Man, what a day … first off we drove an hour to the top of the mountain — elevation 9100 feet — and I quickly found out that my low elevation lungs have trouble sucking in enough oxygen when I try and move rapidly. Can’t be because I am 56 years old, can it?! In any event, Scott Swensen, my guide and outfitter, showed me several deep, thick canyons that have produced from his clients in past seasons. We glassed up several elk and a couple of medium 5×5’s, but nothing to get excited about. It is early in the rut, with the bulls talking very little, so for now it will be a glassing game coupled with some stand sitting.
This is where I would set up. This was an active wallow and I wanted to see the bull that made it.
After the morning hunt we had some lunch, took a short little siesta then Scott walked me into one of his honey holes — a pair of small wallows tucked away in some thick forested country. This is public land we are hunting, and having isolated spots like this that are located far enough from the roads and in steep, nasty country, are worth there weight in gold. Scott told me a client sat in a tree stand over this spot last season and passed on five different bulls, including a 6×6 he said would score somewhere around 330 Pope & Young points.
I looked it over and decided I would be spending some time here, at least until the bulls get a bit more fired up. So I set a Gorilla stand that my Bushnell Scout 1000 told me was, at most, 20 yards from the back end of the wallow, and stayed from about 3:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. but didn’t see an elk. That’s OK. There were two different bulls bugling to the south of me every now and then, sounding like they were still in their beds and less than a quarter mile away. There is also a fresh rub on the wallows edge. This could be a super spot.
Tomorrow morning we’re going to check out some low country above the alfalfa fields to see if any bulls have pulled down with the cows yet. If that doesn’t work, it will be back to the stand for an evening hunt while Scott does some more scouting.