Life is a journey, and my journey recently brought us out to a hunt with Browning’s Matt Bangerter in Colorado. We were hunting with Bryan Clark of High Voltage Outfitters out of Rifle, CO.
I arrived in Rifle on Nov. 1, a day ahead of the third rifle season in Colorado. It was also a day ahead of my birthday. I couldn’t be more excited to hunt elk on my birthday.
I woke up at 5 a.m. to snow and 9 degree temperatures. Bryan and I headed up the mountain to just over 10,000 feet elevation. Before, he had assured me it was fairly flat ground for walking. He lied! Bryan needs to come to the Lowcountry of South Carolina where we can show him some really flat ground.
Nevertheless, I stumbled along, gasping for oxygen as we hunted an elusive bull. We hunted hard for him for a couple of days, but he never showed. Then we made the decision to move down in elevation to the hay meadows, where I shot a small bull. We loaded it onto a tractor. Hallelujah!
Matt showed up a couple days later than I did. I was trying to get my elk out of the way so we could concentrate on his hunt. He was hunting for a mule deer. We hunted hard for several days. The weather was steadily warming up and making hunting difficult. We looked for hours upon hours through binos. I was using the new Swarovski EL O-Range binos, which are incredible. They make glassing the hills actually enjoyable.
Matt finally shot this nice muley at 120 yards on the last night. Nothing like that last minute hunt. We literally had five minutes left! It was a great shot and a great hunt.
This Colorado hunt was more about camaraderie and friendship than hunting. I think we all discovered something new about each other. Hunting brings us all closer to each other and closer to nature. These trips are forever a part of my life story. Remember, this is a journey. The final shot is just a fraction of the story. The pictures just prove you were there. Your friends and the experience are the most important memento. I look forward to one day sitting by the fire and telling these very tales to a group of friends.
My gear for this hunt: