You finally stir awake. The sky is a dark hazy blue, but the horizon tells you sunrise is coming. Last night sleep came easy, but it was not restful. You spent the hours listening for bugles and anticipating your wake-up. The morning comes and you are happy to rise.
In whispers and deliberate movements you collect what you need. Your binos, a couple warm layers to suffice until sunrise, a camera, a small stove, water, and instant coffee. Silently you slip into the trees and in the darkness you head to your lookout point. The aspens open up and your eyes rise….the hillside falls away steeply. You see long ridges and deep canyons spilling towards you. A meandering creek works its way through the valley below. A mixture of timber, meadows, burn, and aspens complete the landscape.
Silently you find a place to sit. Your binoculars meet your eyes and the search begins.
A smile is exchanged. Elk have been spotted.
Mark and I spent the last week scouting for elk in the Manti Unit, just south of Salt Lake City, UT. It was the kind of experience that reminded me why I love the outdoors, the west, my husband, and yes… even hunting.
Each day went like the last. An early morning wake-up and glassing for elk. Hot dark coffee and a nibble of whatever we could find in the truck (pretzels and a few shortbread cookies). Around 9 or 10 each morning, or whenever we felt that the elk had bedded down, we went adventuring and looking for new country. Via the Tundra or Rokon two wheel drive motorcycle we explored back roads and found forgotten vistas.
We crept through aspen groves in search of sign and hoping to get a closer peak at some of the animals who inhabit this beautiful country. We moved as quietly as we could and used the wind to keep our scent down.
In addition to the gorgeous animals, the landscape was truly breathtaking. The aspens were on fire! Without a doubt it was one of the most beautiful times of the year in that area.
Each evening as the sun started to fall, we would find ourselves on a new ridge, looking into some of the country’s most remote and amazing land.
What I love about hunting is the beauty, the adventure, and the company.