Every year, during the latter part of October, my family makes the 17 hour journey to the state of Colorado in hot pursuit of the wapiti. Not only do we take ourselves, we take a friend or two plus 6 horses, 2 canvas wall tents, 2 wood burning stoves, as many coolers are we can cram into the truck bed, chairs, cots, sleeping bags, lanterns, panniers, riding saddles, pack saddles, horse blankets and high-powered rifles. And a giant box of homemade cookies. I’m sure this is how everyone prepares for elk camp. Whilst chasing this magnificent creature over the meadows, up the mountains and across the South Fork river I’ll not only be cold, sore, exhausted and incredibly happy. I’ll also be at least 2 hours from internet and cell phone service. I tell you this my dear blogging friends, so that you know I’m not ignoring you, I’ll have some posts coming out while I am gone but won’t be able to check on them or you for about 10 days. Please bare with me, I promise to return with photos, stories and slimmer thighs.
Meanwhile, here are some pictures taken from past elk camps, there are a lot. It is hard to put 7 plus years of hunting into a gallery, but I tried!
Love ya’! Don’t forget about me! 🙂
Tent at 11,000 ft. Note the toilet paper on the hat!
The tent at night.
With Rob’s elk 2013.
Elk down and packed.
Riding into the wilderness.
Time for some Dr. Suess.
You never know who you are gonna run into 17 hours from home……
The eggs froze. Time to go home!
Getting in a little card game.
“Have are more treats Mama!?”
Over-looking the river.
Addie loved Peep!
Taking a break.
Water stop at the fairgrounds.
Taking a pack horse, just in case!
2007, my first elk and my first trip.
I love the aspens. Most of the time the leaves are gone, we got lucky.
Rob and Peep.
Sticker sharing is very important.
Putting up the tent.
Cocktail hour at the fairgrounds.
Cutest elk hunter ever.
Me and Max.
Riding thru the aspens.
This is me on a VERY windy ridge.
Looking across the Great Divide.
Hanging out in the tent.
I am a Packer!
Gus 9my step-son) in the snow.
Me attempting to read by the fire.
Addie loving on Max.
Mike and Rob, ready to head south.
Mike doing a final check.
I love the tent.
We had a bear visit and rip the tent, note the paw print he left.
Addie and I going for a hike.
My beautiful mom!
Taking a rest, right before an entire herd of elk ran thru camp. Go figure.
Our friends from Oklahoma are always “Haulin’ Ass”
The hunters from the OK state are more than ok with us!
Rob, me and Judd 2011 (I think)
My horse Ben, faithful friend always.
Crap, we have a LOT of stuff to pack in.
We are darn good packers!
Here I am with Rob.
Cutting ridge poles.
Sunset in the San Juan.
So long guys!
Judd about to head down.
The Great Divide in the distance.
This, my friends, was cold.
I don’t really like snow.
Hunting in the snow.
Judd and Rob and Elk.
Paying out our tab for ice, firewood and showers.
Me and Tater Tot.
Head on Tater, meat on Kid Rock.
Tater is our number one Pack Horse.
Me leading Tater and my elk over the wilderness bridge.
A quick note for anyone who may be wondering….we hunt on public access land in Colorado, a designated wilderness area which means no wheels, no motors. We pack in all our gear on horses anywhere from 2 to 10 miles depending on the weather forecast. We don’t bathe but we do have a ‘wipe-down’ every night. We hunt hard, eat well and go to bed early. We travel to the same place each October and many times, see the same faces and old friends year-after-year, it is like a second home. The point of elk camp isn’t really about bringing home an elk, although that is a bonus, the point is time away from everything but each other. To build respect, character and personal confidence. Although those elk burgers taste awfully good!