Elk Camp Eve

Show Notes

On this episode of The Nomadic Outdoorsman Dan, his brother Josh and his friend Shane and Shawn sit down to put the final plan together for the impending elk hunt.

Dan and the guys hang out in Dan’s wall tent as they discuss their individual plans and strategies for the next day’s opener. They discuss “criteria” for what they will shoot and share stories from years past hunting the same area. Shawn and Shane share their advice for new hunters and give Josh some tips and tricks with the upcoming hunt being Josh’s first.

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Show Transcript

[00:00:00] All right, guys, welcome to today's show and on the show with me today, I've got my brother, my buddy, Sean, and his brother, Shane, and we're going to sit and talk about our plans for tomorrow's hunt. It is elk camp Eve and we are all fired up. We're ready to go. We hadn't, haven't seen any elk at the point of this recording, but as soon as we finished up, I'm going to give you guys a followup to this podcast already in the intro, right after we got done recording, we went out to now.

Me, my brother, and Nick, we went way to the north end of where we typically hunt. And we got up there, and as soon as we got off the, actually before we got off the four wheeler, I look over, and there's elk. And I'm talking like, 250 yards away, elk. We stayed there, hung out, and saw a bobcat right after that, got some cool video footage of it, and then we saw our first bull and a bunch of other cows.

Lots of good news [00:01:00] for the final scouting session before season actually opens. But, for now, we're going to jump into this episode and chat all about it, and we're going to hear Sean and Shane's tips for my brother, with it being his first elk camp. Let's jump in.

He was doing things that were just badass. That was one of the coolest moments of my life. I was really scared, but knowing that Dane had the gun, I did have the rifle we would be okay.

Alright guys, welcome to today's show. Now, on the show, we're sitting in my wall tent. I've got my brother Josh, Sean Leschinsky. What's up? And Shane Leschinsky. How's it going? And we are going to be talking about Elk Camp, what our plan is for tomorrow. It is Elk Camp Eve tonight. And we're, we just got sighted in, Josh and I went and shot.

Made sure everything was zeroed at 200 [00:02:00] yards. That way we can make easy adjustments and we're about to This isn't going to be a long podcast because we're about to Go up and do some scouting again tonight. So what are you guys thinking? I know everybody's excited I'm stoked. I can't wait.

Everyone's it still feels unreal, honestly. It's gonna feel way crazier once you see an elk for the first time. Even just sighting and pulling that trigger, just oh yeah, yep, it's here. As always happens, I get a big buck during daylight right in front of my trail cameras. Just got a giant whitetail on my home property, but I'm not even concerned about it right now.

He'll hopefully still be there when I get back, but for now. We're chasing elk. Sean, what are you doing in the morning? My daughter's only here for a day I think I'm gonna go to one of my little honey holes and drop in early and just swing for the fences tomorrow. I got one day to get her one and getting her [00:03:00] one is way better than me shooting one this year.

If I can get her one tomorrow, that would be a huge success. Yeah, you guys will do it up there. Where you're headed. You're headed to the area. I've killed all three of my bulls. They've all been... A mile, less than a mile from each other and everybody sees elk up there. How many times, I don't, have you guys ever hunted here without pulling an elk out of that area?

No, that's, that, that part of this unit is exactly why we're here. Yeah. That's where I killed the first one 11 years ago. And that's the reason we picked up camp where we were and moved over to this part of the unit and been hunting here ever since, I think in 11 years we've killed a good pile of them out of there for sure.

We get a few every year. And how long are you guys staying full season? All of second rifle? Yeah. All the way to Saturday, the following Saturday. Yeah. Nick and I have to be back. So we're going to bounce out early. I think Josh has to be back. So we're going to bounce out early, but [00:04:00] I think that. In the days that we're here, we're all going to get opportunities.

And Shane, you're not really lugging anybody around this year. Normally you've got a whole side by side full of people that are ahead of you on the. In the order of shooting. Yeah. Yeah. I think i'm about on the top now, but yeah It's been a long time that just means for me That just means we can't hunt with you because I don't want to go any farther down the list yeah one daughter.

