Wyoming Elk/Mule Deer 2019

Wyoming Elk Hunt

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Abby shot this bull during rifle season after our archery hunt in September.

September 28-29
End of the archery season for my girlfriend so we spent the last two days looking for a cow or bull on her general season tag. Went to a spot she had seen elk previously but all the sign was gone. We camped one night but decided to leave. That evening on the drive, we saw two cows just before dark and decided to camp close and make a play in the morning. Heard a bull bugle all night which got my fired up. Found the spot we saw the cows the night before and just as the sun was making things light, we saw two cows again, right on the edge of a clearing. But there was no shot at 30 yards and they took off. We followed their path and found a bunch of fresh beds and sign. It was a much smaller area than the spot we had hiked the day before. We hiked up the hill and found a fresh wallow and a little “pocket” which looked like it would hold elk. However we never saw another elk and wanted to get down and into the great deer Unit Abby drew for Mule Deer. Abby did end up getting a nice bull during the rifle season on a friends ranch (above picture).
Lessons:
Elk go up during the day.
Don’t overlook smaller pockets.

Wyoming Deer Hunt

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A doe did feed out, but no buck. Probably because I’m an idiot.   

October 1-3
Limited time because Abby has work. Scouted this spot in the summer and it looked good. All the rubs and sign were old though. Two whitetail does in a small spot that had a water source. Spent time glassing hills with the wrong vegetation. I needed the green bushes, not the blue/gray stuff. Got a recommendation from a friend about a better area, so we left and hiked in there. Set up probably too close to an incredible looking area. Aspen grove at the bottom and a hillside with the right feed. But though we were covered by some rocks, it seemed like I encouraged us to get too close. Should have glassed from further and figure out a move than get to shooting range and hope something fed out.

Drove to a different spot on the other side of a river because the weather had not pushed the deer down and the local biologist had said that the deer checkpoints were recording a lot fewer deer than usual. This spot was higher in elevation. Sat all day looking at better terrain, then returned just before dark to a spot we had let sit. Sure enough a doe fed out, but stupidly I recommended we adjust our location and we were skylined. The doe watched us and no buck fed out. I’m an idiot.

Lessons:
Make sure you understand the right vegetation and terrain facing the proper direction.
Weather will dictate when the deer will drop into winter range.
DON’T GET SKYLINED.