In the middle of July, I was hiking out of the mountains after a successful day of elk scouting. The setting was beautiful at 9000 feet. Despite the summer's warmth, ice and snow stubbornly clung on the steep declines to the west beneath a bluebird sky. A mountain goat clambered among the rocks, adding to the majestic scene. As I glanced to my right, a flash of tan caught my eye. I did a double take and observed two spike bulls and a 5x5 had wandered to the top of a nearly vertical ice field dropping about 100 yards. I guess they wanted the fast way down. Maybe they wanted an adrenaline rush. Whatever the reason, I know what I saw next.
I grew up rifle hunting blacktail deer in western Washington. It was not until my senior year in college that I finally picked up a bow in pursuit of elk. I have never looked back and it has become quite a passion. There are several things I wish I had known as a new elk hunter that would have saved me a lot of time and missed opportunities. I am far from having it all figured out, but I have learned much. If you are a new elk hunter, here are a few things that will hopefully give you a boost up the learning curve (it's quite steep):
During casual lunchtime conversation, a coworker recently posed two hypothetical hunting opportunities and asked which I would choose. The catch: it would be the last hunt I could ever go on.
When I married my husband, two very different worlds and perspectives collided and began to merge. This doesn't mean we became the same. We continue to learn from and value where we came from and also make our own way together. It's peculiar how something like a hobby can reveal so much about marriage, individual personalities and worldviews, and baggage. For us, hunting has been a tool to learn important lessons to become a strong team.