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Moments you would like to forget on elk hunts

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Moments you would like to forget on elk hunts

Postby saddlesore » 05 16, 2020 •  [Post 1]

On Swede's Coldest Elk Hunt,I remembered this incident on a cold snowy day.

My brother came out from PA to hunt with me for about 15 years straight. Some of the time he brought a friend who was a true dude.That year, besides his friend his 13 year old daughter came too. On about the fourth day, he usually a complained that he had belly full of elk hunting and would stay in camp. It must have been early in the hunt and he some how killed a spike bull which was legal in those days. I wasn't feeling too good and I think it was because Dan,his friend, had volunteered to wash the dishes the night before and I don't think he rinsed them will enough. Soapy dishes tend to have a laxative effect.

I got the spike bull skinned and quartered while Dan watched on ,but I was interrupted by several trips to the bushes. My brother and Dan volunteered to walk back to camp while I used their two mules to pack the elk out.Everything seemed to be going good until I squatted down to pickup a hindquarter to lift it on the mule .You know that takes a little bit of effort and a grunt or two.Well the grunt caused a fecaI incident in my draws.

By this time it was snowing pretty good and the wind was kicking up. It was about 6 miles back to camp and I didn't have a spare set of skivvies or blue jeans. I got saddled up, got the two pack mules, and took off. I stood in the stirrups the full 6 miles and my brother's daughter was behind me having a good laugh. By mile two or so in that bitter cold, my pants seat froze solid. and some of it was stuck to me. Back at camp, I had to unload the mules before I did anything, got the fire going, and thawed off enough to get my pants off. I changed and set off to take the two mules to my brother and his friend because the snow was drifting pretty bad.They had made about a mile and a half when I found them slogging thru the drifts.They were not worried about it at all and thought it was darn funny watching me ride off standing the stirrups when I left them earlier
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Re: Moments you would like to forget on elk hunts

Postby Billy Goat » 05 16, 2020 •  [Post 2]

last fall the 48RE transmission on my 06 cummins grenaded at appx 10,800 feet of elevation. it was about 30 miles from the nearest paved road, and about 100 miles from the nearest transmission shop.

we got DOG lucky that a local had a bumper pull flatbed car hauler. I rented it from him (a bargain at $300) and used my uncles pickup to haul it to town. it took about 2 weeks for them to get it fixed. not a good event.

that said.... on the same day, I had shot a cinnamon black bear and my dad killed his first ever bull. so all in all, still a good day. :)
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"First teach a child to love God,
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Re: Moments you would like to forget on elk hunts

Postby saddlesore » 05 16, 2020 •  [Post 3]

These darn trucks never quit when they are easy to get to a shop. The injector pump on my 98 Dodge went south when I was hauling mule 200 miles from home.Called my buddy and 4 hours later he got there. Hooked on to the trailer with mules in it. We didn't get 30 mile and his injectors in his 03 Dodge went south. Traveled all the way home at 30mph and over two mtn passes in 2nd gear.Mules were in the trailer from 7 AM until 1:30AM the next morning.They were not happy
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Re: Moments you would like to forget on elk hunts

Postby Billy Goat » 05 16, 2020 •  [Post 4]

if you are still running a Cummins, you might consider adding a 2 micron filter arrangement to your fuel system. I have done that on the last 2 Cummins pickups and havent had injector failures since. it doesnt take much water (or debris) to kill those injectors!
"First teach a child to love God,
teach them second to love their family
and third, teach them to hunt and fish,
and by the time they reach their teens, no dope peddler under the sun will ever teach them anything".

-Cotton Cordell
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Re: Moments you would like to forget on elk hunts

Postby Swede » 05 16, 2020 •  [Post 5]

I have told this story before, but there are enough new hunters here, that I will write it again.

