My 2008 Season & My BEST Friend

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by skitch, Dec 21, 2008.

  1. skitch

    skitch Member

    Mar 24, 2006
    It all started off with my Dad and I ging to Eastern Oregon on a mule deer hunt for Dad. My Dad has been in a wheel chair for 27 years, from a logging accident when I was 17. We have hunted together since I was 3 years old ( a bear). Many trips together - moose hunting, antilope, deer, elk, etc.
    This year I went with him myle deer hunting on private land. Perfect long range shooting. We hunted for three days and saw lots of bucks before we found a good buck to shoot: a nice 3 X 4 at 640 yards. Dad shoots deer with a custom 7stw on a left hand sako action. I made the adjustments for him with the help from exbal, and he got the buck with one shot. Perfect.
    I packed it out. It was Dad's best buck from the wheelchair.

    Next, it was my blacktail tag - Western Oregon. It was the third week of the season and I took two of my friends with me for a little long shooting and deer hunting. The first place we went to is a place I go to shoot for fun and practice long range shooting (600 - 1200 yds.). I spotted a buck at 944 yards.
    I shoot a 338 edge from Shawn Carlock. One of my friends had not seen the gun work. The other guy had seen it only one time and still could not believe it.
    I told them to get the spotting scope on the buck while I ran the numbers on exbal and made the adjustments. "Let me know when you're ready" and when they did I let one go. The one friend who had not gone with me before stood in shock. The other one was running around like a cheerleader at a football game, screaming:
    "He's dead! Flat dropped and rolled off a cliff!" All I could do was laugh at both of them. The buck rolled for two hundred yards or so, out of sight. We got over there to get him out - it's very steep ground there - and I had made a bad call...
    I didn't take a gun for clean up and... you guessed it! Buck gets up 15 feet from me and takes off! All I have is a knife! I tried to grab the deer but it was gone and never to be seen again.
    Totally my fault. (I now have a 270 wsm that will go in on all clean up jobs).
    The hit was through the top of the shoulders, but not deep enough to hit the spine.
    So... learn from my mistake and take a gun no matter what.

    Next is elk season - Roosevelt, Western Oregon, my tag. The first day we saw a small branch bull but couldn't get a shot. My Dad and my friend Rick are along. We waited all day and the bull came out at 3:30 p.m. The shot would have been 1157 yards, but there wasn't enough time to shoot him and get to the bull before dark, so we just watched him feed. The next day, Dad, my brother and I went to look for the bull but he did not show. I spotted another bull across the canyon and my brother wanted to go get him on foot. I talked him into waiting for evening, as this one was in a better place to shoot late in the day. We got over to the spot in the afternoon and found a place to get set up.
    My brother's style is to track them down and shoot close, so all of this other stuff is new to him.
    (I had taken him to a spot earlier, to shoot a couple at 1100 +, just to shool him a bit.)
    Our set-up was from 900 - 950 yards. We left Dad in the SUV on the road, and my brother and I waited. First a cow came out at 953 yds. We had everything ready. Check the numbers one last time. Here comes a peek at the bull. I sent him three 300 smks. The first through both shoulders, the next through the liver and the last quartering shot just in front of the left ham and out from behind the right shoulder. All bullets were full pass throughs with two-inch wound channels.
    Perfect. Outstanding performance. This gun Shawn put together is way bad. With Dad on the road everybocy we know was on a high spot watching. It was a LOT of fun. This was the first bull that all three of us were together on. Each of us alone have taken many, but this was the first together.

    Next was Dad's second season elk tag. He can shoot cows or bulls on a handicap tag. We could not get an elk to stand still for us. On the fourth day, we got one with the 270 wsm at 70 yards. No exbal, no adjustment needed. Just shoot. That was November 25th. On Thanksgiving Day my Dad had a heart attack at dinner and passed on November 30th.

    He was my best friend. I did not know how good this last season was until now.
    I will always remember this season and every time I set the crosshairs on target, I will think of him.
    Guys, take your Dad with you. You don't know. It might be the one out the window at 70 yds.
    that you remember the most.

    GLASS HARD - SHOOT STRAIGHT. and take a cleanup gun ! ~
  2. jmden

    jmden Well-Known Member

    Nov 2, 2003
    Wow. Thanks for sharing you and your Dad's story. What a great last season. My sympathies to you and your family and friends. Good memories...and a good reminder. Thanks.

  3. jimbo300

    jimbo300 Well-Known Member

    Sep 2, 2007

    Thanks for sharing that story. I know it must have been hard to do, but I can tell that you cherished every minute you and your dad had together. That's what life is all about. I lost my granddad 24 yrs ago and to this day every time I go turkey hunting I think of him. I can just hear him saying, "your calling too much and too loud". I know your dad's memory will always be with you each time you go hunting.
  4. Festus

    Festus Well-Known Member

    Jul 18, 2005

    Thanks for sharing a great story. Glad you got to spend some quality time hunting with your dad, and best friend. We never know ahead of time when the last hunt will be so we have to make the memories while we can. We can savor them our entire lives. I'm sorry for your loss.

  5. Len Backus

    Len Backus Administrator Staff Member

    May 2, 2001
    Great story. My breath had an audible intake when I got to the last part about your father. He had a wonderful ending to his life thanks to you.
  6. Slopeshunter

    Slopeshunter Well-Known Member

    Apr 27, 2006
    Skitch, thank you for sharing your season. My condolences to you and your family. I'm glad you were able to have this wonderful hunting season with your dad.
  7. old_heli_logger

    old_heli_logger Well-Known Member

    Dec 18, 2006
    My thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family.
    Thanks for sharing.
  8. Joel Russo

    Joel Russo Official LRH Sponsor

    Jul 5, 2006
    Great story, thanks for sharing it with us.
    My condolences to you and your family also.
    My father and I hunted big game all over the country, and in others as well. He's 82 years old and has had knees replaced and mild heart issues. He can no longer take the wilderness hunts. He now lives for longrange groundhog hunting in the summer months. I set him up and glass all day for him. Some days I never get behind the gun.
    When I was a child, he did the same for me.
    I cherish every outing with him, as I know they will not last forever....
  9. gbp

    gbp Well-Known Member

    Aug 22, 2006
    Great, great story
    Condolences to you and your family
    Pain fades, Memories last forever
  10. 7mmRemMag

    7mmRemMag Well-Known Member

    Dec 16, 2008
    My condolences to you and your family. Thank you for sharing that story. Time can get away from us if we are not careful. It reminds us to take advantage of the time we have now and spend it with the ones we love. May God bless you and your family during this time.
  11. soren

    soren Well-Known Member

    Mar 9, 2008
    Thank you for the hunting story and my condolences to you and your family regarding the loss of your father.
  12. Matt_G

    Matt_G Well-Known Member

    Feb 7, 2002
    Thanks for sharing that story skitch.
    My heartfelt condolences go out to you and your family.
    Your very lucky to have gone hunting with your father that week. So many never take the time when the opportunity presents itself, and regret the lost chance forever.

    Keep your chin up; it does get better as time goes by.
    While I'm not convinced the old saying "Time heals all wounds" is accurate, I do know this:
    While the passage time may not make it hurt less, it does make it hurt less often.

    You and your family have my prayers.