Elk Hunting, Meat, and Idiots

Benjamin David | October 18, 2016

Elk 2016 Back Strap

I’ve been out elk hunting with my girlfriend. She has a few tags to fill, and so I’ve been supporting her effort to do that. It’s the reason that its been a while since I posted anything.

She filled her elk tag, as you can see from the feature photo of two beautiful backstraps. We butchered it, and we’ve been busy processing, grinding, sausage making, etc.

Elk hunting can be a little time consuming if you aren’t as fortunate as some. And by some, I mean those who just so happen to run into a bunch of elk whilst cruising on an atv, 200 yards from where they dragged their massive camper trailer. We weren’t as fortunate. We put in 5 days and a few nights, averaging between 8.5 and 10 miles on foot, much of it in snowshoes, and a few cold tent camping nights down to 15 degrees before my girlfriend tagged out 7 days into the season. Here is a picture of a nice pond with a beaver dam, as well as a road that was blocked by trees that went down under heavy snow fall and high winds during our hunt.

beaver damn elk hunt

down trees on snow covered road

The elk hunting pressure of rifle season is outrageous. Guides must be instructing knit wits to shoot at anything that moves, at any distance. I can’t imagine any other reason for hearing so many consecutive shots, firing so frequently, when nobody is harvesting an animal.

It’s obvious to me that if it takes more than three shots to take an animal, let alone continue to miss one, that the shot is unethical, and you probably shouldn’t have taken the first one to begin with.

Even if someone did hit an animal after three rounds, what are the chances the shot is going to be well placed. Its more likely the shooter will injure the animal, or the shooter isn’t going to track a wounded animal. Shooting 500 yards across a meadow, because that is how far an ATV could take a hunter, doesn’t make me confident that the hunter will chase a wounded animal a few thousand yards off of a two track and up any sort of elevations through dense tree fall and snow.

I won’t say much more about it, besides how unethical it is, and to those folks or the folks who profit off of that kind of guiding, eat a bag of Richards.

My girlfriend took her elk at 190 yards with a single shot to vitals, and the elk dropped within 20 yards. We are thankful for the meat, a successful hunt, and no predator encounters in bear and wolf country. She didn’t get the bull she wanted, but we have a freezer full of ethically harvested meat.

I’ll post up about all the great things we’ve been doing with the meat, and tools we’ve been using to process the meat soon. As of right now we have put the rebuilt kitchen aid mixer with meat grinder attachment and a Hakka Sausage Stuffer (7Lb/3L) to use.

Also as far as hunting elk is concerned, we had a lot of good action with the Mac Daddy Elk Grunt Bugle. The external reed is easy to use, and we got a bull to get within 100 yards in thick trees under heavy hunting pressure. Unfortunately, no good shot presented itself. The trees were so thick it would have required a bull come in to about 40 yards, but for all the hunting pressure, I can still vouch for the effectiveness of the Mac Daddy.

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Written By Benjamin David
Benjamin David is an avid outdoorsman with a wide range of experience hunting and fishing. He brings his knowledge and wisdom from hunting in a variety of environments, to Sportsman's Magazine, and is a major contributor of content. Leave Ben a comment or question, and he'll do his best to reply.

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