Why?

Adventures of a Modern Day, Middle-Aged Hero, on the Glory Road(to family security)

10.03.2012

The last step is kind of important, too.

No real news that catches my eye, so you'll have to satisfy yourself with more hunting stories.  I promise, I won't step by step through 7 days of elk hunting like this.

After passing up numerous deer on the side of the freeway, I finally made it to my happy hunting grounds.  While I had identified several farms where I could hunt in the Pomeroy area, I really hadn't put boots on the ground prior to the season.  So, when I spotted a few deer on a hill side, I figured that was as good a place as any to get out and start walking.  Figured if I saw three deer, there might be another few I couldn't see...and there were!  Half-an-hour of tromping through waist high, bone dry grass convinced me I wasn't going to be able to work any closer than 150-200 yards away from them. 

I ended up walking a big 1.5 mile loop, and spooked several more deer.  There is little more demoralizing as a hunter than seeing a mule deers white ass 'sproinging' away in that way that only a mule deer can hop. 

With a lot of ground to cover, I got back in my truck and moved to another farm, and after walking in, I found a promising looking draw I decided to keep an eye on for a while, because it looked like 'deer country.' 

video

What I was trying to zoom in(really, I was just looking for an excuse to play with my phone...it can zoom!) on were two bucks that confirmed my instincts were valid.  About 20 minutes after I sat down, they popped over the top of the hill and worked their way down into the thick brush at the top of the ravine, where they promptly bedded down. 

I waited an hour for them to pop out down below, and finally decided I was going to have to go in after them.  The wind was blowing pretty stiffly right into my face, and for the most part, it was pretty easy walking through a freshly harvested wheat field.

For a while, I looked and acted like a real hunter.  I shimmied in between the 3rd and 4th strands of a barb-wire fence(I had permission to be on the land, the guy just had a few fences running across the property).  About half-way there, I dropped off my back-pack so I could start serious crouching approach.  When I got about 40 yards away from where I thought the bucks where, I eased up to get my bearings, and as I did that, both bucks jumped up.  Both were legal, with the bigger one being a 4 or 5 pointer.  I brought the rifle to my shoulder, and promptly forgot EVERYTHING I ever learned about being a shooter. 

I was looking at the bigger buck while I had the rifle pointed at the smaller, but closer, buck.  I didn't pause half a second to hold my breath.  I jerked the trigger instead smoothly pulling it.  And I flat out missed.  The deer was quartering away.  It wasn't an easy shot, but you didn't have to be Annie Oakley either. 

After doing everything else right, I was very depressed...and even more so because I then spent the next hour walking around in a circle to see if I could find any sign that I HAD hit the buck.  It was then a much longer walk back to my truck than it had been walking away from it in the morning. 



1 comment:

  1. It makes for excellent reading, for my part. I'd sure like to be out there myself. But, literally, getting out of my chair a few times a month to do shopping... So, keep up the stories. I particularly liked the notion of instinct with regard to where to wait.

    As for whether you are a hero for hunting within the rules? Sure, that might not make you a hero, but it is the basis upon which heroism begins. It's a naked honesty and regard for something more than just what you want. There are things more precious than a deer in the freezer, bragging rights, or even our lives. And it isn't simply "following the rules". It is a nuance thereabouts, concerning doing the right thing with or without rules to go by. But for those weak with the force, perhaps the rules are a good place to start?

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