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2020 photo of the year hunt story.

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2020 photo of the year hunt story.

Postby jcs280 » 02 10, 2021 •  [Post 1]

First off I would like to thank all the moderators for keeping the forum going and everybody that voted for me. I couldn’t have asked for a more picture perfect backdrop and I had to take advantage of that. Been lurking here for a long time so I should introduce myself. My name is Jon and Im from ohio. Quick run down, I went to guide school when I was 21 and then worked for old Indian summer guiding elk and mule deer hunts in Montana. Had fun killed some elk and deer and learned a ton while doing so. Fast forward a bunch of years. Now I work a major railroad and have a wife and 2 little boys. Now onto the elk hunt. Me and my cousin drew Wyoming general elk tags so the research and prep started. I usually rent horses but this year was gonna be different. My cousin is not to horse savvy and we didn’t want to commit to having horses and be stuck in a certain area plus the added cost of rent, feed, and delivery. Backpack hunt was the game plan. Season started on a Thursday. The worst day if you are trying to maximize your time like everybody does with only 2 weeks off work. We choose to scout a few days before season rather than start our hunt late the following week. We had 1 1/2 days to scout. First 1/2 day we scouted close to the truck. Didn’t see nothing to promising but I really wasn’t expecting to. Day 2 we woke up early and got a early start up the trail. We end up spotting a few different bulls in a few groups. Perfect there are elk around which is always a concern when you walk into a area you have never been before,1 of which we happened to see skirt through a opening about 800 yards above camp. We hike some ridges and get the lay of the land a bit and come up with a game plan for the next morning. Opening morning found us up above camp in the area we had seen that bull the day before. I couldn’t see passing up elk that was that close to camp, especially when you have to carry it out on you back. We get up there before light and the wind is blowing 40mph, constant. Holy cow this was a bad idea. We work the ridge out with no success so we bombed off there and onto plan B. Plan B involved a few mile hike and 1000ft elevation gain. Let me back up, my brother flew in, rented a truck and met us the day before. He’s just along for the ride and hopefully carry meat. He turned out to be a lifesaver. Back to the hunt, we were packing a small spike camp in case we wanted to stay on the mountain. We took off up to the ridge, picking up some water in a high mountain lake because at 9000ft water is non existent. We get on top and immediately cut some elk tracks, well it would be foolish to not follow them. We follow them in the snow hopping to catch them in some broken timber along the ridge top. Gotta go. More to come.
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Re: 2020 photo of the year hunt story.

Postby WapitiTalk1 » 02 10, 2021 •  [Post 2]

Excellent! Really looking forward to following your story as it unfolds mister ;)
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Re: 2020 photo of the year hunt story.

Postby jcs280 » 02 17, 2021 •  [Post 3]

Here we go gain. We follow the tracks for a bit moving at a pretty good walk keeping our eyes open head of us. Our packs are heavy with spike camp, food and water for a few days so we stash what we didn’t need under a root ball and cover with pine branches to protect the water from freezing. Back in the tracks we cover a solid mile of ridge top following the tracks and in the back of my mind we are working towards a glassing knob that I wanted to check out anyway. The elk start to head straight down hill so we decided to split up for the last couple hours of light. Me and my brother head off to the glassing knob and jack heads after the elk solo. 15 minutes later we get up to the knob glass for a few minutes and.... Boooom!!!! Jack shot from down below us. We make radio contact and he confirms he just shot his first elk. A spike at 20 yards, bounded uphill a few times and fell over within sight. We head off the knob and track him down. Some high fives and heck yeahs later we took some pictures and started quartering up his first elk. It’s dark know and we get the whole elk on our backs and take off up hill. We hang his elk on the ridge top, find out stash and make camp for the night. We were a little slow moving the next morning but get up sunrise and start making a plan for the day. We head out from camp to do some glassing and then plan to pack jacks elk back to the truck. Sure enough I spot some elk about 2 miles away in a very good location. Almost to good to be true. Be foolish not for me try and make a play on them so me and Derek decide to head that way while jacks is going to leap frog his meat closer to the truck. We get over there and head down the backside of a finger ridge out of sight. We pop over the finger and there he is taking his time feeding working down hill to bed below us in some heavy timber. I worked into a opening to provide a good shot and get settled in. He keeps working down hill and I wait for a good shot. 300 yards and a steep down hill angle he stops and it’s now or never as he is about to disappear below the tree tops in front of me. Boooom..... and he was gone. I thought I saw him drop but it happened to fast to be sure, Derek had a tree in front of him and he couldn’t see either. I replay it in my head a few times and collect my thoughts. The shot felt good and I was almost positive I seen him drop. I decide to send Derek back for jack because I wasn’t sure the radio was gonna make it out of that hole when we got down there. I head down to where he was. Sure enough he dropped and rolled right to where the picture was taken. Awesome. A pretty good 5 pt. I wanted for the rest of the crew to show up to celebrate and start quartering up my bull. We are in a deep steep hole so we hang half the meat and take half up to the ridge back towards camp. We get back to spike camp at dusk and get settled in. Glad we packed all that water up to camp it was defiantly needed. We spend the next 2 days packing 2 bulls and spike camp back to the truck. Our hunt was over, we had accomplished our goal. Tagged out.

Without ever setting foot in this unit I was confident we could pull 1 bull out of there but didn’t think we would each be tagged out. Do I think we could kill 2 elk in 2 days again....... absolutely now that I have boots on the ground in the unit. Me and Indian summer talk about how priceless scouting during season is. It gives a huge advantage. Now I know that it is impossible for some as life takes precedence and hunting comes 2nd. Sometimes people will only have 1 elk tag in there life. That’s why guys should look into Indian summers services. His hunt plans curve the learning curve for guys that are not able to gain boots on the ground experience. Good luck to all on there hunts in 2021.
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Re: 2020 photo of the year hunt story.

Postby jcs280 » 02 17, 2021 •  [Post 4]

The team.
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Re: 2020 photo of the year hunt story.

Postby Trumkin the Dwarf » 02 17, 2021 •  [Post 5]

Great work! 2 for 2 is getting it done!
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Re: 2020 photo of the year hunt story.

Postby Old school » 02 17, 2021 •  [Post 6]

Glad you were able to connect. Congrats!
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Re: 2020 photo of the year hunt story.

Postby Fridaythe13th » 02 17, 2021 •  [Post 7]

Great story and even better write up. Someday I well hunt that state I drive through it every year. Lol. Nice job.
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Re: 2020 photo of the year hunt story.

Postby Swede » 02 17, 2021 •  [Post 8]

Congratulations on a completely successful hunt. BTW: I like the B&W photo. It reminds my of my earlier years, before I had a camera.
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Re: 2020 photo of the year hunt story.

Postby GoGriz1234 » 02 23, 2021 •  [Post 9]

Great story and congrats! Love the photos
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Re: 2020 photo of the year hunt story.

Postby Lefty » 02 23, 2021 •  [Post 10]

Thanks for the" rest of the Story"
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