There are lots of tree carvings in the western U.S. Most of us are familiar with the JJ+JP surrounded by a heart located a half mile up the neighborhood trail. What I was not so familiar with was the art that the sheepherders leave behind. In Colorado, most of our arborglyphs are from Mexican immigrant and Central American sheepherders, but sheepherders from all over Europe have worked and left their thoughts in the forests of the West. Some of the pictures you run into are true works of art and usually have a story to tell. During Colorado’s 1st rifle season last year I found the carving below. I’ve found lots of carvings in the past, but this was the first one I had seen that had anything to do with hunting or wild animals. I figured the sheepherder had seen lots of elk here. We hunted the area opening morning with great success, killing two cows. We were back three days later and called in a 5pt. bull; a week later my cousin killed a cow there. Next time I see an arborglyph in elk country, I’m going to pay close attention to what it says.
For more info on arborglyphs here are a few links: