Sitting in a makeshift blind over a well-used water source isn’t how I typically hunt. I don’t mind it, but I’d much rather be chasing bugles. The problem right now is that it’s late-August and bugles in the Colorado high country are few and far between.
My hunting partner and I spent the first two days of the season locating fresh sign and blind calling, but the later produced zero sightings. We did, however, manage to get 61 yards on a bachelor group of bulls — a small boy band that will be breaking up in the coming days. The trio was tickling their horns together on the shore of an isolated high-mountain pond, but it was more of a playful match than anything. We were above them, and the angle was super steep. Their vitals were protected by some juvenile pines standing between us. We tried to slither around the rocky slope, but by the time we got into position the group had wandered off.
Yesterday morning, we caught a gorgeous 6×7 gliding through a frosted meadow, but couldn’t get in front of him, and he disappeared into a sea of pine and spruce. Later in the afternoon while slipping along a rockslide, we spied two bulls in their mid-day beds, but they saw us at the same moment we saw them. The bulls — both 300-inch candidates — stared us down for several minutes. My Sig Kilo rangefinder read 45 yards, but the bulls were still bedded and facing me directly. When the pair finally stood, I drew my Elite Impulse 31, but they whirled and trotted off. It was terribly frustrating, but in two days of hunting we had close encounters with six bulls — three of which would easily stretch the tape beyond 300 inches.
Knowing the bulls are together and not being at all vocal, we’ve decided to sit over a few well-used waterholes. As I type this, I’m sitting over a pounded water source several miles from camp that is smack in the middle of the pocket of elk we’ve located. I’m hoping for some early-season action. A few moments ago while emitting some sexy cow notes from my Hunter’s Specialties cow and calf diaphragm call, I was treated to the sight of a mountain lion slipping in on me. It was an unreal sight, and one that I will never forget.