The next day, with my buddy in camp, we get up early and attempt to get over to where I had spotted the cows. Well, since I am slower than molasses, so we are running a smidgen late. This turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Quite a ways from where I wanted to be, there on top of ridge, is a herd of elk with a respectable bull! They see or hear us coming up the road and bolt. Fortunately, we knew where they were going and this is in a better stalk-able location. Plenty of quakie stands to allow us to get in close. We come up with a plan, and set out on foot. Once we got close to their location, we decide to drop our packs and I grab the video camera. We take our sweet time, maneuvering in and out of the trees. Once we catch up to the herd, we see a cow down below up at 90 yards. All around us, we hear mewing and I know below with that one celk there is more within the trees. The wind is blowing up hill, so everything below us will not smell us. Uphill we can hear them moving around….elk are not quiet animals. We keep an eye up there, but with our wind kind of sort of going that way, we are not expecting to see anything. I move up closer to Josh so we can game plan. After a while, we see the uphill herd moving toward the next grove of quakies. This herd has the bull with him, so I get some great video. The few more cows come out below us, watching the rest of the herd. We decide we need to move down back into the trees and come around a little closer, hoping my buddy will be able to stick one of those cows before they decide to move across the sagebrush opening like the main herd did. When I turn again to talk with my buddy, I happen to look up above us. Sure as s***, there is a cow standing there staring at us from 27 yards, perfectly broadside!!! Not knowing what to do or think for that matter, I tell Josh to draw his bow and turn slowly. At that range, she had to hear me so she busts and the mountain above us does too. My buddy lets out some mews, which stops the close cows. I was out of view, so I didn’t know how close they were if my buddy had a shot at all.
With all the commotion, the cows below us take off across the sagebrush flat toward the next grove of quakies. We sit and watch, and you can see the herd starting to calm down, so we figured give it a minute or two then go to that set a trees and try to get within bow range. Couple minutes after this decision, we can hear the sound of a plane. This plane ends up flying right over the top of us, not too far from the ground. With the elk already on edge, the lead cow must have been fed up and she decided to leave the country. We watch and I video as they drop off and head up over the ridge. All in all, I think we counted 60+ head. Getting a cow would have been icing on the cake, but that experience was amazing just the same.
Continued Pt. 4