An Elk Hunting Weekend With The Brooks Boys

About the time my family and I were investigating the Northwest Outdoors/Go Play Outside booth at the Puyallup Fair this past Saturday — big lineup of young’ns to fish at the trout pond — Jason Brooks and his son, Adam, were playing outside some 45 or so air miles southeast of us.

They were hunting for elk, Jason on the bow, Adam on the bugle.

While we were putting on pounds worth of scones, onion burgers, barbecue beef sandwiches, curly fries, ice cream cones and strawberry shortcake at the fair, they were sweating the calories off in search of a big bull.

Here’s their story, from Jason’s hunting journal:

Archery Elk 2010

Adam got home from school right around 3:30 and we were loaded and on the road by 4. It took us a bit to get to the trailhead, as a stop at McDonalds was in order for dinner. Once at the trailhead, we took off up the hill, a short 1 ½ mile pack in to our camp spot, but keep in mind I was packing for two, trying to keep his load light and fun for him. My pack was a mere 45 lbs going in. Not even a ¼ mile up and Adam finds a rock he just “Had to have”…so in my pack it went.

We got to the basin just before last light and the fog moved in. A small campfire to stay warm while I put up the tent and I must say, Adam sure snores loud!

The next morning we took off early and hit the ridge above camp.

ON THE RIDGE, WITH MOUNT RAINIER IN THE BACKGROUND. (JASON BROOKS)

We continue to a saddle where we take a break for lunch.

Adam decides it’s time to bugle a bit more, even though the morning has been quiet.

ADAM ON THE HORN. (JASON BROOKS)

A bull answered to our surprise and we headed to his direction in a basin to the west. We continue calling, but nothing…then a bugle to the basin in the east I we think he has moved out. We continue “working” the bull and after dropping a few hundred feet off of the ridge we see two hunters calling back to us…oh well, public land!

Next we hike out the ridgeline to some benches that the elk like to hide out in during the heat of the day.

We find some good beds with fresh sign.

ELK WERE HERE … AT SOME POINT. (JASON BROOKS)

Then after not jumping any elk, we head back down the slopes to pick up the main trail. It’s so green out you would think it was springtime!

Making it back to camp, we take a little break.

Adam enjoys a cup of hot chocolate with a small warming fire he built himself…a highlight of the trip for him!

THEY SAY FIRE WARMS YOU TWICE — SITTING NEXT TO IT, AND DRINKING THE CHOCOLATE IT HEATED UP FOR YOU. (JASON BROOKS)

I wonder what that kid is thinking… “wish we found those elk…boy this hot cocoa is good…” more like “why did I leave my Nintendo DS at the truck!”

On our way out we come to a group of elk hunters and a mountain goat hunter being packed in. One more lesson for Adam about sharing the trail with horses and mules…they always win, so get out of their way!

MULE TRAIN ON THE TRAIL. (JASON BROOKS)

FINALLY…7 miles and over 2,000 feet of vertical climbing/descending we make it back to the truck.

ADAM CELEBRATES MAKING IT BACK TO THE TRUCK; JASON KNOWS HE’S A LITTLE BIT CLOSER TO HAVING A GREAT HUNTING PARTNER. (JASON BROOKS)

Another great year, even if we didn’t see any elk…but it’s not over yet…I drew the multi-season elk tag…so muzzleloader season is next and then modern and then late archery!…

Next weekend is my High Hunt for deer…fall is finally here!

Jason

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: