The Hardest Turkey Hunt

North Fork Trailhead
North Fork Trailhead
And so our adventure began at the North Fork trailhead in Colorado's San Isabel National Forest.Outdoor Life Online Editor
Navigation Aids
Navigation Aids
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.Outdoor Life Online Editor
High Elevation
High Elevation
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.Outdoor Life Online Editor
Narrow Trails
Narrow Trails
There were stretches of the trail where I wouldn't feel very comfortable riding a horse.Outdoor Life Online Editor
Campsite
Campsite
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.Outdoor Life Online Editor
Water Source
Water Source
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.Outdoor Life Online Editor
Cool Nights
Cool Nights
Once the sun went down behind the mountains, the temperature plummeted. Warm clothing and hot meals were in order.Outdoor Life Online Editor
Gourmet Meals
Gourmet Meals
There's nothing like a meal of rehydrated beef stroganoff after a long day of hiking and hunting.Outdoor Life Online Editor
Hard Terrain
Hard Terrain
Much of the terrain that we hunted had a distinct angle to it.Outdoor Life Online Editor
Snow Drifts
Snow Drifts
As if the rugged mountain terrain wasn't enough, we also had to wade through the occasional snow drift.Outdoor Life Online Editor
Pack Horse
Pack Horse
Our winged chariot: the mighty Kia rental. Never has man known a finer hunting vehicle.Outdoor Life Online Editor
Bighorn Sheep
Bighorn Sheep
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.Outdoor Life Online Editor
Scenery
Scenery
The scenery in the San Isabel is breathtaking.Outdoor Life Online Editor
Local Village
Local Village
The one-horse town of Cuchara, Colo., smack in the middle of the Forest, is a charming mountain village.Outdoor Life Online Editor
Central Colorado
Central Colorado
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.Outdoor Life Online Editor