The Hardest Turkey Hunt

North Fork Trailhead

And so our adventure began at the North Fork trailhead in Colorado’s San Isabel National Forest.
We used topo maps to help us find a place to camp. We didn’t want to set up too near any canyons or valleys that might be holding birds.
We made frequent breaks on the hike in to catch our breath. Between the elevation change and the 60-pound packs on our backs, it was a rather grueling hike.
There were stretches of the trail where I wouldn’t feel very comfortable riding a horse.
After a two-mile walk into the mountains we found a perfect spot to set up camp. There was a campfire pit and plenty of flat space for our four tents.
A nearby stream provided us with water for drinking and cooking, after being filtered of course. Nothing ruins a backpacking trip faster than a case of beaver fever.
Once the sun went down behind the mountains, the temperature plummeted. Warm clothing and hot meals were in order.
There’s nothing like a meal of rehydrated beef stroganoff after a long day of hiking and hunting.
Much of the terrain that we hunted had a distinct angle to it.
As if the rugged mountain terrain wasn’t enough, we also had to wade through the occasional snow drift.
Our winged chariot: the mighty Kia rental. Never has man known a finer hunting vehicle.
After a disappointing first morning of hunting, our spirits were raised when we came upon five Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep grazing by the side of the forest service road. Three of them had full curls.
The scenery in the San Isabel is breathtaking.
The one-horse town of Cuchara, Colo., smack in the middle of the Forest, is a charming mountain village.
Interestingly, central Colorado, where we hunted on Thursday, looked far more like New Mexico or Arizona than the southern part of the state, where we hunted the first three days.