|Bushwhacking up to camp the evening before opening day|
It's officially deer hunting season. Yesterday Lisa, Gregg and I woke up at dawn opening day and harvested 2 blacktail deer by 9AM. Whoo hooo deer liver and potatoes for dinner - my favorite meal of the year.
We climbed up into the mountains after work Friday evening and it was VERY hot. Then we set up camp and glassed for deer before dinner. All we saw were a few does and fawns. Uh oh - did we pick the wrong spot to hunt opening day?
There was a full moon - second moon of the month and so a 'Blue Moon' - and when we got up before dawn it was bright enough that we did not need headlamps around camp. We climbed up to our observation perch and there were deer everywhere. We headed towards one bachelor group of bucks and surprised another group on our way there. I had a good shot at a fork and took it.
Then while I cleaned the first deer Lisa and Gregg continued to hunt. Two other groups of bucks disappeared. Eventually Gregg and Lisa came back to where I had set up after cleaning the deer, and off they went to put the stalk on ANOTHER bachelor group. I have never seen so many bucks while hunting.
They left in chase and I looked over a knoll and spied a HUGE buck. I watched him for 20 minutes or so until he moseyed off in the direction of where Lisa and Gregg had gone. I sat some more and contemplated that we had just missed a chip shot at one of the biggest bucks I'd seen in years.
And then they are back - deer down! I was super surprised because I had never heard any shots. They had been on the other side of the hill and they shot the buck I had been watching. The big buck had left me and wandered over to them. Now that's a deer that wants to get harvested. Also, weirdly enough, we shot the second deer about 300 yards from where I had shot and cleaned the first deer a few hours earlier. So after chasing multiple herds and wandering all over the place in the alpine - we ended up essentially shooting 2 deer in the same place. What a morning.
And then came the hard part - carrying all the deer meat and camp gear home. .. ..
|Sunset from camp|
|Going to sleep with visions of big bucks in our heads|
|Up before dawn hunting under the light of the blue moon|
|Deer down at 6:10 in the morning - just at sunrise|
|Lisa and Gregg put on the sneak on another group of deer|
|I saw this guy while they were off chasing another herd|
|Lisa feeds the deer some cornmeal|
|Homeward bound - 4 hours to the truck|