First off, just because I failed at finding any elk, doesn't mean the trip was a total failure. One, I covered a lot of ground while I was out there. I probably hiked a good four miles and covered a lot of distance on my ATV. What did this serve? It let me become familiar with the terrain and the locations I wanted to hunt. It also helped me prepare for when I go back. I now know where I want to camp (with back-up locations just in case) and I have a half-a-dozen spots I think could be good to try and get a good shot at an elk.
Three, just getting out into nature is a win all by itself. I love the outdoors. I could spend too much time out in the woods if I didn’t have obligations to pull me back. I got to test out my new pack as well as brush up on my land-navigation skills (yes, it will atrophy just like everything else). Plus, you get to find crazy things like this burnt out tree trunk and this hidden wood person.
Elk are kind of sneaky bastards and this will be my second hunt. I’m somewhat flying by the seat of my pants again since I never did much elk hunting growing up. I’m working off what research I’ve done, advice from friends, and pure luck. We’ll see come October whether or not I’ll get lucky and have some meat for the freezer.