Shelz bought me a bow from her son a couple of years ago, but for whatever the reason I had not taken up archery until this year. After hearing stories about how much more fun and engaging elk hunting is during the rut, I decided to give it a go this year.
The first weekend Dave, Jason, Justin, and I hiked our gear in a mile up from Kiss Me rock and set up camp at the top of the old burn. We even took an old cooler up to give us a permanent storage container on the mountain.
Dave and Jason hiked back out because their muzzle-loader cow tags weere not open season yet. Justin and I hiked up and over to the creek and did some cow calling while overlooking the upper basin from two arrow meadow.
We spotted a nice bull elk hanging around with a cow at the far ridge line just up from two arrow. We watch the two elk make their way around until they finally disappeared in the oak brush. As the light faded and we cow called a bit more and Justin spotted one cow elk making her way towards us but she was a long ways off. We called and called, but she never came in.
It finally got to be close to the end of shooting light, so we made our way back to camp. As we were approaching camp, we heard the cow elk call to us from exactly the spot we had just been! Man, we should probably have stayed put.
The next morning we returned to the same spot, and watched a group of around ten cow elk come all the down the far ridge from the rocky nob all the way through two arrow meadow and disappear into the pinion trees. We figured they were headed for water in the creek, so we decided to work our way down to where we thought they would be just on the other side from two arrow. We made our way down, but never saw those cows again. Justin and I set up in the meadow and called for a couple of hours but no response.
Being that it was late August, around the 25th 2017, we only could hunt for the weekend. I wanted to save my few vacation days I had left for later in the season when the rut was in full swing. In hindsight we probably should have tried to make a play on the one bull we saw, but it is tough to do on an evening hunt. All in all it was a ton of fun to hunt elk in August with a bow and see that vocalizations really do work! Great first weekend!