This Weekend I’ll mostly be listening to…My sound track from elk camp 2013 [Guest post from YourCousin] December 7, 2013Posted by WorldbyStorm in Culture, This Weekend I'll Mostly Be Listening to....
A very welcome TWIMBLT from YourCousin, who relates his experiences at elk camp.
I will admit that this elk camp didn’t exactly start off well. Working all night and then driving out to the ranch in a white out blizzard to get the horses certainly was a less than the auspicious start than I was hoping for. But after waiting for dawn to break so we could see we got the horses loaded up alright and got off to a good if late start.
I will save you all the suspense and say that we were skunked this year. All the elements were there. We were up everyday at 3:30am out of camp by 5am, we hunted from dawn until dusk, and would get back to camp at 8pm every night. Our hunting ground was five miles in, off a logging road on which no motorized traffic was allowed so that you to ride in (on a horse or bicycle) or hike in. As the weather was worse this year than last the bicycle wasn’t really an option. Side note, Even when the weather is agreeable mountain biking can still be a pain in the ass, as last year (when we did use bikes) my innertube not only came undone and gave me a flat but also got caught up in the spokes so that I ended up carrying my bike along with my day pack and rifle out the five miles.
That being said the horse option is not exactly pastoral as it sounds. Aside from the fact that they are totally ranch broke, they were not camp broke. So that means that while they can be saddled and rode around the ranch with no problem they were not used to hunting camp and were therefor stressed out. A stressed out horse is essentially a thousand pound unhappy dog. This manifested itself Sunday morning when my horse decided that he didn’t want to go hunting but rather wanted to stay corralled and eat hay all day. When I gave him the ‘gidde up’ and eased the reins to one side he decided that that was too much and starting rearing up and back. I wish I could say that the only my pride was
hurt but that would be a lie, my ego is fairly flexible and I’m no stranger to making an ass out of my self. Unfortunately my spine isn’t able to bounce back as easily and it hurt, a lot. That being said it could have been much, much worse as the horse when he bucked me off also slipped on the snow and ice and he went down as well. Now that would have scared the bejesus out of me had I had time to think about it before it was all over but obviously had he fallen on me or had I still been on him when he went down there would have been a lot more to complain than a sore back and a cricked neck. As it was he got up, ran a few yards and started eating grass. I hobbled over and brought him back to the trail hopped onto him and rode him up.
We saw moose three times and saw fifteen deer. I’m strictly a meat hunter so I normally pull for cow elk and doe deer, but I will admit that last years fat four point buck has turned into a nice five point and he has a habit of crossing my kill zone and then bedding down in some sparse (yet effective cover as no one sees him) in my partner’s kill zone. If finances work out alright I might be convinced to drag a deer five miles out next year and put in for a buck and just buy my cow tag over the counter. We also kicked up four coveys of dusky grouse plus a number of singles which have done well since the clear cutting of the beetle killed pine trees in the area as they do best in cleared out forest, not the densely populated mature forest cover that was here before.
A quick note of explanation of how big game hunting works here in Colorado. The state is divided up into Game Management Units. Each unit is studied to see how well the different species are doing in that area and based on that it is decided how many permits to issue. In the unit that we were in you have to draw for deer, but can buy cow tags (female elk) over the counter as there are always left over tags from the draw process. You can only draw for a bull tag (male elk) in first or forth season. Rifle season goes for about a month, so you have a first through forth season which run for about a week each. There’s also archery, and muzzle loading seasons which run earlier in the year, but honestly the developments in modern compound bows and muzzleloading rifles (this ain’t yer great, great, great, grand daddies muzzle loader) renders some of the primitivist aura moot in my humble opinion.
The mix from this weekend came from two sources, firstly from a mix my brother made me years ago and from a post on the Millard of Discontent. My truck is older and as long she runs to get me to work I’ll drive her ’til she explodes, but as she pushes twenty years old she has developed quirks. The mixed CD my brother made me had been in the player for about three months when I left for camp.
Because thats about how long it takes for the CD player to spit a cd back out. So it’s fairly critical especially when leaving areas with good radio reception to have a cd you can stand to listen to over and over, and over. About half of the songs on here come from that CD.
“Shovel and Ropes” Boxcar
“Shovel and Ropes” Birmingham
Ryan Bingham “Rolling Highway Blues”
Townes van Zandt “Snowing on Raton”
Guy Clark Rita Ballou
“White Freight Liner” Gillian Welch
“Don’t let the sunshine fool ya” Townes van Zandt