Okay...last hunting post for the week, then we'll get on to important things like ZOMG GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWNS!
In the past, I've made no bones about the fact that I look down upon the concept of 'road hunting'...you know, those guys you see slowly cruising the back roads, waiting for a deer/elk to jump out so they can shoot it and drag it ten feet to the back of their 2-wheel drive, car chassis based SUV. If you want to call it 'road tag filling', fine...but it's not hunting.
I even say this as someone who shot his deer from the road last year. Not from the truck, not using the truck as a rest(which is highly against the rules)...and not from a paved road,but as someone who spent over 8 hours running around the fields and Palouse while seeing few deer, I then saw a couple of does 40 yards or so off the dust rutted dirt road between to farms on the way back in to town. They were nice enough to stand and look dumbly at me while I got out of the truck, and stepped off the road towards them. While I was happy to fill my tag, it wasn't the hunting experience(or the story you could tell over beers) that I was hoping for.
This year was different. I bagged both of my does hunting, the first one suicidally sitting through a thunder storm in a patch of sage brush, the 2nd one a half-mile hike up a draw. I keep a tarp and some rope in my back pack, so I was able to rig up bit of a 'sled' for the first one, and having only 300-400 yards of relatively flat ground, I was able to get it to the truck in one piece.
This last weekend was tougher. While in general, gravity was on my side, as the truck was downhill from where I shot the deer, gravity was also the enemy. The bottom of the draw was choked full of underbrush, and so the only way in and out was walking along game trails in the side of the hill. The deer in it's tarp didn't want to cooperate. I barely made it about 50 yards before I got tired of having to drag the deer 4 feet back uphill each time it tried to roll down hill. Finally...I gave up, and had to cut the deer in half, which enabled me to totally bundle it up in the tarp, making it easier to control.
Of course, then I had to make the trip multiple times...and the front half still was a major pain in the ass. And it continues to be a major pain in the ass, because I'm not in the shape I should be. I know once I gutted her, that doe probably didn't weigh much more than 100 pounds, and once I split her in half, the individual parts were even lighter, but my hamstrings and gluteus maximus's are ON FIRE today.
Boy, maybe there is something to that 'road hunting'...or not getting old, or out of shape.