It started out with a new plan and strategy. Instead of hunting low, we decided to hunt middle ground, or I guess a transition area from the low lands and the high lands... But before we set off to hunt, we were going to glass the ridges way up high to see if the elk were doing what they did last year. Just as it got light enough to glass, a heavy fog/mist/rain set in, right over the ridge top and then slowly worked it's way down to us. It was very wet, and cold and visibility was horribly.
Anyway, there's elk low, the problem is, it is so thick and the terrain is straight up and down, we're at a huge disadvantage. You would almost have to hunt the area like you would blacktail deer. Just sitting and waiting off a trail, but what trail? There are hundreds and several with fresh sign. The only distinct clue that we have gathered from hunting low is that everything was headed high, thus why we chose to hunt mid, which was still lowish. Quickly, we were reminded of what we saw the day before... Fresh sign, all headed up. About mid morning-ish, we came up with a new plan. To leave base camp and set out for 3 days, up high and mid-high, so that's what we did. My buddy Curtis and his dad traveled about halfway up the mountain and my father and I went all the way to the top. Most definitely, one of the most grueling climbs that I have ever done, in zero to nothing flat, we climbed 2000 feet. No break in the trail, no side hilling, it's just straight up and quick, but we made it. I am actually huddled in my tent at 9000+ feet right at this very moment. The wind hasn't stopped pounding us, it's howling through the top of this ridge so the thought of hearing a bugle is almost non existent unless it lets up. We brought as much water as our backs could handle up here, but our supplies are depleting quickly. This is a huge concern of mine at the moment, almost more than arrowing an elk. Water is scarce up here, but it looks like there's a spring about a mile straight down off the other side of the mountain. Tomorrow, we're work the ridge to east, there's sign all over up here... If we don't see anything or hear anything up top, we'll drop down and look for water. Where do you look for elk? Find the nastiest, thickest, steepest country, country no man would want to be in... That's where you'll find them.
Highlight of my evening was a phone call to my wife, laying out atop the ridge with my pops soaking in the sun as it peeked through the clouds... And crawling into my sleeping bag. Hoping the best for the morning.