stampede this morning
Just wanting to whine a bit...
I've had a big buck picked out all summer. I've watched him whenever I could. He's in a high basin several very steep miles from the nearest (dirt) road. Last night I backpacked in to the basin. I sat on a high ridge around 1200 yards away and watched my buck and a new very large non typical.
The final leg of my hike was down an exposed ridge. The ridge has cliffs on both sides so you must hike in the open down the ridge. Not wanting to spook my two targets I waited until after dark and crept down the snowy ridge by moonlight. My final campspot was on a tiny bench at the end of the ridge. This would put me 400-600 yards of my bucks come daylight.
I was very careful hiking in to be quiet and conceal my movement. I hid my tent behind a screen of brush. This morning just as I'm slithering out of my sleeping bag and trying to dress in my tiny tent I hear footsteps crunching down the shale and snow of my ridge. As I'm crawling out of my tent another (noisy) hunter pauses six feet from me. I think if my rifle and pack hadn't been set up he'd have stopped right there.
Then he moves down the ridge thirty feet and sits down to glass! You got to be kidding, right! I sit down by my rifle and scope and make a bit of noise. The fellow looks up for a minute then heads down further. About this time I hear noise above me. There were five more hunters stationed along the ridge above me! Apparantly someone else knew about my deer.
About this time the hunter below me shoots. I figure I know where my deer will go so I set up for a shot in that direction. A few moments pass and the two big bucks appear trotting rapidly up the opposite slope. The closest hunter to the deer is the one below me (who's already killed a buck). He's around 350 yards from the fast moving deer. The ridge erupts in gunfire. 14 shots were fired at the two big deer! Nobody came close, and the deer never stopped to give me a shot though I tracked them the whole way.
The six guys then start cheering the guy below me, who'd killed a nice little buck.
Now I know I was on public land. However, my car was parked at the only logical spot to access the basin. My tracks were very obvius to any who cared on the bare ridge. It was obvious I was allready there. After a summer spent dreaming of hunting the buck, a hard pack in, and a cold night on the mountain to be in the spot, it's awful damn hard to not be tremendously irritated.
I had a bloody tent set up visible from above. I left an obvious trail in the snow down the ridge. Mabey I've got to many bloody manners, but I'd have left the ridge to me. I'd at least have gone another way when I stumbled upon me crawling out of my tent and my obvious shooting spot.
I could continue to whine... But just a little common courtesy on the mountain!! To top it off when I got to my truck I was boxed in!! Idiots everywhere! The real gripe is, the big fellows have been pushed out of the basin and I likely won't find them again.