I’ve always thought some context was important to a story adventure. If you want to jump to the hunt you’re going to have to wait till Chapter 3 (I’ll post in a couple of days). Chapter 1 My Dad and my uncle Butch were both hugely important in developing my love of the outdoors. Before I started in kindergarten, my father had taken me hunting and fishing with him. Rifles and shotguns were the tools we used to learn how to spot & stalk and still hunt. April first was the first day of trout season, some date in November the beginning of deer season. Each opener we were absent from school, an ‘educational field trip’ was what my Dad would jot down as the excuse we needed to carry to school. Spring and summer was fishing season. Fall’s quarry was birds, small game and deer. Year after year, this was the routine. My uncle would take myself, my siblings and my Dad on various fishing adventures, but he wasn’t a ‘gun hunter’, he hunted nearly exclusively with a bow. Sometime in the 70s, my oldest sister brought me along to our town’s summer recreation program and she introduced to archery. I learned archery basics on a crappy fiberglass bow and cheap wooden arrows. Within a year I had purchased my first real bow (a 50# Bear recurve) and some aluminum arrows. Daily, I would spend hours practicing and by the end of that second year I was reasonably proficient. My Dad eventually also started learning to shoot with a bow and joined us targets hooting in the backyard as my uncle Butch had given him one of his old recurves. After we all took the NY state archery training course, our backyard archery hobby became a means to extend our hunting seasons. So was the routine till just after college. After graduating from college, moving south, meeting a wonderful young lady, got married and we started our family. Hunting and archery just weren’t the priority they once were and my bow and guns sat idle for years. Life was busy. Work, family and chores filled my free time. Eventually we moved to NC and I became an IT consultant, traveling every week, managing projects for demanding clients and ample stress. Weekends were jammed with trying to catch up with family, laundry, and chores. There was no time for hunting. While I was busy, my uncle passed away. About 6 years ago, my Dad had a stroke while visiting one of my siblings in AZ. After getting him home to NY, the prognosis showed cancer was the root cause and the prognosis wasn’t good, it was cancer. Though not a total surprise since my Dad had been smoking for nearly 60 years. However the cancer was fairly advanced and widespread and I think my Dad knew his days were very numbered. While spending time with him, we had lots of time to catch up, old hunting stories, life, family, etc. Before he died, he gave me a bow that was once my uncle’s, an Oneida screaming eagle. Practicing with this bow helped to re-ignite my interest in hunting, being outdoors and was a great counter to my work. Years passed. Being a road warrior meant long days, eating out, little exercise and I had gotten fat. Just before Christmas of 2015 I noticed how rotund I had gotten, I felt constantly sore, decrepit with my wife complaining of my snoring when I was home. I was pushing 230lbs. http://i1319.photobucket.com/albums...creenshot_2016-10-08-20-15-17_zpsybag3tpz.png January 2016 was a milestone– 50 years old. I needed a new challenge, a goal and an adventure. My challenge and goal was to lose 40 lbs and try to get in decent shape while being on the road. For years I had followed the CO elk trip threads on bowhunting.com and I decided this would be a great motivation, reward and an adventure. I logged my interest to the 2016 thread early in January. I knew nothing about elk hunting. My prior trip to the Rocky Mountains, painfully memorable due to altitude sickness in the high peaks. I was shooting what most would consider, vintage archery equipment. I also knew I needed new gear, and with 3 of my 5 kids now in college, I really wasn’t sure how I would be able to afford the gear, let alone the license and trip. Could I even hold my own without embarrassing myself on such a trip? So many doubts. The one thing I knew, the Oneida would be along for the adventure.