Ever Found Yourself in an Elk Herd??

Discussion in 'General Conversation' started by rebelzgrl76, Dec 7, 2006.

  1. rebelzgrl76

    rebelzgrl76 New Member

    Messages:
    1,359
    State:
    CO
    Last night my husband and I made a run to drop off some movies. On the way back I asked him to take the back roads in hopes of seeing an elk or mule deer or whatever is lurking on a Colorado backroad at night.

    Shortly after crossing the Colorado River we saw some mulies in the road and a nice little 4x5. Not too big but pretty none the less. Just stood there looking at us. We drove on and the road was very icy in some spots. Drove past a house and there under there night light was an elk cow feeding and in the field you could see several shadows. Well I thought that was about as good as it was going to get....wrong!

    We came to the road that sets high above the city to which I often find myself looking down and admiring the lights. I thought I seen a cow lying in the high grass but wasnt for sure. I mean I hadnt ever seen any elks there before but we hadnt gone but just a few feet there were elk everywhere. I said a few choice words and my husband said, that they were on the other side as well. There must've been over 100+ head of elk grazing. Everywhere you looked! He turned down a road and his headlights grazed on one feeding and I saw his rack! My first bull elk!:eek:oooh:

    I couldnt contain myself. I was beyond floored. To see that many elk..right there..in front of me!! We turned around and drove down the road to the other side and there were sooo many! We turned our headlights to get a better view and watched a bull graze. He was beautiful! Had a fairly small rack compared to those monsters on hunting magezines and shows. But to me..he was impressive. They all just went on their way, not paying us any attention. We werent no more than 50 or so feet from them. At one time we had a cow closer than I ever thought I could get to an elk!

    This may not be anything to new to many of you but from a girl thats grown up in the south her whole life thinking that she'd never get the chance to even grace her eyes on one of Gods most amazing creatures, this was an awesome treat! I cant describe into words how it made me feel. It was breathtaking and almost unreal!!! I can honestly say that I was in the middle of an elk herd and I dont think that many people can say that. :tounge_out:

    Also yesterday while we were sledding there were mountian lion tracks everywhere! By the looks of the paw...isnt something that I hope I bump into any time soon. Yesterday was full of first and was an awesome day.
    Had to share it with people who I thought might like to know and can grasp what a heart pounding feeling it is.:tounge_out:

    Im still on cloud nine:003: .....I know where they graze now...I think that I am going to treat my daughters tonight. Hopefully they will return.:cross:
     
  2. Catgirl

    Catgirl New Member

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    13,546
    Amy, that is AWESOME. Thank you for sharing your story with us, just reading it gave ME a heart-pounding feeling. I'm sure that was an amazing experience! The wonders of nature....such beauty to behold, not to mention exciting. Hopefully you can repeat that tonight with your daughters; I'll be keeping my fingers crossed too! :smile2:
     

  3. sal_jr

    sal_jr New Member

    Messages:
    1,390
    State:
    Ithaca, MI
    That is neat that you saw such a thing but it also brings caution to my mind as well.

    How has the weather been there? I dont know of elk "yarding" (getting together in larger than normal groups and fairly unafraid of people) this early in the winter in Michigan. Perhaps Colorado is different than michigan in this respect but if that happened here in Michigan I'd be asking local hunters: it could mean just outright bad weather recently or it could mean that something bad bad is yet to come with weather and these graceful beasts sense it.

    Native americans point to the amount or thickness of fat on an animal to tell you how bad winter will be. It is as though they just know a bad one's coming. If that old superstition is true, then theyre bulking up early for something.

    I usually dont see them "yarding" around in northern michigan for another month.
    Honest.


    Enjoy it... but think about why as much as you think about the beauty of the spectacle.
     
  4. bluejay

    bluejay Well-Known Member

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    8,493
    State:
    Napoleon, Mo.
    Must of been a beutiful site. I can picture it.
     
  5. AwShucks

    AwShucks New Member

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    4,532
    State:
    Guthrie, Oklaho
    Hey Amy, next time you get that close to one, pinch it. Let us know what type winter we are in for. LOL. Hadn't heard that about the fat, but had heard that their pelts get a lot thicker when it is to be a bad winter. Be smart, keep in your vehicle... they are wild animals. Beautiful, but wild. Hate for a mountain line to mistake you for a calf.
     
  6. dougc

    dougc Active Member

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    1,709
    State:
    Independen
    I'm jealous!:big_smile:
     
  7. rebelzgrl76

    rebelzgrl76 New Member

    Messages:
    1,359
    State:
    CO
    Sal,

    We had a hard snow about a week and a half ago. Snow still on the ground everywhere and temps have been in the minus to single digits at night. Though we are getting warmer weather in the coming days.

    Truthfully, I cant say why. I hadnt been in Colorado long and I aint no elk expert. From what I have heard, they always herd around here like that. I would've in a million years think that someone could see that. Be that close to sooo many. Cows in a field, yeah sure...but sooo many elk. I wish I had a night vision camra so ya'll could see just how many there were. The moon was nearly full and cast quite a bit of light and with it reflecting off the snow....You could see them clearly.