Back in the mid 1990s I got in from a long day hunting. I was alone on that hunt and stayed in my cab-over camper. It was a little cold and getting lets, so I decided to have something quick and hot. After looking in the cupboards, I decided on heating up a can of Stagg's Two Bean Chili. Those beans cause so much rotten gas, that I had to vacate the camper and walk around outside for about an hour. It took me an hour to get back to normal and it took about that long to air out the camper.
I brought home the second can of Stagg's Chili following that hunt. I told my wife about the incident. Guess what I saw in the donation box for the next canned food drive a few months later? She was taking no chance I would have that same problem at home.
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Re: Moments you would like to forget on elk hunts

Postby saddlesore » 05 16, 2020 •  [Post 6]

Billy Goat wrote:if you are still running a Cummins, you might consider adding a 2 micron filter arrangement to your fuel system. I have done that on the last 2 Cummins pickups and havent had injector failures since. it doesnt take much water (or debris) to kill those injectors!



I jacked that Dodge up and ran a Chevy Duramax under it . I had a FASS System on it that was suppose to do that. In all it went thru three injector pumps.When blew a head gasket and I had to do a valve job, shaved the head, new hoses and radiator.Then it blew the turbo charger that required a whole rebuild ,then the the compression brake went out .It is up in Washington state now with a guy that bought it
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Re: Moments you would like to forget on elk hunts

Postby Tigger » 05 18, 2020 •  [Post 7]

This one still stings. My 2 buddies and I snuck up on a herd of elk with a nice bull. The elk were spread out and chatting away. I decided I would start the calling sequence with some light raking and no vocalizations. The first little rake sent the herd into a full fledged flight out of town. Dang it.

Luckily I have no sharting stories or vehicle issues to share. Knock on wood.
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Re: Moments you would like to forget on elk hunts

Postby WapitiTalk1 » 05 18, 2020 •  [Post 8]

Missed a rag horn at point blank range in Montana one year with a borrowed rifle. I was in the Army at the time, early 90s, borrowed a rifle from a buddy, and headed back to Montana for some elk hunting. Shot the 7MM a few times at paper the day before I headed to the mountains and it seemed to shoot fine. Next morning, I got a shot at a bull at perhaps 70-80 yards, standing on a snowy hillside, and missed it completely..... couldn't figure it out. Brother and I shot that rifle later in the afternoon at a piece of paper attached to a large dead stump 100 yards away, to see what we could see. One round would hit a foot low, the next close to the paper, the next high and left, etc. It seemed the reticle was "floating" around inside the scope. After cursing my buddy who I borrowed the rifle from back in Washington, he responded with "ya, that makes sense... it explains why it took me four shots to hit the elk I shot in Colorado last year" :roll:. He sent the scope in to the manufacturer and they fixed it for him. That was a moment I would like to forget.
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Re: Moments you would like to forget on elk hunts

Postby Lefty » 05 18, 2020 •  [Post 9]

Oh -oh,.. wrote up the whole thing,.. thought I posted ,,and well that ones not here

Ive haven't had "bad things happen,.. no dead friends, no dead horses, or dogs. A few truck problems.
Last fall I went up to scout and find our muzzle loader elk. Ended up calling home , Tranny went out on my Tundra. ,, We never got up to bring our elk home.

Ive shared this years ago. I had bought two Redfield scopes around 1970, one for my10/22 Squirrel gun and one for my .308 Remington 740 carbine(?)
I had drawn a two doe depredation hunt in Utah I had put the one scope on my wifes Browning. AFter two shots my wife kept saying I was way low. Raised the crosshairs, dropped a doe, then held the same wind age and dropped another.
Dont recall how the story went from there. Changed bullets, My group was 1 5/8 " with her Browning Deer season my wife and I are were where my big bucks were.
We were debating about taking this huge 3x3; the deer bolted I swung with it, pulled the trigger and my wife starts laughing. The shot was so low she thought I chocked or had buck fever, the miss was so bad.
She heads back towards the truck and meets a guy and a young son staring at my pickup, and a little forky beside the truck, literally.
This is kind of fun and worth remembering. My wife convinced them that it was fine if the kid took the shot because a few feet either way the buck would be gone. The kid killed the buck, they loaded it in our truck and my wife road them to their vehicle.

So Im 1000 feet lower in another canyon ridge. Where was one of those big deer I had been on all summer? I sat and glassed for a while, hours, , had my snack, finished another Mt. Dew. Stood up glassed some more.

