Re: 2005 Antelope / Mule Deer Hunt
There are several other "stories" but I can't give away the whole program.
But I think I can tell this ne.. I'll try to remember the details..
After Derek made an incredible shot on his buck we loaded our gear back into the vehicles and proceeded to the next section we were given permission to hunt.
Steve spotted some Antelope in the distance and made our next shooter ( Jim ) aware that they were there. After a few minutes of glassing Jim found the buck he wanted... but here's the hard part the buck had heard Derek shot and was about as calm as a bank robber stuck in traffic. He was headed for a distant ridge.. and he wasn't about to look back. "Let him go, I said" if we pressure him he'll just keep running. " Steve, Chris and I decided that if he drops off the back side of the ridge he'll more than likley drop into the sage and rest and relax.
We drove to within 500 yards of the ridge. Jim decide he still wanted to take a shot at this buck. "Game on" Chris says... With that, yours truly gets the nod for the camera again. Steve grabs the bino's and Chris grabs bino's and a range finder. Outta the truck and a quick sneek to 300 yards from the ridge. I am about 30 yards from the group of 3 and get the camera set up. I see the 3 hit the dirt face first .. so I do the same. "must be a nice buck " I thought to myself. The 3 start to belly crawl to the edge of the ridge. All I was thinking was about how I forgot my knee pads and elbow pads in the truck! "crap, you dumbass Ric" I take a drink of water thinking next time I do this after this crawl I'll look like a garden sprinkler after crawling though the prickly pears.
In the dirt I go with the camera and bi-pod cradled in my arms like a sniper rifle. I glance up to see Steve, Jim and Chris frantically ranging and glassing. The sharp, quick movements tell me there is a bit of stress and tension. "Wow, must be worth shooting" I think to myself. I move my crawl into high gear. OUCH, OUCH damnit!! F&%$*ng pears...
I see Steve look at Chris motioning him to the right. I know the look on Steve's face. Determined with excitement. "gotta be a good buck" I say... I slowly inch my way to the group. I slither my way up onto the back of Chris and Steve and painstakenly manuver the camera into position. Steve and Chris have a dialoge with Jim. There are 3 bucks in the group and they are evaluating each one. I pan the camera through the group looking for the buck they are describing. "Bingo!" I say to myself ,there he is on the right. Jim is now asking for yardages and Chris is continually giving updates. 402, 400, 402, 404, 402... Steve is methodically giving advice, quatering to your right, dead away, doe behind, stopped quatering away to your right... Jim's senses now are near overload. There is alot to compute when you are trying to make your one and only shot count. Jim is checking his drop chart and begins to apply the evelation clicks. Jim asks Chris for wind determination. Chris barks in a whisper 10-12 mph quartering from your 2 o'clock. In the corner of my eye I see Jim apply right windage. Chris reminds him to cut it in half because of the quatering wind. "Roger" Jim says... Chris asks Jim "is he the one?" ..."yeah!" Jim says in a stern whisper. Steve is still whispering updates on the positioning of the buck. "he's moved back left and is broadside in the group." "Check" jim says.
No shot Steve and Chris say almost simultaniously... this buck has himself positioned in the middle of 6-8 does and is making his rounds checking for the right one with the right smell. "Be patient", Chris reminds Jim.. "we have alot of time left, lets wait him out." " am I going somewhere?" Jim says with a confusing tone.. we all sorta chuckle and the tension is lifted for a brief moment... Steve barks back in a whisper.. he's outta the group on the left. Chris give him a.... "423, 423, 424, 424, 424.." Chris already knew what to do..."424 , 424, 423", Chris continues... Jim readjusts his dope and windage. Chris whispers "when he breaks completely free, send it." "he's gonna be broadside." Steve adds... "roger that" Jim says...
the next 3 seconds become a melting pot of words..."I'm hot, Jim says" "send it" Chris adds... milliseconds later you here wwwwhhhhaaaaaappppp...."on the money, he's down" from Steve... in the view finder I see the does jump and bolt through the sage. A quick check on the heard buck lying motionless in the sage tells me another LR segment was done right. "By the book" as they say... I keep the camera rolling to capture the audio of true emotions... everything is still surreal at this point... everyone is getting up from the prone position, shaking hands and congratualating... pointing back and commenting on the 300 yard crawl they just made... pats on the back and a 400 yard walk begin... in a few minutes Jim begins to examine his buck... a mature heard buck with outstanding mass and alot of character... I see that he admires this awesome animals and is pleased with his trophy....