August 2014 marks the time an open conversation began with a buddy of mine. Drew mentioned that Elk Camp could have another hunter and that the success has been solid with mule deer and elk. I found that exciting of course, but more importantly I thought about the feeling that Elk Camp brings to the soul, my soul….As I was thinking about this today, the feeling of my writing continues to excite me. I can recollect on what it’s truly all about.
Cold nights, cooking over an open fire, prepping food, sleeping bags, plain exhaustion, planning the next days hunt plan, lights in the darkness, creepy steps and crackles from wildlife around you, and the camaraderie between the guys. I actually compare it to that amazing feeling from a cup of hot chocolate that soothes your soul on a super cold winter day.
As I packed for the trip, the excitement built. As I drove out of the airport towards this new mountain and adventure, the mystery of what would occur in the next 10 days was just fun to think about. But the best part was driving up that mountain and seeing the beauty of what I am seeing which maybe 1% of our country actually gets to see or will ever see. It is an absolute privilege to be there and on top of it, I have a tag in my pocket that could be filled with meat in the freezer, memories for years and a potential mount if I got the big one! All these feelings bring that excitement of elk camp to life. There truly isn’t anything like it.
How did this thought come up?
As I was driving home tonight, I turned right at a red light and looked ahead for the next mile. All I saw were cars and break lights and my immediate thoughts were, “Oh, more traffic.” Day to day business is one thing but when you are out in the mountains, you truly are humbled, alone, and free. The daily hustle and bustle doesn’t matter anymore because the mountain lions and bears don’t care about what you did last night with paperwork. Nor do the elk you are hunting. Anxiety of traffic moved to the soothe of what the outdoors bring to mind…. Ahhhh, yes…
What other thoughts might have brought this to mind..?
Well, I feel that not many have experienced such a rush, excitement or what elk camp is all about all together. It could be that you’ve only hunted Whitetails all your life, it could be that you don’t think you would enjoy it out west, it could be that you’ve been saving to do one of these hunts and will be doing it in the next couple years, or that you just never will want to because sleeping outside in the cold sounds miserable. Others, might not realize or see my same viewpoint while others might sit back and think about what they truly do enjoy about elk camp aside for killing an animal. Nevertheless, this year I only received points out west for elk and am missing that elk camp feeling. I’ll have to think about the joys from afar but I do look forward to seeing everyone’s trophies in those instant memories called pictures while knowing behind the scenes the memories of camp will be with them forever whether they realize it or not.
P.S. I know you are wondering how was the hunt…. 3 mule deer and a cow elk down. I unfortunately didn’t use my tag but the tag sandwich was worth the trip any day.