View Full Version : Leaving in AM for CO & Elk
10-08-2007, 05:44 PM
The plane lifts off at 06:30 tomorrow morning (Tue).
This years hunt is in the South Fork of the White River about 75 miles outside of Vail, elev about 10,000. Only way around up there is on horse back.
Taking the Repro 1866 Sharps Business Rifle in 45/90 (again) 430gr GC 75% FP, MM, AC-WW at 1500 FPS.
Ruger 4 5/8's SBH with a MM 270 gr WFP Step Shoulder and I do mean WFP 80% FP - at 1280 FPS another Moutain Mould.
Be back in about 2 weeks.
I'll be interested in hearing of your hunt. I long to do a horseback elk hunt in the mountains, but can't find such an option for under a couple G's.:( Having two girls in college, I lack the discretionary income for such a venture.
I'll anxiously await your exploits with jealous enthusiasm..............
10-09-2007, 05:01 AM
Get yourself a fat cow, Drew. Leave those bulls to the pilgrims.
10-09-2007, 06:19 AM
10-20-2007, 02:59 PM
Darn - No Elk meat this winter. Seen some real fine Bulls being taken (300 plus range). Of the group of 10 - there was 8 Bulls and 1 Cow - Guess who came home empty handed?
Once again I am awed by the CO Rocky's and what the good Lord gave us and some politicians mandated be left in Wilderness.
The General Manager picked me up at the Air Port on Tuesday. They had a horse trailer they had dropped that we had to drag in the first 40 miles (28 on a wash board). The outfitter was coming in behind us and had a lot of groceries and not much room in the vehicles. So I volunteered to ride one of the horse the last 8 miles into the lodge with one of the owners. That ride went beautiful until the last 10 minutes. We came in the gate with about 1/2 mile left of the ride just after dark and as we were coming through the meadow a herd of horses came to see the 'New guys coming in. Tennesse had all he could handle with his horse and the one he was leading as they gather around him. I was about 30 yards behind him and then the herd noticed the other new guy and about half of them gathered around Maggie and me - Well she spooked and it was off to the races - She bucked and ran for the dark timber - about a 1/4 mile later, I got her stopped, and some what under control - at least she wasn't bucking any more, but she would not turn around and head back down towards the opening to the barn. Tennesse had to come up a little ways for Maggie to hear his voice before I could turn her around and started back down the meadow to the opening for the barn.
Reminder to self - Don't wear blue jeans when you have a tender butt while on an 8 mile ride - you know that double seam that comes right up the crack of your butt - well I don't think I have to explain any more of that!
The Hunt - The lodge is at about 9,500 and the ridge in front is about 10,500. Up every morning at 03:30, breakfast at 04:00 and in the saddle at 04:30 to 05:00 - ride for 1 to 1.5 hours some flat - but not if you are going up to the top of the ridge by in front of the lodge - climbs 1,000 feet in at about a 45% grade. Only 3 horse wrecks going up the ridge, 2 by the same hunter - saddles rolled on them - they were warned to keep even pressure and let the wrangler know if their saddle seemed loose. They did check the synch's before heading down, but the natural tendency for most of us rookies is to lean away from the drop off's and that puts more pressure in the sturrup on the DOWNHILL side - guess where they went off! - no injuries though - watched one roll off - looked like it was real slow motion.
Hunted the ridge the first morning and had a chance at a 300 plus bull just as I got to my first stand, slide off the horse, pulled the Sharps out of the scabbard, looked into the draw and seen a spike, turned around to tell the guide it was only a spike and he said to look at the other one - it was a shooter - rested the Sharps into a tree, but dang, I can't tell distance looking down into a draw - shot for 200 and it was only about 160, shot over his back. Only oppurtunity I had all week.
Spent the rest of the day on the top of the ridge and came back down after dark, got back to the lodge about 20:30.
Sunday - back to the top of the ridge. Different locations, the guide did some bugleing - but no luck for me. Back down the ridge in day light - I wish it had been after dark - that way I couldn't see how steep the trail was! - Went down the valley for the afternoon and stayed until after dark. No Elk for me.
