Well after going out at least 16 days this season I finally saw a buck. I don't see many bucks in the Willamette valley unit early in the season so when they start moving toward the second half I am content to take the first legal buck that presents its self to me. This year I cut it mighty close, 1 day left in the season. Took a walk around the property that some family friends are kind enough to let me hunt at around 10:00am. While getting close to where I started and thinking I should pack it in and eat something. I notice a familiar silhouette on the other side of a field that I am walking. Just out of the brush a doe is standing there staring at me as if I were feet away. I watch her for a while and decide to head on my way as the cap'n crunch at 5am was a long ways behind me and the cold morning air was sapping what energy I had left. Only a few steps closer to lunch, I notice a larger bodied deer step out of the brush and stop. I take a closer look through my scope as I had misplaced my binos only a few days earlier. Immediately I notice at least 2 points on one side and 3 on the other. Way more than sufficient for me at this late of a date as I was starting to come to grips with an empty tag this year. I dropped behind what brush was in front of me as the distance was too far for me to feel comfortable taking a standing shot. I crept along until I found an opening that would allow me to take a sitting shot. My movement had signaled the buck that it was time to go and he started for the bushes diagonally from where he stepped out. My heart was pounding as my one chance was seeming to escape, my hopes had been raised and dashed in a moment I thought. Luckily (for me) this buck decided to take one last look at me before entering the thick vegetation just as I had taken two calming breaths just in case what was happening before me happened. the reticle stopped shaking and landed behind the shoulder just as the buck turned his head for the most stereotypicaly majestic broad side shot presentation I have experienced. At that same moment my rifle recoiled and I recovered in time to see him flinch hard, I racked a fresh shell into the chamber as this buck took one timid step forward, sat down awkwardly on his hind quarters, then slowly tipped his shoulders sideways with his head to follow shortly. There was no more movement and a smile crept onto my face as I watched the doe bound for the safety of the trees and brush and I just took in the whole feeling and images of the moment. At this time I realized like I do most years that the early mornings, and cold wet evenings are the easy part. Even still I cant wait for next season, and hope this coming Elk season will be just as rewarding.
I would like to thank:
My beautiful fiance for putting up with all this
Berger Bullets-.308 175grn hunting VLD
Weatherby-Vanguard sub moa stainless 30-06
Alpen Optics-Apex 6-24x50