Friday, September 03, 2010
Hunting with Bruce
Last weekend Bruce D came down from Anchorage for a visit and a deer hunt. The kids loved seeing 'boose' (rhymes with moose), and on Saturday afternoon Bruce and I headed up into the mountains for an overnight deer hunting trip. It was quite the trip. We went up into one of the more scenic and inaccessible parts of the Kodiak roadsystem - a place where neither of us had ever been before. And best of all it was not foggy or raining when we woke up! There were deer everywhere - we counted at least 20 deer and saw 3 good sized bucks.
Then comes the part I am not so proud of - we shot and lost a deer. I shot a rather large buck perfectly and it promptly died and fell to the bottom of a 1500 foot deep chasm. I climbed about 500 feet down into the chasm and realized that even if I found the deer at the bottom that we would not be able to climb back out again. It was a REALLY scary place, and I did not want to slip and follow the deer down into the abyss. I was also worried about getting stuck half way down into the cliffs. So with great reluctance we left the deer to the bears. I am quite sure it will get eaten; this year the salmon are late and the bears are rather hungry.
It has been very hard to lose a deer. For a couple days it was all I could think about. It seemed like such a waste. But as the week progressed I moved from denial to acceptance and now feel good enough that I can even write a blog post about it. In my defense I have harvested almost 80 deer and this is the first one I lost. I have come to realize that despite trying to do everything right sometimes things go horribly wrong. It happens. Occasionally deer do fall off of cliffs.
Photos: Top 2 photos - Bruce contemplates the abyss whence the deer fell. Bottom photo is of me and the small woodstove we brought along. Tent and woodstove weigh a little more than 3 pounds all together. Patrick