Elk and Kids

Mid-September is an amazing time to hunt big game, right during the middle of the elk rut! And during this time of the year the weather is usually mild, not too hot, not too cold, which makes for an ideal time to get the younger kids out into the woods.

autumn elk hunting with kids
                                                   Autumn colors


It was late in the afternoon on September 20th when we arrived at camp. The elk hunt had been going for almost a week, but this was our first opportunity to get away due to work and school. The weather on this particular day was sunny and clear, however there was a  chill in the air that no doubt let us know fall had arrived. Many of the aspen trees had already turned a rich golden color and their leaves trembled slightly as we unloaded our ATVs. Our plan was to go for a quick ride to scout the area before dark. We quickly gathered up our gear and headed out on our 4 wheelers.


elk hunting with kids, 4 wheelers
                                    Riding 4 wheelers


We hadn't gone two hundred yards when right up ahead we saw several elk slip into the timber. Luckily for us we were familiar with the area and knew where the right-hand branch of the trail led. Staying to the right would cause us to loop all the way around to the opposite side of the forest and would then lead us directly back through a meadow that split the timber stand in half. And going that way just might allow us the opportunity to intercept the moving elk. Our plan was set.

Five minutes later we were approaching the target area from the opposite direction, our 4 wheelers humming steadily as we scanned the timber ahead. Suddenly the rumble of my sons ATV quieted from behind. Instantaneously I stopped and whipped my head around just in time to see him dismount. Without any other signal of acknowledgement, I knew he had seen elk. Like a man on a mission he proceeded to retrieve his gun from his scabbard, focused solely on the task at hand.


cow elk hunting with boys
                                      The boys with their prize


cow elk hunting with boys
                                             Me and the boys


Looking ahead, I immediately saw the figure of a lone cow elk lurking in the shadows some 80 yards away. As I pointed out the elk to my grandson, who was riding along with me, I noticed movement further into the trees. Obscured from view, there were obviously other elk nearby and now they were getting nervous. A good 15 seconds had passed since we stopped our vehicles, but my son was now setup and ready for the shot. I barely noticed the blast from the .340 Weatherby as the cow elk dropped in her tracks! It hadn't even been 20 minutes since our arrival and we were done!


elk hunting, camp fire
                                      Sitting around the campfire


elk huntking, throwing rocks at lake
                             Throwing rocks


elk hunting, high mountain lake
                                      Playing around at the lake


The rest of the trip was spent riding 4 wheelers, throwing rocks into the lake, sitting by the campfire and just enjoying time with family during the spectacular autumn season!