Well I thought I would share my 2010 hunting experience. I am sure you are like me and sit around thinking about hunting season all year long. This year was the same, hundreds of rounds down range, drop charts ready to go and double checked.
Opening day started with a long drive up a crappy road because my brother and I could not get Friday off. The plan was to make the trip at daylight and hunt our way into camp. 13 miles in 2.5 hours, one mile took us 45min. Rough! Well when we got to our normal spot, some one had made use of our space. On to the second choice of camps. This year looked like all the hunters in the area decided to hunt in “OUR” valley.
We get to camp unload, the tent poles had gotten soaked by splashing gas, so we laid everything out to dry. Well I was napping in a chair and my brother on the ground sleeping, and just when I shut my eyes my dad spots 2 deer on the move. I jumped up and grabbed the rifle to head them off. Well 1:30 into hunting season without the tent set up, my dad and I are tagged out! If the tent would have been up the deer would have passed with out a trace.
I shot the 4 point as it stepped out form behind the tree. Not even long range 250 yards, no need to even turn the knob on the nightforce. The 7 rem mag with a 168 berger at 3075 put it down where it stood!
The forked horn stepped out and my dad put it down with a 30-06 at 200 yards.
The only reason I shot the 4 point on opening day, was it was a good buck for the area. I have passed up bigger ones in the past, but the last couple years the bucks have been lean and tag soup is not filling!
Here’s the nice buck (I thought it was nice)
It was now time to find my brother a buck. Since we had meat in camp we could be a lot more choosey. I can tell you it was nice just packing the spotting scope and tripod without a 14lbs gun on your back as well.
We went the next 1.5 day without seeing another deer! We talked with all the other hunters in the area and we were the only ones with deer hanging. Feeling really glad I shot the one that I did now.
Here is some of the places we were glassing on our 6.5 mile hike that lasted 12 hours.
Tuesday we ran back to town to resupply and check voice mail and see if the wives were OK. On the way back we checked out camps, NO DEER hanging!
We got back to camp 3:30 and my brother suggested we sneak to out spot and just glass tell dark. Well we moved down the hill a little from our normal tree to get a better view of on draw. We glassed for 2.5 hours with out seeing a thing. We looked at ever tree stick and bush! We began to get frustrated, we always see deer in this valley. Every time we have been here in the past we would see a forked horn at least. As we sat and talked about where to hunt the following day and as the light began to fade, I catch a glimpse of a deer. My brother dropped behind the gun and said he sees horns. I moved further down the hill and all I can see is the shadow of the bucks horns on the mountain side. About then he turned his head and is horn tip hit his butt.
We stopped checked the distance with the Leica 1200, 300 yards, 20 degree uphill. He is shooting a 7 RUM, 160 Accubond, 3200 fps. Gave him a hold over of roughly 2 MOA. Hold dead center behind the front shoulder. As the shot broke I saw the body just ripple at impact. Deer ran down hill 10 yards and was out of sight.
I hiked over to where he was standing when my brother shot so we did not lose track, and this is what I found.
I thought mine was nice, but my brother has bragging rights for the next year. Its only a 3x3, but the size of the deer was amazing, largest Mulie I have ever seen killed. I would guess his age at 8-10 years, and his weight at 250+. I cut about 40 lbs of fat of him during skinning.
We shot it at 6:30pm and finally had it back to camp and skinned at 1:30am. When we got it off the mountain to the 4 wheeler, we shut off the head lamps and just stared at the stars. When you can be in complete darkness and see the millions of stars, you need to take it in for a while.
Sorry for the long past, and not long range. We glassed all over hell and back to find a deer at 600 yards, but decided not to pass on that one.
Well another year in the books, and 11 months to dream about doing it again!