"Checkmate" wins #2/Backpacking hunt trip

mtnwrunner

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May 12, 2009
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1,162
Location
Sweet, Idaho
First off, what an absolute great trip. You just have to love the fall--how can you not if you are a hunter? And to share the high country of Idaho with two brothers was epic.
We backpacked into the salmon river country where we knew there were deer. It is pristine rugged country and as the saying goes, "If you are going to hunt Kong, you have to hunt where Kong lives." Well, that's what we did. Spiked out on a 9000 foot ridge, 16 degrees in the morning, lots of glucosamine for aging joints especially after a 2000 foot climb to get there. 4 miles in from any main road--never saw a soul. Which is what I like.
We passed on some small bucks and on our last evening, we were at the very top of the highest ridge around glassing the nearby south facing slopes and my brother spots a buck. He says he is just a three point and I glass him and I say no way--he's a shooter. We are in a deer bed on top of a rock cliff and its 1500 feet to the bottom--its 45 minutes till dark. I tell my two brothers that if I shoot, its gonna be a long night. He is at 565 yards and I get set up fast because he is feeding over a ridge. Just as I am about to feel the trigger go, I realize my safety is on and over the ridge he goes. SHI*! Well, about 10 minutes later, I see him on the opposite side of the other canyon. My brother calls the range at 762 yards and my leica says the same with a 17 degree downhill incline. I consult my chart with is only in 10 degree increments and dial my dope to what I think is about 17 degrees. I have an absolute rock steady rest leaning over the rocks and I touch off. The buck immediately goes down as I can see all in the scope. It's a skosh high as he is obviously hit in the spine and my brother called the trace all the way in and he says the same and says he is done. I put another one in the boiler room at the same distance. I HATE to see animals suffer. Well, "Checkmate" scored another this season. The 300 win mag, 215 berger completely took out about 6 inches of backstrap and completely broke the spine in half. I'm sold. 30 cal hole going in and about a 2" by 5" exit on the opposite side.
We beat feet down the snow covered rock shale avalanche chute and found him just as it was getting dark. Oh oh, now it sunk in what we had to do. I dressed him, boned him and we split the meat loads up between the three of us. Now the trip back up the avalanche chute (took an hour) and then the 1.5 mile slog back along the rocky ridge to our welcome tents. It was midnight under a full moon---did not even have to use headlamps going up the snowy chute. It was EPIC. Enough of the story, I'll now bore you with photos. The buck broke a tine off during the fall but he is a great high mountain buck with a story.

Randy
 

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mtnwrunner

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Sweet, Idaho
More photos..........

Randy
 

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Broz

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Townsend, Montana.
I could not be happier for you. Totally awesome story and spectacular trip. I am thinking you just might grow to love you 300 win and the 215's as much as I do mine. Definitely a winning team.

Congrats and great shooting.

Jeff
 

mtnwrunner

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Joined
May 12, 2009
Messages
1,162
Location
Sweet, Idaho
I could not be happier for you. Totally awesome story and spectacular trip. I am thinking you just might grow to love you 300 win and the 215's as much as I do mine. Definitely a winning team.

Congrats and great shooting.

Jeff

Well, you had an integral part---thanks once again for all the wonderful advice. I absolutely love the way she handles. Only problem is now the season is over--at least there are large puppies to be had......

Randy
 

HARPERC

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Jan 28, 2011
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Spokane, WA
Love the campsite, looks a lot like one we've used a bit. Advil, and glucosamine for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, check. Man what a beautiful place, I wish you many more trips with your brothers back there.
 

mtnwrunner

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May 12, 2009
Messages
1,162
Location
Sweet, Idaho
Love the campsite, looks a lot like one we've used a bit. Advil, and glucosamine for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, check. Man what a beautiful place, I wish you many more trips with your brothers back there.

Our term for advil is "over 40 vitamins."

Randy
 

Joel Russo

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Jul 5, 2006
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Location
Harrisburg, PA
Congratulations to you and your brothers! You are certainly having a good year. Kinda spoils a guy to spend a few days in "paradise".
 

mtnwrunner

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May 12, 2009
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Location
Sweet, Idaho
Randy. Great write up, and even better pictures. How much does checkmate weight?

Any predator sighting?

Kyle

Kyle, she is right at 10 lbs with everything and no sign of wolves, although lots of big kitty tracks.

Mike, it is the white clouds in the distance. Gotta love this part of Idaho.

Randy
 

royinidaho

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Jan 20, 2004
Messages
8,950
Location
Blackfoot, Idaho
Your story makes a man want to be there!

Great country for sure.

I'm thinking from the experience a couple of weeks ago that this will be my last year humping around the 9000' level.

Great buck, great shot.

It's sure nice when a good rig brings it all together!

Go get some puppies.........
 
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