Ron and I headed out to German Gulch last Sunday afternoon in search of our 2015 bull elk. We did not find him, but we did see a lot of interesting things.
We walked in to an area we’d never hunted before. The weather was mild and the landscape was easily navigable. There were some rocks and snow, but mostly grassy meadows and rolling hills.
As we topped the first knoll, off to our left below some power lines, we spotted a bunch of white butts. There were about a dozen mule deer does feeding at this lower elevation. As we veered north to avoid spooking the herd, we saw a young buck bedded down and chewing his cud without a care in the world.
We continued our easy hike, through red rock, pine and juniper to an open hillside overlooking a valley to the west. It was shrouded in winter’s grey but highlighted by large mountain meadows and bright -white snow-capped mountain peaks. Near the rocky edge of this view, we found the oddest thing – a bouquet of sorts – made with now-dry roses and pine boughs and held together with none other than duct tape!
Ron left the memorial where he’d found it, and we headed eastward and up. We side-hiked to a saddle in between peaks, then went up again towards the top to a jagged red-rock abutment overlooking the next valley. Across a wide gulch and on the next hillside, on private fenced-off property, we spotted a herd of elk. Not a bull in the bunch.
We glassed them for a while, mostly waiting for dusk. We’d seen a game trail of sorts below and behind us, and wanted to see if it would be used.
About this time, world war three opened up beyond the ridge in front of us – it sounded like a group of people shooting at a whole herd of critters. But it kept up for so long we decided they were just using up their ammo or target shooting.
As sunset approached, we headed back down to the saddle then continued up the next hill in front of us to look over the game trail below. It was not being utilized on this day, so we trekked off in the direction of our vehicle.
Up and down and over and through, we were back on flat land as it was getting dark. I was looking down and had my head lamp on, when I stopped to look at some green lichen. I really was looking at the plant, but there in the middle of it was a round, brown object. I picked it up and for the life of me it looked like an eyeball! Ron handled the glassy object and said, “Oh, it’s probably just some sort of porcelain electrical piece.” I said, “No, I think it’s an eye.” Once we got home and he saw it in the light, Ron agreed with me.
Now, what was that doing out in the middle of a walk-in hunting area? I’ve had friends who’ve found old shovels and buckets out hunting. But I think a bouquet and glass eye take the oddball prize!