September, and now most of October, has flown by drastically quick. So a quick recap: Labor day weekend was another unsuccessful bow hunting weekend, but dang, I learned so much in those three days that I’m glad I went out. Despite the high heat, loooong and bright moonlight at night (which allows the animals to stay nocturnal), and heavy pressure (as expected) in my area, I was pretty happy to find some fresh elk poop. In two locations!! It’s kind of weird to be so excited about poop, but I knew they were around somewhere and even though I couldn’t entice them out with my lovely elk calling (I kid, I have a long way to go learning how to elk call) knowing that they WERE there, even if it was at 2am, was pretty cool. I also got to experience hunting and hearing how to expertly call elk from Steve, who took the time to take me out one morning. It was a real treat hearing him call, adding in different types of calls and voices, and shyly calling along side him for about 30 seconds. Even though my archery season was short and not very sweet, it was an incredible learning experience and I’m so excited for next year.
So after that……Alex and I went to Iceland for two weeks where we backpacked for 4 days and got married! Technically it wasn’t an elopement because we told people, so really, we had a wedding with no invited guests.
So now that we’re back it’s time to get ready for rifle season. I originally started the year convinced I was a die-hard rifle hunter. I do biathlon, I LOVE rifle shooting, I love the control and technical aspect, but now? Now I find myself really only wanting to be a guide for Alex during his rifle hunt. Alex is first and foremost really into recurve bow shooting. So much so that he didn’t want to hunt with a compound and would rather wait a year or two until he’s good enough on recurve. However, he’s still into getting meat for the fridge, so he’s also into rifle hunting. I am not that into it anymore and I’d rather guide Alex than hunt myself.
We went right into getting his rifle ready – a 10 year Browning a-bolt .270 my dad had bought, but never used. It literally had never been shot until we acquired it. Alex had added material to the cheek piece, got himself shooting sticks, and loads of ammo to practice, practice, practice. We finally decided to venture to an outdoor range neither of us had been to and picked Pawnee Sportsman Center. It was great! But a long day. I brought out my new Savage Axis II in Muddy Girl Camo (I do love me some pink accents) and chambered in .243 to play around with for the first time. I had never really used a scope before so that was brand new to me. We had a blast going through several boxes of ammo and I helped Alex sight in, watching him through the scope. We realized very quickly we really need a scope (we have binoculars). Alex got to finally use his shooting sticks (unfortunately indoor ranges only allow you to shoot from the bench) and found himself getting some good groups on the sticks. Unfortunately because it’s the end of the fiscal year I’m stuck working next weekend (yay) while Alex ventures out on his own. If it’s unsuccessful I’ll take him out to a new area that I’m *thinking* might have something, only because I’ve heard them once in this area, long long ago (and by long long ago I really only mean like 3 years ago). I’m hoping some of the more mature bull elks will stay up high in the snow and that they’ll hang until absolutely forced down. Here’s to hoping!!