She had a baby so she couldn't make it up and the boys got homecoming So he didn't want to come up. So just me this year Kind of nice, but wish they were here also. Yeah, what's your plan for tomorrow? I'm going to run them up to where they're going, and then I'll probably get up on that peak, the very north end, and just do some blasting, whatever.

Yeah. Yeah, I'm glad his kids aren't here. My four wheeler had a hole in the tire when we pulled it out of the camper. Dang. And we went everywhere in town today, and nobody can get one until five business days. Jeez. Shane's going to help me get around this week. Yeah, that's fine. Dude, I [00:05:00] think we're going to get it done.

I think we're going to have bulls on the ground early. There's a couple new hunters this year tubbies boys out here. Yeah, his buddies out here. Is he hunting? No, I haven't He's just packed meal. I don't think I've even seen him yet. Oh, he's around. Yeah I mean they have their little secluded corner in camp.

Yeah, you can barely see him over there always do. Yep They always hang out back behind one of the tents and I think yeah I think it's gonna be a good year for first timers and a good year for some of the vets And hopefully we're packing out meat for the last few days that we're here. That's always the goal.

Like I like to kill early. And then just help other people get on them. Yeah. Last year it worked out well. Yeah. Hopefully this year it works out well. Then you owe everybody in camp. No, I don't. I helped pack out five bulls last year. That's what I mean. It's after everybody's helped you carry yours out, then you owe it to everybody else to move, pay forward and move meat.

Where are we [00:06:00] sitting right now? Me and you. I think we're almost even on everything, huh? For what? Pack outs. Oh, I've carried way more of yours out. No, you haven't. I've carried mine. You've carried... You've carried. Oh, yeah. Yeah, three of mine out. Hold on. I've carried. I thought we were just talking about elk.

I didn't know you were gonna bring up the moose and the mountain goat and all the other adventures. I think we're three and three or no, you've killed two when I've been with you. No moose, a mountain goat, and an elk. Is that it? Only one elk? Was that the one just below the cliff? Yep.

That's the only one, huh? Yep. I thought for sure. Yeah. I guess I can't think of another elk that I've been with you to help pack out. I think Thad owes you about 85 Packouts . for sure. Is he coming? Yeah, he'll be here tonight. Late tonight. Oh, okay. He's not hunting though. He's just gonna, he's just hanging out.

He tour his CL two weeks ago playing softball, so Dang. He's just gonna [00:07:00] hang out your family and injuries right before elk season, man, that's just not good. I know it, but yeah, it's gonna be good, Josh. You and I, we've got to decide where we're going in the morning. Yeah. But if you're flying solo up there, and you're dropping those two off and they're gonna drop in, it might not be bad for us to get up and scout because if you guys go around that north point, we might end up going up into the bowl if we see one up there.

That's I was gonna say, Shane, what tags do you have? Just a bull tag. And that's what you have, too? And a bear. So yeah between our crew with Nick coming and doing cameraman stuff, we would have three bull tags and a bear tag. And there's plenty of elk up there. I don't think.

Aside from the first one that I shot, I don't think I've had an opportunity at an elk where there weren't more than one bull, or where there wasn't more than one bull. Yeah, we might catch them in Hunter's Hole too, from the back side of that hill. Yeah. In that bowl. That's what I was going to say, is if [00:08:00] you just stay on top there, if you hunt that in the morning and in the afternoon, if you were there every morning, all week long, I know you'd kill an elk.

With how wet the spring and summer were, I've heard that the elk are, Going to be bedded down more. They're not going to be on their feet as much. They've got food everywhere. And so that might change things up. Cause we see them on their feet at all times of the day. It's insane how many times I've seen them like middle of the day.

At 10 or 11 it's not unheard of to just all of a sudden see a dozen of them walking around. I think last year the one I shot was at like 2pm. Yeah, but you put them to bed. Yeah. There were a lot of elk on their feet that day. A lot of them bedded down. I think I was just catching all the ones that were getting up and adjusting in their beds.

But I also had a bugling bull last year. He was just ripping So and they still [00:09:00] could be it's not cold enough yet to have shut him off there. Yeah There's a very high likelihood of hearing some elk bugle this week now. Is it like with whitetails where? Different age cows will come into heat at different times during the season I'm not really sure about that.

But what I've heard is if they don't get bred The first time, they will come back into heat 21 days later or something like that, 20 something days later. It's a second rut, and but also I think the bulls are still just fired up. They're still full of testosterone and they're going to bugle and scream until...

Gets cold and shuts them down a little bit. Nice. I think the winter kinda is the real, once the snow gets here is the real end of the rut for them. Okay. I, granted the rut's really over but, they just still full of testosterone. They're still amped up and they're not fighting and doing all that but they'll be a goal and they'll kinda, I've seen them square up and.

And [00:10:00] tussle a little bit, but it's not a full on. Yeah, it's not full on, not a death fight. They're just sparring and messing with each other a bit. But also this season got pushed back a couple of years ago. And some of that stuff, is probably I haven't seen it since that happened.

We're now a week later than we traditionally were. So a lot of that was probably before that happened. Yeah. We've had some cold nights here, so that could be enough to shut 'em down. Really? They're, yeah. Josh this weekend. Josh. Josh. How cold was it last night? It got pretty cold. . . No one else would stoke the fire, so I'm sleeping because we were all warm, furthest away from the fire.

I was sweating. I opened my window. I was so warm right on the corner, and I have this little Walmart sleeping bag, , and I woke up and I was shivering and I just, I laid here. My first thought was maybe Dan and Nick are cold and one of them are going to get up and stoke it. I laid here for a bit, nobody moved and I got up.

Had to do that [00:11:00] five times throughout the night, every two hours. Then next time just put your It's cut right here. That's what I said. I should have put it right here. I can trade spots with you. I've got no problem with that. Get you a little bit closer to the fire. Yeah. Dan opens up his window cause he was too hot.

No, I opened up my window because it wasn't actually because I was too hot. It's cause I woke up and I smelled something like plastic burning or some type of material burning. And. Josh said that this morning when I asked him, he said he put this old gray chunk of firewood in and it just smelled terrible like something was off.

But it was already burning by that time. But it smelled really bad. That's why I opened my window. I'm like, I don't know what kind of fumes are in here right now. And I don't want to be sleeping and breathing that in. I told Dan, I'm just going to set an alarm for an hour and fifty minutes. On the dot tonight.

And just wake up early and keep it going. You should be good. I gave you that backup sleeping bag. That's going to help quite a bit. Yeah, so Dan had two sleeping bags the Dumb and Dumber right here. We're [00:12:00] at the Rocky Mountains. Yeah, I'm going to kill you, Harry, your hands are freezing. What what advice would you guys give like to Josh?

With him being a first timer, you guys have obviously been here. First of all, I just don't want to hear about that fire no more because I didn't even have one. Yeah, that's not our fault though. I didn't give away my wood stove so that I didn't have one myself. Alright guys, I've got to tell you about some of the new XOP products that I've been using this fall.

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Alright guys, here are a few quick tips to help you increase your deer encounters this fall. A lot of people like to set up on an area because they found a scrape or a rub, but I'm telling you, you need to put more of the puzzle pieces together. If you can find a scrape line or a rub line, especially one that comes to or from water, bedding, or a food source, that is going to tell you a lot.

A lot of deer are using it and not just one nocturnal buck. Also, don't be afraid to take the day off from hunting and do a scouting mission instead. If you can set up from a distance and glass the area that you're hoping to hunt, [00:14:00] you might see exactly where the deer are coming in and out without just walking in and randomly setting up in a tree, hoping that a deer comes through.

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I would just stay out of my area, wherever I'm going, you don't want to be anywhere near it. Yeah. You don't want to have to put down a wounded bull away. I don't want to have to shoot the biggest bull right in front of Shane or Sean. If you shoot one up from underneath. That'd be awesome. Make sure you're in good cover.

You better hope the follow up shot hits him somewhere because he's coming for you. Yeah, make sure you're in good cover for, I'm just kidding. Man they're, they move in the morning for sure and in the evenings. And I think the best thing to do is fight them in the evening and then be on top of them in the morning.[00:15:00]

And put yourself on a good vantage point where wherever they're trafficking, you've got a good idea of, you can see where they're at and you can see what's in front of them. Cause here, a lot of times those vantage points are further away than I want them to take a shot, but I'm going to use that to locate them, run in front of them and cut them off.

And generally here you can pattern them pretty well, wherever they're bedding and wherever they're feeding there. Pretty typical path every afternoon, every evening. Certainly some curved balls, and with some weather coming in this week, there's definitely going to be some changes with what they're doing, typically.

But, including new elk coming in. This is one of the migration, where the migration comes to, travels to this part of the state. If we get some weather tomorrow, by Monday, Tuesday, we're going to have whole, Hundreds of elk that haven't been patterned in this area, in this part of the state at all. There's some curveballs out there too, but I generally just try to [00:16:00] see what they're doing, see if they're repeating themselves, and then if so, just getting on a hill and a good vantage point above them, and if they're in range, then shoot them from there, and if not, I'm going to use that to find a route to get out in front of them, and put myself in the best position to cut them off.

Hopefully a choke point something somewhere where I can be in a little cover and catch them in the open. Yeah Shane, what about you? Man, I don't know wherever you can get the side by side Cut them off shot covered again, but Yeah, just like you said in the morning, they're usually moving. You can pattern them.

We got a pretty good idea of where they go. Yeah. We've been up here long enough and you've been up here long enough too. So just try to get in front of them, see where they're going, get in front of them, get to where you can get a good vantage point, shoot them. If not, move again and try to get in front of them.

But it's a lot of climbing, man. Hope you're in shape. That's for sure. But, and listen to, Dan's been up here long enough, we have whatever. Sometimes they might be like, oh, they're going to go over here. You're like, there ain't [00:17:00] no way. But, we've seen him do it over and over, we've talked about that.

Because, being brothers, I was like, I'll do anything you want me to do as long as I get it out. Yeah. I've got to talk after this. Yeah, and then, I'm not, I'm never coming back again. Yeah. The other thing is, do not shoot him where Dan did. Don't shoot it way back in there like he did. It's a good spot.

It's a good spot. It is. Made me a lot of money last year. No, I think we might actually go back to where we've been glassing. Cause we haven't hit that in the morning yet. And I'd like to get over there because two mornings, I think they were back to back mornings. They were. We had Saturday, we had two bulls each morning within shooting range from the side by once you drop off.

20 yards from the side by side. So two bowls, if we had two shooters each time, we could have pulled the four bowls out of there in two days. We did get, we got three. Yeah, we got three of them. We just only had one. We only had one shooter the first day when [00:18:00] Joe got his. And or I can't remember how that played out.

I think he got his and then maybe somebody else was there that didn't want that bull or something like that. The other great thing about that spot is you see so many elk from right underneath you to a mile and a half out. You see a lot of country. You but also you learn elk behavior by just watching them and seeing how they move and.

You'll watch him stop and they'll disappear for a minute behind the same tree for 10 minutes You think that elk just vanished and then all of a sudden he's right there on the other side of the tree that was even today we were glassing and I swore they were doing something and I was glassing and I swore I saw flicker And so I just watched it, but for about 10 minutes, and I was like, maybe not, I don't know.

And then last night, we saw a mule deer. It wasn't terribly far, probably 800 yards away. And it just disappeared. We knew where it was, so we kept looking. And Shane saw it bedded down. But, they can just disappear that fast. Even an animal that size, within a thousand yards. In one little tree, and you lose [00:19:00] it, and you might not find it again.

