Went looking for blue grouse yesterday. I hadn't see any birds yet and was just thinking how odd it was that I hadn't seen any deer. As I was walking through a thick patch of timber high atop the ridge, I immediately froze as the biggest buck I've ever seen alive was casually strolling through the trees fifty yards in front of me. This deer was absolutely incredible! He was wide with extra stickers coming off both sides, but the most impressive aspect was his massively deep and tall forks in the front and back on both sides that seemed to reach the sky. All I could see was horns. He had no idea I was there and if I was bowhunting, could have easily stuck him (or open-sight 30/30 if I was with Old Hunter ). He looked fake being so big and so close. I know you guys are probably gonna say prove it with pics, but since my dog was out in front of me, the buck looked back and spooked when he saw my dog before I could get my camera out. I ended up bumping into him one more time as I hunted the other side of the ridge but he was running over the next ridge.
It was incredibly frustrating not having a tag in your pocket when you run into a guy like that. I don't know if anyone on here has a 194/196 tag or what season is open currently, but I'd be glad to tell you where I saw him. You might lose your mind trying to find him in those thick trees again, but at least you'd know he's around.
Interestingly, I bumped into the only grouse of the hunt right after I saw that buck. And less than ten minutes after that I ran into a small bear that turned out to be with two other bears. Luckily my dog left them be; he didn't even seem to notice them somehow. It was a really big sow with what looked like last year's cubs. They were all a gorgeous dark brown. The three of em were just lounging out in the sun scarfing down berries and didn't seem to hardly notice me walk be by. Also, I have never seen so much bear scat in an area ever. And if the size of a bear's pile of crap is any indication of the size of the bear, there are some monster bears up there.
Pretty crazy to hike for hours in the woods and have nothing going on to suddenly seeing a world class buck, jumping a grouse, and running into a group of bears all in less than a half hour.
Here's a few terrible pics of the bears: