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The 'Unorganized' Elk Hunt

Larry Potterfield with his 6x6 bull elk that he harvested the final day of his hunt. Larry Potterfield with his 6x6 bull elk that he harvested the final day of his hunt.

By: Larry Potterfield, MidwayUSA CEO/Founder

It was the outfitter's first hunt, ever. The guide, he was in his second season and he had never hunted this ranch before. The outfitter had booked far too many hunters and had to set up a second camp on another ranch, which was about 40 miles away. In the military, they would say, “Don’t outrun your supply lines.” But that’s exactly what had happened.

By the way, the outfitter and guide … same person.

We overnighted in Montrose, expecting to head to the ranch after breakfast the next morning. However, the outfitter didn’t show up till 10:30 a.m. and hadn’t bought any of the supplies. So we spent the next hour at the grocery store, before heading out.

Strike one.

The ranch gate had the typical collection of locks all linked together. Unfortunately, our outfitter didn’t have a key or combination for any of them. After an hour and a half, and several phone calls, he got it open.

Strike two.

A chain of locks that nearly prevented the group of hunters from getting to camp.
A chain of locks that nearly prevented the group of hunters from getting to camp.

We arrived at camp about 4:30 in the afternoon; it consisted of a pull-type camping trailer and a couple of tents. The outfitter had to get to the other camp, so he told us to fix our own dinner and he would be back before dark.

Two of us prepared dinner in the trailer kitchen, while the other four hunters loafed outside; the weather was nice. They came in for dinner and sat around the table in the rear and we two cooks walked back with the pans and bowls of food. Surprise, surprise! The support legs on the back of the trailer were still in the upright and locked position. As we crossed over the axle, the trailer tipped and sat up on its behind, putting all six of us in one heap – with our dinner.

[Ripcord motion] Strike three, you’re out!

The outfitter, also doubling as our guide, showed up three hours after dark, apologized and said he would get us up at five the next morning. However his alarm didn’t go off, so we got a late start

If he wasn’t already out, that would have been another strike.

I only had three days to hunt, but did shoot a small 6x6 bull the last morning. The guide asked if I knew how to gut one. I said, “Yes.” So he says, “Go ahead then, as I haven’t gutted one in over twenty years.”

Why not? Strike five.

It was the most unorganized hunt you could ever imagine. But it was an unforgettable experience.

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