I don't see how thing could have gone any better considering I had not been out west hunting in a quarter of a century. I had a great teacher to give me a refresher course on antelope hunting
and Roy told me that it was rumored there were elk up in the Salmon units. Kirby had the gun ready and a good load developed for it so I did not have to test loads.
I am planning the same trip this Fall and these are the things I am going to do differently.
1. All my rifles are now a year old and they are dialed in and ready to go so I don?t have to be trying to establish a drop chart after I get there. I can just check my zero and then find me a nice tasty lizard on a rock at about 1200 yards and use him to check my drop chart. Plus, I will not need to bring my reloading gear with me.
2. I applied for the Wyoming buck antelope tag and have drawn out on a good unit with lots of public land and good reservoirs to camp at. I fully intend to break 1K this year. I will start my antelope hunt a week earlier so I can get to Idaho in time to spend some serious effort on getting me a black bear. I have researched places to shoot prairie dogs and coyotes in Wyoming so I will spend several days doing that. There seem to be good places in my antelope unit.
3. In addition to the two tents I used last time, I am going to bring a four person tent for my permanent camp and a cot so I have more comfort. Also, I will bring a two burner stove so I can cook more things at once. I am not going to haul so many groceries out to Idaho but buy most of them when I get there. I might even bring a spare chair in case I get some visitors. I have gotten my chainsaw out and got it running good so I will have plenty of firewood.
4. I have gotten an ultra-light internal frame backpack that is as light as my normal day pack but will hold my spotting scope and tripod securely so I do not have to worry about them falling out. It also has a rigid back so stuff doesn?t poke me in the back as I hike along. And I have better lightweight hiking boots that are more suitable to Idaho. I totally wore out my old lightweight boots.
5. Now that I understand better where the large bucks live in Idaho, I am going to see about getting me one this year. I saw them after I killed the elk last year but I was just too worn down from hauling out the elk to shoot one of them even further up that mountain.
6. I am going to give Roy more meat so my wife doesn?t complain about the freezer being too full. Who would have believed Roy would see only bulls while having a cow only tag. Instead of using sandwich bags for my meat I am going to use real freezer bags. I found rubber kitchen gloves on sale and bought 10 pairs on your advice because my hands got really cold cutting up that elk in the rain and snow.
7. BJ has all of my money, but I now have some good Swaro SLC binoculars.
8. I have modified the slings to my rifles so that they can be carried many different ways and used many different ways. Plus, I now have a drag bag so I can act wimpy and not lay in the pine needles to shoot.
9. More #6 shot for the birds and larger fishing gear for the steelhead.
10. On drive out to the Chris Matthews LSR Hog hunt I picked up a Motel 6 Directory. They are about as cheap as anything. When you are driving alone across country racing the clock to get your meat home you drive past dark and then it is hard to see the signs along the Interstate to find a cheap motel to spend the night. On the way out I camp at state parks every night but in November going home it is cold and I like to drive till 8 or 9 O?clock at night and get a running start in the morning.
11. My next truck will be BIGGER, MUCH MUCH BIGGER.