• Jeff Kowell

    I can only smile as your adventure begins. I’ve only been hunting Colorado for 6 years and things never fail to surprise me. This year my arrow rest froze and would not operate due to ice! Stumbling around in the dark, side-hilling forever and getting stuck in deadfall mazes is normal fare.

    • SoleAdventure

      Yeah, I wasn’t expecting easy, nor was I expecting everything to go as planned – so this first day didn’t surprise me all that much. What type of rest froze up you, Jeff?

      • Jeff Kowell

        It was a QAD Ultra Rest HD. QAD is replacing it at no cost. However, I have investigated and heard that other brands of mechanical rests have frozen when they get wet and the temp drops. I think I’m going to start carrying a small bottle of lock de-icer! PS. I’m going back up high to take a friend for second rifle season….we’ll see what else happens.

        • SoleAdventure

          I’ve heard nothing but great things about QAD’s customer service. I suppose most mechanical rests could become frozen, but the alternative (whisker biscuit type) isn’t much better with precip and/or freezing temps. Hmm…

        • Terry Howe

          I must admit I just use the old whisker biscuit for the KISS principle. Anyway, enjoying the write up. Sounds very Coloradoish so far.

          • Jeff Kowell

            I started with a brush style rest (Octane Hostage Pro) on my bow and changed over because the brushes were relatively fragile and wore quickly, changing my shot. That being said, when I pay $$$ for some “hunting” or “professional” gear, I expect it to work under duress. Especially stuff I hang my safety or well-being in the field on.

  • Al Quackenbush

    I have been looking forward to your recap, Mark. Great writing and photography. Sounds like lessons were handed out in rapid fashion. Those deadfalls are nuts, aren’t they? I still have bad dreams about skirting them. Can’t wait to hear the rest of your journey!

    • SoleAdventure

      Thanks, Al! I knew the deadfalls would be a challenge; the most difficult ones to deal with are the mid-height trees that you don’t know if you can climb over, or if you should duck under. Either choice is usually the wrong one. LOL!

    • Sean Fullerton

      And always amazed at how big some of those trees were! Let look large when standing up but when you have to climb over or under them it is stunning!

  • Aznealz

    Good narrative and storytelling here Mark. Navigating deadfall, on a hunt, with a backpack, in the snow, ranks high on my least favorite parts of backcountry hunting list. I’ve also fallen prey to the phantom trail experience. It’s all part of the package I suppose. Can’t wait for chapter two!

    • SoleAdventure

      Thanks, Neal! The deadfalls certainly slowed us down; what amazes me is how well (and fast!) big elk can maneuver in this terrain.

  • Rob McConnell

    Loving this! I use the same bag, although i DIDNT give it enough time to loft before i hopped in my last night hunting. it was a cold first couple of hours, that’s for sure. But early morning when the temps got down to 22 in the tent, i was fine. Reading your story makes me feel so grateful that i can spend my summer scouting, and that 3 hour drive to elk camp doesn’t seem so far!

    • SoleAdventure

      I’ve used the Zissou in the low-20s and upper-teens, and it has been great. Before this I was using a Marmot bag, which was nice, but the DriDown tech is reassuring. I’m jealous of your proximity to the mountains! I wish I had the time and money to get out there more often.

  • Allan K.

    Good introduction Mark, can’t wait to read about the rest of the trip. Sounds like you kept it going and met your objective for the first day…. hoping your determination remained throughout the trip. I had a couple firsts happen to me on my Kentucky Elk hunt, but all turned out well.

    • SoleAdventure

      Thanks, Allan! I’m always learning something when I’m hunting; a trip of this scale just magnifies the opportunity to learn such lessons.

  • Mark Mortensen

    Fantastic read. Keep it coming!!

    • SoleAdventure

      Will do! :-)

  • Sagebrush Rise

    Yup, Colorado can be a b!tch (as I write this powered by a generator 3 weeks after floods) but it’s so worth it. Great read so far – looking forward to the rest of the story…

    • SoleAdventure

      Good luck with the recovery, bud! Hope things get back to “normal” soon.

  • Jess delo

    Enticing part I! Can’t wait to read more of what is in store for you guys!

    • SoleAdventure

      Thanks, Jess!

  • Tom Sorenson

    Ahhhh, yes, elk hunts have a way of ignoring our meticulous plans. But, you guys rock for forging through anyway and not allowing it to set your spirits back. My brother and I can get pretty discouraged pretty easily when plans get knocked off kilter! Unexpected hunting pressure did it for me this year. Can’t wait to read the rest – and, by golly, Colorado is beautiful. Idaho ain’t no slouch, but man I wish we had those massive aspen groves!

  • Toby Gangler

    Great write up Mark! The pursuit of elk seems to alway be that of suprises! I honestly can’t remember one elk hunt going the way I had planned it…
    Can’t wait to hear more!

    • SoleAdventure

      Thanks, Toby. And congrats to you guys on a great season so far!!!

  • Doug Graver

    Great job Mark. Those first day trials can really change things in a hurry. It sounds like you were able to scramble though…

  • Zekeob

    Great stuff Mark! Do you have a YouTube Channel?