Yeah, I told you that last night. Lucky we caught it when we did, otherwise it would have laid down and we never would have seen it. After you guys, if you guys do that tomorrow, I would like to hear what you know, cause it would affect my plan for the middle of the week and Yeah. Getting down and chasing them in some of those big ravines and I think we're going to see them tomorrow.

I just don't know what I want to do first, first day of the week. Cause part of me wants to get down and out away from those fingers a little bit to see back up into the draws. And, I just don't know where the best spot to do I've got an idea, but I don't know where the best spot to effectively do that is.

You know what I think wouldn't be a bad idea? Is the island Shed Island, we're gonna call it. But I think if you went out onto Shedd Island and got out to the end, you could get on the east side of it and you're in a bowl [00:20:00] there. Yep. And you could see all those fingers. You wouldn't see like down in the fingers, but you'd see lots of new country.

Yeah. And then you could go to the west side and there's another bowl over there. You'd get to see a lot of stuff. But the problem is once you do that and you lose elevation on them, you really lose your vantage point. Yeah, you really do. That's been my biggest hesitation. With not doing something like that because really the fingers on that road are coming off that ridge that the roads on aren't very long, not like in some of the other spots where you can go out several hundred yards, you can go miles on here.

It starts dropping off pretty quick and there's no good points to get out to and look back in where I would say would be another good one is that little hump that hunter always hikes out to. Yeah. Oh, yeah, because from there you'd have the kind of the same scenario where there's a bowl and on both sides of you Yeah, and you still have a lot of elevation.

Yeah, and anything that's right below you're it's straight below yeah, that's it. That's a good idea. I [00:21:00] think and that's there's a lot of elk there's a lot of bowls that use the face of that mountain the When you can't see from the quad trails or anything like that because of all the nooks and crannies But I think you'd get to see them if you got down in there.

There's nobody goes in there No, that's what it comes down to well because there's immediate work. There's quad traffic all day long on that quad trail it's that's there's somebody going by there every five minutes. I'll bet all day long. Yeah, but if you get Four or five hundred yards below it.

I think there's just an oasis down there where nobody ever travels. In my 10 or 11 years of being here, I've personally been in there one time. And they watched a bull go in and they watched, he went into an area. He never came out. After an hour and a half, so they dropped in on top of him and they ended up killing him at 20 yards.

They walked right up to him and ended up getting him. They do, they just feel safe underneath those side by side trails. I've trekked all over these hills, and that's the first time, [00:22:00] the first and only time. I've been down in it. Yeah. And in that section, I take that back because I did it with Bo.

But the only two times I've been in there were to get an elk and they were probably two of the biggest bulls I've ever seen, to be honest. I think that the big bulls know that's a bit of a honey hole. Yeah. And that they just get left alone there out of sight and out of mind kind of thing.

And I think And they'll move. When all the other elk are coming back from feeding in the morning, the big bulls, The 8, 9, 10 year old bulls that are smart, been around long enough, and they know where to go, and they know how to get to be an old bull. Those boys know where those honey holes are, and they disappear before the sun up.

You don't even see them. It's a fluke to get a shot on a bull like that. But that's where two of the biggest bulls that have ever come out of here came from. I think the first one, he was a giant, but he broke off like right above his fourth. And it, otherwise he certainly would have been one of the biggest bulls that ever came out of [00:23:00] here, but he was like a four by six and snapped off above his four, but he was huge.

The heft that he still had was giant. And, but there's, that's a sweet little spot to sneak in on a nice bull. Yeah. I think the problem there is you're not looking. For elk, you're looking for an elk. Yep. And that makes it a lot harder to glass one up. Shootin a herd bull here at this time of the year, if you shoot a herd bull, a lot of times they're, your average 280 to 300 inch 6x6.

Yeah. They're not the giants, and there's giants in this unit. Yep. This is... Big migration corridor. There's a lot of big elk that move through here. And I think if you're going to find one of those that it's once in a lifetime elk, they're off by themselves. You'll never catch them with the, running with the herds.

