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Wyoming Wilderness Elk Hunt

October 20, 2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

My wife showed me a blog she received form a fellow who went hunting for moose in Alaska. I guess hunting isn’t appreciated much anymore. As a matter of fact, there is evidence that the lack of hunters these days is contributing to huge numbers of deer that are becoming a nuisance. If you travel some of our main roads, you may have seen numerous deer lying mangled on the shoulder. I can’t say I am helping to thin the herd these days. I hung up my shotgun years ago. But, I thoroughly enjoyed the many days spent afield, as they say.

A few years back I accompanied my son-in-law to Wyoming to hunt elk. He called and asked me if I wanted to go and I answered in the affirmative without hearing another word. I was floored when I learned later that the party would be riding a mule or a horse, twenty-two miles into a wilderness area without a single road. I rode twice in my entire life. I hated it. But, I had given my word. I took a ton of Pilates and Yoga over several months, touching that off with riding lessons. Meanwhile my son-in-law spent many hours on a shooting range and ran mile after mile with a thirty-five pound pack on his back. We were getting our respective butts ready. And to think I was just going along for the ride!

I was with him for a remarkable turn of events which culminated in a kill. We spent all day hiking up and down a mountain side, as the terrain was deemed too steep for the horses. Wrap your head around THAT for a minute! Then, near sunset he downed a huge bull. We celebrated like kids for awhile, and then sat quietly for a time just taking it all in. We were alone, one with nature. There were no noises at all outside of the lonely sigh of the wind. There was nothing about except the unseen members of the herd and the grizzly bears who also pursued them. We stood watching the sun fire up the rugged landscape in the “Golden Hour,” and marveled at the absolute beauty of a world almost totally untouched by man since the Indians roamed freely in the West.

Every tent, every piece of cooking equipment, all the food, everything in the camp had to be hauled in and out each season by mule train. Only a hard working wrangler would even bother. Our outfitter, Tim Dodd of Bliss Creek Outfitters, kept a herd of almost eighty mules and horses just to make it all come together. Check him out on line if you can stand riding for more than forty-four miles up and down the mountains. Otherwise, just take in the pictures. Isn’t it simply grand just to know that such an absolutely soul soaring setting still exists!

4 Comments
  1. Better man than I! Maybe not as good a man as I think I was though.

  2. Beautiful pictures and memories!

  3. It does sound like a great trip and quite an adventure!!! Beautiful photos! My grandfather was a great hunter and wrote articles for several hunting magazines back in the day!

  4. Bob Woodward permalink

    Wow, I remember when you went. Thanks for sharing. I enjoy being out in the woods but do not pull the triger much anymore.

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