My father and I have been hunting together ever since I could carry a gun. We like the Do-It-Yourself model and hunt public land without guides. This year marked our second elk hunt together. We were fortunate to draw muzzleloader tags for both elk and mule deer.
Opening morning found us deep in the woods only three hours west of Denver. We split up, covering two separate valleys. I decided to swing through an area where I spotted a great mule deer the week prior. As I worked my way through the thick timber, I spotted a few small bucks and one nice black bear. Approaching the top of the ridge, I heard an elk bugling in the valley below. I was able to get the wind in my favor and gave a few cow calls, which he responded to right away.
I got a glance of him coming through the timber about five minutes later. My first thought was that he was a smaller satellite bull. I gave two more calls and he turned towards me and started running up the valley. Once I was able to get a good look at him I knew right away he was a great bull. He gave one last bugle at about 40 yards and turned broadside.
It was a hunt I will never forget, and the only regret from that morning was that my father and I had split up. It would have been great to have him experience the entire hunt.
The mule deer was harvested two days later, less than a quarter-mile from where I harvested my bull. We saw 25 elk during our hunt and, on the last day, we called in another great 6X6 for my father, but the bull never presented a clear shot.
Colorado is a great place to hunt elk. With a lot of patience and hard work anyone can come to this great state and harvest an animal on public land.