Bonsai Scouting for Elk

I just returned from a trip back to Wyoming to see my mom, dad and sister, as well as to do some "Bonsai" elk scouting for my hunt in September. Bonsai scouting is a term referring to scouting a hunting area as hard as you can in a very short amount of time, usually due to the fact that you are saving all of your vacation time for hunting season. This is certainly true in my case. After putting in some time studying topo maps of the Dubois region, I was able to narrow down a few places that I wanted to scout for signs of elk, and hopefully see some critters. I'll be hunting an area 67, which I have never hunted before, and to me nothing compares to actually putting your boots on and seeing the land with your own eyes.

We got to the area on Saturday afternoon and spent most of the afternoon driving around getting the lay of the land and a general feel for the area. I hiked around a few areas and found some sign that should be a good indicator of elk activity. I found a few wallows, rubbed trees, tracks, poop, bedding areas and travel routes, and hopefully I can put the pieces of the puzzle together come September with some more scout-as-you-hunt hiking. Sunday morning bright and early, my dad and I were at it again, this time checking out a completely different location. There we found some really high elevation meadows, with lots of vantage points.

Although we didn't see any elk, I feel pretty confident with the sign I found, and I think I have some huntable spots that will hold elk. We did see a bunch of mule deer, and that got the wheels turning in my dad's head for the his general deer tag. They were mostly does, but we did see quite a few decent bucks still in velvet in broad daylight. Many of them were right in the town of Dubois.

As I write this, I'm sitting in the airport in Denver, CO waiting for my flight back to Atlanta with a camo backpack and duffle bag at my feet. Over the course of this trip my camo gear has gotten quite a few reactions, from crazy stares to silent nods of approval, to questions about what and where I'm hunting and what bow I shoot. The camo badge is one I'm proud to wear and I'm never ashamed to show up in boots and camo to any affair. After all, I've got friends in high places....


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