Post holing up to my thighs I could tell by the perfect grains of snow surrounding each footprint I was gaining ground on a small group. Partway down the ridge they changed course and headed off route, down a steep gully. I followed in hot pursuit.

We didn’t talk about it much. I told her I was going elk hunting. She stared at me, madder because she already knew.

Eighteen hours after leaving the house, and 20 miles after leaving the truck, we reached our rig. With the elk in the back and the heater cranked in the cab, we headed for home.

Impatiently, he surveyed the clearing and with it the motionless pack of camo-clad men laying between him and the other bull.

Sitting atop a cliff-band, the elk had run straight at him. He practically had to shoot out of self defense. Once hit, the bull fell over the cliff ledge. A grizzly fed on the gut pile overnight but with the help of friends the meat was all packed out the following day.

My son pulls his camo ball cap tight over his eyes. My daughter grabs her leotard and jumps out of the car. She has gymnastics for the next two and a half hours. The boys are headed to the hills. For nearly two weeks we’ve been running in high gear. My wife has been, Read More

I started shooting in the spring and slowly began to get the hang of things. Summer travel put a dent in my practice schedule and scouting has been non existent. Now I’m scrambling to get ready.

When I began my apprenticeship as an alpinist, someone told me, “to be successful in the mountains, one’s ability to suffer is mandatory.” Turns out it’s helpful in elk hunting too.

It was still raining as I settled into my bag under the flimsy yellow tarp, a gentle but relentless rain that fell as though it meant to keep it up all night, all day or all week. A mixed blessing…

I’ve made a habit over the past few years of shooting elk farther and farther from the truck, in places with no motorized access and only my back to pack em out on. Many have asked why I’m willing to put in so much effort and, at times, suffering. For me the answer is, Read More