Coming from the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont, I had no idea what an adventure and experience I was a
Nov 1 2014 - Nov 10 2014
Coming from the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont, I had no idea what an adventure and experience I was about to embark on.
As you can see my home St. Johnsbury Vermont depicts a completely different genre than the large vast plains of the western frontier.
Up close and personal one has to be with nature to hunt in the woods of Northern New England.
Upon my arrival in White Sulphur Springs Montana at the Rawhide Guide Service I was in complete and total awe. I had never seen such utter gloriousness of the Great Plains. A photograph doesn't do it justice, as it shows a finiteness that truly does not exist. I thought that locating an elk in this terrain would be rather easy. Seriously where is there for a creature of that size to hide? Was I in for a learning experience...
Everyday as we traveled and hiked I was infused with information about elk habits and habitat. My Guide Roy Reiff who is enviably One of the most passionate outdoors persons I have ever met began to paint the picture. Roy and I share a common Love and Respect for the outdoors and natures gifts to us. It was honestly the last hour of the last day after miles of hiking and countless hours of glassing that we spotted a small herd of elk. Roy and I had a very short discussion about time and began the stalk.
It was about a 1-1/2 mile drive to where we could get close and about another 1-1/4 hike to where the elk herd was. There were several cows. We tried prone position but even with the pack under the rifle the grass was too tall to make a safe kill shot. We "low crawled" 25 feet to a small pine tree and ever so quietly were able to position myself so that a perfect shot was available. We chose the target and gently squeezed the trigger on my Kimber .325WSM. A great 168 yard shot anyone would have been proud of.
As you can imagine, I was elated with my success as was Roy. I am a big guy and Roy had much more energy than I had after 45 minutes of breath taking excitement. Roy wanted to bolt across the field to see our harvest. I gave it all I had but lagged behind. I was so excited, I gave Roy a manly hug and thanked God for this Glorious opportunity.
I would never consider using another Outfitter as all of the guides at Rawhide Guide Service are passionate, reliable, knowledgeable and most importantly concerned that your hunt is all about you! Their stated goal is not for you to see the animal you have a tag for, but to get you in a position that that you are comfortable with and matches your ability.
Even on days where the wind is 50-60 mph while i was in a blind I never gave up hope on a harvest but savored the moment as i knew it would not last forever, but the memories and photos would!
This creative photograph, taken by Roy, shows me, at least a mile out. I never looked so good! For me it wasn't as much about the destination as it was about THE JOURNEY !!!!
THANK YOU Roy Reiff & the entire staff at Rawhide Guide Service!!!
Thank You Ron. I just spoke with Roy a few minutes ago. I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I appreciated everyones jubilant attitude when we got it back to camp. Certainly does make you feel good to share your excitement with people who are as excited as i was. a lot of work but it paid off. Roy was an awesome guide. He would have made a great soldier. Push on!
Great to read your story. I've hoped you would write it. It was so obvious that you were having a wonderful experience each day in Montana. I think everyone in camp was happy for you when you came in with your elk. Good job!
I am envious of the citizens of Montana. The plains and the mountains are majestic. The guides I met Roy, Lenny, Alan, Paul were such incredible people. The guides are in great physical condition and fun and knowledgeable. It is embarrassing on my behalf that I forget the cooks names however the meals were Great. Always plenty of Hot home cooking. A great hot breakfast to start the day is fantastic. And a note to Lenny, Gary and Dakota are still sharing memories about you! So Kudos !!!!! Hopefully we will be able to meet up again someday.
It's great to see hunters take a hunt for what it is: hunting! Enjoying that time afield is what it's all about. Our jobs as guides is obviously to kill animals, a lot of times we miss the sunsets due to that focus. It was refreshing to read someone who didn't. Great job!
It was fun reminiscing! I had the greatest time of my life. Someday I shall return. I have recommended Rawhide to everyone who has expressed an interest in a guided hunt. thank you for staying in touch !
Great story, Tony! Thanks for sharing. I look forward to reading more from you on Guidefitter in the future!
Great story, Tony. You have at least two talents I know of - hunting and writing.
Tony it was a little slow @ the beginning of week but we never give up .Thanks for the awesome memories. 👍👍