    Just an unreal site to say the least.
     
  8. olefin

    olefin New Member

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    3,908
    State:
    Texas
    Wow! Great posts Amy.
    I've seen elk in CO but nothing to compare with that.
     
  9. jim

    jim New Member

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    2,579
    State:
    Jacksonville NC
    Sal usually by now the high country of Colo has had significant snow which triggers the migration of the elk from their summer range to the winter range.I know the ski areas are reporting 30-40 inch depths at mid mountain so that is more than enough to move the cows and youngsters down even though some of the large bulls will not come until much later.I dont know where you are in Colo Amy but get used to sights like that during the winter.I have driven from Colo Springs over to Gunnison hundreds of times and by late winter the elk are along that road by the hundreds,any place there is a ranch or hayfield.Up around Rifle and Meeker the Game and Fish used to do surveys by sweeping the road and counting the tracks the next morning,Not unusual for thousands of elk from the White River herd to cross that road at night or for the Highway Patrol to cruise it warning drivers of concentrations of elk crossing.Mule deer also migrate much the same way.Sal there is a much greater elevation factor in Colo than there is in Mich so they have to come down when the snow starts falling or be trapped up there.None the less as many times as I have seen it it is still a thrill particularly if you are an elk hunter and didn't see a shootable bull.Now you can see all of them that were there laughing at you as you staggered up and down the 11-13,000 ft mountains looking for them.Sometimes the joke is on them however as the ranchers can appeal to the G&F to issue damage control hunt permits if the elk are destroying his winter hay supply.:eek:oooh: :smile2: :big_smile:
     
  10. pk_powell

    pk_powell New Member

    Messages:
    3,485
    State:
    Missouri
    Elk are so magnificent and beautiful creatures. Have you ever heard an Elk bugle? Oh it's a wonderful sound. This post reminds me of the Late John Denver's Song" Colorado Rocky Mountain High" Yes one of the first hunting trips I made with my husband in Colorado,we were in the High Country hunting and I had the Oportunity to see a Bull herding his harem of cows up a steep rocky embankment.It was mesmerizing to say the least.I couldn't get a shot off due to the heavy brush and trees that were in the way. I stepped back when I seen a rifle shot was totally impossible for me and as I did,I had a cow trot I'll bet 5 feet away from me. I could have easily touched her with the end of my rifle barrel.It stole my breath away.Presently I heard the report of my husbands gun,he knows to this day that he hit the bull but obviously just winged him because he searched for a long time and never could find him.Said the blood trail was just too small so that told him his shot wasn't true. Thank you again for the memories. Please watch yourself around the mountain lions they can be and are dangerous.Reps to ya Amy!-------Pat:big_smile:
     
  11. sal_jr

    sal_jr New Member

    Messages:
    1,390
    State:
    Ithaca, MI
    Well we all learned something here tody then!

    Enjoy them beauties anyhow. And do be careful. I gt tossed over a fence by an angry bull elk once up at the family ranch. I was lucky and quick or else I woulda been toast!

    Just so ya know... if you have to get close for some reason, watch their upper lips. If it starts to curl up like Elvis did to his, theyre bout ready to charge. Good info to know if youre close enough to see Elk lips. and you are not armed. :wink:


    -Sal
     
  12. heavyduty

    heavyduty New Member

    Messages:
    450
    State:
    Grand Gulf,MS
    I bet that was a site to see! Being from the south myself, I have never seen them in real life. I had an uncle that lived out there and he tried to get me to go out there and go huntin. I kick myself in the rear for not going! LOL! Hope Yall get to see them again!
     
  13. Bobpaul

    Bobpaul New Member

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    3,039
    State:
    Supply NC
    Cool adventure story Amy. I hope your girls get to see them also.
     
  14. Pennsylvaniacatchaser

    Pennsylvaniacatchaser Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    11,341
    State:
    Sarver, Pa
    Great story Amy! That had to be quite a sight, all them Elk grazing in the snow with the full moon shining down! We have Elk here in Pa. and I've seen a few but never a big herd.
     
  15. Salmonid

    Salmonid New Member

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    1,833
    State:
    SW Ohio
    Amy, that sounds like a few parts of Colorado I spend a lot of time in, In fact I love the area around Tabernash which Im sure you know where that is. sounds close to your area from the discription. I also love the area around Bailey/Shawnee and Deckers. Can you tell Im a trout fisherman??:wink:
    I have been surrounded by elk many times around RMNP, filthy thick there and down in Estes. Yes if I was a landownere there Id be shooing them off my pastures this time of year, thats for sure. Wouldnt want any weird genetic crosses with one of our horses....:eek:oooh:

    I am jealous though, Ive wanted to see a mountain lion every time we head out there, ( Inlaws have a cabin in Bailey) great area!!
    Your killing me here in the heartland...:sad2: :sad2:

    Salmonid