Elk Hunting with WCO – A Year of Firsts


As we look back on 2011, we thank everyone for a great year. It has been a year of firsts for Wolf Creek Outfitters, Inc. (WCO). We had a lot of hunters who were not new to hunting but had not made a successful harvest of the animal they were chasing this year. We are proud to have been a part of their “firsts”. As we say goodbye to 2011, we reminisce, celebrate, and look forward to 2012.

Our grand finale of the year. A friend who used to be a wrangler for WCO, Colton, was given an elk hunt by his father, Dennis. He has hunted elk for the past 8 years and this year finally tagged one as his own. Colton, his father, and his good friend, Raz, came to hunt in New Mexico with us. He and Raz held cow elk tags, and both were after their first elk ever.

New Mexico horseback hunt

The crew got up before dark and headed out in the below-zero temperatures in search of elk. They spotted a group of cows right away, but they were on the wrong side of the fence. They continued their hunt and found a larger herd of cow elk, but those were a long way off. With the hard-crusted snow, they knew they could not hike close enough or quiet enough to get a good shot. They decided to warm up, eat lunch and head back with the horses for an afternoon-evening hunt. The horses would give them an advantage because the elk are familiar with their presence.

Early afternoon the group set out on horses and rode into an area thick with elk tracks and sign. They knew the elk would be back, so they dismounted and sat on the cold frozen ground to wait for the herd. As they shivered and dozed, Colton opened his eyes and saw a cow. He watched and saw her moving through the trees. He nudged Hank from his afternoon nap, and Hank asked if Colton could see her through the scope. Colton said “yes” that he could see her perfectly as she moved out into the field. Hank handed him the shooting sticks. In the freezing temperatures the rest cracked off, and Colton was left to make his shot free-hand. He remained calm, steadied, and shot. He hit his mark. Mind you, elk are hardy animals. They do not always fall with the first shot, even if it is a “perfect” one. Hank told Colton to shoot again. He re-positioned a little closer and made another shot from his belly. He hit his mark again. Finally, he scooted up to a fallen tree. Using it as a rest, he dropped his prize in the field.

The four, Colton, his dad, Raz, and Hank cheered as Colton took his first elk ever on the first day of the last hunt of the year. What a Christmas present for a father and son.

Elk hunt New Mexico
Dennis and Colton with his first elk.

The following day Raz took his first elk ever as well. What a successful season and year.

First elk harvest.
Colton with his first elk.

WCO says “Thanks to you all!”  It’s always an adventure.

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Mia Anstine is an outdoor writer, licensed outfitter, hunting guide, life coach, keynote speaker, and range safety officer, firearms instructor, and archery instructor. She is the founder of MAC Outdoors and Host of the MAC Outdoors Podcast. 

Mia Anstine strives to encourage others to get outside, hunt, fish, shoot, and survive life with others in a positive way.

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Mia Anstine
MAC Outdoors LLC
PO Box 31
Ignacio, CO 81137-0031

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