T Nation

For the T-Nation Hunters


Finished up the Muzzleloader season on Sep. 18th and I am happy to report had a very enjoyable and in the end successful hunt, for my Dad at least. He connected on the last Saturday of the season with a nice six point bull. It wasn't a record breaker by a long shot, but anybody who knows what hunting on public land is like, a trophy none the less.

We put in our share of preseason scouting and were lucky to find a place pretty much loaded with Elk. The rut hadn't started so we were unable to bugle or cow talk these elk in. We had to resort to glassing them on the high ridges they were on and then putting on a stalk. Remember these were muzzleloaders, so effective lethal range was under 150 yards. Not the usual 300+ with a centerfire rifle.

On opening morning, I glassed a decent bull on a ridge about two miles above our usual glassing location and stalked up a ridge within about two hundred yards of him. The wind had been in my favor up to that point and he was feeding broadside calm as day. The wind suddenly shifted and he caught my scent and bounded back to the ridge he had been feeding from. He stopped at about three hundred yards looking from side to side before heading into the timber out of sight.

We hunted the next few days glassing different small herds and putting on stalks, but things didn't end up in our favor and I had to get back to work.

My Dad decided to go back the following Friday and catch that evening as well as Saturday for a good last effort. I had other business, I had to attend to so, I couldn't make it, but a good family friend Tommy who had a bow tag was to meet up with my dad that Friday evening.

My dad spotted a two different small herds of elk that Friday evening that were too far to put a move on. He and Tommy who made it in that night were going to give it a good try in the morning.

That next morning they spotted a big herd on one of the lower slopes and were headed out to try and intercept it. They were following A creek and in a drainage before they got to the initial herd ran into a bull feeding in the open.

Tommy actually saw the bull first but being that he had a bow and the bull was about a 100 yards out in the open he told my Dad to go for it. My dad crawled up a ways closing the distance to about 75 yard and put a perfect shot into the boiler room taking out both lungs. The elk ran about fifty yards and collapsed in a heap.

I, of course was recruited to come pack a hind quarter out the following day, but was more then happy to do so!

Also wanted to mention that we used Spike in the mornings when that damn alarm would go off at 5:00 A.M. and I found it to be perfect for boosting my energy and focus when I was trudging up those ridges. My dad who normally doesn't like boosters used it a few mornings as well and noticed at one cap it increased mental alertness and mood. We also had Grow bars in our day packs which were light to carry and provided a good trail meal when needed.

One last thing big props to my Dad! He turned 62 the beginning of Sep. and he was kicking ass in the high country. I am immensely proud of him!



View of area we hunted. Specific area are the lower ridges in the top right hand corner of pic. You can see the aspens and pines giving away to timberline.


Last one. A pic of carne (meat) hanging in the trees. As stated I hauled one of those hind quarters out and they weigh a good seventy pounds apiece.


While I have never been hunting myself, those are some very cool shots.

Weird question since I have never been hunting: Is is strange for someone new to hunting to get used to shooting an animal? I always wonder if I could truly pull the trigger on a deer or something.


Wow, Kuz, hard one to answer. I grew up around it, so it was never a problem for me, second nature really. I would think that unless you were raised with it, it would be a hard taste to aquire.

I have nothing against those who don't or wouldn't hunt. I, like I said was raised with it and it is a enjoyable part of my life on many different levels.... not just the killing part.

Have a good weekend, I'm out. :slight_smile:


Congratulations! I know the feeling, even though your dad shot the elk it's still like a team effort. An accomplishment only hunting buddies can know. Never hunted elk but have friends who have. But we do have some decent whitetails here in Iowa. I am a fanatic bow hunter. Lots and lots of pressure here though. Tons of other hunters. In your opinion how does elk taste? I've heard it's excellent. Again, congrats on a successful season.


Elk is one of the best tasting meats you'll find. I don't know why even with less fat, the meat just tastest better. I got one of my friends to admit that it was good and she wouldn't eat something that was "savagely" tracked down and killed. I ended up taking her on a hunt and explaining why we hunt and then now everytime I hunt she goes with me.


Nice Hunt.

I grew up around it but not DIRECTLY in it. I've took a BBgun and have sighted birds with it. I've never been able to actually pull the trigger.

I fish though.....like a murdering madman. You gotta figure that's pretty barbaric huh?

Nice hunt dude! Good results. Now eat that and carry on lifting!


Bow hunters are the most respectable and skilled hunters in my book.


Thanks for the info Hilly Top Man. I've heard that caribou is really good and moose also but have never tried either. Good job educating your friend about hunting too. You even got her to go along! That is really something, way to go.


Rockscar, thanks for the compliment. This will be my 19th season of bowhunting. Looking forward to Oct. 1 that's when deer season opens here.


Nice looking Elk....Elk!

Look like beautiful country for hunting.

Getting ready for upland season here then whitetail. Have to try the Spike.

What kind of muzzleloader do you use for Elk hunting? I know they are a lot bigger then the Eastern Whitetails.

Good Luck.


Atta boy



This might be a bit off topic, but is hunting a frugal way of getting your protein by means of meat? I've never hunted myself, but it just seems like if you were to hunt at the beginning of the season, get a couple kills, and freeze the meat, it would end up being cheaper than going to the grocer and buying ... whatever you would buy there.

Sure there are hunting license, equipment, and what not... Does anybody care to enlighten me? I don't know much about it but I'm interested.


Seems prety economical to me. I know a few people who bag a few deer, deep freeze as much as they can, then give the rest away. They never have to buy beef. Hell, I get the overflow from a few guys and usualy don't buy beef until late spring.


I guess it is kind of an odd question, I know, but thanks for a good (and honest) answer. I really would like to try hunting at some point even though I did not grow up doing it at all (typical CT suburbs kid).

If I had to hazard a guess, I would think just the experience of it all, spending time with your Dad and such is really the most gratifying part of it in the end... and that seems kinda nice.


As for the econcomy of hunting and killing your protein, it may be economical for a select few with the right advantages (don't have to drive far to hunt, high game population, etc.), but for most people (like me), I could buy meat at the grocery store and pay less per pound. Because of where I lived when I was a kid I think it might have actually been economical, but not where I live now. Between gas, guns, and all the other little entertaining gadgets, the costs add up. I just do it because it is part of the way I was raised and it offers a different kind of challenge than other things I could be doing.

Fishing, on the other hand, I had calcuilated in the past to be an economical way of obtaining some protein. Unfortunately, that may have turned around with the price of gas now--I typically burn between 40 and 80 gallons in a trip (plus what I burn in the truck).


Nice Elk, and even cooler to get to spend time and hunt with your Dad.


A good rifle or bow, freezer big enough, and if you can't process the animal yourself is all up front costs. you have to practice with your tools(rifle, bow)for quite awhile as well lots of time in that. and a kill is never certainty, I go for the time in the mountians around here. I've only had 2 kills in 8 yrs of hunting now.



Great work. Man you have me Jonesing to get bak to Kansas for a visit. Im stuck here in the Nations Crapitol. Not exactly a Hunting Meca.

I am Missing the HUGE kansas White Tail and Fall Turkey Slaughter.

Agrred it really isnt about the killing so much as just something you grow up wit. Bonding time of sorts. Just Good times and memoruies with , hoppefully. a reward of food.

Once again great Work.