While I was up in Steamboat trying to chase some elk around, I run into a guy that was out walking in an open field where I was camped. My first thought was, “Oh great, another hunter in my area.” If you have ever been hunting in CO you know the frustrations of trying to get away from people. Granted I wasn’t too far off the beaten path so I assumed I would have ran into a guy or two. I got his attention and walked out to him. I wanted to see if he was also hunting elk so that I could plan accordingly since he was in the same area, plus ask him if he had seen or heard anything around. It turned out he was an out of state guy chasing bull moose with a muzzleloader. I told him I hadn’t seen any around yet but that I would let him know if I did. He reciprocated and told me the same if he ran into any elk. He went on his way as the day was getting shorter. The next morning I went out all day and still not a peep of elk. I did however run into a really nice bull moose out there which was putting on a show for a nearby cow (female moose). If you don’t know, the Shiras moose are the smaller of the moose specie and this one that I was standing 60 yards from looked more like a Canadian moose! It was that big!

So as I wrapped up the few days I was out there, I remember the guy saying he was camped down by a wall tent, which I remember seeing on my way up. I got to my truck and loaded all of my gear up then stopped down by his camp to tell him about the big boy I saw the previous evening. As I pulled up I saw a big rack strapped to a packframe in the back of a truck. Surprisingly enough he found a different big boy to shoot. I would say this one wasn’t as big as the other one I ran across but damn this boy was a biggin’ too! (inside joke) The guy I ran across had a few more buddies camped with him and they had just gotten back from packing this big boy out, just standing around drinking some beers, feeling accomplished. I walked up and said “Thank god you didn’t shoot a little dinker because there is a big boy just on the other side of this hill!” He laughed but was very pleased with the one he had just taken. I would be too because it was a dandy as you can tell from the pictures. They offered me a beer so I said ahh what the hell and joined them standing around just looking at this monster. That is one thing that I love about being a hunter, when you run into other hunters you sort of already have this camaraderie with people you’ve never met. Yes, there can still be those people who want to just keep to themselves but for the most part other outdoorsmen are always welcoming of others.

So after meeting everyone there was Bob (The Moose Slayer) Will (The Jokester) Ryan (The Shy Guy) and Tim (The Guy That Did All The Work While Everyone Stood Around) lol not really but these guys might get a kick out of that if they ever read this. Tim was the one that was going to cape the moose head out so I asked if I could just shoot some photos of him doing it, he didn’t mind it. Even though these guys were total strangers and the moose wasn’t mine, I thought it would be cool to at least take some shots of it on my Sony. I started off by just taking pictures of just the moose head, but then realizing this was more than likely a once in a lifetime hunt for these guys, I started to capture pictures of all of them together that I could send them after the fact. Again, these guys were total strangers but they were letting me shoot the shit with them around their camp which made me feel like I had been part of the group for years.

Tim finished up with the moose head so I wrapped up my photos taking a few more of just Bob holding the rack and skull. After that we just hung out drinking some JT’s (another inside joke) and they offered me to stay for dinner which I was really grateful for. After talking with Tim and Bob for a bit they told me they were former Marines as well which I thought was really cool. Along with the camaraderie of being outdoorsmen, we also shared that brotherly bond of Marines. That evening they made some elk stroganoff which was way better than the dried food I had been eating. After dinner I thanked them again for letting me hangout and shoot the shit with them. In return I hope Bob and the boys can look back at some of the photos I captured and relive those lifetime memories even if just for a second. Big thanks again to Bob, Ryan, Will, and Tim! Good luck on all your future hunts!