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Thread: Elk Hunting or Motorcycle Trip - the Wives will never know. (maybe the perfect vaca)

  1. #1
    Registered User okiegman's Avatar
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    Elk Hunting or Motorcycle Trip - the Wives will never know. (maybe the perfect vaca)

    For the past 20 years or so my high school best friend and I have taken a weeklong bow hunting trip to Colorado for Elk. We've done it just about every way imaginable from packing camp in on our backs (when we were younger) to our current state which is a truck, trailer (mobile butcher shop) and sherpa tent.

    This past summer, with the help of some wonderful MOA members (you know who you are) my buddy picked up a 2014 BMW K1600GTL-E. He had owned Harley's years ago but had been out of riding for some time.

    Our typical hunting day starts at about 4:30am when we crawl out of a perfectly warm sleeping bag and shuffle around to get our cold hunting clothes on. Out into the woods we go, well before sunrise in search of the ever-elusive Wapiti (Shawnee Indian name for Elk meaning white rump). We usually return to camp mid to late morning to cook and eat breakfast and then hang around camp until the evening hunt (about 3pm) "throwing rocks at grasshoppers" as we like to say.

    A few weeks before we left my buddy calls me and says "why don't we take our bikes?" The idea was to ride bikes in the middle of the day (our camp is close to a main road at 10,800' - we climb and hunt from there). The idea was to have something other than "throwing rocks at grasshoppers" to beat the middle of the day doldrums. We've also always wanted to take a day off in the middle of the hunt to relax and recover (we're both lowlanders and starting your hunt, carrying a bow and a pack at 10,800' and climbing from there wears us out after a few days) but what to do for relaxation?

    Violá - enter a R1200GSA and K1600GTL-E

    Wes Fitzer-MOA BoD - President
    BMWMOA 170126
    NE Oklahoma BMW Club; BMW Riders of Oklahoma
    2016 R1200GSA

  2. #2
    Registered User okiegman's Avatar
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    Over the next week we took day-rides throughout the area, taking one day off for a 500 mile loop from Chama, NM -> Durango, CO -> Dolores, CO -> Telluride, CO -> Sawpit, CO -> Ridgway, CO -> Ouray, CO -> Durango, CO and back to Chama, NM.

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    Wes Fitzer-MOA BoD - President
    BMWMOA 170126
    NE Oklahoma BMW Club; BMW Riders of Oklahoma
    2016 R1200GSA

  3. #3
    Registered User okiegman's Avatar
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    Here are a few photos from the ride through Durango:























    Wes Fitzer-MOA BoD - President
    BMWMOA 170126
    NE Oklahoma BMW Club; BMW Riders of Oklahoma
    2016 R1200GSA

  4. #4
    Registered User okiegman's Avatar
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    Missed an evenings hunt

    We decided to ride a loop through Taos, NM -> Red River, NM -> San Luis, CO -> elk camp.

    The ride took a bit longer than anticipated and we missed the evening hunt........oh well (it was a great ride)













    Wes Fitzer-MOA BoD - President
    BMWMOA 170126
    NE Oklahoma BMW Club; BMW Riders of Oklahoma
    2016 R1200GSA

  5. #5
    Registered User okiegman's Avatar
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    Great vacation

    At the end of the trip we both agreed it was the "best" elk hunting trip we'd ever taken despite not killing an elk, and in my case not even seeing one in the field.

    Our wives have accused us of taking a motorcycle trip disguised as our annual elk hunt..........hey honey, it's my vacation.

    The allegation that we could have or should have hunted harder is probably accurate. We took an entire day off to ride and missed an evenings hunt due to our motorcycling addiction.

    In the end, the weather was a bit to warm for good elk hunting (great for riding motorcycles though), the aspens hadn't turned where we hunt (the only color we saw was between Ouray and Durango).

    We're also going to have to find a new place to hunt, our hunting location for the past 6 years or so suffered a significant beetle kill about 4 years ago and they've allowed loggers to come in and remove dead pines. As the loggers have pushed further into the timber we've seen fewer and fewer elk.

    Oh well, we had a GREAT time thanks to our trusty BMW's

    Take care and thanks for reading
    Wes Fitzer-MOA BoD - President
    BMWMOA 170126
    NE Oklahoma BMW Club; BMW Riders of Oklahoma
    2016 R1200GSA

  6. #6
    Registered User ExGMan's Avatar
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    Great story Wes!
    John Gamel - BMW MOA Consumer Liaison
    2015 Ebony Metallic R1200RT
    “So often times it happens that we live our lives in chains
    And we never even know we have the key”

  7. #7
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    Hunting and motorcycles, seems like a way to screw up a perfectly good motorcycle trip! ;-)

    I hunted years ago and gave it up. I never did get much enjoyment out of it. My dad was a crazy hunter, any excuse to go kill something and he was gone!
    From the only real Fargo, ND!

