First Elk!

by Jarrod Luther

Beginners luck!

Beginners luck!

Went on my first elk hunt ever in 2010 in Montana - what a trip. Aside from the fact that I was fortunate enough to harvest a beautiful bull I was able to trek through some of the most beautiful country I have ever seen! I would like to mention that three of us hunted public land and everyone had an opportunity to shoot a bull (two of us connected). If I learned anything from this first trip it was this; report to camp in shape! I had read all the hype about training and being in shape for a trip to the mountains and half-heartedly went about preparing. Not next time (and there will be a next time!)

I want to give a shout out to two people: first of all my hunting buddy Marv. Marv and I have been hunting upland and big game together for the better part of 10 years now. He's that one hunting buddy that we all look a lifetime for and some never find. Second, Marv's cousin Mike who is our elk hunting guru and Marv's cousin.

Great hunt, can't wait to do it again, hopefully 2012. A DIY hunt from start to finish, including the antler mount! Found this site after my trip - would have been nice to have seen it before. Great tips on everything from gear to tactics to field care.

I check in on this site often. Kind of get my elk fix when I start getting the itch - not as good as the real thing but a nice option to have! Good luck to all in 2011!


Comments for First Elk!

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Aug 10, 2011
Where to go?
by: mike

I only have a general tag. I am only going archery hunting in September. Do you remember what area or what zone you were in? Can you put me on some bulls?

Aug 09, 2011
by: Skip Shephard

Well you've done something that I have yet to do and that is harvest an elk. I have been trying for a few years and have yet to get a shot; let alone kill one. So well done.

Aug 08, 2011
Using the hide as a sled
by: Dave, Elk Hunting Tips (MT)

Using the hide as a sled in snow is not something I've tried, but clearly it's a good idea. I have used many sleds and it really is kind of dangerous going downhill. You get up front to dislodge it from trees, rocks, etc. then it comes barreling down on you. Seems like the hide (pulling with the hide direction, not against the hair grain) would provide a flexible sled in snow, unless it started building up ice! We sledded an elk out on two sleds once. My buddy went through a wet spot in a frozen creek and I avoided the water. His sled became almost useless because of the ice that instantly started stacking up on the bottom after getting wet.

Aug 08, 2011
Fitness and Hunting
by: Jarrod

You are so right! Not only the cardio but also some strength training as well. It took me about three days before my lungs didn't feel like they were on fire from simply walking up hill - truth be told, they did burn but my recovery began to take less and less time. Packing out, now, that was another story. We packed out 2 bulls in less than 24 hours. My bull was a down hill pack. What we did was skin the animal, bone the meat, and placed it on top of the hide (head attached). We then sewed the hide together with some check chord and drug it off the mountain. Worked pretty slick! Even dragging down hill required some work, especially in the dark (I scored right at dusk). My buddy Marv and I took care of that bull. The next morning we got another bull about the size of the one I harvested - this one required some packing. All three of us ended up boning and packing about 2.5 miles. As I am sure most of you know, walking with a pack full of meat is no easy task and is even less fun if you aren't in top shape. Needless to say we were physically shot but feeling very fulfilled. I failed to mention before, the bull I shot was our last night of hunting and the bull from the next morning was just going to be a "quick hunt" before we hit the road. We were a little late getting started back to Wisconsin!

Aug 08, 2011
by: Dave, Elk Hunting Tips (MT)

Nice looking mount job! Glad y'all had such a good experience here in MT.

You're so right about the fitness aspect of it. We don't just need to do some exercise in advance. Do some work that will actually simulate the hard work it takes, not only to walk around the mountains, but possibly in knee deep snow and, hopefully, haul out a couple hundred pounds of meat and head!

Here's the page on hunting fitness.

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