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"Fly Fishing" for Elk with a Recurve Bow

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September 18, 2009

"Fly Fishing" for Elk with a Recurve Bow

By Kirk Deeter

It's that time of year, when I put the fly fishing mania completely on hold for one week, head off into the San Juan Mountains of southwestern Colorado, set up camp, and hunt for elk.

As you can see from the photo, I put in a lot of serious effort last winter, um, scouting and doing my homework.  For the record, the hot tub hunting didn't pan out so well last season, so I'm doubling my efforts in a serious quest to fill the freezer.

I'm hunting with a Wapiti recurve bow... cedar shaft arrows... hiking, calling, and stalking.  After all, I am a fly fisherman.  I live for the simple tools (stick and string).  By the way, Cap'n Gregg Arnold of Louisiana redfish fame will be joining us in camp again this year... I think he's bringing the camo Mardi Gras beads for his lucky juju.

But don't get me wrong... when the week is over, it'll be back to full contact fly fishing.  Autumn is my favorite time to fish.  When everyone else is fished out and in the field hunting, I'm usually still on the stream.  How about you?  Fished out?  Switched mental gears to full-on hunting mode?  Or is it all fishing, all the time, with the occasional hunting adventure mixed in? 

Wish us luck. When the fly guys trade their waders for camo, we need all the help we can get.

Deeter

 

 

Comments (21)

Top Rated
All Comments
from Hunt_Hard wrote 4 years 30 weeks ago

haha
Good Luck!
This time of the year I totally devote all my time to hunting, and when all my tags are filled then I fish.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from texasfirst wrote 4 years 30 weeks ago

Fall is perhaps the best of all times for fishing here. Best to balance field pursuits with tarpon, snook, flounder, reds and speckled trout. What a fantastic time of year.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from seadog wrote 4 years 30 weeks ago

That hot tub hunting looks relaxing. But being that I'm a Florida boy, you probably wouldn't get me in that hot tub while there's snow on the ground. Fireplace hunting would be more my style.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ruckweiler wrote 4 years 30 weeks ago

But can he get the hot-tub up on his tree stand?

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Koldkut wrote 4 years 30 weeks ago

Cast and blast, all animals need water, just make sure you're near fishable water(stock the hottub with tropical species) and I'm sure it'll work out.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 4 years 30 weeks ago

You lucky dog. Some of the best trout fishing in the country and elk at the same time. I'm jealous of you Coloradians. I hunted that area your going to a few years back. I had a tear in my eye as my son and I were packing to leave.

Good luck with your stick and string. I shot my long bow all summer. Lifted weights and did a lot of field work out to 25 yds. My left shoulder popped yesterday while shooting flying bucket lids. I'm hoping the kink is worked out for Ohios opener a week from today. I put a lot of time in and I hope it pays off.

I hunt hard if I have a shooter on my farm. If I don't have anything worth shooting I'll fish. One will show up eventually. I have a WV trip planned this weekend and Oak Orchard next month. After that it's steelhead all winter.

I've got steve182 and a few buddies coming out in November to bowhunt. That'll be fun.

I read your article in this months F&S about testing broadheads. I figured then you were a bowhunter. Goodluck and be safe.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from kyka1865 wrote 4 years 30 weeks ago

I have switched gears to hunting season. I have been precticing with my bow for weeks and looking forward to deer hunting, grouse hunting in wisconsin and antelope hunting in Montana. I take a break for a few weeks but then am ready to fish again. I will be taking the fly rods on my hunting trips. Come about january I am rearing to fish and turkey hunt.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Woodstock wrote 4 years 30 weeks ago

No, no, no...reading Hustler in a hot tube only gets YOUR rut going - the idea is to hunt during the ELK's rut...

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from crfromsc wrote 4 years 30 weeks ago

Save a few elk for me. I will be heading out there in October. Plan to bring along my fly road if the tag is filled.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from crfromsc wrote 4 years 30 weeks ago

Sorry, I can't spell tonight. Rod not road.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sage Sam wrote 4 years 30 weeks ago

This is the ultimate time of year in Northwest Colorado especially. You have archery season, sharp-tail grouse are open and the fishing is moving to insanity.