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    Elk Hunting - Motorcycle Trip

    Nice story Wes. Not really seeing the downside. The bikes don't seem to have the same trouble with oxygen at that altitude for some reason. Looks like you had fun and have some good memories so congrats on finding the balance!!
    Jerry
    Best Regards,
    Jerry Trepanier
    Augusta, MI
    2006 ST1300, 2010 R1200RT

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    Registered User jonnybow's Avatar
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    My 2 most favorite things to do, I can't see any reason to not make this a yearly thing. Wish I was able to ride out there in under 3/4 days, I'd invite myself!
    Jon
    K1600GT & R1200GSA

  10. #10
    Registered User okiegman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonnybow View Post
    My 2 most favorite things to do, I can't see any reason to not make this a yearly thing. Wish I was able to ride out there in under 3/4 days, I'd invite myself!
    Fellow MOA’ers are always welcome at my camp!!


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    Wes Fitzer-MOA BoD - President
    BMWMOA 170126
    NE Oklahoma BMW Club; BMW Riders of Oklahoma
    2016 R1200GSA

  11. #11
    According to the NPS, you have a good chance of taking out a 700# elk(or vice versa) on the BRP. Probably not the best way to combine hunting and motorcycles.

    Doug
    Sent from a Galaxy, far, far away

  12. #12
    Registered User ExGMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 83014 View Post
    According to the NPS, you have a good chance of taking out a 700# elk(or vice versa) on the BRP. Probably not the best way to combine hunting and motorcycles.

    Doug
    Doug - interesting to hear about elk on the BRP. I think you might have misquoted the NPS. What I saw was: "Elk have been spotted along a popular mountain road, and officials are warning visitors to be careful.

    Blue Ridge Parkway officials said 500- to 700-pound elk have been spotted along the road and in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Officials said the elk have been known to charge in order to defend themselves.

    Elk have made a comeback in the mountains after they were re-introduced in the early 2000s.
    "

    I think there's a big leap (so to speak) from "have a good chance of taking out a 700# elk" vs "spotted along the road."

    Never let the facts interfere with a good story, eh?

    Anyway, Wes, if I can join you next year, I will. Looks like a good time. Thanks for the invitation.

    John
    John Gamel - BMW MOA Consumer Liaison
    2015 Ebony Metallic R1200RT
    “So often times it happens that we live our lives in chains
    And we never even know we have the key”

  13. #13
    SURVIVOR akbeemer's Avatar
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    If you want to hit an elk, then drive by my place. One was hit this morning just down the road. That makes four buffalo and two elk in the past few years on one short stretch of road.
    Kevin Huddy
    The Outpost, Silver City, Montana

  14. #14
    Registered User okiegman's Avatar
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    Elk Hunting or Motorcycle Trip - the Wives will never know. (maybe the perfect vaca)

    Quote Originally Posted by akbeemer View Post
    If you want to hit an elk, then drive by my place. One was hit this morning just down the road. That makes four buffalo and two elk in the past few years on one short stretch of road.
    The closest I came to killing an elk on this trip was on a ride through Carson NF in Northern NM. A lead cow and calf crossed the road as I came around the corner (not close enough to scare me but certainly close enough to slow down and pay attention). As she crossed the road back to where she originally came from I noticed 3 more cows, 2 more calves and a nice bull.

    Those were the only wild elk I saw on my trip. There are a few “elk ranches” along the way.

    We wondered if the wives would notice if our “butchered” elk steaks had a barcode on them.

    I certainly don’t want to hit one with my F-250 much less a motorcycle. I’ve packed several out via back-pack over the years and I can tell you they are massive animals which would be devastating to a motorcyclist.




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    Wes Fitzer-MOA BoD - President
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    NE Oklahoma BMW Club; BMW Riders of Oklahoma
    2016 R1200GSA

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    Registered User krazyhank's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by akbeemer View Post
    If you want to hit an elk, then drive by my place. One was hit this morning just down the road. That makes four buffalo and two elk in the past few years on one short stretch of road.
    Hey Kevin - been through Silver / Cooke City several times this week. You're right lots of elk, bison and tourist in the road. Oh and thanks for the snow after 65 degrees on Tuesday! haha
    Marc Kitts
    2010 R1200RT

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