The weekend started by taking the rifle out for a long walk, otherwise known as elk hunting. Going into it I didn't have much confidence in the last day of the rifle season, but I decided to use the hike to explore a new area. Coming across bear tracks when you're out hiking always puts a new edge on things, but when it's obviously a sow with cubs it definitely makes you pay attention!
I wasn't about to let seeing some tracks ruin my hunt or deter me from the area, so I continued on up the trail. As I was trying to find a way across the gully I found this really cool claw. Not sure what it is, but I think it's pretty neat.
Slowly working my way across the north-facing hillside I found some heavily used bedding areas and was getting excited when I spooked a cow that spooked every other elk in the draw. I tried to find a spot where I might see the elk on the opposing side, but couldn't before the herd had worked it's way out of my life forever. This is definitely an area that I'll be heading back into, but I don't know if that will be this year or next.
I finished the day sitting on a hillside above a group of does watching the light fade on the rifle elk season. The next day I was really feeling all the hiking, so I stayed around the house and tried to get some honey-dos off the list. Fixing posts on the patio and running kids around is all part of the job, but when we pulled the cards from our back yard trail cams I got excited to set some traps.
Got the traps set and planned on taking it easy with the wife until we saw some turkeys in the yard and Atley wanted to fill his tag. We snuck up behind the flock and Atley made a great shot on a bird, then he handed me the gun and I couldn't help but fill my tag too. I had to leave to pick Caden up from a sleepover and told Atley to take care of the birds. When I got back I was pretty impressed that Atley had both birds cleaned out and ready to go. Pretty fun, and really tasty!
Started the next day with a family breakfast and cleaning up around the house. After our turkey nugget lunch I started getting the bug to get out and do some fishing! I haven't been out for months, but the itch seems to be coming back and I wanted to hit a local stream for the afternoon. Started out hot with an olive jig fly that caught a few then turned off cold.
Made the switch over to a Purple Haze to throw at some risers and picked up a few more fish. If they were rising consistently the fishing was pretty simple, just put a good cast in front of them without spooking the fish and you'd get an eat. I was working my way upstream switching between the small parachute dry and a dry/dropper set-up when I tried a Barr's Emerger pattern for the first time. Why haven't I used this fly before? Several more fish came to hand, including a nice one to end the day.
The next day I woke up to dogs barking and a headache. Whenever I have traps set I make sure to check them often and I was sure glad that I did this morning. Both traps that I had out had a fox in them! First catches ever for me and quite the way to end our Fall Break! Hopefully, Deli's chickens will be a bit safer now...
I'm not sure if a break like this makes it any easier to go back to work, but I'm very thankful for the time to be with my family and to get out into nature.
Hope you're as lucky,