Day 2, The Hunt Continues

September 2015

The Hand-Me-Down Archer and her dad are back at it again. They’re headed to a different location this time. Her dad has been going there for many years, and him and his friends have killed a fair number of decent bulls there.

Awake well before dawn, up the mountain, past some trees. Probably a few rocks. And they’re there.

Now this particular location is THE WORST. It’s steep. It’s full of downfall and general nastiness that crunches with every step. It makes them think lots of profanity silently to themselves as they are walking in, and then eventually start muttering profanity under their breath as the walking goes from bad to worse. Her dad explains that this walk didn’t use to be so bad, but over the years, the beetle kill has caused more and more downfall. It seems like every year they go in there, the going gets worse.

They continue to clamber along in the dark (their headlamps are off in an attempt at stealth mode.) The H-M-D Archer is becoming more and more aware of her inability to climb like a mountain goat like her dad can. Surely it’s her height, she thinks, because every downed tree that her dad can just step over, it seems like she has to freakin scale to climb over. She tries to be quiet and still keep up with her dad.

They come up this little knoll, and hear one of the worst sounds a hunter can hear: elk crashing off into the timber. More profanity.

The H-M-D Archer is blaming her dad on this one because he was well ahead of her when they spooked. They carry on. They make it to the meadow they were aiming for, and- WAIT FOR IT!

Nothin’. Not even a peep. But they know there are elk in there, obviously. Just not … right there. They must have ran in the opposite direction earlier that morning.

Her dad decides to walk this little game trail drainage type thing. You’ll notice he decides most of the things, since she knows Jack about hunting, and he’s a real live expert.

They found where the herd had been bedding down, fresh sign and rubs, but still no elk. They made it up to this little rock where they could glass a fair distance, and still didn’t spot anything. Since the walk in was so brutal, they decided it was time to cut their loses and head back to the truck.

Now at this point, it’s still the first week of the season, and they have heard and/or seen elk both trips out. Even though nothing has panned out, they are still counting today as a win.

So they’re walking along, happy to have at least found another herd, and AGAIN they hear elk crashing off through the timber. Seriously?! They were getting pretty close to the jeep, so the Hand-Me-Down Archer hadn’t been expecting that at all! (Neither had her dad, apparently.)

So that’s twice that they’ve walked into elk in one morning, and that’s also twice that they’ve found elk super close to their vehicle in a span of two days. Will they ever learn? You will have to wait to find out!