Editor’s Note: Mossy Oak Pro Staffer Todd Lodwick of Steamboat Springs, Colorado, loves to hunt and also owns three world skiing titles in Nordic combined skiing. He won the silver medal in Nordic combined skiing in the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver, Canada, and is the only person to qualify six times for the U.S. Winter Olympic team. Lodwick’s passion for the outdoors also includes hunting.
I was lucky enough to go to New Mexico and hunt with Ralph Ramos (professional hunter and guide and owner of Ramos Hunts & Video). I was fortunate to draw a tag in a unit that was known to have some big bull elk. We saw a lot of bull elks on this hunt, and I passed up some really nice bulls. Ralph is such a great caller that we had elk all around us during most of the hunt. I learned many elk-hunting skills from Ralph, and I learned how to get into position to take a really big bull.
When my elk was within 30 yards, I drew my PSE bow and released the arrow. I shoot Gold Tip arrows and Trophy Ridge Rocket 100 broadheads. The elk didn’t go very far before he piled up. This was a great hunt – one of many great elk hunts I’ve been able to enjoy. But because of my training regimen, I don’t get to hunt as much as I would like. However, one advantage I have is that archery season in Colorado often starts before we have snow. Another advantage that I have is that where I hunt when I am at home is only 10 minutes from my house, and it’s all public land. So, I can bowhunt for a couple of days.
Elk hunting allows me to build up my endurance training for Nordic skiing. Even though I’m enjoying being outside and hunting, I’m also climbing mountains, moving quickly to see elk and possibly getting a shot at one. So, on most hunts, I am taking care of my training needs as well as having the opportunity to bowhunt. I am so addicted to elk hunting that if the elk are bugling; regardless of the distance I have to travel or the mountains I have to climb, I know I can get to those bugling elk.
I haven’t had an opportunity to take a mule deer yet with my bow, but I have taken one with my gun. I’ve also had the opportunity to take several bears with my PSE bow. Hunting bears is a much different experience than hunting elk. As a youngster, I grew up thinking that bears were mean. So, when I am stalking a bear with my bow, there is a level of excitement that is very different than when I am stalking elk.