FHL Muzzy Bull Elk Hunt December 21-Jan 1

Bill in SD

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I've been doing lots of research, talking with lots of people, some from this forum regarding my upcoming hunt. My truck is ready, have winch ready, come along, hitch haul, game cart, packs, hunting clothes, camping stuff, 2 muzzys, etc., etc. I haven't hunted FHL for 15 years and it's changed. I got all that paperwork done too. Orientation is Friday the 20th.

I have a friend coming with for a couple days until Christmas Eve, then I am solo. I just turned 57 and have been hunting my whole life. This hunt seems relatively easy compared to Rocky Mountain elk hunts, but no slam dunk for me. The roads will be wet and that will make it tougher I know. Lastly, I've been dealing with a real bad hip for several months. Diagnosis shows a labral tear (cartilage) and onset of arthritis. I took a cortisone shot in October that helped for a couple weeks. It's too soon for another. I did get a platelete rich injection of my own blood, which is supposed to help 2 weeks ago, but it can take 6 weeks. My surgeon is highly respected and got a replacement hip at 58 and is active and skis. Total hip replacement is in my future, I'm just not sure when. I'm able to walk and hike and carry weight, but I get these bad episodes once in a while. Actually the episodes are when I get up from sitting down, mostly getting out of my car if you can believe it. Not all the time, once in a while. Blinding pain for ten or so minutes. I went chukar hunting a couple times in October and was ok. Twisting my hip is really bad. I think I will be physically ok on this elk hunt too. I am extremely stubborn, which is good and bad, lol.

My preferred style of hunting is spotting and stalking. It seems that this is a productive way to hunt FHL elk too.

What have you guys been seeing who have been hunting FHL recently as far as elk? What are some good units to glass in to spot the elk. I'd prefer not to road hunt, not that I am really against it, but it doesn't seem productive. Is road hunting for elk at FHL productive? If so, I will do that, or maybe a combination of driving to glassing spots and just coving country?

Feel free to PM me.
Thanks
Bill
 

Common Sense

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I am green with envy. Enjoy!!!

Use to hunt there years ago, wish I could help you, but you have been there since me.
 

ChrisAMX

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Hip replacement can be a real positive game changer. I had my first one at 52 and the next at 57. I'm 60 now and I still go up some tough terrain here in the Mt. Pinos district.

Good luck on your hunt!
 

gdt

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You'll have a great time. My son took a bull elk 7 years ago there on a youth tag. We did it all, road hunted, hiked to high points and glassed, long walks in the rain when we couldn't drive through the mud. In the end, the best way was that we would drive to areas where we could glass, find elk, then made our stalk. At orientation you will learn where the best elk habitat are. The biologist there is really helpful.
 

QEU

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Bill,
I would definitely help you if I wasn't going out of the country. Unfortunately, I return after the New Year. I am a regular at the base and I have seen some big bulls. It would all depend on what areas are open for you during your hunt. If the roads are dry, hunting should be easy. Our buddy, Live2Hunt, used to help hunters get their bull elk every year. He is no longer with us.

To help you navigate the training areas, I suggest you download the free app Avenza. Once the app is downloaded, you can load "FHL Training Areas" via the app. You will know exactly what area you are in as you drive around with the app on.
 

DAQ80

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Any update on this hunt? Hoping to hear your success story and see some pics!
 

Bill in SD

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A HEARTY thanks to everyone that gave me advice!!! I got my bull, the first day of the season at 8:30am. I'd been preparing since I found out I drew the tag in July. My failing hip and concern about the rain and wet roads sure was on my mind. I didn't want to come home empty handed. My good friend would help for 3 days. First Sat hunted a great location on foot along a river. Jumped a shooter bull like he was a rabbit. He ran off we cow called him back. Wasn't really the bull I was looking for, but didn't want to pass. He REALLY wanted to go into the river valley. He moved out a 1/4 mile in front of us as we walked along the edge of river for cover. Then he came in to the river, broadside at 130 yes. My shot was a little high and forward a bit in the neck. I'd practiced on elk targets and for some reason tended to shoot too forward in the neck. My friend said I'd missed. The bull now came towards us to the river. I loaded another shot, and to my horror about 20 grains of powder were stuck on the inside of the tube. 20 grains of bh209 out of 115 grains. I got to my senses, thinking I'm 50 yds, the gun will go boom. That's what I did and he crashed. I'm sure he was mortally wounded on first shot. Neither shot exited the elk. We recovered one bullet and it was perfectly mushroomed. I texted the biologist and he let me drive my truck right up to the elk. We pulled it to a berm, so it would be easier to load into the truck, which we did. Heck of a hunt, and I was so lucky to have help. As it turned out my hip acted up as I was gutting it. I stood up and almost fell into the gut pile. So blessed to have it work out so well. Couldn't be happier. I'm afraid I'm going to get my hip replaced sooner than later. Cheers Bill
 

Bill in SD

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I didn't read this on the Bh209 site before the hunt. I should have checked. Should have used some dryer sheets in the tubes. Hunting with a muzzy is FAR easier than a bow, but many more picky things to remember than a rifle.

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Bill in SD

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Other than many of the bulls having broken antlers, and the rain this is about as easy of a bull elk hunt as there can be. I was having too much trouble with my hip and worried about the rain to be too picky. I wouldn't pass on this bull on the last day. And I didn't pass at 8:30 am on the first day. No regrets. Last year there were 3 tags for the 79 max preference point holders. I'm very lucky with these kinds of draws. I drew a desert bighorn about 12 years ago with a 1 in 250 chance.
 

DAQ80

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Congrats bill! Getting the hunt done early is awesome with your hip issues, the biologist there is awesome though as far as helping you out.
What training area was this? Never had that problem with the BH209, but i use a different tube.
 

P304X4

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Great looking "freezer filler" and a good story to go with it, congrats on the hunt. At almost 70 I have to much wrong with me to even think of hunting anything other than squirrel or rabbit at very close range with a small cal. weapon. Hope the hip replacement works out and you have several more years of successful hunting!
 

hntboar

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Sounds like it was a good hunt., Sorry i did not get back to you sooner but you did good anyway. What day did you kill your Elk? Was it Saturday the 28th? I was there and I thought i saw your truck on the right side of 25 by the creek bed?
 

CalPoly2015

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Congrats on the successful hunt! On another note, I hope you're hip is doing well. I design total hip/knee replacements, and luckily with new pain management techniques and implantation techniques using modern materials/designs, they're all done outpatient (done at a surgery center, walking 30 mins after surgery, home in 2 hours, home physical therapy, etc.). No issues with skiing/hunting etc after recovery. If you every have any questions send me a message.
 


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