• ChrisB

    Those deadfalls look nasty as hell. Sounds like this part of the trip is the ‘elk education’ part.

    • SoleAdventure

      It amazes me how swiftly a large animal can move through this stuff. It certainly “schooled” us.

  • Jerud Earnest

    We just wanted confirm that we could go all day without running into other hunters. We also went all day without running into elk. Not quite the success we’d hoped for.

  • Tom Sorenson

    Glad you shared this with readers. I’ve had countless days like this one while elk hunting – I swear it just makes the good days sweeter, though!

    • SoleAdventure

      You’ve got that right!!

  • Jerry Orloski

    Had a day like this on my DIY OTC elk hunt, a day and a half actually. No bugles, terrain kicking our butts, wondering if it was worth the vacation time, time away from family, and all around cost. In the end it was worth it we moved a few miles north and got into elk. We didn’t kill but we finished out the hunt in elk every morning and evening.

    • SoleAdventure

      Adapt and overcome. I’m sure it was much better to end your trip with action, despite not filling a tag.

  • Aznealz

    I’m also glad you included this day and experience. Backcountry hunting elk… anything, will kick your butt, and brain. I know this feeling and sense of senselessness of it all too well. It’s difficult to keep your head in the game when physical and mental exhaustion take their toll.

    The deadfall looks particularly daunting. It’s the devil’s Jenga game to negotiate through that stuff. Keep it coming Mark and Jerud.

    • SoleAdventure

      Devil’s Jenga. I’m going to hang onto that phrase. ;-)

  • Scott Hutchison

    What a day….yikes. Thank you for including this tiresome day. I was beginning to feel last night myself that I was merely ‘hiking with a weapon’ yet know that each day leaves something to be learned even if it is not where to tread. Looking forward to your next posts!

    • SoleAdventure

      Thanks, Scott. Days like this are certainly part of the process, and as Tom commented above, it these days that make the good days that much sweeter.

  • Tom Ryle

    The lows can be the most challenging part of elk hunting. Hunting elk alone intensely magnifies them. Without a hunting partner to help unravel the situation at hand, prematurely admitting defeat is the likely outcome. The list of reasons to throw in the towel is lengthy and most are legit. Pushing through is where bowhunting gets very personal. There’s just something about exiting a warm sleeping bag to the sting of cold mountain air when you’re beat down and exhausted. A good hunting partner makes it bearable.

    • SoleAdventure

      Amen, Tom. I can’t imagine making it through several days like this without a partner there. Even when words aren’t spoken, the presence of someone sharing the experience is invaluable.

  • Retired2Hunt

    I had planned to do my Elk hunt this year solo – 9 days in the deep wilderness alone. Thankfully I met two fellow hunters that wanted hunter camaraderie… or an extra back for hauling meat. I think it was the best thing to combat the extreme physical and mental exhaustion of days 4 thru 8 . Great read on the REAL situations of elk hunting. Looking forward to… as Paul Harvey Jr. would say… “the rest of the story”.

    • SoleAdventure

      Thanks. That camaraderie makes all of the difference. Doing anything alone for 9 days can be tough, much less elk hunting alone in the backcountry for that length of time.

  • j. berg

    without these days, we would never know the true meaning of success.

    • SoleAdventure

      So true!