All About Elk · Elk Hunt

Aaron P – Bull Elk, November 3rd, 2018

Name: Aaron P
Date of Hunt: November 3rd 2018
Location of Hunt: Northwest Colorado
Animal Hunted: Bull Elk
Were you successful?: Yes
Weather, Wind, and Conditions: Overcast and snowing .  Low 30’s with a steady wind from the West.

Interesting Details of the Hunt: This hunt took place during the 3rd rifle season.  I have had the opportunity to hunt this area for the past couple years and so I had a good idea of where I wanted to head.  It had snowed during the night and there was about 6 inches on the ground.  It was fairly calm but there was a light steady breeze with a light snow continuing to fall.

Opening morning I arrived at the trailhead well before sunrise.  I was the first one there and the hike in revealed that I was the first one up the trail that day. As I got to closer to my location there were elk tracks everywhere.  It looked like a substantial herd has passed through just earlier that morning.  However, since I was looking for a bull and not a cow, I continued further up the mountain.

As it got to shooting light I was working my way up through an aspen grove.  I crossed three or four sets of elk tracks crossing the side of the mountain but saw no other sign.  Within 15 minutes I came up to the top of the ridge and walked through a couple of pine trees on the edge of a meadow.

Suddenly, I saw two bull elk walking towards me at 75 yards through the meadow.  Neither one had seen me, and the wind was blowing in my face.  I quickly pulled up my 30-06 and shot offhand at the first bull.

He made a slight jump forward and I was sure that I had hit him, but I quickly chambered another round and quickly shot.

The bull ran forward 20 feet and fell to the ground in the middle of the open field.  It was 7:20 am.

Aaron P - Bull Elk Nov 3, 2019(2)
Bull Elk Down – Nov 3rd, 2018  – Opening Morning!

The second bull stood there for a couple minutes trying to determine what happen before if finally turned around and ran into the woods.

Aaron P - Bull Elk Nov 3, 2019(4)I walked up to the bull elk and looked at it closely for the first time.  Because of the speed of how things had happened, all I had the chance to do was to make sure that it was a legal bull before shooting.  Now I could see it was a nice sized 6×6 bull.  My biggest bull yet!   I had indeed hit him twice.  The first shot had been a perfect double-lung shot and was completely fatal.  My second shot had been rushed and I actually shot him in the lower jaw and through the neck.

I took a bit of time to take some pictures and text my wife the good news!  I then spent the rest of the morning skinning, quartering, and deboning the elk.  I packed the backstraps and tenderloin in my pack and hung the rest up in a nearby tree.   I took that first load back that afternoon and then over the next two days took two more trips.  In three trips overall I retrieved all the meat as well as the head.  By the end I was exhausted.   Yet once again I was privileged to complete another successful elk hunt.

Aaron P - Bull Elk Nov 3, 2019(1)
6X6 Bull

This was the first time I had the opportunity to shoot a bull opening morning.  While I joked with a friend that I only got to 30 minutes this year, I had a great hunting experience and memories that will last a lifetime!

Aaron P - Bull Elk Nov 3, 2019(3)
Solo Elk Hunt 2018

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