I anxiously anticipated my first elk hunt at Jumping Jack Ranch in Ennis, Montana. I didn’t know exactly what to expect. I’m not one to sit still for long, so I prefer hunts that are more active – such as hogs, rabbits and birds. A Southern woman, I am used to warm weather and low elevations, not harsh cold winds in the West or climbing steep mountainsides at high elevations. Yet, that’s how my elk hunt adventure started …
At 4 a.m., I woke up to the sound of my alarm. Normally, I would hit snooze several times, but not this morning. I was too excited to go back to sleep and I could smell the bacon cooking in the kitchen. Montana was unusually warm for the first day of the hunt, but coming from Alabama, it was still chilly to me. I threw several layers of clothes on, grabbed my .30-06 Remington 700 AWR topped with EOTech’s 2.5-10 x 44 Vudu Precision Rifle Scope and headed out the door with my guide, Jeff. Let’s back that up a minute: I love hunting, but also I love fashion and makeup, so I have to admit I did get up a little early to make sure my hair and makeup were good to go – no shame in my game!
Back to heading out the door with my guide, Jeff… While still dark, we drove for fifteen minutes on a narrow path winding through the ranch property. It would lead to the mountainside we would soon climb. With great anticipation we put on our backpacks and slung our rifles over our shoulders. We started our hike.
This hike would soon prove much harder than I expected. I work out on a consistent basis and have hiked many mountainous trails in the past, but one thing I didn’t realize was how much elevation impacts a body. Having been in Montana less than 24 hours, my body didn’t have time to become acclimated to the higher elevation. Less oxygen available made this hike harder than other ones I’ve done in the past. I hate to sound like a wimp, but I did stop a few times to take quick breathers. While catching my breath, we glassed for elk and soaked in all the beautiful views, including the sun rising amidst the super moon setting – breathtaking.
Continue reading about Jessica’s elk hunt in schwat.com