Story & Photos by Ty Fogerty
ElkBros, I want to thank you very much for taking the time, money and energy to create your videos/Podcast. I am Ty Fogarty from Banks, Oregon and I just tagged out on my first big game animal. A Roosevelt cow elk!
The adventure started during my 2018 rifle elk hunt. My brother (Joel) and I decided to hunt elk together. I had been hunting the last few years, but really didn’t spend a lot of time taking it seriously.
In 2018, I decided to take a more serious approach to hunting. I planned on spending most of the season out hunting from daylight to daybreak. OnX helped me e-scout the area. Before that, I had never really done any type of preseason scouting. I found a spot that looked really good on OnX and decided to give it a try. But when opening morning came, we decided to play it safe and we went to a spot I had hunted several times other times instead. The only thing we saw or heard were the sounds of other hunters. I got really frustrated and we left.
Now it was time to try the new area I found on OnX. We ended up hiking about 4 miles up to a fairly large clear-cut, only to have a logger pull up. The logger told us to keep coming back to this location and we would get something. He also informed us of another way to enter that would save us a ton of time!
We ended up following his advice and entered from the other side and immediately into a herd of around 25 elk. I got ready to shoot and ended up missing 2 shots on a spike! We went to look at the elk and found no blood. I ran down the hill to get on the elk again, found them and took 2 more shots. I had been using my grandpa’s old 300 Savage from 1942 and it was definitely off. I was disappointed, dejected, yet at the same time so excited!
Unbelievably, that night after hearing my story, my wife went out and bought me a new rifle! I have an amazing wife (Nichole) and 2 beautiful daughters (Lily 5 and Grace 8).
Joel and I hunted the rest of the time in that area and just kept missing the elk. After this close experience I decided to step up my game and start listening to elk podcasts and watching some elk videos on youtube! Nichole told me I have become slightly obsessed.
I found ElkBros and really liked your podcast. ElkBros became a regular on my ride to and from work (I am an elementary PE teacher). The information on your podcasts really took me from a 101 hunter to a 201/301 hunter. Scouting became a regular source of exercise for myself and my kids. During our father/daughter trips, the elk consistently stayed in the area all year long.
Now fast forward to this spring. The area we had hunted offered a cow draw with a 2-month season. With a whole new focus, I purchased a wind checker and new set of supplies. My hunting had progressed from a random guess on a map to actually looking for recent elk sign and constantly checking the wind. Before now, I found myself regularly getting on the elk only to have them wind me and take off, so things had to change.
The first part of the season I wasn’t able to spend a lot of time out in the woods. I was coaching my daughter’s basketball team and helping set up our softball league for the fall. Grace, Lily and I went out several times when Nichole had to work. Grace and Lily love to hunt.
My 2019 season will most likely be my last tag for the next 6 years, but in Oregon the youth mentor program allows a child to fill an adult hunter’s tag at 9 years old. So Grace and Lily will most likely fill my tag in the future years.
The elk seemed to stay in the same small area throughout the entire year. Fresh elk sign had been all over the area and before I knew it, I ended up getting winded and heard the elk take off. After getting winded 3 times in a row, I decided to finally play the wind correctly. In the years past I had never checked the wind and thanks to the ElkBros podcast, I was convinced me to get the wind in my favor. It took some practice to figure out the patterns of the wind but in the end I figured it out.
I came onto a major trail and found fresh elk tracks. Not wanting to make the same mistake, I followed the tracks with the wind in my face. The elk happened to be feeding about 100 yards ahead on the edge of the clear cut!
I laid down and put my pack on the ground as a rest. Like a picture in a dream, a nice little cow was suddenly in my cross hairs and I pulled the trigger! I looked up and saw the cow go down!
Now the real adventure began having to pack out the elk 4 miles each way! It took me all night and half the next day. Thank goodness for YouTube and the help of a good friend teaching me how to cut up an elk. But the best part without a doubt is that my family now has a full freezer of elk meat during some very crazy times. What an adventure! What a memory!