The Beginning.......

March 19, 2016

 

 

 

 

The black, cold, September morning filled my jacket as I clung to the roll cage of the Polaris Ranger racing to beat the sunrise. My eyes had not completley woken up yet. But I could still see some of the scenery through the darkness as we sped across the landscape of Willow Creek Ranch. Stopping the Ranger short of a large hill covered in sage brush and grass. I follwed Ed Lamb {who I had just met minutes ago in the headlights of my truck} up the steep hill to a crude ground blind made from old rail road ties. Seated, Heels dug into the hill side, spotting scope out. I began to take apart the landscape one piece at a time as I have always done.

As the sun started rising across the landscape below me. It revealed a large mass of rutting elk like I had never see before in my entire life. Although I had been a professional Big Game guide for over a decade at this point. And even though I had just come off a successful ten day shot of guiding Archery Elk hunters in White Sulpher Springs. I had never seen anything like this in my professional career as a guide or an elk hunter.

 

That was the first year that Willow Creek Ranch started outfitting the property. That was the 6th year the ranch had been free of its one thousand plus cow/calf pairs of cattle that roamed the property at will. As a result of those six years free of cattle. The grasses, Stream beds, cover, and overall health of the ranch came back. It seemed as though every Elk in the area knew it to. And they all decided that this newley managed ranch was the place to be. 

 

I will never forget that morning meeting my fellow guide and good friend Ed Lamb for the first time. As I will never forget seeing the Willow Creek "Rut Pod" for the first time. In fact. One of my favorite things about being a guide here. Is watching a new clients face as he or she sees it for the first time. It is truely unlike anything else in the hunting world. And any hunter that has hunted Elk in the Mountains needs to see it in their lifetime. That morning changed my path as guide. Call it fate. Call it whatever. As an Elk Hunter. How could anything ever compare again? And if I have anything to do with it. I will be a part of this incredible piece of Montana for as long as I live. 

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