Yeah, the reason they're so old is because they don't stick with the rest of the herd and people see a big herd and they move in on it. If there was a [00:24:00] giant, we would have killed it last year, to be honest, because you, when you had your opportunity, you were looking over a hundred elk. And the thing is last year, I think I shot that bull and he wasn't even the one making all the noise.

I probably heard 15 bugles over there, but they were coming from around the point. And I was looking at the smaller bull that was with mine. And then when I saw that one, I was like, Oh, he's the one, but he wasn't. Because that sound was coming from farther up that valley. And he kept bugling after he killed yours, right?

Yep. They were bugling right above me. When I went over to start quartering out that elk. I had elk bugling 70 to 100 yards above me and Fish called me and he's dude, there are elk right on top of you. I'm like, trust me. Every time that thing bugles, my head snaps around. Cause it feels like it's breathing down my neck right now.

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Like I said, there's, I think. Like we were talking about earlier. There's this kind of secondary rut and I think by this time those big bulls are out of here Yeah, they're some of the smaller bulls are cleaning up what's left of the estrous cows and the big [00:28:00] bulls are already hunkered down and hiding out because they've ran this gamut for Eight nine years, like I said, you know some of them ten or twelve, but in eleven years of hunting up here I've seen three elk that were Absolute monsters.

And only one of them ever was with a herd. And There was 150 elk in that herd. They'd all come through and moved through and then he came in the very end. With one cow one calf and him and he was smart enough not to be running with the herd Yeah, because anybody any hunter out here that sees a hundred elk and 150 elk get in front of them They're gonna try to scan those 150 elk They're gonna pick the one that's their target bull and they're gonna kill that one and that bull made sure he wasn't a part of That equation because he came through 45 minutes to an hour after the rest of the elk had already moved past it I watched all the elk move up and through a bowl and basin And we were still wondering where they were at, what we were going to [00:29:00] do, and try to run around and cut them off.

And in the last minute, all of a sudden here just appears this gray ghost. And he was a tank. His friggin whale tails on the end were 14 inches long. He was easily a 340, 350 inch bull. But he wasn't running with the herd like he was a month ago. That bull that I shot last year, he was probably three to five hundred yards from all the other elk.

And he was way farther down the hill. You most from most vantage points, you would have never seen him and I wouldn't have seen him had it not been for a smaller bull bedded down the direction he was headed and they're just smart like that. But what what are your guys predictions for this week? You got any?

How many elk we're going to take out? You got a little grin on your face. I don't know if it's going to be tough this year because it's a shorter season. Yeah. I mean we usually get six or seven, but a shorter season and we're gonna have to hit it hard to get in there and get that number.

Yeah. [00:30:00] Yeah, we're gonna shoot a few, but I don't think it's gonna be like most years. We got cards stacked against us. I don't have a short season. Yeah, I'm not going home early. Josh and I are going home early. So it's gonna it's gonna be a job to get it done But when we're hunting with two people that you know, We can both shoot.

It's different than sometimes when we go in with six, seven people. Yeah, I'm excited tomorrow. I'm this year I'm trying to just keep it smaller and do the family thing. Not try to have a bunch of people. I'm definitely going to get out and hunt with some other people too. But with my, when my daughter's here, I'm going to focus my time on that and spending time with her, once.

Once she's done hunting and headed home, then I will join the rest of the group, but yeah, for a couple of days, my priorities get her one. Cause that's way better than me shooting an elk. Yeah. Josh, do you have a Size criteria [00:31:00] that you're going by or are you going for any legal bull? Yeah, because I know what Sean and Shane will tell you probably any legal bull.

That a boy It's I'm here to kill a bull. Yeah, you know first that type of elk hunting I'm not gonna be picky if I can the only thing I'll say is I Maybe wouldn't shoot just a legal bull If we see another bigger one that we think we can get to. Yeah. And that's your call. No, that makes sense.

