Stealthycat elk hunt 2017 - start to finish

Discussion in 'Blogs' started by stealthycat, Jun 2, 2017.

  1. stealthycat

    stealthycat Elite Member<br>2015-16 Bow Hunting Contest Winner

    the outfitter was overly rude - I know they have paying clients, but try to work with hunters should be the thing to do, not piss 'em off

    I wasn't going to be rude to them regardless, just kinda sucks when that happens
    orangefeetdown and brushcreek like this.

  2. Hobbshunter

    Hobbshunter Well-Known Member

    Congrats pax!
    Sorry to hear your tough luck stealthy. Sounds like you gave em hell and made a smart decision. Sure beats staying home!
  3. amhoon77

    amhoon77 Well-Known Member

    Leave out tomorrow after work. Decided to get pack all situated Tuesday put it on and started feeling my back getting wet. Opened pack up to see my bladder had busted and had 3" of water sitting in the bottom (bladder was hanging in middle of bag) Ordered a new one that gets rave reviews for durability (this is second camelbak I've had bust. no more for me). So I'll come home load up the ice chest and grab my new bladder that the post man should have dropped off (good ole amazon and 2 day shipping). I'm only filling one of the 100 quarts and will transfer ice if we get something. Currently have 13 one gallon milk jugs, 1 gallon pickle jug, 4 half gallon milk jugs, and 4 one foot long ice packs frozen and I'm gonna put some reflective cardboard on top of all that. Then brother in law and I will hit the road for 16 hours. Spend the night in a motel in town Saturday night and head out Sunday morning planning to be there till the next Sunday. Final weight 54lbs (I've since moved sleeping pad to bottom and the long accessory pocket between bow and pack to wear the pad was).

    brushcreek and whetstone like this.
  4. mikebri

    mikebri Well-Known Member

  5. ray porter

    ray porter Well-Known Member

    good luck and be flexible.

    it looks like my pard cant go so i will be solo again. might be a camping trip with a rifle.

    is any one going to unit 77?
  6. orangefeetdown

    orangefeetdown Well-Known Member

    Good luck man, kill a biggun.
  7. Biggars

    Biggars Well-Known Member

    Stealthy, you mite consider a pack trip into a wilderness area here this year if you havent. You have all the prep work and skills for it. If I was you Id do it if you can get the days off work for it.
    Mite be a waste of time but it would be a fun trip. I hear about a lot of guys doing it out west but not a lot here. I think fallcolors does it sometimes.

    Im thinking hard about getting geared up to do it next year. Im too out of shape for this year and dont have funds to put the pack together nor a place to go chosen etc.

    There are wilderness areas in the mountains here, I know that much. I assume they have deer in them and that not much pressure exists when you get a mile or more deep. Some have nature trails thru them thay might make easy access as long as there arent a lot of horseback/ hikers on them all the time. Just food for thought.

    Packing a deer out would sure be easier than an elk.

    Im also considering it as a way to hunt turkeys. Pack in, hunt a few days, pack out.
  8. stealthycat

    stealthycat Elite Member<br>2015-16 Bow Hunting Contest Winner

    oh I'm hunting with my Dad from here on out this year - he's 83, that's more important but yeah, a backpack into the Leatherwoods would be kinda cool
    brushcreek likes this.
  9. stealthycat

    stealthycat Elite Member<br>2015-16 Bow Hunting Contest Winner

  10. amhoon77

    amhoon77 Well-Known Member

    Made it to Colorado. We had time to run up to the trailhead and take a look around and drive around up there. We are both wore out from the drive and thankful to have booked a hotel room in advance.

    I do love their New Mexican food. Love those hatch chilis

    Thanks stealthy! And as follow up to biggars we have done 2 overnight twelve mile stretches on the ouachita trail in the flat side wilderness in the Ouachita Forest. Hopefully it's prepared us. My other buddy is doing the full 200+miles on the ouachita trail in October.

    Heading in tomorrow morning at 7. Saw 2 mid 20s guys like ourselves packing meat at the trailhead they had both gotten an elk and were going back in for camp.
    Biggars and brushcreek like this.
  11. stealthycat

    stealthycat Elite Member<br>2015-16 Bow Hunting Contest Winner

    looking forward to your reports / hunt amhoon77
    brushcreek likes this.
  12. Thenarwhal

    Thenarwhal Well-Known Member

    Just got back myself. Mine was backpack bear hunting. We saw a sow and a cub, but nothing we could shoot. Tried a couple of different units in southern CO. Lots of people and two or three outfitter setups. Saw one bunch of elk tracks that were about a week old. Thought we heard a few bugles, but it could have been hunters talking to each other. The elk must still be up high. Saw a bunch of deer, including one good buck. Got rained on every day. Mostly it was rifle hiking. But a good time. Good luck, Amhoon.
    tomhunter and brushcreek like this.
  13. Bigmac

    Bigmac Active Member

    Stealthy thanks for the update and I enjoyed following along on the preparation and adventure. Goodluck Amhoon77.
  14. amhoon77

    amhoon77 Well-Known Member

    Left the trailhead where there were 7 other cars at 8am and it was chilly. We left town it was 42* and got to the trailhead an hour later and it was 36*. Did our 5 miles in 2 hours 15 mins no real problems. Other than a four wheeler driving on the trail up to the wilderness boundary. (Who we talked to and he was going to our backup spot) The last 3/4 mile it sleeted then stopped. Got camp together at 8300'. Took our camp water bag to fill up at a nearby creek. Got firewood together. and were trying to decide to go out or not for the afternoon and it started raining pretty good. We hunkered down in our tents till it passed and by that time the clouds had darkened a bit so we opted to call it a night. Rained and thundered for majority of the night.


