So, there is a reason it's called hunting, and not killing. From the point of view of filling my tag, my trip elk hunting was not a success.
As far as spending time in the woods? Well...that was nice.
It's a little different type of terrain than where I was hunting deer a few weeks ago. Pend Oreille County(pronounce Pond-a-Ray, one word, and not like PEND ORIELLE, as I learned this weekend)(Oops), is located north of Spokane, and for the most part is between the Pend Oreille River and Idaho. It's home to some 13,000 people, spread over 1,425 square miles(about 15% bigger than Rhode Island, with 1.5% of it's population).
That makes it a great place for white tail deer, and even moose...but no elk, as far as I could tell.
I'm not alone in lacking success...in 2012, 205 muzzle loader hunters harvested 11 bulls in the Selkirk GMU. Which is better than the 9 elk harvested by 209 hunters in my historical hunting ground, the Bethel GMU.
Anyway...it wasn't a bad hunting trip. I didn't get rained on, or snowed on. I saw plenty of deer, and moose. It was the first time I have seen moose, in the wild. Wow. They almost don't look real, they are so big. Their hind quarters look bigger than the deer I shot this year...but, then you see their lower legs, and it doesn't look like they should be able to stand, their lower legs are so coltish.
Moose is a once in a lifetime harvest in Washington. You can expect to apply for 10-13 years before getting enough points to be selected in the lottery, and if you are successful in filling your tag, you are done moose hunting in Washington. If you are not successful(success rate is 93%), then you can draw again...in another 12-13 years. I have been paying for the points a few years now, and it's nice to know that in 8-10 years, I might know where to find a moose.
For now...I know where to find my family, and my shower.