I stand up to leave. Or relieve! Unzip my pants : mid stream, the 11x13 stands up 40 yards away. That ole buck had pulled a white-tail trick for nearly 2 hours he laid less than 40 yards away. Or I had been stealthy coming in, maybe he hadnt know I was there.
The buck and the sun were in my scope as he walked away. I grabbed a handfull of brush and anchored my rifle. the buck stepped enough down hill and out of the sun. I pulled the trigger and he was gone. I just killed a buck bigger than anything my father in law had ever killed. My knees got wobbly as I approached the spot. That buck had stepped into a deep wash at the moment I pulled the trigger,.. . I tracked him 600 yards, no sign that he had been hit.
At home I swapped the scopes tried different bullets still 1 5/8" group.

then to Montana. Deep snow: I could hear a group pass my machine and head up higher. Then some clown followed my Snow machine, then followed my footprints in and wondered if we could share the tee and log . Now typically Im too nice about too much. But Im still upset about missing the biggest mule deer of my life earlier that week.

Without any profanity:
I told the guy we were the only hunters on this side of the mountains we have thousands of acres to hunt and find another place to hunt. He turns and starts postholing through the snow.
The poor fellow is 60 yards away and this bull steps out 200 yards away . I lay down , rifle over my log, the other dude hasnt seen the elk. Im rock steady. At the shot the bull charges down the steep hill onto the willow thick and all sorts of noise going on, crashing and such.
I wade down in the deep powder. Im back up the hill and leave my gun.I wade pushing the snow away from my face,.. Other times the snow is arm pit deep. In the willow thicket is another story.
No elk, no blood. I had missed? No way! bear and elk tracks
Evidently the elk stepped onto the bear and they both plowed out of the thicket . Minutes later above me I hear a shot, then another. Then all sorts of hooting and hollering celebration.Later my brother reminded me, under warranty those scopes had failed in the mid 80s,.. the lenses had loosened. Same thing happened again in the early 90's


Anyway that bull scored 357 green on the side of that mountain :cry: :cry: :cry:
And I got a new gun and scope for Christmas :cry:
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Re: Moments you would like to forget on elk hunts

Postby Billy Goat » 05 18, 2020 •  [Post 10]

dang Lefty. do you write country music for a living? this sounds like a sad old Hank Williams Sr song!

=P
"First teach a child to love God,
teach them second to love their family
and third, teach them to hunt and fish,
and by the time they reach their teens, no dope peddler under the sun will ever teach them anything".

-Cotton Cordell
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Re: Moments you would like to forget on elk hunts

Postby Lefty » 05 18, 2020 •  [Post 11]

Billy Goat wrote:dang Lefty. do you write country music for a living? this sounds like a sad old Hank Williams Sr song! =P
Not a big fan of Hank Sr. 8-)
Really they are not moments to forget, that rough times are so outnumbered by the good stuff that Its a good thing to remember.
When living in Washington I realized how many great experiences I have had that others will never have.
I had set a short trapline . The boss came to the jobsite and said we were going to take the day off and check my traps on company time. Our boos had been a big time hunter , hunting Canada and Alaska in his younger days, he had been around the block , or country.
A few weeks later he was telling this incredible story,,, I realized that day checking a handful of traps most outdoors-man would never have such experiences , ever.

Im so thankful for nearly every moment and in reality dont want to forget more,.. And my wife, and up coming puppy will stick around,..


Hey Swede; so you know, this morning we had two steers and a cow break open a gate, and headed down the ditch a mile then across an alfalfa field onto the reservation. The horses are smarter than that. Those stupid cows heard the ATV and came running,( obnoxious bottle feeders) . Over 4 hours to get them home,.. but hay got this old man out of laying carpet
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Re: Moments you would like to forget on elk hunts

Postby Old school » 05 20, 2020 •  [Post 12]

After reading some of these stories, I’ve never had a moment to forget on an elk hunt. Have plenty of would’ve could’ve should’ve though.
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Re: Moments you would like to forget on elk hunts

Postby Swede » 05 20, 2020 •  [Post 13]

Congrats on the new puppy Lefty. Can you show us a picture of the little rascal? One with your wife or kid coming after it with the broom as it chews on one of their tennis shoes. :lol:

Have you ever noticed how easy a cow can find a hole in a fence to get out, and how hard you need to work to get them to find the open gate to put them back inside?
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