I hunted about 30 miles north of Craig Colorado this week for cow elk with Ivory Tip Outfitters. Flew into Denver last Sunday as a major cold front was coming in and drove to Craig. The next morning it was -3 when we ventured out in the Ranger to start hunting with about 5" of snow.
I'd call the terrain there the high prairie but it's deceivingly steep and rough. Many times we'd spot elk in the distance but couldn't get to them due to the terrain.
There are over 20 elk in this pic. A few in the open left of center and others bedded or feeding around the edges. We couldn't get any closer due to the drop off in the foreground - still about 800 yards.
Tuesday we woke up to snow. It was really coming down in the morning and made it tough to see.
We took a break late morning and traveled to a different area after lunch and set up on a ridge overlooking a meadow. About 3:45PM a lone cow came in to the edge of the meadow and was coaxed out in the open by some calling by Patrick our guide. She hung up at about 250 yards and I took a shot as she turned broadside hitting her in the lungs. She turned and made it about 40 yards closer before collapsing. She's just to the right of center in the pic.
We stayed put for a couple hours to see if a bull would show up for my hunting partner and I scrambled down the slope to uncover her from the snow that had fallen.
From the ridge we thought she was a 2 year old but she was a mature cow about 450 lbs. We were sitting at the top of the ridge in back of me.
Patrick was able to get the Ranger down to her and winched her in the bed.
It's amazing what the Rangers could go through. I thought we were going to get stuck since there was about 18" of snow there but we made it out no problem. It was 6 degrees with a 15 mph wind when we decided to leave. I was happy I could sleep in the next day since it was -13.
I picked up about 140 lbs of boned out meat at the butcher when I left yesterday.
A pic with my guide Patrick and a shot southeast of Steamboat Springs.
It was a great time even with the extreme weather. I may go back next year for bull hunt.