“Sad is the day for any man when he becomes absolutely satisfied with the life he is living, the thoughts he is thinking, and the things he is doing; when there ceases to be forever beating at the doors of his soul a desire to do something larger which he seeks and knows he was meant and intended to do.” Phillips Brooks
For the past few months I have been reading my way through most of Zane Grey's western novels. Most of the stories were set sometime in the late 19th century. If such characters as Lassiter, Venters, Bess, Fay Larkin or Jane Witherstein do not ring a bell, you are missing something. If you are not a fan of Zane Grey's you will not know how much effort he puts into the detail of describing each scene or locale. Honestly, sometimes even I think he goes a bit long, but that is just Grey's style.
This morning however I came across a narrative Grey had written that wasn't a story of fiction at all. It was more like a written documentary of some of his travels throughout Utah and Colorado. What caught my attention at about 5:30 AM was his description of a few days spent in Colorado's Flat Top mountains, a range that I am quite familiar with extending from Yampa on the East nearly to Meeker on the West. Again, due to the level of detail that Grey always uses, I felt as if I was actually there at places like Big Fish, Wall Lake or standing on the shore of Little Trappers Lake. Well, actually I had been. What made this read so welcoming was that in a few instances, I could tell that Grey and I both had stood in nearly the same spot separated only by 90 years or so, he in the late 1920s, me in the early 2000's. Truthfully, very little seemed to have changed in almost 100 years. That is what made it so special.
The Kentucky elk herd established in Eastern Kentucky in 1997 is flourishing. It is estimated by Kentucky Fish and Wildlife personnel that the herd has grown to 10,000. The population growth is well ahead of the original model. The elk releases were halted in 2002 and future releases will not be necessary.
If you are a die hard elk hunter, you don't care where you find 'em. I lived in Colorado and hunted elk all over the Rockies most of my adult life. In 2010, we relocated to Central Kentucky which puts me about a two-hour drive from the largest elk herd east of the Mississippi River. Elk have thrived in the mountains of Eastern KY as evidenced by the numbers stated above. Winters are relatively mild, there is little to no predation by carnivores and hunting so far has not had a significant adverse impact on the herds. The result is as of 2014 KY hosts some really nice bulls in the 350++ class. Success rates are high. Tags are very limited compared to western elk states but they are not impossible to obtain. For 2014 the number of available tags will increase from 900 to 1000. That leaves 999 for the rest of you because I plan on drawing one of them.
The drawing period for 2014 is January 1 through April 30 (midnight Eastern time).
The cost to put your name in the lottery is a mere $10 per tag. $10 bucks, can you believe that! If you are drawn, then you have to purchase a resident or non-resident tag. For $10, every self respecting elk hunter should give Kentucky a shot.
For more information: http://fw.ky.gov/Hunt/Pages/Elk-Hunting.aspx
Kentucky holds a lottery each year. One can apply for up to 4 tags (2014). You can only draw one.
New for 2014, ElkCamp.com now has an official Face Book page. Yep, we are now doing social media just like everyone else in the 21st century.
If you want to stay in touch or share on a regular basis, consider using our FB page. Easy to access...easy to use.
Just go to: https://www.facebook.com/elkcamp
Countdown timers are new and improved! Bigger and easier to read.
After relocating in 2011, it seemed like all of my spare time, specifically the time I used to manage elkcamp.com just disappeared. While I continued to get emails daily asking questions on elk hunting, I just couldn't manage to find the time to continue making timely updates to the old version of the site. The old software I had been using had become like a ball and chain.
Online website development technology has come a long way in the last 5 years and many excellent DIY tools are now available that make website development and management really simple. After testing four or five of these tools I discovered weebly.com. For what I needed, it is great! If you are thinking of building your own site, give it a try. There is even a free version. You do not need to know ANYTHING about building website. Just following the directions. You can have a basic site up in just minutes.
Changes for 2014
Jay, an elk hunter for over 25 years, is a nationally requested conference speaker, author, and hunting consultant. He has authored five extremely successful books on elk hunting and the high country. Jay is the CEO of Hunt Connections and Founder of ElkCamp.com - Answers For Elk Hunters, the leading online information resource for elk hunters. Since 1996, Jay has helped thousands of outdoorsmen achieve their dream of a true Rocky Mountain high country adventure.
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