Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Idahoan Red Stag!!!




Bull Elk trail camera pic
Bull Elk I was going after!
 So my brother Dustin got involved with Twitter recently and made friends with Rudy over at Huntography.  Rudy decided that this hunting season he would capitalize on his Deer Tour and create a film featuring elk hunting and call it Elk Tour!  Well with my brother and him talking on Twitter, the next thing we know is that Rudy was planning on coming to South Eastern Idaho to go elk hunting.

As I mentioned in my last post, I was a little nervous to be hiking into our elk hunting area in the dark due to our recent sign of grizzly bears and wolves.  I felt confident that we would be safe, but we all packed our bear spray and our pistols just in case.  We ourselves never encountered a bear or wolf, but it some out of state hunters a few ridges over weren't as lucky! Check out this article about some unlucky out of state hunters! http://www.islandparknews.com/atf.php?sid=12060

Our hunt was full of some good action right from the get go.  We got to the spot we planned to get to and shortly after we made a few cow calls we heard a bull bugle back at us.  From that point on we chased elk for the next few days.  At times we would spot and stalk when other times we would sit by ponds and trails the elk frequented.  I myself had to drive back and forth every day because I am a football coach at our local high school.  I hunted in the mornings and afternoons, but then drove back in time for football practice. 

One evening when I was coaching football my dad told me that he had shot a "spike" right before it got to dark, but said that he did not track it any further than the first sign of blood.  He told me that he wasn't super sure he had made a good shot, and did not want to push the elk if his shot wasn't as good as he had hoped.  We decided that the next morning Dustin and Rudy would take off after the elk they had encountered the day before while my dad and I tracked down his elk.

That morning he and I went to the first sign of blood and started tracking.  While tracking I kept looking around in hopes of spotting another elk or maybe even the elk my dad had shot if it wasn't dead already.  After tracking it for about 50 yards, I spotted a cat like creature jump up onto a fallen log.  I was a bit confused about what this animal was until it walked out into a clearing and this is what I saw.

Treedmarten.jpg
Pine Martin
After spotting the pine martin, I kept scanning the are for sign of elk and realized that the martin was probably munching on  my dad's elk because it was laying about 10 yards away from where the martin had ran from!   My dad and I were super excited to recover his elk, and glad to know that his shot was perfectly placed.  The elk didn't travel more than 70 yards from where it was hit before it died.  My dad had thought that the elk he shot was a spike which had a few random points coming off one side, but when we walked up to it, this is what we found!
Crazy looking elk... looks more like a red stag...

Right side

Left side
 This elk was one of the most unique elk that I've ever seen.  It would have been interesting to see if his antler growth would have been this crazy when he got a bit older, but with us being meat hunters we are more happy to get our freezer full for the winter.  After we sat in awe for a while then all the work began to clean the elk and pack it out... This made for one good hunting trip and definitely one I will remember with the elk which looked like it could be a cross between an elk and red stag.  Now I just need to get back out there and find his daddy or grandpa to fill my tag!!!

Packing out an Elk
Packin' it out!

Packing out an Elk
Packin it out