I will say that once August comes around, I am in full hunt mode until the end of November. I still fish some, but my focus is on filling the freezer with as many species as possible.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bella wrote 4 years 30 weeks ago

We share archery tackle preferences, Recurve bow ( mines a Red Wing Hunter 35 years young) cedar arrows, feather fletching, old fashioned broadheads, home made quiver, bracer and fingertabs for the loose. I'm a Trad, fer sure!
Still fishin' and going after squirrels here, deer season don't start for weeks.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Peter Fallon wrote 4 years 30 weeks ago

We're getting tugged in both directions here in Maine as well and it only gets worse in October when bird and duck season opens up. Hmmmm...head south to chase tuna or north for grouse and woodcock.

Far fewer anglers on the water, both in the fresh and salt, makes for some really nice fishing outings.

The fishing season wraps up much earlier here than for you guys out west, so its hard to put down the fly rod...but our bird season is also shorter than yours, so...

Any grouse to shoot up at your elk camp? Good luck.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from fflutterffly wrote 4 years 30 weeks ago

Sorry to post this here it seemed appropriate since your hunting trip sounds on the edge of wonderfully extreme. Has anyone heard how Mr. Barta is doing?

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 4 years 30 weeks ago

4 months post injury Tred is still in a wheelchair with no feeling or movement below his T4. Tred is thankful that the injury has not progressed and thankful for his loving and supportive wife.

They think the injury was a spinal infarction. A very rare trauma.

In only Barta fashion he is currently shooting his bow from his wheelchair and planning his next hunt.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from horseman308 wrote 4 years 30 weeks ago

Many compliments for your choice of weapon for hunting. I feel like we get far too few stories of hunts using more "primitive" weapons. My preference in firearms season is for my flintlock, and I have tons of respect for anyone who can take big game with a simple stick-and-string.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from RichardF wrote 4 years 30 weeks ago

I tend to fish in the afternoons and hunt the rest of the day, you have to have a good balance. Plus it gets me out of the stand and the blood flowing again...

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jtboles wrote 4 years 30 weeks ago

this time of year my brain goes straight to hunting, I still get that urge to go try and catch a monster but they aren't as strong. The only difference is that instead of looking forward to elk season or deer season Im dreaming of pheasant season.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from SD_Whitetail_Hntr wrote 4 years 30 weeks ago

I'm full hunting mode this time of year as well. A few weeks into dove hunting that gets the dust off my shotgun, archery season 4 days and a wakeup, and upland birds soon thereafter. My inner fishing fanatic won't wake up til December when I can sit on the ice in a warm shack with a cold beer.

buckhunter - Thanks for the update on Tred. Appreciate it.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from ranger2 wrote 4 years 30 weeks ago

Cast, blast, and shaft 'em! Outstanding proposition.
I am becoming green with envy as I type...
I just want to know, did the mules drag the hot tub up to camp, or did you guys hire a chinook to sling load it in?
Good luck, I know from experience that there is no hunt more satisfying than connecting with a stick bow!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from ochs2448 wrote 4 years 24 weeks ago

always wanted to go elk hunting it looks like a blast when i see hunting shows on it....good luck this year. keep us all posted and tell us wat u got!!

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from Ruckweiler wrote 4 years 30 weeks ago

But can he get the hot-tub up on his tree stand?

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Hunt_Hard wrote 4 years 30 weeks ago

haha
Good Luck!
This time of the year I totally devote all my time to hunting, and when all my tags are filled then I fish.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from texasfirst wrote 4 years 30 weeks ago

Fall is perhaps the best of all times for fishing here. Best to balance field pursuits with tarpon, snook, flounder, reds and speckled trout. What a fantastic time of year.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from seadog wrote 4 years 30 weeks ago

That hot tub hunting looks relaxing. But being that I'm a Florida boy, you probably wouldn't get me in that hot tub while there's snow on the ground. Fireplace hunting would be more my style.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Koldkut wrote 4 years 30 weeks ago

Cast and blast, all animals need water, just make sure you're near fishable water(stock the hottub with tropical species) and I'm sure it'll work out.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 4 years 30 weeks ago

You lucky dog. Some of the best trout fishing in the country and elk at the same time. I'm jealous of you Coloradians. I hunted that area your going to a few years back. I had a tear in my eye as my son and I were packing to leave.

Good luck with your stick and string. I shot my long bow all summer. Lifted weights and did a lot of field work out to 25 yds. My left shoulder popped yesterday while shooting flying bucket lids. I'm hoping the kink is worked out for Ohios opener a week from today. I put a lot of time in and I hope it pays off.

I hunt hard if I have a shooter on my farm. If I don't have anything worth shooting I'll fish. One will show up eventually. I have a WV trip planned this weekend and Oak Orchard next month. After that it's steelhead all winter.

