Got a call from my Montana cousin, Cort asking if I would help him out on a backpack hunt for elk. His hunting partner broke his leg just days before the planned hunt. When we going? As soon as you can get here. That put into motion a whirlwind of phone calls and putting my food and gear together. A neighbor and his son agreed to do chores and my wife would ride shotgun for the road trip. On the 1300 mile drive I dropped her off at her relatives in Lewiston and met up with Cort.
Cort and his partner planned to hunt public land near private land again. One of them got a bull two years ago in the same area. No fences or landmarks in the drainage so they utilized Google Maps and GPS to keep them out of trouble.
We backpacked in and set up camp in one drainage and planned to hunt in another that scouting trips indicate elk moving between private and public land.
Second morning we spotted several elk about 600 yards out. It become clear that they were not going to come to us so we decided to go to them as the wind was in our favor. A little later we popped up to take a look and we ranged a couple of cows at 350 yards and they were moving towards us. 4 more cows and a bull joined. Cort checked GPS quadrants that assured us the elk were on public land. At 240 yards, Cort pulled the trigger on the bull. (300 Winchester Magnum)
While packing out it was easier to trek near the private land and we came up on a bull that was on private land. He looked at us briefly as if to say ha, ha you can't shoot me and then tore out of there.