    Wake up at 5 and proceed to cover 4 miles and got up to 10800' with only a hoof print and old beds to show for it. Took a break. Made another 4 miles that afternoon with no sign and made it back to camp. We decided that we needed to switch camp locations to Plan B the next day as it was taking us too long to get up high enough and lack of sign. That night we were waiting for the coals to die before we drowned them out and went to bed when we hear a twig snap by our food bags 100 yards away. I told my BIL it was probably my bag because the second knot I tied was on a weak limb. He shines his light over there and there stands a mountain lion! He grabs his gun and we start yelling and waving and it runs off. So we stay up another 30 mins to make sure he doesn't circle around. And then go to bed.


    That night I get a bad case of the mountain house bubble guts. Like literally I woke up and had to roll over and clinch to stop the impending doom while searching for my poop kit. Check the thermometer hanging in my tent and it's 25* I run out not once not twice but three times to handle my business in my base layers and camp shoes. Never could get my 20* sleeping bag warm after getting out of it the first time. Feel like crud in the am. It felt like I was coming down with the flu or pneumonia (I was taking diamox for altitude and sudafed for sinus pressure/ear clearing and had not had a problem adjusting) We move camp and just when we get to the intersection where we would turn deeper into the wilderness four different horse trains are bringing in new hunters in that same direction. We take a break and asses the situation. We decide to look for a trail that starts high and can get us higher. We opt to pack out go back to the car and head an hour and half away to a different unit that we had talked about as like Plan J over 6 months ago. The 2.5 miles out from the intersection that should have taken 60-90 mins took me 3 hours.


    We stop by the hotel we had stayed at to bum the free wifi so I could download the OnX map for it and head out. Get to the trailhead at 10800' at 430 and decide to just afternoon hunt it to see if it's worth setting up a camp the next day. Get up to 11400' and see very little sign but were only able to make it a mile and half before turning around. I've def come down with something. See lots of cougar tracks on the way back to the car.


    When we get back a forest service worker and another gentleman are in the parking lot and are talking. The worker had been there every day since august 31 and had seen 9 elk total. The guy had done 8 miles that day and heard one bugle. We opt to sleep in the car and give it a whirl anyway in the am. I sleep for about 3 hours. We get our full camp packs on and I tell my BIL I can't do it. We throw everything out and try to day hunt it. I'm coughing runny nose the works. We get back to the car and i tell him I'm sick I just can't do it anymore.

    I take the butt chewing from my wife all the way home (who's at the beach with my sister) Tell her I don't think it's altitude sickness. And this is the last thing I want to do. She tells me just stay the night in a hotel and see if it's better etc. we opt to come back. Credit to my BIL he drove all but 3 hours on the way back. While I was a mess in the passenger seat. Just rolled into Benton and still sick as a dog. Wish I was back out there but I think I may be worst now than when I was this morning. If this mess doesn't clear up with a lot of sleep tonight, hot liquids, and over the counter meds I guess I can add a doctors visit expense to my trip

    If the season wasn't ending this weekend I'd probably go back. Will do my best to be back next year but winning the wife back over will not be an easy task. Little does she know I'm buying a Wyoming point in the coming weeks. And already planning next years Colorado trip based on my talks with the forest service worker.
    brushcreek likes this.
  15. amhoon77

    amhoon77 Well-Known Member

    A couple more before I hit the hay for 12 hours.

    Waiting out the rain selfie

    The culprit of the bubble guts

    Maybe the BIL had the right idea with the MREs (army vet and my sister is in the marines so he gets them for free). Granted he was carrying 14lbs more food because of it

    One of 50 in the Plan J area. We say cougar although it appears the claws are showing so maybe big yote? the ranger did say there have been multiple cougars in the area

    Wrong type of cows we were looking for

  16. amhoon77

    amhoon77 Well-Known Member

    Also one last update. the frozen milk jugs actually worked. I had saw randy newberg suggest it but he uses those expensive yeti style coolers. The el cheapo Coleman extreme 100 quart filled to the brim with frozen milk jugs and topped with reflective taped cardboard I referenced earlier that sat behind the glass cabin in the back of a Toyota highlander from Friday till now is mostly still frozen. That included day time highs of mid 70s while in Colorado plus whatever cabin temp we were running in the drive to and from.

    I just put normal ice in it at lunch before I left Friday to pre chill it. Then dumped it and put the frozen jugs in when I got off work and didn't open it till I walked inside the house just now. So for any of you guys ever heading out there's an option. When you get meat back to the truck put some of the jugs on the meat and the rest in the other cooler while you retrieve the rest.
  17. Hobbshunter

    Hobbshunter Well-Known Member

    Sorry you had a tough trip! Beat's staying home though!
  18. stealthycat

    stealthycat Elite Member<br>2015-16 Bow Hunting Contest Winner

    I never expected wilderness areas to be THAT crowed - sure are though aren't they? Sorry your trip didn't pan out either ... I wonder how many people have similar stories to ours ?

    Altitude doesn't help the body either AMHOON77

    I doubt I'll ever elk hunt Colorado as a non-res again.
    brushcreek likes this.