Epic Elk Hunt 2.0

My second "once-in-a-lifetime" archery elk hunt in Oregon was action-packed and memorable beyond imagination.

Sep 16 2017 - Sep 23 2017

Kenny Smith

First posted Feb 12 2018 Last updated Feb 28 2018

After an incredible week of archery elk hunting on Mahogany Mountain in southeast Oregon during September, 2016, I was able to return for a repeat performance in 2017. After much research that lead to my first trip, it was a bit of a no-brainer to return. The country is breathtaking and the realized potential for multiple (and memorable) elk encounters is difficult to describe. The camp experience perfectly fit my wants and needs. Not fancy but with comfortable sleeping accommodations, an opportunity for a warm shower when wanted, and a better-than-expected outhouse situation. And, while not "gourmet", the food is outstanding and plentiful! Part of what made my return trip an easy decision is the fact that I became much more than just a client; I developed what I'm convinced will be life-long friendships with John, Brad, and Kevin, aka Nontypical Guides!
I shared elk camp with three other hunters in 2017. I reconnected with Wayne McConnell from 2016. His son Alex joined us this year along with Jacob Bower, a chiropractor from Nampa, Idaho. The chemistry was solid and lead to great camaraderie (a critical component for a sometimes grueling week). We experienced crazy extremes in weather this year ranging from sunshine and warmth to rain, sleet, hail, snow, wind and cold.
I was able to celebrate my 60th birthday on the first full day of hunting and promptly proceeded to miss a true trophy on the very first morning. John did an outstanding job of calling this awesome bull in for me but I misjudged the distance and shot under him (thought he was at 50 yards to later learn it was more like 55-60 yards). The rest of the week brought some incredible highs and lows. Inexperience on my part combined with off-the-charts adrenaline, nerves and some pure misfortune meant I returned to Oklahoma empty-handed but with a lifetime of memories. The same could be said for the other hunters. The lack of antlers and meat in camp was a 100% reflection on the hunters and not an indication of the expertise of the guides or a lack of shot opportunities. We could've/should've had at least three bulls hanging. Trust me, the expertise, knowledge, dedication, hard work and FUN put forth by this incredible team can't be beat! While I don't know if or when I'll have the privilege of returning to hunt with these great guys again, it won't be for a lack of "want to". Without hesitation, I enthusiastically recommend Nontypical Guides! Thanks men!