October 19, 2022 at 3:07 p.m.

A Wyoming adventure

A  Wyoming adventure
A Wyoming adventure

Meyer goes on bucket list hunt


Every January for around five years, hopeful Albany resident Derrick Meyer applied for an elk tag in Wyoming.

In June 2022, he found out his preference points paid off. Meyer drew a lottery license.

One could say Meyer hit the lottery four months later. Meyer harvested a bull elk with a 4-foot inside spread rack Oct. 1 in Wyoming.

Having hunted white tail, antelope and mule deer in Wyoming since 2001, he was familiar with the area he had in mind for the trip, and he was well acquainted with an old work friend’s family which lived in the state. He planned to take on the adventure with the Wyoming native’s son and another friend from Wisconsin.

“(It has) always been a bucket list thing for me,” Meyer said. “I asked my friend if one of his sons could take me elk hunting. They have a passion to hunt. They were my resource knowing where to go.”

Soon it was Sept. 29. With a few months of extra rifle practice behind him, he hit the road for the 12-hour drive and four-day hunt ahead. Friday morning in northeastern Wyoming, the three men hopped on horses at the trailhead and trotted 21 miles and nine hours into the terrain to where camp would be set up.

“The horse-riding experience was something new to me,” Meyer said. “I have a new appreciation for what they can do. Some of the stuff we went up and down; I was amazed by it.”

The group camped and hunted on public land, complete with a tent, water and freeze-dried food, hauled in two weeks prior. This piece of the western country would be their home for the next few nights.

“After we got there, we spent some hours scouting,” Meyer said. “We hopped on the biggest hill we could and glassed. We spotted an elk 3 miles away.”

The young Wyoming native knew the animal was the elk Meyer should go after the next day. The temperature dropped into the 30s during the night while Meyer, in his sleeping bag, was busy listening to the elk bugling, providing entertainment until daybreak.

“I didn’t sleep,” he said. “I was just visualizing, getting mentally prepared. I was confident he would get us to him, but yet it’s still hunting; I knew I would have to make the shot.”

Come morning, the men hopped on their horses and headed 3 miles from camp to where they spotted the bull the night prior.

“At the top of this hill, we spotted him within a couple hundred yards from where we saw him before,” Meyer said. “I got down on the ground with my gun on the tripod, then the bull walked over a hill. We got down on one side of the ridge, worked ourselves closer, heard a bugle and sure enough there he was with some cows half the distance he was previously.”

After years of dreaming of the moment, Meyer harvested the elk from just over 250 yards away.

“I knew he was good, but when I walked up to him and put my hands on him, I was like, ‘Wow.’ I was quiet for a while taking it all in,” Meyer said. “They are big animals, even just the body. He exceeded what my expectations were.”

Meyer rough scored the elk at 362 with a 4-foot inside spread. Most of the high 50-degree day was spent quartering up the bull and riding back to camp, only to head out once more. Before the day was over, a few miles in the opposite direction of where Meyer had his luck, his Wisconsin friend harvested an elk as well – another bull they had spotted the night before. Next came sitting back at camp and retelling tales of the day.

“It was fun being out there with nothing, cooking elk loin on a rock over some coals, forgetting about the world we live in for a while and not having to think about anything but being in the middle of nowhere,” Meyer said.

Breathing in the Wyoming air satisfied Meyer.

“The country is beautiful,” Meyer said. “Just the scenery is worth the price of admission. There are a lot of good people in Wyoming, salt of the earth people that will do anything for you.”

Meyer claims his elk hunt to be a hunt of a lifetime. What he experienced during the trip, the flow of it, and, of course, shooting a bull makes it a hunt hard to top, he said.

Soon he and his horse, Waffles, were headed out of camp and he was on his way home with a full truck and full heart. Someday he hopes to go back for an elk with his own sons. In the meantime, he is left with a good story to tell and surely will be back in Wyoming for a deer hunt in no time at all.


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