Perfectly. If you're like, hey, I think we can get to that one, and you can get a shot at that, then I'd maybe pass that up. But if that's the only one I'm seeing, I'm gonna, I'm gonna take it. Take the biggest one out of the ones yeah, exactly. Or, whatever's available. Yeah, give yourself some time to make a play on a bigger one if there, if you have the opportunity.

Yeah. We've got five by five, sitting under a tree at 400 yards. Then... Shot spotted a seven by seven. We're like, Oh, see you later. Walk around that five by five. Go get that seven by seven. Yeah, we watched him forever. And I said it was Shane's daughter. I said, Chelsea, that [00:32:00] bowl right there is your bowl.

When he steps out and gives you a shot, you kill him. And she goes what are you doing? And I said, I'm going to go after that one. And she said, What? I said, Yep. See you later. Just hiked out of there. I like that Josh is going to listen to me when we're out there. Because when we see a big six by six or seven by seven, I'll be like, dude, yeah I think you should hold off.

You know what? I'll just take that one and we'll find you a different one. Just remember if it's got a six inch brow tie, it's legal in Colorado, so it could be a two point by or two by nothing. And still be a legal. Hey, if you want your money back, that's smallest bull money right there.

Absolutely. And if you shoot it first thing tomorrow morning, you get half of the pot. We should tell everybody about the bet. Yeah, I've talked about it quite a bit on here, but it's a sweet deal. You guys structured it that way. Smallest gets a quarter of the pot so that people aren't passing up elk just because of money.

There's incentive [00:33:00] for it. And we're all here to get meat and a big Euro mount or shoulder mount's a bonus. It's about killing, it's about filling tags and filling freezers, man. What's your size criteria though? We all got a family that depend on it. For Addy, I'm not worried about it tomorrow because as long as she kills an elk and fills a tag, she's got one day to fill a tag.

I'm hoping she just gets that done and we'll figure it out from there. But for myself, it just depends. If it feels right, I'm going to take it. I don't think I'm going to pass anything up. I'm not too proud. Also, I'm going to try to strategize and try to find a... I got some ideas where some of those big ones might be holed up.

I'm going to go mess with them and give them hell. Yeah, so if anybody's listening and they need a unit that... You can find big bulls right next to Durango, Colorado. They're, down by... Shooting from the truck. Yeah, Los Animas. [00:34:00] Just west of the city of Estes Park. Yeah. Yeah. Never mind all the park rangers.

They're... They're there to help guide you out. They're gonna guide you out. Shane, what about you? Man, I don't care. If it's illegal, I'll take it. I don't care. Yeah. It'd be nice to have a big one, but if it ain't there, it ain't there. Yeah. Huh. I'd rather fill the freezer than anything. Yeah, it's gonna be...

The chain shoots elk that look like big meal deer. Now the real question is what's your criteria, Dan? Yeah. I'm gonna be picky early in the season. I'm gonna get less picky. I don't at all go by the rule Like don't shoot something the last day that you'd pass up on the first I'm like no because the season changes if you're seeing 70 elk on the first day and a bunch of decent bulls and you feel confident that you could get one of those later on You can make that choice to hold off and [00:35:00] so but my ears too There's a different year And weather plays a lot to do with it.

And a couple years ago when we were seeing really huge elk, it was due to the fact that there was early snows in those areas that these elk are migrating from. So that's a big factor in big elk being in this area is once, once there's storms where these elk are coming from, then they start moving in here.

And those years where we've seen big elk, there was a... Really good winter storm like two weeks before the season hit and so all they pushed a bunch of elk And that year we were covered up in them. We were seeing hundreds of elk and You really had your pick of the litter there Yeah but to be too picky on a year where we haven't had that cold weather and we haven't had a push to drive those elk Into this unit.

