We cut our first elk tracks five miles in, post-holing our way through heavy snow often reaching past the knee. Kyle has taken the front, breaking the trail, one foot slowly in front of the other. A faint “whoomph and crunch” with every step. Despite the cold I'm sweating from exertion. A gust of wind howls over the saddle. Flipping up my hood I watch the sun burn off the last morning clouds. It's the first full day of the hunt. I squint from the sunlight and the grin that creases my face; I could not imagine a more perfect moment.