Spend any time in the desert, under a late summer sun, and you’ll quickly be reminded of two things: life and death. Oases of life exist. And yet the grip of the desert is always near; the traces of it linger for decades as bones lay bleached, and tracks rest baked into the Earth’s crust, a reminder of the fact that literally everything is on the line out here, day in and day out.
For years, Kiviok Hight has heard the distant echoes of the train whistle from the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad engine. Ever since his last Colorado archery mountain goat hunt ten years ago, he’s been dreaming of this hunt. On that first goat hunt, and on elk hunts since, the sound of the distant train engine has been the only reminder of the human world. He decided that if he ever drew the tag again, that train would become part of the experience.
Outfitter Dustin Roe pushes gear—and his guides—to the outer limits. The fail factor was high. No one had ever hunted stone sheep in the rut, in November, in northern British Columbia, where bitter cold and high mountain winds stopped even the most seasoned mountain hunters.
Each month we have a new challenge within the #DIVERGE8 Photo Contest. The challenge for the month of December is the wild. So show us photos of the wild animals, the wild places and the wild conditions hunting takes you and you’ll be eligible to win.
Rifle elk hunting on public land usually takes place in the post-rut and late-season periods. A few lucky folks will draw a tag during the rut hunts, but this article will focus on the most common time periods for chasing bulls with a rifle. It is during these periods of greatest hunting pressure that you need to develop a better strategy than the other hunters who are chasing the same elk.
Clinging precariously to slick terrain coated in snow and ice on a 55 plus degree slope, we attempted to ascend a 2,000-foot face littered with ice falls. A team member had just fallen 10 feet with a fully loaded pack. We were close to making it through this tricky section, but realized that a dangerous line had been crossed: No goat was worth dying over.
The Necessities of Comfort: Gear Tips To Improve Your Next Hunt
Comfort can play a vital role in the hunt. Not in the sense that being comfortable makes the hunt easy, more that it allows us to shift focus from the challenges of the hunt to the task at hand. When we bring our bodies and minds to a state of comfort, we become more effective, more efficient, and more durable to the conditions. Comfort becomes a tool.
Early in life I stumbled upon the works of Jack London, awakening a fascination for the wilds of the great north country. Wilderness and that interaction within it was a regular weekend part of life for our northern Minnesota family until London brought out the wonders of strife and what it meant to live in the harsh, but beautiful country of the north. His stories inspired an impossible dream of going back to the 19th century to face the inhospitable conditions and learn new ways of survival. I’d tuck myself into bed at night after reading, imagining I just endured a hard day’s venture—barely surviving—needing sleep ahead of unknown hardships during the following days.
"Through a decade’s worth of lessons, I’ve found the following tactics have special merit in the elk woods and, when I have remembered to implement them, increased my chances at arrowing a bull." - Steven Drake
It was on a trail in Colorado, years ago, that he encountered the older gentleman with an elk on his back and a simple traditional bow in his hand. Nick had marvelled at the bow in disbelief, not certain how something so simple could kill an animal as big as an elk.