I've got steve182 and a few buddies coming out in November to bowhunt. That'll be fun.

I read your article in this months F&S about testing broadheads. I figured then you were a bowhunter. Goodluck and be safe.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from kyka1865 wrote 4 years 30 weeks ago

I have switched gears to hunting season. I have been precticing with my bow for weeks and looking forward to deer hunting, grouse hunting in wisconsin and antelope hunting in Montana. I take a break for a few weeks but then am ready to fish again. I will be taking the fly rods on my hunting trips. Come about january I am rearing to fish and turkey hunt.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Woodstock wrote 4 years 30 weeks ago

No, no, no...reading Hustler in a hot tube only gets YOUR rut going - the idea is to hunt during the ELK's rut...

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from crfromsc wrote 4 years 30 weeks ago

Save a few elk for me. I will be heading out there in October. Plan to bring along my fly road if the tag is filled.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from crfromsc wrote 4 years 30 weeks ago

Sorry, I can't spell tonight. Rod not road.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sage Sam wrote 4 years 30 weeks ago

This is the ultimate time of year in Northwest Colorado especially. You have archery season, sharp-tail grouse are open and the fishing is moving to insanity.

I will say that once August comes around, I am in full hunt mode until the end of November. I still fish some, but my focus is on filling the freezer with as many species as possible.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bella wrote 4 years 30 weeks ago

We share archery tackle preferences, Recurve bow ( mines a Red Wing Hunter 35 years young) cedar arrows, feather fletching, old fashioned broadheads, home made quiver, bracer and fingertabs for the loose. I'm a Trad, fer sure!
Still fishin' and going after squirrels here, deer season don't start for weeks.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Peter Fallon wrote 4 years 30 weeks ago

We're getting tugged in both directions here in Maine as well and it only gets worse in October when bird and duck season opens up. Hmmmm...head south to chase tuna or north for grouse and woodcock.

Far fewer anglers on the water, both in the fresh and salt, makes for some really nice fishing outings.

The fishing season wraps up much earlier here than for you guys out west, so its hard to put down the fly rod...but our bird season is also shorter than yours, so...

Any grouse to shoot up at your elk camp? Good luck.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from fflutterffly wrote 4 years 30 weeks ago

Sorry to post this here it seemed appropriate since your hunting trip sounds on the edge of wonderfully extreme. Has anyone heard how Mr. Barta is doing?

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 4 years 30 weeks ago

4 months post injury Tred is still in a wheelchair with no feeling or movement below his T4. Tred is thankful that the injury has not progressed and thankful for his loving and supportive wife.

They think the injury was a spinal infarction. A very rare trauma.

In only Barta fashion he is currently shooting his bow from his wheelchair and planning his next hunt.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from horseman308 wrote 4 years 30 weeks ago

Many compliments for your choice of weapon for hunting. I feel like we get far too few stories of hunts using more "primitive" weapons. My preference in firearms season is for my flintlock, and I have tons of respect for anyone who can take big game with a simple stick-and-string.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from RichardF wrote 4 years 30 weeks ago

I tend to fish in the afternoons and hunt the rest of the day, you have to have a good balance. Plus it gets me out of the stand and the blood flowing again...

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jtboles wrote 4 years 30 weeks ago

this time of year my brain goes straight to hunting, I still get that urge to go try and catch a monster but they aren't as strong. The only difference is that instead of looking forward to elk season or deer season Im dreaming of pheasant season.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from SD_Whitetail_Hntr wrote 4 years 30 weeks ago

I'm full hunting mode this time of year as well. A few weeks into dove hunting that gets the dust off my shotgun, archery season 4 days and a wakeup, and upland birds soon thereafter. My inner fishing fanatic won't wake up til December when I can sit on the ice in a warm shack with a cold beer.

buckhunter - Thanks for the update on Tred. Appreciate it.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from ranger2 wrote 4 years 30 weeks ago

Cast, blast, and shaft 'em! Outstanding proposition.
I am becoming green with envy as I type...
I just want to know, did the mules drag the hot tub up to camp, or did you guys hire a chinook to sling load it in?
Good luck, I know from experience that there is no hunt more satisfying than connecting with a stick bow!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from ochs2448 wrote 4 years 24 weeks ago

always wanted to go elk hunting it looks like a blast when i see hunting shows on it....good luck this year. keep us all posted and tell us wat u got!!

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

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