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Mr. & Mrs. Moore

When I arrived home from Eastern MT almost two weeks ago, things around our neck of the woods were pretty quite. The streets of West Yellowstone were vacant and snow covered.  My life, however, was just revving up and the things to do list was quite long for this time of the year.  There still is a little more wood to cut, there was an elk to kill, feathers to pluck, birds to clean, photos and video to download, guns to oil and a wedding.  Our wedding to be exact.  Fishing was on my mind as well, but I wasn’t sure it would be warm enough to even think about.

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The rings – the symbol of eternity…….

Our wedding was wonderful.  Super small and simple – just the way we wanted it.  After the nuptials and saying goodbye to our family, we headed to Chico Hot Springs for two nights of fantastic food, a little skiing in Yellowstone NP and a several bloody marys around the pool.

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Dragged and loaded…time for a beer. Thanks Mike and B!!

The day we got back from the wedding, I went elk hunting.  I like the odds with a rifle, but finding the elk this time of the year can be a little tough.  Since the bugle season is over, elk rarely talk.  If they are talking, it is because they heard you walking through the crunchy snow and have barked – alerting the others to run like hell.  B and I got up the next morning and got after it again.  This time we got close, but once again the elk gave us the slip and kept enough distance between us to yield no shots through the thick forest.  We tracked them for another hour or so and decided to call it day.  B dropped me off at my rig and we went home to check on his winter job.  I ate lunch, took a nap, and got back after elk hunting in the afternoon. I found the tracks on the other side of the creek and followed them for a mile or so through the woods…..thick woods that is.  I went slow, glassing the woods for movement of elk – maybe I would catch a glimpse of a leg or possibly a set of antlers from a sleeping bull.  As I crept through the woods, I noticed that the elk tracks started to peel off from one another signaling that they might be relaxing and eating their way through the forest.  I slowed my pace way down and used the binocs more often.  I came to an opening in the trees and by opening, I mean there were only 500 hundred trees infront of me instead of 2000. I glassed forward and then got the vibe.  The same vibe that I feel when an angler in the boat is about to hook a fish.  Anyway, I looked uphill and spotted a cow elk feeding at 75 yards, quartering towards me.  Without missing a step, I shouldered my 300 Win Mag, put the crosshairs on the spot and pulled the trigger. As most folks know, a 300 Win Mag is loud as hell, but in that moment, I didn’t even hear the gun go off.  The cow elk hit the ground, got up, walked about 30 feet and dropped.  It was 4:15 pm and the sun was setting.  For some reason I didnt have my headlamp, which is worth it’s weight in gold when afield, so I had to drive back to the house in order to finish gutting the animal.  I returned with my neighbor, who was yielding a 12 ga and another headlamp to finish what I had started.  Once gutted, we left her for the night to cool off the in snow and single digit temperatures. 

As for the fishing: the Madison is in great shape and with the warmer daytime temps of the past week, there has been some quality fishing.  Streamers and nymphs are king, but look for the subtle risers in the slicks.  I plan on fishing one of these days for myself, but hunting has taken priority.