Monday - I was whupped - so I took the day off - slept most of the day.
Tuesday - Marathon riding day - Left the lodge at 05:00 and by the time we got back to the lodge a little after 13:00 we had only been out of the saddle about 1.5 hours - my knees were really hurting and I think my horse was almost as tired as I was.
About 15:00 we headed up the other side, behind the lodge to a place they call the Wagon Wheel - well I renamed it - they had a choice - Pucker Ridge or Cardiac Ridge - it wasn't as long, but it was steeper then the one in front of the lodge and we had to go through some dark timber, only lost my hat twice.
The trail leads by Cabin 1 and on the way back in, we had just passed the cabin when one of the occupents (I had some stronger words for them, but the moderators might ban me) opend the door and it made a loud squeak and Maggie and I were off to the races - took me about 150 yards to get her under control again - Did I tell you she was a little skiddish? - she tried to buck me off and the outfitter was on the porch of the cook shack and just knew that Maggie was going to dump me - Well she didn't - but do you know that you can 1. Bring a horses head all the way back to their chest and if they are spooked real good they don't stop! 2. If you they won't reign turn, you grab one of the reigns (left I think) and pull their head all the way back to your foot - they won't turn and as matter of fact - they can buck in that position! - I renamed the the Saddle Horn to Sissy Bar at that point, one hand on the sissy bar and one hand on the reigns. At least I was the first one back to the Barn. :)
Wednesday - 2 foot of snow - Stayed in - Didn't feel well - I think my meds where out of wack from lack of sleep and not eating regular.
Had a great time, stayed in the saddle and only got off the horse when I wanted to and not when Maggie wanted me to get off. :)
Will I go back - yes
Same outfitter - yes - I have been using him for 7 years now - more of a friend then a client - owner relationship.
Next Year - Still up in the air, I was not in good enough shape for the hunt walking around at 9,000 plus feet when you live at about sea level - you need to be in better shape then I am.
Everyone had a good time and we all came out sitting up in the saddle instaed of accross it.
What do you want to know? Cost of the hunt is $3,950 plus license - $500, plus transpertation to and from and meat processing. Here is a link to the outfitter that I use.
It aint cheap and if you are going because you just have to kill a Elk Bull - well, you better pay more and go to one of the ranches.
Here is the biggest rack - assumed about 350.
10-20-2007, 04:59 PM
Sounds like a real good hunt, Drew. And really, your knees will grow back together in a month or so. Those really aren't knife blades you are feeling in there.
10-20-2007, 06:22 PM
It's a little late now, but I found that if your knees hurt when riding, the stirrups are a little too short. Lengthening them by one setting helped me tremendously.
It sounds like you had a really good outfitter that worked to get everyone an opportunity, which is all you can ask.
10-20-2007, 07:26 PM
Ric - I always have a good hunt when I use this outfitter. Larry Parks (AKA Tennesse) and the GM - Larry Arnold (Larry Arnold use to own Beaver Creek Outfitters out of Craig CO) - they are the resons I go back with them every year. Good friends now and we normally at least see Elk - If I had used my 30/06 or my 7mm mag he would have been 100% fill. I chose my firearm - More thrill, more pleasure when I do connect - that Sharps is now 1 and 1 - 50% isn't bad.
I have degenerative arthritis in both knees and the tendon and ligaments have been streched a few times too many - I actually do better with stirrups being one notch too short then 'just right. If there is any hanging (unsupported) from the bottom part of the leg to the top - they hurt like heck. Even sitting in a chair where my feet are not fully supported by the floor gives the same pain. - I just tolerate the best I can and wear knee wraps. Usually after I walk around for a few minutes the pain goes away. It is really surprising, some times when I get off the horse I can barely walk, that is until I take a few steps, then each step it gets better. Sometimes though I do fall down and go boom because my knees will just not support me.
