Saturday, October 15, 2011
Me, Chad, Kyle and Mr. Elk of course!
Me with my opening morning kill. I hit him right in the exact money spot, right behind is shoulder!
He came a short distance from where I hit him and we found him here next to an access road. Yea! no hiking his huge because it wears my body out with back problems!
I used a PSE crossbow. I have severe back problems and could not pull back my other bow. This thing was awesome(silent, quick, and powerful!)
Since we were done with the hunt opening morning we spent the next day cleaning up and visiting the Grand Canyon! It was only five minutes from camp and I had never been! Kyle and Chad in this pic, Kyle had also never been!
Me and my brother Chad. What a beautiful, spectacular view!
I had seen the Grand Canyon at a distance from plane or car, and in the movies, but nothing could prepare me for how majestic it is up close and personal! I actually ran into the Grand Canyon the day before. After I shot my elk the boys sent me to go find cell phone signal and call some people. I kept driving in order to find the signal and quickly became lost. I drove and drove and found a paved road. It was the scenic road that goes right along side the Grand Canyon. So, you can imagine how surprised I was when the forest cleared and I saw this wonderful sight. It's stinks I got lost because I didn't make it back to them until like three hours later. Chad just thinks I was trying to get out of the gross part, haha, the gutting and cleaning. Not true! To my defense, I would have much rather been there, then lost by myself for three hours and bumpy, scary roads!
I usually am not a lucky person. Very rarely do I win anything, or get anything for free. However, this doesn't seem to apply to the hunting department. So far in my life, since I was twelve, I have been drawn for two trophy rifle elk hunts, and two trophy archery elk hunts. These are some of the most prime hunts to be drawn for and every hunters dream. I have been drawn for deer, and also my first hunt was wild pig. I have shot four elk, a deer, and a wild pig. I am lucky my dad is a pro hunter and a great guide when it comes to hunting! As you just read, we don't usually come home empty handed! I enjoy getting to spend time in the beautiful wilderness with my dad and brothers. Yes it is hard work and tiring, BUT we have so many fun memories from hunting they are hard to count. I cherish those memories and that is the main reason I go. It is more of my dads passion than mine but I would be lying if I said that I didn't get excited hunting. It's hard to explain what it's like working hard, waiting, and then watching your prime target come into view.... and of course when you get the perfect shot off that always helps! Listening to the animals and watching them interact is so cool. We saw tons of elk, calfs, mama turkey with her babies, pigs, deer, you name it. I have seen in nature what some people pay for, or wait a whole life time to see. Listening to elk bugle for hours while watching the stars, watching them bathe or wallow in the mud, or watching them hook horns and fight is so neat to see. For that I am blessed. It is a special bond I have with my dad and that is fun! This most recent hunt in September did not disappoint! I was leery of going because I have severe back problems and am pregnant. I was told not to go by all of my doctors and many friends and family. Against my better judgment I went. With a signed doctors note I was able to use a crossbow instead of my manual pull back bow. Also my dad got me a hotel to stay in so I could still get some sleep(Early pregnancy and back problems equals a hard time sleeping). The boys accommodated me and made things as easy as possible for me. ok I will get to the details... We got up there Thursday night late. Kyle and my Dad went to go listen for bugles and find a good water hole to sit(since I have back problems this was the best way for me to get in close on the elk instead of running with my crossbow and chasing them across miles of forest), Chad and I stayed and got about three hours of sleep and then woke up at 3:30 to go meet Kyle and my Dad. When we got to the designated water hole my Dad and I got all settled into my blind and set up. Next I we waited. It was still dark so we just listened to the bugles and watched the stars. As it started getting light we got excited because now if the elk came in I would have a chance to shoot. The first one came in, beautiful bleached white tips and a decent 6X6. We watched him and decided to pass for a bigger one. Two hours passed and we had other wild life and more elk come in but they weren't THE ONE! Finally when we were about to give up we started hearing some loud bugles on the ridge across from us. We waited for the Elk to make it's appearance. After about a half hour we started hearing the crunch crunch sound of an elk making it's way down the mountain. This elk was traveling with three cow elk and two calfs. The whole group came into the water hole to wallow. The Male elk was the last to come in of course. Meanwhile my heart is pumping and the adrenaline is going. This is a nice big elk and I don't want to spook it or miss. I got the crossbow aimed and ready. I waited for him to stop and get comfortable and then I knew that was my chance. I fired..... he jumped up looked and ran. I thought should we chase him? Then I thought did I miss? No way could I miss, I had him right in my sights! My dad said to just stay still and wait to see if we could hear him drop. It felt forever. Finally we got out of our blind and looked for a blood trail. We found one close to the water hole and started to follow it. The tough thing was, the ground was covered in that red rock from the Grand Canyon and it was easy to mistake the red spots on them for blood. Another tough thing is that this was a hot spot for elk and there were hoof prints going in every direction. My hopes started to drop. It started raining so my dad told me to go back to the blind with my crossbow(that thing is heavy!) and he would continue to look before it started pouring and all traces of the blood were gone. I waited for a short time and said a little pray that we would be able to find it. I knew I hit it and didn't want an injured animal to get away. Next thing I knew, I heard my dads voice. He said" so do you want to walk to it, or drive to it?" I was so excited!!! We took many pictures by our blind and the water hole. Then since I have a bad back we drove over to where my dad found the elk. His body was the biggest I had ever seen on an elk and his antlers were beautiful. I was proud and my dad and brothers gave me big high fives. I felt relieved also to have my elk opening morning because after running into other hunters, they were having no luck at all. I also was relieved because Kyle and Chad were counting on me getting one opening morning so we could go eat at our favorite pizza and pasta place and enjoy the rest of the trip without stress. I am so glad I didn't let them down:) I enjoy these times and hope to make more memories in the future!