Daughter's first elk!


Jun 3, 2007
My daughter drew a Muzzle Loader tag for a bull elk this year in a any bull unit. I had had problems finding a front stuffer that my daughter liked. Muzzle loading is a foreign concept to my daughter so I started asking around on a bolt action ML to get something similar to what she was used to. On another forum a CO resident who was moving to NC donated his Knight Disk Extreme to my daughter. He probably sent close to $1K worth of ML and accessories free of charge to my daughter (ML,150 Thor & 30 Federal Premium ML Bullets, and close to 500 primers).

We chose to hunt a wilderness area that my buddy had seen a lot of elk in the area while scouting for the bighorn he shot last year. The problem with the wilderness area was that it's a lot harder to spot elk in than the old burn scar we usually hunt. Because of commitments my daughter had as being a Fair Queen our planned six day hunting trip was shortened down to three days.

We got camp set up in the wilderness area late Wed night and because we hadn't been in that area before we didn't set out the next morning until after legal light. We didn't see anything but we found the rock that my buddy glassed a lot from and in the top center he said elk were always in the Aspens. We didn't find any elk but we got a good lay of the land.

20190920_144930 by taylorce1, on Flickr

The next morning we hunted our way into the glassing rock. We didn't see any elk again, but we heard some bugling, so off we went cow calling to see if any would respond. We were never able to get any response from our cow calls, of course we knew the elk were a long ways off from the sound of the bugling and we heard our last bugle about 9 am. I forgot to mention it was hot as well! I didn't have a thermometer with me but I'm guessing it was close to 90's my mid afternoon. So we never saw any elk in the evening during legal light. We also dealt with ants and yellow jackets swarming us most of the day, so to say the least my daughter felt like this hunt was going south quickly.

The night of the second day my buddy Cody showed up, he was the sheep hunter. He's been there for my daughter's first white tail, mule deer, and pronghorn so he really wanted to be there for my daughters first elk. We got up before daylight and hunted into our glassing area again. This time we spotted elk in the aspens where my buddy said that they always were. So we were working out a game plan on how to get there. We made our plan and my buddy took off with my daughter behind him, and me last in our file since I have the fused ankle and have the hardest time on the uneven terrain.

We were about 250 yards from our glassing rock when my buddy stopped. He turned and looked at us and he says "I smell them"! So we huddled up and decided we'd take a chance at cow calling and wait about 15 min for a response before continuing our original plan. My buddy blew on his cow calls and before we knew it a young spike bull was walking into sight. My buddy made a cow call again and stopped the bull at 37 yards and my daughter was ready. She let loose a 250 grain Areoflite bullet and hit the bull at the junction of the neck and front shoulder since he was sharply quartering towards us. The bull dropped at that shot and by the time she reloaded her ML she the bull was dead, of course she was shaking so badly that it took her longer than normal to reload.

20190921_084112 by taylorce1, on Flickr

So my daughter got her first elk down by 8:15 am on the first day of fall. So we decided since she was a blooded elk hunter she was adult enough to haul butt back to our camp and get the pack frames for the hard work. So as my daughter walked the 2.5 miles back to camp my buddy and I got to work.

We got through the yellow jacket stings, and managed to get the bull into game bags in a pretty short order. In fact we just sat down to eat a little snack when my daughter showed up with the pack frames. We argued a bit about how we were going to load the packs, but my buddy wouldn't let me divide it evenly. So I wound up with both front shoulders, back straps, tenderloins, and the head while my buddy loaded both hind quarters in his pack frame. We loaded my daughter down with both of our day packs and started the arduous 2.5 mile pack out with a selfie!

Resized_IMG_6017 by taylorce1, on Flickr

So I was the last one to make it back to camp obviously. However, I felt a huge accomplishment making it down off the mountain with that much weight and a leg that'll never be 100% again. My daughter did nag me to death when she came back looking for me after she dumped her packs, to let me carry her elk out. So I strapped my pack on her when we found a dead fall that I could set it on because I was so whupped I wasn't sure I could lift it up to get it on her back. She handled the last 1/4 mile of the trail like a champ with probably 70-80 lbs of elk on her back and my trekking poles in hand. At the end of the trail we took a picture with the good luck charm my buddies son had sent with his dad. We were back in camp and having celebratory camp lunch by 1:30 pm and packed up and headed down to the processor by 3 pm.

20190921_123611 by taylorce1, on Flickr

Resized_IMG_6024001 by taylorce1, on Flickr

I couldn't be more proud of my little girl!

IMG_6029 by taylorce1, on Flickr
As you should be proud. Elk are easy to hunt but can be rather difficult to kill. Parenting done right. Congratulations young lady and everyone that made it happen.
Congratulations, for her and you. She will remember the day the rest of her life. (y) :grin:
Congratulations to your daughter on her bull elk.
Great job!

That is just too neat. Great account. Congratulations all around. Your daughter did what was necessary and then pitched in to get everything back. You have every reason to be proud of her.
Oh Man- that is just wonderful! I'm all choked up.... Congrats to your daughter! ... to you and all involved! Great job! Proof that Children are a blessing. CL

Hilarious that she brought the little stuffed animal along for the pack out!

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joelkdouglas":3iwf3q5w said:

Hilarious that she brought the little stuffed animal along for the pack out!

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My buddies son sent that along for a good luck charm, we promised him a picture with it if we got an elk.
Fantastic great to her your daughter scored on her first hunt. Give her a well deserved congratulations for me.
taylorce1":3qdae04k said:
joelkdouglas":3qdae04k said:

Hilarious that she brought the little stuffed animal along for the pack out!

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My buddies son sent that along for a good luck charm, we promised him a picture with it if we got an elk.
Congratulations to your daughter and to you, well done!

I showed the picture of your daughter with her stuffed elk and pack to my wife and daughter, we all thought it was great!