2013 turned out to be a great year. I met a bunch of great new guys and had a great time seeing some guys I had met in the past. Here are a few highlights of what happened in this year’s seasons.
Since I didn’t have any archery hunters, the seasons kicked off with muzzleloader hunter, Jimmy Corley from Arkansas. (Don’t feel bad I raised an eyebrow too when he told me where he was from haha) Jimmy brought his friend Chris Porter to video his hunt and if you want to check that out you can search for “pinion elk” on YouTube. Jimmy had some bad luck and missed a couple of bulls but ended up getting a cow on his last day to hunt. Although I had seen some pretty good bucks before he arrived, we were unable to locate a muley for him while he was here. Jimmy and Chris were great guys very enjoyable to have here even if they are from Arkansas!
Second season arrived shortly thereafter and it turned out to be a great season. I had a pretty full roster of guys and I stayed plenty busy. Bill, Dennis, and Brian from Ohio were the first guys to arrive. The three guys were great to have in camp. They were a little skeptical at first as they didn’t see much game the first day or two, but then I enlisted my cousin/guide Kevin Hronich to go with Dennis and I to look for a buck. I don’t know about Kevin’s guide skills but he is full of B.S. so I knew Dennis would be well entertained! Dennis made a great shot on a big three point buck to get them rolling. 683 yards, right Dennis? Well maybe it was 386. The next few days were pretty slow for the three until I took Brian and Bill out to try for a deer. Brian ended up getting a nice, really heavy 3×3. Bill took a shot at a nice bull the next day but we were unable to recover it. Bill and I were both really bummed about it but it is just an unfortunate thing that happens sometimes. The good news was the neighbor saw the bull the next season. Anyway Brian missed a little bull that woke him from his nap but that was pretty much it for the guys from Ohio.
Three more guys from Texas were also here in second season. Craig, Fred, and Jason made the trip up here and went home pretty well loaded with meat. Craig got a small bull the first or second day, and then Jason got a nice buck a few days later. Next up was Fred. After doing a little sneaking through the grass, he tipped over a really nice muley. Craig was the last to get his buck. He thought it would be better to take a few “practice shots” at a few of them to add to the excitement of the trip if you know what I mean! He ended up taking the biggest buck of his group though so it turned out well. I had met Fred and Craig last year and enjoyed meeting Jason this year. It was great time with the three of them in camp.
John and Joe, a father and son from Denver also came down to hunt the last few days of the season. Joe was unable to connect with a buck but John ended up getting a nice buck. I had met them last year as well and it was great to see them again.
Third season started a few days later and it turned out to be a good season too. Rowdy Smith was the leader of a group of five guys. He came up from Midland TX, while the rest of his group made the trip from Florida. Shawn, David, Joey, and Roy were the other four. David arrived later than the rest of the group and so while the other guys were out hunting I met up with David and took him out to show him where to hunt. Within two or three hours of being in Colorado, he had killed a buck. Joey missed a buck on the third or fourth day. Rowdy was the next to have success and killed a great buck down at the Archie Cruz property. Roy had to fly out early so I took him out to get a deer on the final evening he was here. We sat on a spot where I had seen bucks for the week prior and they didn’t show up.
When we left we saw them on the other end of the property in the headlights as we left. Go figure. Shawn was the pickiest but finally got a buck close to the last day. Although these guys saw a few cow elk, they didn’t encounter any legal bulls. This bunch from Florida was definitely entertaining to have around. They had a bunch of great stories that I won’t be forgetting soon!
Larry Wartenbe and Mike Zigelman came from California to hunt in third also. Mike was able to get a nice buck to start things off for them. He still had a cow tag and Larry had a bull tag as well as his buck tag. On the last night Mike was going to be able to hunt, some elk showed up and Larry got a nice bull. Mike wasn’t able to get a cow. Larry stayed around the next couple of days to find a big buck. On his last evening to hunt, I again recruited my cousin Kevin to go along to get him a deer and sure enough we found Larry a pretty respectable buck to go home with. You might not think you could have a good time hunting with Californians but I definitely did. Larry has helped me out getting this outfit started and I appreciate that a great deal. I enjoyed getting to know Mike and visiting with both of them.
Fourth season came just a couple days later and I had big expectations for it. Jimmy Yancy, Martin Brown, and Gerry Hans were all in camp to bag a big buck. The weather didn’t help us out at all though, as it turned warm again and limited the movement of the giants. Marvin ended up getting a really nice buck with great forks, he was just a little shy on width. Jimmy was unable to find a buck that suited him until the end of the season, but then the buck never showed up where he was legal for him again. Gerry ended up fairing really well however, as he ended up taking a really nice typical four point. He was probably the best buck we had taken all year.
Overall, I enjoyed the hunting seasons very much. I could not have asked to have a better group of hunters. I had a great time seeing the ones that I already knew as well as getting to know the guys that I didn’t. Thanks to everyone that came and thanks to my family and friends that helped me out this season. Next year’s season will be here before we know it and I am already looking forward to it!