The outfitter that I use I keep going back to because he does care for each of his hunters and he doesn't put up with any BS from his wranglers or guides - the Hunter is normally always right. I have seen him send a wrangler packing in the middle of a hunt, and at the same time he has done the same thing to a Hunter that is being an idiot/AH.
As we all know the mountain/wilderness is dangerous enough and very unforgiving for those that do not respect it. In the 7 years I have been hunting with him no one has been seriously hurt, mostly self inflicted, knife cuts, falling down (as in too much joy joice after the hunting day is done) - I do not think that is just luck! Food is great and plenty of it. If you go hungry in his camp it is YOUR FAULT.
Most of us that go up there are novious riders, while the horses are not the sedate type that we find at most riding stables, you can mount and dismount from both sides (good thing when the left side may be 500 foot first step). They are more stout, a little fisity at times and they do have a lot of heart - they have to for the terrian that we ride in. There is at least 50 head of stock (includes mules) and he and his staff take great care of the stock.
10-21-2007, 03:35 AM
It's always a great experience, and part of hunting but I suppose that, all things considered, it had a little more meaning this year. Next year you will be running PT again and that should help out. :grin:
One thing about a sharps is that it can double as a walking stick. :grin:
10-21-2007, 06:32 AM
BA - The Sharps did double as a walking stick on more then one occasion! :)
A little more meaning this year? Don't know about that - it is always a great experience in the Wilderness area's. Just this year I wasn't having any heart attacks at the same time. :rolleyes:
I will NEVER run PT as I use to - that is why I retired - just couldn't run the youngesters in the dirt any more. :twisted:
10-21-2007, 08:35 AM
A little more meaning this year? Don't know about that - it is always a great experience in the Wilderness area's. Just this year I wasn't having any heart attacks at the same time. :rolleyes: Drew
That's what I meant!!! You're still alive ain't ya!!! :rolleyes:
10-21-2007, 10:02 AM
Sounds like a good time! I used to work for a fellow who always said,
"The hunt is better than the kill!"
10-22-2007, 07:08 AM
BPCRs are just plain fun to hunt with, thats all that I have used for several years now. Range estimation is critical though with that rainbow trajectory.
Just being in the mountains is it's own reward even if you don't get anything. After all there is a reason they call it hunting not shooting. And if you are at least seeing something it keeps your hopes up.
10-22-2007, 05:29 PM
Bob - While I shoot the BPCR's I don't use the Holy Black - yet. I need to come up with another mould for BP that will throw a .461 boolit in the 400 - 450 grain weight range. All of my current moulds are for the new fangled powder.
I am stuck on IMR 3031 for the 45/90 and either 3031 or IMR 4198 for the 45/70.
Just being in the mountains is it's own reward - Amen Brother!
10-23-2007, 11:37 AM
Try it you'll like it!!!!!!!!!
If you want to keep fowling to a minimum for hunting, use a duplex load. Any decent BP lube will work in that case.
If you promise not to tell, I have used the other powder in some of my BPCRs, but I tend to be a traditionalist. I even like hammers on my MLs.[smilie=1: A character flaw I guess.
10-24-2007, 05:12 PM
I even like hammers on my MLs.[smilie=1: A character flaw I guess.
Who doesn't like hammers on their ML's? I have a 50 cal TC Hawken and a 54 cal Rengade - neither one is for sale either!
10-25-2007, 06:10 AM
Who doesn't like hammers on their ML's? I have a 50 cal TC Hawken and a 54 cal Rengade - neither one is for sale either!
I used to guide a lot of ML Elk hunts in NM and only saw a traditional ML once and that was a guy who only hunted with RBs. He took the African Big 5 with RB muzzle loaders. Everybody else had inlines with scopes and for all practical purposes they were single shot rifles loaded from the front. I'm not trying to start a debate just pointing that out. For guys who didn't hunt regularly with MLs it gave them a much better chance and with the proper bullets they were very effective. As I said before I'm a traditionalist but have no problem with the guys that want to use them.
Powered by vBulletin® Version 4.2.1 Copyright © 2013 vBulletin Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved.