a day makes. After yesterday’s incredible
action, today is about as quiet as it can get. While I was out hunting
yesterday afternoon, Scott Swensen, my outfitter, went back to the alfalfa
field where we had seen the herd come like clockwork and we have permission to
hunt. Amazingly, the elk do not show up! That means today I head up the
mountain by flashlight to get into a saddle 30 minutes before the first hint of
daylight so I can listen. If I hear a bull bugle, I will try and get as close
to him as I can before it breaks light, then make a move.
I hear nothing. So I hike rapidly to my tree stand on
the wallow and sit there until 10:00 a.m. No elk, no bugling, nothing. So I
decide to climb down and hunt up the mountain looking for, well, something.
Anything. I find lots of old sign, some great places, and meet three Utah
hunters who tell me they are experiencing the same kind of luck — no bugling,
no elk. Everyone I speak with tells me that this year, for some reason, the elk
are acting nothing like they do in “normal” years. Figures that this
is the year I draw.
One thing I might mention. I am testing the new
Bushnell BackTrack GPS, a device so simple even a dunderhead, anti-tech guy
like me can use it. It costs less than 75 bucks and can save only three
waypoints, but does it work like a charm. I marked my tree stand site on it,
and without this unit I am not sure that, after doing all the zigzagging I did
this morning, I could have easily found my way back. This thing saved my bacon.
In the afternoon I hunt the same area and again
hear and see nothing. What happened to all the bulls? In the entire unit they
seem to have gone underground. It reminds me a lot of that “lull”
whitetail bucks go into just before they kick the rut into high gear. I
have six more hunting days and I sure hope the local elk pick up the pace
in a hurry.