How Not to Hunt Elk in Late November
I have been blessed to have been born during the prime time for general season elk hunting. My birthday always falls around the Thanksgiving holiday, which means I celebrate a week long birthday chasing elk. This year has been a series of fails for me, when it comes to hunting. Though I have seen some success, the fails have been huge. It started when I broke my rifle in half hunting antleope, and nearly lost my eye. The rifle scope came withing an inch of hitting me scare in the eyeball. After waiting for a new rifle stock to come in the mail, I finally got it put together just in time for my annual birthday hunt.
The day started off great, as we spotted 6 elk in an area that was legal for us to hunt. My hunting partners and I formulated a plan and began the stalk. During the stalk, I noticed a group of "christmas trees" on the edge of a patch of timber. As I got closer to the trees, a huge mass of antlers grew out of them. A bull elk was bedded in the trees, and I woke him up. As soon as he stood up, he busted. My only thought was to chase after him in hopes of finding him in more wide open area that would give me a shot. As I ran through the thick patch of trees, I could not see the small granite cliff on the other side. Before I knew it, I was sliding down slick rocks. Only to land on my right ankle. Needless to say the bull got away.
I initially thought that the fall had only sprained my ankle. I found a strong branch on the forest floor and used it as a crutch to get me back to the vehicle. Being that it was my birthday, I was met with a bunch of laughter and teasing, as well as some whiskey to numb the pain. We built a campfire and continued to drink, until I could barely notice the pain. The next morning, it was apparent that I needed medical help. As I could barely crawl on my hands and knees to the bathroom.
After a quick trip to the ER, I was told that I had fractured my fibula, as well as sprained my ankle. The fibula does not require surgery to fix, so I was fitted with a boot and handed some pain meds. Later that afternoon I found myself back out on the mountain looking for elk. I soon realized that my injury was not going to cut it in elk country. I was forced to cut my annual hunt short and go home.
Call me stubborn, but I could not bring myself to give up. I spent the remaining days of my hunt, bowhunting deer from a groundblind in crutches. Thanks to my redneck UBER.
Moral of the story, you cannot outrun an elk, and never surrender your quest to bag a beast.