This year I drew out for the cow elk hunt in the Central Milburn area, which is up Fairview Canyon. My hunt covered to the west of Skyline drive on the northern end. The hunt started the 2nd of August and ends tomorrow on the 15th. My Dad, Dave and I were only able to go this weekend. We drove down Thursday morning and stopped at my cousin Mindy's house, she lives in that area so we set up camp in her yard. It worked out great, we would camp there and than just drive up the canyon to go hunt. Thursday we went to some places my brother Blake had suggested to try, we went to Oak Creek and Dry Creek. We have all been hunting in the Fairview before but we only stayed on one side last time I went over by Cottonwood Ridge, but Blake hunts all over. Sadly we were unsuccessful, we didn't see one track or any droppings.
My Dad glassing the hillside.
Me in my styling orange vest.
Dry Creek area
Oak Creek area
Dave was sick so he had stayed in the car all day and we were having a dutch oven dinner with Mindy so we left the mountain early. Mindy was kind enough to have a neighbor that had lived there all his life come over and show us on our map where we would find some elk. So Friday we headed out for the Oak Creek area again, we were off to an ok start but than the mountain just drops off and becomes almost impossible to get down, and there was no way I was carrying meat up a steep incline like that, almost like rock climbing. So we headed over to Cottonwood Ridge and took the road all the way to end. We ended up at the very top, which was too high to see any elk, they were most likely down very very low, and once again it was just a drop off down the mountain, so we opted to go try another spot later that evening.
Cottonwood Ridge area
We stopped to visit some neighbors that moved down there, Greg and Sheila Parker. She took us on a horse ride and showed us around her new home. It was great to visit with them and see how they are doing. After that it was off to Mindy's for dinner, grilled hot dogs. After dinner we went out to another spot the neighbor had suggested to try. It was behind a farmers field, we were able to get to where to hunt by walking through an easement between his fields. We saw a lot of deer! They were hopping the fences and bedding down in the farmers fields. We saw two 4 point bucks, but still no elk. It was starting to get dark so we had to head back. 5 came way too early the next morning, I hit snooze until 6, yes, yes I am a slacker. Once we got on our way we headed out to the spot we had gone to last night. We trekked up almost to the top of the mountain. It wasn't too bad of hike, it could of been much worse to say the least.
Dave, he started to feel a little better and came out for a while with us.
We took a different route than we had the night before, we started to see a lot more tracks and droppings. The only problem was that they were at least a week or two old, at least the majority was. We kept trudging along hoping to come up on something. We had gotten pretty far up the hill when my Dad and me came up on two 6 point bull elk! One was in velvet and one had just shed his velvet. They were staring right at us.
It's not the greatest picture, as I have mention before I need a new camera. If you look closely though you can make out the elk that dropped his velvet.
It would have been a great shot, if only I had a bull tag! But alas I had a cow tag. Murphy's law gets me every time! It was so neat to watch them easily climb up the mountain. We headed up as far as we could to see if we would come across some cow elk. We never did. Today was the last day I was able to hunt too. What took about 3 and a half hours to climb up took about 45 minutes to climb down.
The view from where we were up the mountain looking over the towns below.
So that was the end, I was unsuccessful in my hunt. I sure did have a lot of fun though. I may not have gotten my elk, but here is what I did get:
- A blister on my left pinky toe, I popped it and acquired another one the next day.
- A wicked sunburn! Yes I know about sunscreen, I'm just to lazy to put some on.
- Wonderful dinners!
- A hot shower Friday night.
- Sore muscles all over my body.
- 1 scratched knee.
- 2 bruises on the same leg.
- To enjoy great company! Thank you Mindy and her family for letting us stay at your house.
- To visit some old friends.
- A sprained wrist, from slipping while coming down the mountain.
- A horse ride
- A bloody lip, a tree branch smacked me right in my mouth.
- Extremely chapped lips.
- Some good quality time with my Dad, and Dave when he was feeling good.
- The chance to enjoy some beautiful scenery!