As we look back on 2011, we are thankful to 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 who had not made a successful harvest on the animal they were chasing this year. We are so proud to have been a part of their “firsts”. As we say good-by 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 and 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 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.
The crew got up before dark and headed out in the below zero temperatures in search of elk. Right away they spotted a group of cows, but they were on the wrong side of the fence. They continued on with their hunt and found a larger heard 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 go 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 that was 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 middle of 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.
Dennis and Colton with his first elk.
The following day Raz took his first elk ever as well. What a successful season and year.
Colton with his first elk.
WCO says “Thanks to you all!” It’s always an adventure.
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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MAC Outdoors LLC
PO Box 31
Ignacio, CO 81137-0031