Well, we went on the annual elk hunting trip in Creede, Colorado, nestled in the San Juan mountains. Unfortunately, neither Joshua nor myself managed to get an elk. We saw some bulls, but we had cow tags. The trip was very nice, having gotten really close to some moose, big horn sheep, and of course the scenery was beautiful. Check out the photos in the Elk Camp 2006 photo album.
I love going into the mountains, even in the winter. Very peaceful. One guy in our camp got an elk Tuesday right near dark. We all helped him pack it out on Wednesday using backpack frames. We hunted the morning and by the time we made our way over to him he had it quartered and ready to load up. It was 3 mile hike back to the trucks. The first mile was down a drainage with fallen trees and a creek and in 4 to 8 inches of snow. That was a little tricky, but then the rest was a march downhill on an old logging road which is now closed. The rear quarter I was carrying was around 80 pounds. On the hoof it probably weighed in at over 350 pounds, which is typical for an adult cow elk.
The moon photo with the ring around it was not a cmaera effect. We were going between tents around 10PM when we noticed it and everyone took pictures. It was even more awesome in person as we looked up and it nearly filled the sky. As you can see from the photos of Bennet Creek and Snow mesa we hiked all over the place trying to locate the elk. The hunting unit is huge and so it takes some work trying to track them down. With the full moon and clear skies the elk were feeding at night and then hiding out during the day. They aren’t as skittish as deer so many times you need to be nearly right on top of them to even know they’re near.
Better luck next year.