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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Just got back from the mountain for a couple of hours before we head up again for the weekend. My pickup truck is having issues with the brake controller, so it's going in for service on Monday morning. The trailer (sheep camp) is up there by itself which I don't like, but really had no choice.

We got into the elk again on Wednesday morning and that evening I had an unusual encounter with a bull. I was sitting on a ridge where we knew the elk had bedded on the hillside below. I sat down in a small clearing with a bunch of 4-5 foot juvenile aspen trees. I had shot windows about every 45 degrees all around me. The ground was littered with small twigs and branches which made it very difficult to get into the area where I sat without making a racket.

At about 6:40 I got up from the stool where I was sitting to clear out some twigs so I could shoot in another direction. I was bent over picking up some small pieces when out of the corner of my eye I noticed a satellite bull coming on a beeline for a track that would put him about 8 feet in front of me. When I first saw him he was about 100 feet away. I froze my activity and he just kept approaching like I wasn't even there. I wasn't that well hidden, but I guess my Kuiu camo was doing its job. I lowered my head even more as he got about 15 feet away. When he was directly in front of me, he stopped and started sniffing the ground and the area in front of me for about 30 seconds. All I could see from under the brim of my hat were his feet and his snout.

He finally decided that something was strange about me (he wouldn't be the first to have noticed that) but instead of wheeling around or running off, he just made a turn and walked away even slower than he initially approached me. I had a great view of his butt and grapefruit size cojones as he departed. Unfortunately, I only had a spike tag and not a bull tag.

My wife used to call me by my native American name, "two otters fornicating" (in a bit coarser language) due to my good luck to capture two sea otters copulating off the coast of California on video. Now, she addresses me as "bull elk sniffing."

The camper worked well except for the Dometic refrigerator which lots of people seem to have problems with. Ours stopped working on propane two mornings in a row. The first day, I got it to start again by switching it to "propane only." Yesterday, I ended up running it on the Honda generator for a couple of hours and was finally able to switch back to propane.

This week we had temperatures down in the high 30s, so I decided to fire up the wood burning stove. That thing really kicks out the heat and took the inside temperature from 56 to 68 in short order.

Hearth Wood Stove Fire Flame


It was a beautiful morning with clouds and lightning in the distance. We did not get any rain up there, but our driveway was wet when we got home.

Sky Wheel Cloud Vehicle Tire


We're attending the retirement ceremony for the lieutenant at the sheriff's office this afternoon and then back up the hill until Monday morning.
 

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Animals do funny things. I was sitting at the base of a tree while deer hunting and went into a semi-doze. I heard leaves crunching and peaked out one eye to see a doe munching acorns at my feet. She seemed totally oblivious to my presence. Finally I said, "Hey," and all hell broke loose. She sprung about six feet straight up and hit the ground with feet going it four different directions. I had leaves and dirt all over me, but it was worth it!
 

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Looks like the sheep camp is working out well.
Thanks for the beautiful pictures Two Otters Fornicating.
 
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Isn't about time for the rut? Bulls tend to lose some of their caution or even get aggressive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Isn't about time for the rut? Bulls tend to lose some of their caution or even get aggressive.
Yes, they do. This bull was obviously a satellite bull, meaning he was kicked out of the herd by the herd bull. By trophy standards, he was nothing to get excited about. I didn't have time to get a good count of his antlers, but he had two main branches, a couple of smaller branches down low, and then a several small forks on the each of the main branches. I would estimate he weighed about 450 pounds.

We heard bugles yesterday morning, so some animals are already into the rut, but certainly not all. The next two weeks should be the main part of the rut. We did not hear any bugles in the evenings.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Looks like the sheep camp is working out well.
Thanks for the beautiful pictures Two Otters Fornicating.
I would prefer to be addressed as "Bull elk sniffing," thank you very much.
 

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At least you are seeing animals every time out! One of my grandfathers favorite ways to hunt was to find a comfortable stump to sit on and read dime novels. he would look around with each page he turned. He was just as successful as any who were working hard for their deer! Good Luck. DR
 

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Sounds like some elk steaks, stew, and such are in your near future. Good luck!
 

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Wait . . . they sell elk steaks in the grocery?
 
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Animals do funny things. I was sitting at the base of a tree while deer hunting and went into a semi-doze. I heard leaves crunching and peaked out one eye to see a doe munching acorns at my feet. She seemed totally oblivious to my presence. Finally I said, "Hey," and all hell broke loose. She sprung about six feet straight up and hit the ground with feet going it four different directions. I had leaves and dirt all over me, but it was worth it!
Reminds me of a doe with two fawns that walked up to me one bow season. I was in the woods, lots of ferns saplings and fir trees around me, fully camoed and more importantly no fake smells on me, only crushed fir needles that I rub all over. I'm watching her lead her fawns from sapling to sapling munching a bit here and there then she looks my way and starts heading to me. When she and her fawns are about two feet away she stretches her head toward me, her nostrils opening and closing rapidly as shes trying to sniff out what I am. Im familiar with this by now as I've had big bull elk, very big black bear and fox sniffing at me like mad at point blank range several times, trying to figure me out.
Then she starts to open her mouth and I realize she's about to take a taste of me so I go BOO!! and she shoots straight up in the air like a cat and does a 180 before she hits the ground running. I had to duck cause she almost clobbered me with her rear hooves.
Her poor little fawns just stood there next to me confused.
Got an amazing bull elk story too but this post is too long already.
 
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