Returning Iraq veteran scores on trophy Colorado bull elk

When my son Noah Smith of Kent City, MI returned from a tour of duty in Iraq with the US Army in the summer of 2010, I ask him what kind of hunt would he be interested in. “I’d like to ride horses and hunt in the mountains”.  Well, an elk hunt out west was in order! We attended the “Huntin Time Expo” at the Delta Plex in Grand Rapids in January of 2011 with the intention of having an elk hunt booked before we left that night.

After talking with about 20 elk outfitters we settled on “Backcountry Outfitters” out of Pagosa Springs Colorado.

As it turned out a very good choice.

We liked the idea that they owned all their own horses and mules and we would be packing in about 8 miles to a tent camp and hunting everyday starting with a horse back ride further into the mountains.

 On November 4, after a 1650 mile road trip to Colorado with our friend Brian Braun of Ann Arbor, we pack in on horse back to our tent camp for the week.  

The second day of the hunt, November 6, Noah and I rode out about 3 miles from camp and spotted elk on the far side of a huge valley. Jumping off the horses we pulled our guns out of the scabbards. Noah was about to take this trophy 6X6 and 20 seconds later I took a 5X5 elk.

Our guide, Monty, stated later that in all the years he has been guiding he never had a father son team shoot two elk standing next to each other in a span of 20 seconds!!

If you would like to see Noah’s elk, I think we will have it on display at the Backcountry Outfitters booth this January at the “Huntin Time Expo” in Grand Rapids.