Elk hunts in the high Rockies, what could be more thrilling.
Yes, the memories will last a lifetime, breathtaking vistas treasured sunsets and trophy elk. Here is the real story. How about tormented muscles, boiling lungs, and cramps that never end, maybe if you are lucky you break bones. Don’t be discouraged have a double root canal minus Novocain, and several blows to the kidney area. After all that suffering an Elk hunt will be a walk in the park.
If that method of preparation sounds preposterous and harrowing you can join a gym. My barber told me he exercised for months getting in shape for a bow hunt here in Montana. He imagined he was ready. Reporting from his hospital bed, through a feeding tube he divulged to me he could scarcely stand after the first day. Let’s go!
Before you initiate your Marine Corp training to hunt Rocky Mountain Elk you need to book your hunt. First, you will pay a stranger a boat load of cash for a hunt that begins on the other side of the calendar. These greenbacks do not include air fare, maybe a new rifle and the newest everything you must partake.
If you shoot a trophy and who doesn’t, you will need to get the meat home in coolers, packed in dry ice and pay air fare. If you want the head mounted you will receive a year later, more cash, and don’t forget shipping cost.
When you arrive, prepare for a twenty hour jaunt to the trailhead. You pack up and fall in love with a stallion named suicide. By the time you get to base camp you are so sore you need a crane to pick you off your new best friend. After a five hour nap you unload all your gear and consume copious amounts of alcohol.
You are jolted awake in the middle of your first night by Bip the Monkey Boy, your sassy guide for the next week. He was the last hired, is the rookie, and dwells at the bottom of the pecking order. Your breakfast and every meal consist of high protein cooked in bacon grease, perfect for any hangover.
You mount back on Mad Max before dawn and head for higher ground in the expectation elk are near. You end up glassing through blood shot eyes elk twenty miles away. If you are lucky, you get nauseous and pass out beneath a rock for a few hours.
During your power nap trophies pass 20 yards from the sole of your new 500 dollar hunting boots. This is a textbook way to accomplish one of many tricks you need to grasp in elk country. Stay quiet, and you learned it during an alcohol induced coma.
During your power naps the steed you are bunking with for the week, longs for home, not his, yours. You retrieve from the trailhead and get back to base camp at three the next morning. Not to worry, your mates are just getting up for the days hunt or going to bed. You have just enough time to saddle up stupid and move.
Hours in the saddle will do little for our disposition, elk are just out of reach, and they always are. Bip coaxes you to climb a little higher, over the next ridge, elk are everywhere and nowhere.
If the wapiti spirits gaze your direction you will overlook your now swelling body, you have one down and it’s party time. The rifle goes back in the scabbard if you can find your pony, saws and knifes come out.
If the elk is where you can get to it without a bulldozer, or climbing gear you are living right. Field dressing is what you have been anticipating all these months. Cutting, sawing, skinning and then throbbing back to camp. You could employee the horses but they are now living with the elk. Drink all day this will help relieve the soreness agony until you wake the next day and your ears are cramped.
At the end of your hunt you want out of the Mountains on a winged Pegasus. Liquor lost its anesthetizing influence on the third morning. You need some somber medication, and a visit to your Doctor. You call your wife, pleading her to bribe him to pick you up at the airport in an ambulance.
If Elk hunting is this grueling why would anyone attempt it or want to endure. It perhaps is the lure of high places, bugling elk, majestic landscapes or bonding with persons that share a soft spot for fractures.
Or it could be you have way too much cash, are bored, getting older and always hallucinated of getting in shape quickly. The easy answer, you are crazy.
I love elk hunting, when someone else suffers, and hands it to me wrapped and ready for the grill.