Originally Posted by JadeRunner
So Bill, I don't believe I heard how you did hunting this year.
Young antlerless bull. Looked right at me, and the absence of antlers and a thick coat made him appear to be a youngish and decent cow, which illusion was not removed until I set about removing his innards and flipped him over. My focus was on getting out the tools of the trade from my pack, and my novice assistant started asking about where the udders should be.
"Why, right in front of [graphic anatomical terminology]", I said without looking up.
Then I looked up while he was messing with the belly button. Only it wasn't a belly button.
"Holy crap...", I said mostly to myself, knowing there were bull restrictions in the area, and that my OTC bull tags would do me no good. Rechecked the forehead, not even a bud. Ivories were more like puppy teeth. About 6 mos. old, not even quite descended, but good sized nonetheless. Fantastically beautiful, VERY thick coat which will adorn my newly built rec room wall in about 6-8 months.
That's why cow tags are more formally known as 'antlerless', which he most certainly was. Whew, no worries. Speaking of being 100% sure of your target... He was only 85 lbs. of boned out meat, but the most tender I have ever butchered. Falls apart. Only the forelegs are a bit tough - stew meat. The brisket, flank steaks, rump steaks, neck meat are incredible. CWD prion-free.
He was the only elk I even saw, 5 days in; being a novice at being alive he walked out right in front of me, dumb as a certain hair cutter in about the same color. My buddies pulled out two very nice cows (one very large and fat, the other about the age of my bull) closing day morning (long hunt). After a week of hiking 3 ft. snow and blowdown timber, hiking thousands of vertical feet in the dark over a week's time and calling it 'fun', they watched as 8 wandered over a ridge 40 yards from them, fairly low elevation, and 30 yards from the Holy Cross jeep trail on the easiest hunt of the trip, uphill from the trail even (conveniently thoughtful of the elk) - and took their pick.
Ever seen a YJ carrying two elk stuffed in the back?
Ever seen two guys trying to fold two elk into such a space?:p