Dream Bull
Field & Stream|Volume 125 - Issue 3, 2020
It’s one thing to tag your first-ever bull elk. It’s another to do so exactly how, and where, you’d long imagined it
Will Brantley

FOR A FEE, Travis Reed and Miles Fedinec of Western Sky Outfitters will treat you to a week of misery in Colorado’s San Juan Mountains. There are no showers and only restless tent sleep. You’ll burn so many calories each day that you’ll eat about anything when you get back to camp, which may be why the highest praise I’ve ever heard about the food there is that it’ll make a turd.

Their hunting camp is not for everyone. But in September, it sits in some of the finest elk country anywhere. It’s all public land but not pressured much, because you really need horses and mules to pack the 10 miles in. Still, it would be bad form to hunt the place, kill an elk, and then share GPS coordinates to it online.

HARD LUCK

I’ve had a rough go at elk. Several years ago, I drew a cow tag in my home state of Kentucky and spent a couple of weeks floundering around trying to fill it. I never came close. I didn’t get one in Idaho, where we rode a train of farting mules into the mountains each morning before daybreak, glassed empty hillsides all day, and then rode back down in the dark. In New Mexico, there were elk everywhere, but that didn’t seem to make a difference. On the last morning, before we left camp, I got to take a picture of all my friends smiling with their trophy elk racks. I was the perfect cameraman since I was the only person in camp who hadn’t shot a bull.

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