I'm home from Colorado. Been lookin' forward to posting my story and pics.
Tryin' to decide where to start. I think I'll start near the end.
It was friday, the last day of the hunt. I'd had trouble finding the ambition to crawl out of my oh so comfy sleeping bag. The two hour ride seemed colder this morning. Rusty, my little sorrell saddlebred, had seemed reluctant too, shivering under the frozen saddle blanket.
The ground was frozen again, every aspen leaf and blade of grass crunching loudly as I crept along in the pre dawn grey. Now, I'd hiked a half an hour. I was crouched on the edge of a brushy opening in the aspens. I had heard a shot from the direction my partner had gone. We were miles from a trail or road, and I was sure it was him. I also recognised the sound of his 300 ultra.
He shot again, and I fished my radio from my pants. I covered the speaker and turned it on. Turning the volume down all the way, I set the radio on the log next to me. It had been a frustrating hunt, and I was happy he'd gotten to shoot.
Finishing the task at hand, I started to stand, pulling my pants up. A snort from behind me startled me badly. I dropped my pants and grabbed for my gun. Or rather my rifle. The rifle came up as I spun, crosshairs tracking the fleeing deer. An impression of "medium". The buck stopped behind some trees. His head, shoulders, and vitals hidden.
My crosshairs settled above his flank groove. It'll put him down, I thought. The rifle humped, then settled. The deer was gone. I didn't remember giving the order to shoot. I didn't remember chambering another round. But, the actions were done.
I tried to take a step to the left and realized my pants had fallen back down. I buttoned my pants. Then, reshouldered the rifle as some does bounded away. No buck.
I shouldered my pack and slowly walked toward where the deer had been. Had my instinctive offhand shot hit home 150 yards off? A bit of movement caught my eye. The deer had dropped at the shot. A shot from my fourty finished the buck.
The rifle is a Rem Sendero in 300 win. It wears a Joel Russo stock which I customized to my taste, and a defensive edge brake. Leupold did the glass.
I fished my radio out again. Did you hit it, I asked? Don't know, came the reply. I killed the the three point, I said. Good.
After dressing my deer and hiking back for my horse, the radio crackled again. My second shot was good, it said. Half an hour later I arrived with the horses.
This rifle is a Rem in 300 ultra wearing a boyds thumbhole, defensive edge brake, and Zeis conquest. The rifle was purchased from "philinny" and shipment recieved by "goodgrouper". Thanks guys! Russ loves the gun!
It was a long six miles back to camp. My feelings were mixed. The deer we killed were deer we'd passed earlier. The hunt had been tough. Long rides and tough hikes into the high country had produces painfully little animal movement. While the low country (private) held incredible amounts of deer and elk to wish for.
Our third hunter had killed his first buck the morning before. He made a fantastic shot, hitting the buck in the back of the neck from a seated position at two hundred and fifty yards.
I had killed a coyote that morning. I stopped to water Rusty at a creek in a long, open draw. I spotted the coyote moving down the draw about six hundred yards up. Crawling up on a little ridge, I lay down and waited. The coyote stopped on a ridge at four hundred yards, watching my horse. I ranged him, dialed, and stuck my range finder under the butt for a rear rest.
The rifle humped. I heard the hit before recovering my sight picture.
I was surprised to find no exit wound. The rifle is a 270win. The bullet is an Hornady 140 grain sst. I will certainly not be using this bullet for deer. The rifle wears a Boyds thumbhole and a Nikon Monarch.
I don't know if it's legal to shoot porcupine or muskrat. But there may have been a pretty cool 1169 yard shot made on a porcupine big enough to eat a bear. There may also have been some chuckles at some exploding muskrats...
So, the hunt was tough. We tagged out on " last day deer". We saw damn few deer in the high country and hundreds of deer on private land. We also saw an enormous elk heard. Perhaps 2000 animals! The scenery was fantastic as usual, and the weather surprisingly clear. Nice to be home to my bed and a hot shower!
Just for icing on the cake, I called in and shot another coyote yesterday. No easy task around here.