by Cody Scriver
I got to the Trophy Mountain Ranch owned by Monte Matheson in the Cowdrey, Colorado area on September 5th ready to hunt. Monte donated this hunt to SCI Foundation Veterans Committee to auction off during the Veterans Breakfast for a combat veteran to take a trophy elk on his ranch. It seemed like a tease when I had gotten word that the Northwest SCI Chapter wanted to put my name in for a veteran’s elk hunt, but I was in disbelief when I got a call saying I was selected for it. I had been counting down the days for the hunt since we set the date with Monte in Las Vegas and I was ready to go.
My wife Fawm and son Tucker joined me and, after driving 3,000 miles in a cramped truck with a three- year-old, we were glad to finally get to Monte’s ranch.
On the first morning of the hunt, we saw quite a few elk but later in the day, they had begun to bed down and were harder to spot. We continued to hunt, and at the crest of the next ridge, we caught site of an elk in the creek bed below.
He was a couple hundred yards away, but we couldn’t see how big he was, so we headed down to get a closer look. We were about 100 yards from the elk, keeping some brush between us and the elk, when we caught a movement to our right. There were three more bull elk 60 yards away. While we had cover from the one below, we were wide open to those three.
Thankfully they didn’t spook and, after a long few seconds, the three to our right started walking away from us to the creek below. One of the bulls was huge and looked great. The other bull at the bottom of the creek had come out and, what I thought was an average bull, turned out to be just as massive. I couldn’t believe I was 100 yards away from not one but two 400”+ bull elk. The one I had my eye on was monstrous and heavy all the way to the tips of his antlers.
Finally, we had gotten as close as we could to him. He was on to us, though, and started to get antsy. He looked our way and then back at the other elk that were leaving. My guide asked how far I could shoot and I replied, “50 yards,” wondering how confident I was with my answer. Then, my guide responded, “good he’s at 52 yards. Take the shot when you’re ready.”
I drew back my bow. The elk was angled away, and I tried to picture where his lungs were from this position. I expected my hands to shake a little but, as I settled on the elk, my 40 and 50 pins seemed to become one. I relaxed and focused my mind on the shot and, once the 50 pin settled an inch or two above where I wanted the arrow to hit, I let it fly. I had red knocks on my arrow and was able to watch it fly up and then down into the exact spot I was aiming for. I honestly don’t know if the shot was from practice or if I just got lucky.
It took a few hours for the smile to leave my face. I had just taken a 422 1/8 bull elk. What a bull!
We had some downtime while the elk was being processed, so Monte set us up with poles and took us down to the lake for some fishing. He said he had pretty good trout in the lake, so we took some time to find out. Tucker loves fishing poles and reels, but he had never experienced one with a fish on the other end. When I caught my first fish, he went from being excited by the action of reeling it in, to being panicked when he realized there was something on the other end. After a short spell of terror, he started getting into it and helped me land his very first trout, too.
What started out as a chance to hunt elk, turned into a hunt of a lifetime that I got to share with my family. I would have never been able to set up something like this without the support of SCI Northwest Chapter and SCI Foundation and everyone who made the hunt possible. There were so many people involved in bringing the hunt together and I can’t thank them enough. I really appreciate everyone at SCI Foundation National who helped along the way.
Cody Scriver, Combat Veteran – Award Winner of the Colorado Bull Elk Hunt Donated by Trophy Mountain Outfitters
New in 2018, the SCI Foundation Veterans Committee auctioned a sponsorship for a combat veteran to go on a 400-420-point bull elk hunt. The sponsor – winning bidder of the auction paid to send Cody Scriver, a nine-year Marine veteran who had participated in over 100 combat missions in Afghanistan, on a Colorado trophy bull elk hunt. Both Cody, his wife Fawm and son Tucker received two nights lodging and meals. Cody’s elk hunt was donated by Trophy Mountain Ranch, a high fence hunting park located near Cowdrey, Colorado.
The hunt was filmed by Colorado Buck and his crew. Watch the full segment by clicking below.