It's a gamble Like, to me, my goal is a 6x6, and to walk past one would be pretty tough [00:36:00] for me, for sure. I'm not saying I'd even let a 5x5 walk, right? I'm gonna, I'm gonna have to fell a freezer myself. But, this year also, I'm gonna be a little bit picky, because I kinda said, hey, I'm not, Helping anybody this year.

And in 10 years of hunting in this unit, this will be the first year where I haven't showed up with somebody personally that I was like, I'm going to get you an elk and not saying there's not people here in camp that I don't want to help, but like you get to hunt for yourself. Exactly. At least a little bit.

I need a little bit of time in the woods, clear my mind and. And I want to come home a better person, so I'm gonna try to do that, and have some conversations with myself while I just journey through the woods. Yeah. But at the same time, we're gonna, we're here to kill some elk and pull some shit out.

Yeah, I think because I'm gonna be helping you my, my number one goal is to get you an elk. And then after that, I'll try to hunt for myself. I'm gonna, I'm gonna base how my hunt goes off of the first few days or up until we get [00:37:00] yours. Yeah. Depending on what we see out there my goals might change a little bit, but I always go out there with the goal of shooting the biggest bull of my life.

And I'm going to stick with that this year. I want to shoot a monster and we'll see what happens. No, they've only gotten better since year one every year, right? Every year it gets better. I'm going to, I'm going to do whatever it takes. I think I'm going to. Bombing is some places that I've never been before and I'd look at that north or the north face there.

Yeah You know the mountain I'm talking about. Oh I do yeah, but they're in there man And the problem is you're looking it's probably 10 square mile area that you're looking and you're looking for one elk It's the problem if you want to shoot a monster you're searching a 10 square mile area for one elk.

Yep but man, right there on the north side, you can, if you find him, if you can find him and you can figure out where he's going, you might be able to get on top of him the next morning or that afternoon or something like that and be in a good spot. [00:38:00] But that's what it's going to take. It's going to be running that quad trail and glassing for many different points.

And then when you find him, just watch him till he beds down and then be ready for him either in the morning or the afternoon. So you think that's what we do is go on the north side of. Horse Tooth Mountain. Yep. Yep. Right there. Horry State Park. Yeah. Just right there. That's a perfect spot. No, I think it's going to be good.

I'm excited. There's some guys gearing up to get out and go set up spike camp tonight. We're going to be heading out first thing in the morning. And right now, we got to get geared up and go do one last night of scouting before Season starts and then we're scout hunting. We been here two days now and nobody's seen an elk yet.

So here we are talking about having standards and we haven't even found an elk yet. Yeah, but normally we also normally go out with a lot more people and we're out there earlier in the evening. Like last night we got out there [00:39:00] late. We really didn't have a lot of time to glass. And then even this morning we woke up pretty late because Nick and I slept by the truck the first night.

Just in our constant sleeping bags. We only got four hours of sleep that night. And so we slept in tonight And so I feel like there's been less time spent scouting this year leading up to season But I think if we can get up on the mountain tonight, we're gonna find some milk. Yeah I've been coming off working a lot of overtime.

So I was sleeping in this morning I needed this before I go grind some more. Yeah, nobody's got it this morning Only the three of us got out and it wasn't until We probably started scouting at 10 30 or started 30 because we were on our way back We left at about 11. I'd say we yeah 10. We were probably out there by 10.

Yeah I think we left here just after nine. Where'd you guys go? Where we were last night? Nothing though, huh? We got up there. I glassed. Ten's too late. I know. I glassed for 15 minutes and then I got a call from the [00:40:00] lady who was helping me blood track my deer. And she's gonna go look again for that deer.

They got away. Good luck with that. Yeah, I hope she finds it. I'm waiting to find out, she could message me at any point saying, Hey, we got him. Or, nope, all clear, he's not here. I hope you see, I hope you find him on trail cam and you get to go hunt him again next year. Dude, my trail cam isn't sending anything out there.

So she's going to service the trail camera if she doesn't find the the buck. I hope you find it, man. Yeah, but let's get packed up and go find some milk that we can chase after tomorrow. All right. See ya.