Our hunting ground for the week would be the uneven terrain of southeastern Colorado. Whether we'd find elk in the steep timber or the alfalfa-rich meadows, we were confident they were around. For the record, we spent most of the trip around 7,500 feet above sea level.
The author and his guide regularly visited the location photographed above, which offered a "view from the top," so to speak. It offered a look at miles and miles of land—not that the elk offered any cooperation, at least early in the week.
The rougher the terrain, the more likely you are to find an elk. With thick timber surrounding us and rain the forecast, we armed ourselves with Ruger'sM-77 Hawkeye—the stainless steel barrel and synthetic stock would be required to survive the beating that the environment was sure to heap on it.
It took until the final morning of the trip, but the author was finally able to get a legal bull in his sights. It took an hour and a half hike, all uphill, in total darkness...but a bull waited at the end of the long road. No complaints here.
I first hunted Colorado for elk in the fall of 2013...and never saw a thing. Cervus canadensis may as well have been Latin for unicorn, because we’d seen just as many of the latter as the former. And, despite my best efforts, that outcome remained in the back of my mind as I returned to the Centennial state in October 2015 for redemption. I was due to join Leupold Optics, Ruger and Nosler for a five-day adventure in the mountains of southeastern Colorado, alongside the fine folks from Fred Eichler's FullDraw Outfitters. As I came to find out, however, the story couldn't have gone any differently. How so? Check out the photo gallery embedded above for more.