LOGISTICS OF A BACKCOUNTRY HUNT
LOGISTICS During this particular hunt I was fortunate enough to fill my tag on day 4. We hiked the meat and antlers the mile back to camp and set up a meat pole to hang the meat overnight. The next day we hiked the meat 3+ miles to the trailhead. My dad and I took the meat into town while my brother and his buddy Casey continued to hunt. My dad and I stopped at a local gas station and asked around for a meat processor in town. We were graciously helped and given a phone number of someone who would be able to help us. I called the number and was greeted by the owner who gave directions to his shop. Upon arrival I asked if he could get it cut and wrapped in 3 days as I was from out of town and needed it to fly home. Expecting to be told no or having an additional fee added, I was shocked when the owner and his wife said without hesitation, “No problem, we’ll get it done.” My luck was still with me!
My dad and I made our way back to camp that day meeting up with my brother and Casey who had no luck. That evening we went out to do some cold calling not far from camp. Only fifteen minutes into the calling session my dad had a spike at 30 yards. He shot over his back, realizing after the fact that he used his 40-yard pin. Not long after we called in a decent 5-point bull that just didn’t like the situation and ran off after only getting within 80 yards. Overall it was a very eventful evening hunt.
The next morning my dad and I decided to work the same ridge I shot my bull on and Kenton and Casey went the other direction to work another ridge. As my dad and I were making our way across and down the ridge we were cow calling every 50–100 yards trying to sound like a couple of cows. As we approached the far end of the ridge we heard a bugle that sounded close. We started down the ridge to get closer when I heard twigs snapping. I told my dad to set up right there while I go back up the ridge and cow call. As soon as I left my dad and started cow calling I heard hooves running up the ridge. I continued to make my way up the ridge cow calling to imitate a cow going away. I stopped turned down the hill and gave 3 cow calls when I heard my dad shoot and the sound of the arrow hitting flesh. I couldn’t believe it, it happened so fast. I worked my way down to my dad and he was not feeling good about the shot. We both heard the bull run off and soon after heard a loud crash but my dad said he hit the bull back because he turned right when he released his arrow. We decided to just sit down, eat a snack and give the bull a full hour before starting after him. Talking about the shot and replaying the scenario over and over we hoped he hit the femoral artery or we were going to have a long tracking job. After the hour wait we started our tracking job and after only 50 yards we found the bull. Dad had hit the bull back but luckily he hit the femoral artery, the bull bled out in less than 30 seconds. We quartered the bull and got the meat in the shade while we started up the hill on our first trip. Half way up the hill we heard Kenton and Casey and to our delight they made their way to the cache and took what remained of the bull up to camp. After hanging the meat on the meat poles we made for my bull we spent the evening telling stories and feeling fortunate of our success.
The next two days we got close to getting Casey a bull but to no avail. Saturday we packed up camp after the morning hunt and made our 3+ mile hike back to the truck. It was raining that day so all of our gear was wet. We picked up my meat from the processor on the way out of town and drove to Kenton’s house after dropping Casey off at his house and stopping at Walmart to pick up some Rubbermaid containers to put my meat in for the plane ride home. Once at Kenton’s house the meat went in his freezer along with my dad’s quartered bull. We had elk heart tacos that night for our celebration dinner, a tradition my dad started when my brother and I were just kids. A great end to a memorable hunt!
At the airport I had no issues checking my Rubbermaid containers lined with a garbage bag and filled with 50lbs of frozen meat. I drilled holes in the handles to place zip ties through them for security and just in case TSA had to inspect the contents I taped extra zip ties on top. My meat was still frozen when I got home in Arizona, which is the real prize for harvesting an elk; filling my freezer with the best meat on the planet. Click Here…