's a brief recap more photo's to come, these were just on my phone.

Tammy, Jager and I arrived in Ely late Friday night, set up camp at the Prospector Casino RV park.  Saturday the larger group arrived and we went to the range for the predetermined practice session.

Sunday, we set up camp, scouted a bit and of course stayed up way too late. Monday was a long day and Garner, Katherine, Andrew, Tammy, Jason, Mirvate, Dan & Mitch all headed back to Las Vegas. Garth observed that it felt like we had a giant house party and now everybody was gone. Jager, Garth and I had a few days alone as Ryan was delayed.

Tuesday and Wednesday consisted of stalking tracks and logging countless hours hiking the upper steptoe valley.

Where are these "Elk" you speak of?

Garth to Jager "yeah I'm ready for bird hunting also."
Jager to Ryan "it's 95 degrees! Where's my beer?"

Jager to Alan "Elk hunting sucks!"
We shifted from stalking the bedding down spots over to let's just go hang out by the fence where we at least know we'll see some Bulls. Yup, the gang of 13 was raising hell just as we had been told.  13 beautiful trophy sized Bull Elk. Almost all 6x6, maybe a 5x5 but no 7x7's that I could confirm. These teenagers are the reason for the depredation hunt. They tear up anything and everything in their path. They are not the Alpha though. He was lurking about and Garth even mistook him for a truck running in the distance! He's a big ol beast and possibly a 7x7. He's not yet gathered up his Harem, but I think he will get it done in a month or so. Maybe if we go back the end of the month the cow's will be around. We did spot a few cow's here and there, but never got close enough for a shot. They seem to be scattered, if around at all.

Jager and I did get to witness a great chase scene with some Pronghorn. Pardon the terrible phone photo's but this was a definitely Alpha male vs a wannabe.

I'd run from those horns also!
They came at us at full speed, which given this is the 2nd fastest land animal on the planet, this whole scene played out very quickly.

This is about 20 yards in front of us
The bigger faster male caught the other at the end of these hay bales, knocked him down then they took off back towards us again, with the bigger male poking him the whole way. By this time (10 seconds into it) Jager took note and let them know he was there (barking, which he rarely does).

Jager to strange very fast unknown creatures "HEY why do you keep poking him in the butt?"
Motivation to run faster?
It was a good time. More posts to come, and lots of hunting left to be had. Send me your photo's and post your own view of the hunt when you get a chance!


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