A 3:30 am wakeup. A rumbling drive up a dirt road. A silent walk to a predetermined outlook, then a frigid hour or so watching light creep across the sky and land. This is at the core of hunting, when you take out the guns and animals and meat processing.
I spent a few days with Laura Palmisano and Katie Richman during the fourth elk rifle hunting season in Colorado. Richman is a seasoned ungulate hunter, and this was Laura’s second year with an elk tag. Although the animals didn’t show up where they expected, they did bring some firewood home.
Laura Palmisano and Katie Richman layer up for a sub-zero morning trudging to and waiting for elk in a meadow in unit 521 on Grand Mesa in Colorado.
Katie Richman talks to Ryan Strand, who owns 100 acres of land in unit 521, about the dead elk they found that morning that had been decomposing.
Katie Richman and Laura Palmisano head out for an evening of hunting on private land on Grand Mesa in Colorado.
Laura Palmisano adjusts her grip on her rifle while waiting for dusk, the time when elk are most active.
Katie Richman points in the direction she expects elk to walk from when the sun sets.
Laura Palmisano looks across the landscape while hunting on Grand Mesa.