Well, back from elk hunting for a whole day before heading out tomorrow morning with my daughter for her deer hunting season.
Obviously, if I was successful, there would be victorious pictures of dead animals. Instead...no pictures right now. It is a case of close, but no cigar. This is one of the first times I have burned enough leave to actually hunt the middle of the week(usually, I take a day or two off to hunt long-weekends.
It's a double-edged sword. On the one hand, I had the better part of 50,000 acres basically to myself...but, there was no one else to help push animals around. For the better part of 3 days, I chased a herd of 18-20 elk from ridge to ridge, and was constantly outguessed by them. With no other hunter pressure, there were just too many options open to them, and I was never able to properly 'head them off at the pass'. The closest I ever got was about 300 yards, which is no easy shot even with a scope, let alone a muzzle-loader.
It doesn't matter. I was frustrated enough I actually packed up and came home late Thursday night instead of hunting Friday...I wasn't enjoying myself anymore, and I was sore, and wore out from spending 13 hours a day sitting in the 80+ degree afternoon sun. All along, I have said the most important hunting season this fall is taking my daughter out...and I didn't want to go into that season in the mood I was in Thursday.
A day at home has helped. The alarm is set to go off at 4:30, and I am excited. My daughter appears to be excited, but my wife also said she has expressed some doubts to her about her ability to actually kill something. Not sure how I will handle that yet if it becomes an issue. Deep breathes and patience are the word of the day.