2007 hunt with my best friend.
It starts out every year. Jimbo 300 and I have made the trip to WY probably 10 or 12 times. We sit down ever Feb. and fill out our license application hoping we get to draw the mule deer or whitetail license. It’s always the same. Around July 1st we start calling each other asking if either of us have checked the web site to see if we got that license! When we finally find out, the wait begins again. We anxiously await the same week I take off every year. Oct 19 is usually the magic day. Man, we are fired up and ready to go every year!
This year was no different. We wished we could snap our fingers and cut that 33 hour drive out, but when you’re with your best buddy, the long drive goes by pretty fast. I bet we’ve told each other every story we know 10 times over the last 10 years, but we always act like we’ve never heard it, and each year it gets a little bigger and a little better.
We always make a bet on who will see the first antelope every year. I think it’s about even on that one. This year, we were hunting a new place and didn’t know what to really expect, but we were excited to get away from the Mississippi heat. Well, we got away from the heat all right! Around Douglas, WY, we got into snow. I don’t know if it was bad, but it was to us. I’ve only seen snow twice, and it was only an inch both times.
We were cruising on like we were from Minnesota. Suddenly we started to cross a bridge, and things turned bad quickly! The truck started going sideways. I could see the guard rail, the bluff, and the 4- wheeler trailer was right beside me! Believe me, folks, the pucker factor was in full force at that time! Jimbo was driving, and I guess someone was looking over us, because the truck suddenly straightening up. Jimbo thought it was his driving ability, but I know it was something else ha ha ha!
Well, we made it to Casper, and we decided we would call it a night. The next day came, and it heated up really fast. We were able to get on the way. We drove through Wind River Canyon. Man, that place has beautiful scenery.
We finally made it to our destination and met with the land owner. He showed us around the place, and it looked pretty promising. On the first day we usually hunt together because it’s often late afternoon when we finally get out in the field. Somehow, we always have good luck on that afternoon.
Two years ago Jim and I got out of the truck, walked 100 yards and sat down. Thirty minutes later we were skinning a 149 ¼ whitetail. Last year, new place, same result. We rode the 4 wheeler in, got off, walked up a hill, and sat down. Thirty minutes later we were skinning a 153 whitetail. So why would it be any different this year?
After the land owner showed us around, we had about 2 hours to hunt. We took off, got up on a hill, and started watching. We must have had 50 mules in that valley, and 3 whitetail bucks. One was a 10 point. Not bad, but we both decided to pass on him. Suddenly, I was looking through my binoculars, and there he was. I told Jimbo, “There he is. He’s a big one!” Jimbo put the spotting scope and said,” Yeah, Mo, that’s him. Let me range him for you.” The first number 520 yards. I know this is the long range hunting forum, but, folks, I wanted to get closer! I wanted that buck bad! Jimbo, who is a much better hunter and shooter than me said,” No, Mo, you’ve got to shoot him from here. He said the whitetails would see us trying to sneak to the next hill. Jimbo did not have a mule deer buck tag so I had to do the shooting.
He calmed me down and told me he had seen me make a shot farther than that on prairie dogs, but this was a big mule deer, not a pd. So he ranged him, got his backpack off for me to rest on, and called out that 520 number again. I was ready. I squeezed the trigger, and deer were running everywhere, but he was still standing. He called out 520 again. I squeezed it again, and he started running. Jimbo called out 620. When he stopped on a hill, I squeezed the trigger, and I never saw him again. I blew it! Jim said,” I think you missed, but let’s go look anyway.”
Off we went. We got close, and I was walking where I last saw the buck. Jimbo was walking in a totally different direction. I was looking around wondering what the hell he was doing over there. He let me look around for a little while, and he could tell I was getting frustrated. He finally called out, “Here he is, Big Mo, and he’s a good one!” That joker knew he was there the whole time! What a buddy is all I can say.
The next day Jimbo filled his whitetail tag with a 140 class 10 point. My mule deer scored 170 ½; that’s big to me. We both got what we came for. However, it’s not about what I kill, it’s just making memories with my best friend.