3-15-2014: Anchored out in the beautiful, clear blue water by Manjack Cay, Abaco, Bahamas

Friday, November 4, 2011

October 24 and 25, 2011; Monday and Tuesday -More hunting in Montana

Monday we spent de-boning the meat, freezing it, and figuring out how to get it home. It took us all morning. In the afternoon Keith started packing the car, I helped Karen clean up the back straps and hanging loins from their elk, and Bill had to work. It was good to take the extra day to finish up.

Karen and Bill's place on the Refuge

Keith and Bill comparing antlers

Tuesday morning we finished up packing the car and left by about 10:00. We took the West Yellowstone route back to Roundup. It had been a long time since we had been in West Yellowstone; it was a beautiful day and drive. It also brought back fond memories of our skiing days when we went through Big Sky, MT.

CO's comments:   All the meat is cut, ground, wrapped and in the freezer.  It took us 4 days and we are glad that job is done.  Just think about it; how many times in a life time can two hunting partners each shoot a 5 x 5 elk on the same morning.

All packed up and ready to head home

Entering West Yellowstone on October 25th

Leaving West Yellowstone and entering the Gallatin National Forest
Keith is having a "European Mount" done

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Misscellaneous pictures from our Elk Hunt

Centennial Mountain Range

Keith and Karen scouting on 10-21-2011


10-21-2011 Trumpeter Swans on the Refuge

The Refuge put a night camera out because they had a Grizzly Bear eating on a carcass

The Coyote's liked the carcass also
Going up the mountain to get Bill's Elk
Packing Bill's Elk out on 10-23-2011

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

October 18 through 23, 2011; Tuesday through Sunday - Hunting in Montana

We had a very successful hunt so far this season.  Keith got his Turkey.  I was on my way into town so we just breasted it out and it is in the freezer waiting to be canned.

Wild Turkey taken by Keith
Nice long beard
We got to Keith's sisters on the evening of the 20th and went out scouting on the 21st; Friday. We thought we had 2 days to scout but we found out hunting season started on Saturday the 22nd, not Sunday the 23rd.   Hunting in Montana always has started on a Sunday since we have lived here but they changed it to Saturday while we were gone last year. Anyway, we found a spot that looked good to us and Bill (brother-in-law) said he had seen a group of about 50 Elk there about a week or 2 earlier. Karen and Bill picked their spot out and we decided we would split up and call each other; if or when, we got something.  Out on top of a mountain and our cell phones worked; go figure!

Sun rise on 10-22-2011 in the Centennial Mountain range

It was a pretty cold opening morning; about 30 degrees with a breeze. We were out there sitting in our spots by 07:00. I saw a Red Fox first thing. We had a beautiful sun rise so I took some pictures while waiting for some Elk to show themselves. 08:00 came and no elk, but about 08:15 I saw two hunters on top of the ridge across from us. They talked for a while and then split up so I thought they might have seen some elk and were going to try driving them out in the open so I waited. It was almost 09:00 and Keith had already started walking over to where I was sitting and then we saw them; one Bull with 6 cows.  They came up and over the ridge in front of us and started walking straight towards us. They were still to far from us to shoot. When we saw them Keith was already on the path and just dropped to his knees and didn't move. They were doing a fast walk or trot and it was hard to get a good shot but all of a sudden they stopped and looked around. The bull turned sideways and Keith took his shot. It was a good 350 yards and up hill; a beautiful 5 x 5.  Now we had to get up there, which wasn't easy as the side of the mountain was covered with sage bush with big roots.  It was very hard to walk through it;  I fell twice just getting up there. When I got there I called Karen to let them know we got one. Bill got one also; he shot his 5 x 5 just after day break and was in the process of gutting and quartering it. I helped Keith gut his and we got two quarters off but he was still too heavy for us to turn him over because he was on the side of a hill. Karen and Bill finished with Bill's Elk and left him there and went back to the house to get the horses.

While waiting on Karen and Bill with the horses we saw a cow and her calf.  They were very close to us and I could have shot but didn't take it because of the calf.  A while later we saw the heard of 50 + elk Bill had told us about.  They were all walking single file just to the left of us.  It was a spectacular sight and there were several bulls in the heard.  By this time we had been working for several hours on Keith's elk and we decided one was enough so I didn't shoot.

When they got to us it was about 15:30.  They helped us finish quartering the Elk and we put then on the horses to carry it out.   I don't know what we would have done without their horses; very rough terrain.  The 4 quarters were put on the horses and Keith and I carried the rack and head down to the car.  It was very heavy.  Needless to say, all 4 of us were exhausted by the time we got to the house; about 18:30.   I had supper already made and we just had to heat it up; we ate, shared stories, and early to bed.  What a day, two large Bull's on opening morning, it doesn't get any better than that.  Karen, Bill, and Keith went up to get Bill's Elk the next morning with the horses. I stayed home and soaked in a bubble bath and in the afternoon I started cleaning up the back straps and hanging loins. 

More to come tomorrow.

CO's comments:  So far this year it has been a great hunt.  It is making up f or my missing hunting last year.  Now we have our Montana deer to harvest and the middle of the month we head to Wisconsin to hunt Whitetail.  However; I do miss being on the boat.

5 x 5 Bull Elk taken on 10-22-2011

Notice the rough terrain
Nice rack

I was sitting up in the trees to the right and Keith was in the trees to the left

This is the ridge the Elk came over