Portland and I were asked by the Colorado Division of Wildlife to assist them on a one day Big Horn sheep survey. Of coarse we said- yes! Last year I went with the game warden on my one day big horn sheep survey and I had a blast! Portland went with an intern last year on an overnight survey. He said that even though it was cold that night, he had a great time. Due to our time constraints this summer Portland and I were not able to do an overnight survey, but I wish we could have. We were given Elk Canyon to survey. Neither Portland or myself had ever been to Elk Canyon before but Port had been to Red Lake and Elk Canyon was only about half of a mile north of Red Lake so we decided to go for it.
The Big Horn sheep are in the lower parts of the mountain during the warm parts of the day so the Colorado Division of Wildlife wanted us to be at Elk Canyon by sun rise. We have to be at Elk Canyon roughly by 6:30 am. I didn’t connect the dots until the day before the hike. Portland and I would have to hike five miles in the mountains IN THE DARK!
The day of the hike my alarm rang at 2:15am! We meet at the La Jara field office at 3am and left to start our hike. I’m not going to lie, hiking in the dark was super scary. It also rained the night before, our feet were wet and cold. On the way up to the Red Lake we spooked a few bucks, a cow elk, a bull elk and a black bear! We eventually got to Elk Canyon and it was a beautiful sight. We watched for big horn sheep until about 10:00am and then had our lunch break. Overall, it was a great day and I would love to do another one.