Trading Waders for Camo

by Rebecca on September 20, 2010

in Rebecca's Field Journal

~ Dale aka Snowball and I ~

At the beginning of Sept. I skipped town once again and headed for no mans land middle Oregon for an Elk hunting trip in which I never had to carry my own bow. I wasn’t hunting on this trip, but rather there to hang out with great people and offer a few of my extraordinary talents to the hunting party.

Whats that? You would like to know what my extraordinary talents are? Well, for one thing, I have undisputed super hearing abilities, a real talent for hearing Bull Elk bugling from a distance when no one else can. Second, I was in charge of cow calling any potential Bulls at a perfect broadside distance from Snowball. And lastly, I brought along my dazzling photography and video skills to catch all the action. (Shhh, I know! They musta missed all the entries here where I bemoan the entire photography gig)

Elk were aplenty from day one and remained so until an arrow went flying from Snowballs bow next to the last day of our schedule trip. Not a day went by that we didn’t hear and engage with Bulls that were all tuned up and singing their distinctive bugles.

The ElkCruiser was not immune to the Adobe Bricks

We had great weather, we had rainy weather. We learned quickly is that if you take 1 part Oregon clay dirt and mix in 1 skiff of rain you end up with hiking and driving conditions that make for an interesting afternoon.

There’s nothing like hiking 20 steps and building up a 5 lb adobe brick on each boot to work out the old ass muscles. An additional bonus to the adobe boot bricks was with a swift outward karate chop type kick, one could potentially release said brick from boot sending it flying through the air to knock out Slayer who always walked in front of Snowball and I.

Snowball and I thought it was hilarious fun, Slayer…not so much. Occasional boot brick fights broke out, but when it was all said and done, no one suffered a special blend of Oregon mud concussion.

Slayer locating the Bulls

Slayer was the official Bull caller who sported his Outdoor Dick “Don’t be a Rut Jockey” sweatshirt the whole trip. Without a doubt he has a special talent for it. Not a day went by that he didn’t summon up several bulls that were in a randy mood for us to chase around. Snowball and I simply had to set up and wait for the festivities to stampede towards us.

I know the guys didn’t appreciate them as much as I did, but I happened to get the biggest kick out of the satellite bulls —spikes and raghorns– Several times we would be inside the kitchen of a Big Bull, bugles screaming, a tough stand off happening and suddenly a stampede of 3 or so bachelor Bulls would come racing around the ridge like they just crashed their first keg with the promise of loose ladies in attendance. Careless, wild-eyed, and vibrating with excitement. Then they would wind us and all the fun would be over in their loud exit.

~Barbara aka Camp Mama and Camp Shadow~

Snowball, Slayer and I were lucky hunters in that each night we would come off the mountain and return to Elk camp to the smells of a big dinner. We had our very own Camp Mama spoiling us rotten each day, filling our stomachs with good eats and generally making sure no one keeled over on the hillside from starvation. You can only live for so long on Snicker bars and Diet Coke…so I’m told.

A piece of advice to all who read this. Everyone should have their own Camp Mama on all adventures. It brightens the whole trip!

Snowball & Slayer on the Trout Pond

We did take one afternoon away from chasing elk around the mountain and visited a smallish trout pond with Fly Rods in hand. A 10 incher was a real trophy and for fish that can’t possibly get much pressure, the little guys gave us a run for our money. We figured it would be easy pickins and it wasn’t, but we certainly caught a fair amount of beautiful little trout before it was time to climb back up the mountain. Maybe they were dissing us because we still had our hunting camo on…

As I spent my days in the midst of archery nirvana, I couldn’t help but compare the many similarities between fly fishing and archery. To catch the big fish or to pursue the big bulls, conditions have to be pretty optimal and both situations leave little room for error. A bad presentation, whether a fly on the water or the angle an elk comes in can make or break the whole deal.

A good example of that scenario is this snippet video I took on the trip. As always, forgive the bad photography…or in this case, video quality. A steady hand when I’m crawling around on the ground is hard to come by. But, when the video really counted, I held steady. This Bull should have stopped, broadside, when I first called, but of course, he didn’t!
Thank you Slayer for putting this little piece together for me to share.



{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Matt SmytheNo Gravatar September 20, 2010 at 2:01 pm

OK, I’m getting my first “needs-to-be-approved” comment out of the way :)
As always, great post! And a nice finish with the video. What an animal!

Be well ~ Matt


Marc ReindellNo Gravatar September 20, 2010 at 3:24 pm

Nice looking Elk! Glad you had a great trip. Hoping to have a good archery elk story to share as well form AZ. partner is up there now. thanks for sharing!


dale aka "snowball"No Gravatar September 20, 2010 at 5:58 pm

Great blog. This was by far my most enjoyable elk hunt….well maybe…sure miss hunting with the horses. Memories from this hunt will last a long, long time. Pain in the neck , Unicorn ridge, Limpin Lefty and other descriptive areas that mean something to only the four of us. Beautiful sunrises and sunsets, mountains that even an old snowball could climb most of the day. Great, great, quality time with camp ma ma, Slayer, and the special Outdooress will live on in memory for a long time to come. THANK YOU FOR THE MEMORIES.


Camp MamaNo Gravatar September 20, 2010 at 6:41 pm

It is a pleasure to go anywhere with the outdooress! She really does have superhuman hearing, and many an elk would have gone by without being seen without her super sense. Fun, fun trip!


Emily B.No Gravatar September 20, 2010 at 8:50 pm

Now, there’s nothing wrong with snickers and diet coke!!! : ) But, I will agree that any outdoor adventure is much better if there a chef along! For sure…And glad to know that you have super hearing…I won’t ever worry about you and wild animals…


Colorado AnglerNo Gravatar September 20, 2010 at 10:16 pm

…that would be my luck – go prancing into the bedroom to answer the Siren’s call, and wind up taking a broadpoint through the chest. That’ll ‘deflate’ the ego in a hurry.

Great post, Garlock – after all, it’s not all about fishing, and write-ups like yours help to remind me that there’s a whole lotta world outside of throwing a line.

Loved the video piece of the elk…spectacular to see something like that in the wild…


RebeccaNo Gravatar September 21, 2010 at 9:09 am

@Matt ~ Thank you! You are of course, approved =)

@Marc ~ Good luck with your hunt this year! I’ll look forward to reading about it

@Dale aka Snow & Camp Mama ~ I had a wonderful time with the both of you this year. Plenty of memories were made and many I can keep laughing about until we make new ones next year.

@Emily ~ Snickers and Diet Coke…the diet of champions =) No worries, if anything sneaks around our camp, I’ll hear them!

@Colorado Angler ~ LOL! Be wary of the Siren Call. There is a life beyond throwing a line, however, the way I see it, it’s still located outside and thats what matters the most to people like us. Stay outside and wear a chest protector~


Idaho DanNo Gravatar September 26, 2010 at 3:50 pm

Great Hearing, must be in the genes. Great story. Everything about the hunting trip sounds great. The location, weather, action, food and company, what more could a true Outdooress ask for. Keep writing ” Thanks Dan


EmilyNo Gravatar September 29, 2010 at 9:20 pm

Sounds like you all had a great time elk hunting. It always amazes me how those huge “ghosts of the rockies” can sneak in so quickly at times and then if spooked will crash through the timber making the mountainside come alive as they make their getaway.


Mike SavlenNo Gravatar October 17, 2010 at 7:12 am

Great story and writing style Rebecca! That video still has my heart pounding, I have got to get out there and try that, especially with a bow


SteveNo Gravatar December 11, 2010 at 9:12 am

Hi, I just found your blog. It looks great. I have never hunted elk but definitely want to now.


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