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dgrad

Good Day Shed Hunting

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My dog Buddy and I hiked over to pick up an elk shed that I had spotted in my spotting scope. When we got to the shed, I started following tracks hoping to find the other side. Then I saw two bulls about half a mile across the drainage. One of the bulls was a large seven point and he had only one antler. I sat down and started glassing for the shed antler, and I was also watching the bull hoping to see the other antler drop. But about an hour later the bull went into the timber to bed down for the day and he was still packing the other antler. I figured the second antler would drop sometime that day, so I was making plans on how I could get close to that area the next morning, and hike down to look for those sheds. As I sat there I spotted three more bulls down about 700 yards below the bull with one antler. Those three bulls still had their antlers, One was a nice 6x6, and another was a bigger 7x7. But the third was a big 8x7. The next morning, I parked my four wheeler on top of the mountain across the drainage. Buddy and I hiked down a ridge that would take us near where I had seen the one-horned bull the day before. It was a nice sunny morning when we left the Honda. When I got to the area where I wanted to leave the ridge ans start hunting, I took this picture.

 

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I stood there glassing all the elk trails where I had seen the one-horn the day before for five minutes or so. Then I turned around to see where Buddy was, and he was gone. Then I saw him 300 yards down the ridge below me, and he was at a point where the ridge drops off and becomes really steep as it continues down to the creek. Then he disappeared. If I had not looked when I did, I would have no clue where he went. He was going down to where I had seen the other tree bulls the day before. I did not want to go down that far, but I didn't want to start hollering and trying to call him back because I did not want to spook any bulls that might be in the area. So I took off my pack and laid it down before I started down the ridge to find Buddy. The wind started to blow and I could see dark clouds approaching. I knew a storm was blowing in fast. It started snowing these little balls of snow and the wind picked up to about 20 miles an hour. The balls of snow were not falling, they were streaking by horizontally. If Buddy had been with me, I would have turned around and hiked back up to the Honda and gone home to wait for a better day. But Buddy was not with me and I had to go find him. When I was 700 yards down the steep ridge from where I left my pack and about 150 yards above the creek, I heard elk hooves clicking on river rock and splashing in the creek below me. I started looking through my binos looking for the bulls. I spotted the 6x6 coming up out of the creek, and then the 7x7. Then the 8x7 that had been with these two bulls came up out of the creek. He had no antlers, and I could see his bloody head. And now even though the weather was nasty, I was excited because I knew those big antlers were down below me somewhere. I took this picture right after seeing the bulls go up into the timber.

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Edited by dgrad

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After I took that picture I continued down the ridge and I found Buddy. I looked at him through my binos, and I could see he was eating something, and the big seven point left antler was laying about three feet to the left of him.

 

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As I approached Buddy, he left whatever he was eating and went to the fresh shed. He moved it and started licking it. He loves to lick fresh elk sheds especially if they have blood on them. When he was two months old, I started training him on fresh elk sheds. I always carry elk jerky in my pack and when he finds a shed, he will stay with it until I get there. Then I tell him good boy and reward him with jerky. But this time he would have to wait for his jerky because my pack was a half a mile up the ridge above us. As I walked up to him licking the shed, I saw he had been eating a pile of elk pellets. I knelt down and felt the pellets and they were still warm I had seen him eat elk pellets before, but only if they were still warm. When I stood back up, I saw the eight point right antler laying in the edge of some brush 20 yards down below. Buddy does not chase deer or elk. When the bulls saw him coming down the ridge, they took off down toward the creek. I walked behind Buddy as he licked the shed, and I lined up this pic intending to show the other shed down below. But those little streaking balls of snow that look like comets make the ivory on the antler tips hard to see in this picture.

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Edited by dgrad

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I cropped the last pic above to show where the antler lays. The red line on the left points to two ivory tips, the G-1 and G-2. The middle red line points to the tip of the G-4, and the other line to the tip of the G-5. I could clearly see the antler, it just does not show up well in the picture.

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When I walked down to get the eight point, I took this picture. You can see the burr and the tip of the G-1 and G-2 laying uphill. You can see the tip of the G-4 and G-5 sticking up our of the brush downhill.

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After I picked up both sheds we went down to the bottom into the timber to get out of the wind and weather. I sat under a large Douglas Fir for half an hour admiring the new sheds. Then when the storm broke, I realized the Honda was 3/4 of a mile up on top, and the mountain is steep and these sheds are heavy. I took a couple of pics on a break hiking out.

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Edited by dgrad

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Another pic

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When we got back to the Honda, I put my pack on the front rack, and then Bungeed the sheds down on top. The main beam tips nearly touched the ground. When I took off my pack and took off down the ridge, I was pi$$#& off at my dog, and when the storm blew in I was really mad. When I caught up with him, I planned to scold him good. But when I found him my attitude changed. When we got back up to my pack, I gave him all the jerky he wanted. He found these sheds, all I did was pack them out for him.

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A pic back home. They weighed 28 pounds. The main beams were 53". The G-4's were 22" and 23"

With an estimated 40" inside spread they scored a tad over 387"

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Super find! Nice!

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