It was a father daughter weekend. Cole and Sharon traveled late in the week for Cole to participate in the state 4-H shooting sports competition leaving Katelyn and I to fend for ourselves.
Although she had to practice with her horse for upcoming 4-H competitions, we decided to take a hike in the mountains with our good friend Gale Smith. The hike was more than exercise; it was to scout for elk. Driving in we glassed more than 100 cows and calves on a huge open hillside as they fed and played, but we were heading in another direction.
About two hours into the hike we stopped on a saddle between two meadows and I soon spotted a pair of coyotes hunting on the adjacent hillside. We dined on Pop Tarts and granola bars as we watched the pair and then I decided it would be fun to call the pair in close. Our pup Sage was along and she needed the experience if we hoped to make her a coyote decoy dog.
Immediately the calls lured in an angry mule deer doe and soon after the coyotes followed, but before the coyotes reached us a commotion to the left drew our attention. Cow and calf elk began spewing from the nearby timber moving right at us. I grabbed Sage and held her collar while Katelyn grabbed our small video camera to record the event. Over the course of the next five minutes nearly 100 elk streamed by. Of course Sage went berserk hoping to herd the great smelling gang of ungulates. That's the full-time job of a border collie: herding. Even so, elk chattered and walked by our hidden position. It was a memorable event.
We wrapped our seven-mile hike with several more elk sightings and ended it hiding from a deluge of hail. In brief, it was the perfect day and I marked another spot on the map for a future elk rendezvous.
Dad, I think Sage passed out from an overdose of elk scent.