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Noah Smith
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1994 Idaho Elk Hunt

1994, The year of our Elk Hunt in Idaho. I was going to buy an elk hunt at the Safari Club auction that summer, but I thought the price was to high. Later, talking to the outfitter and I was able to book two of us for a price that I could afford. One call to my brother Steve Smith and the hunt was set to go. We didn't think November 1st would ever come. We flew into Boise, Idaho and were picked up by our outfitter, Darl Allred's wife for the two hour drive to their ranch. We spent that night in a camper at the ranch and the next morning we saddled up for the eight mile ride into the mountains to the tent camp. The outfitter had everything set up and ready for Steve and I. We were hunting by 3 o'clock in the afternoon. My older brother Steve saw an elk that day , but nothing for me.

The mountains are beautiful and the weather was cold. The first day was about 10 degrees at night. We hunted some of the most rugged country in the west. Our guide, Dan, did a fantastic job in getting us up in the mountains, the only problem was there just wasn't any elk to be found. The other hunters in the camp got some shooting in on the first day and several other times that week, but Steve and I had no elk to line up on from Tuesday through Sunday. Sunday it snowed about 15". We did see a group of elk on Monday morning, but they were above us.

Tuesday we were up before dawn and ridding in the dark. Steve and I got above the elk that day and saw a herd of about 30 to 50 elk. I had a shot at a bull elk, but my gun was froze up and would not fire. I yelled for Steve to take a shot and he quickly fired and missed. Steve raised his rifle to shoot again and found his gun to be froze as well! It was about 10 degrees out and our guns had got wet in the heavy snow on Sunday. Finally I got my .300 Weatherby Magnum thawed out and lined up on a 5x5 elk. One shot and he went down. Steve couldn't get his gun to work and so we only got one elk. That same day we packed out the eight miles and the next day we were on a plane back to Michigan with one set of elk antlers. Darl had my elk processed and set right to my back door, cut rapped and froze.

The antlers hang in our back porch and each time I look at the wall I relive the hunt in the mountains of Idaho. What a memory!