They had a thing on TV the other night where the firefighters really don't like the snow. They can't get to where they need to go and while it suppress the fire some they worry about it laying under the cover of snow and then flaring back up once the snow melts.Excited to see the pics and hear your story... Glad the mountains are getting snow to put out all the fires!
looks like a great timeBC!!!Thanks for the well wishes guys- much appreciated. 1 family member has been downgraded and hoping to come home later this coming week. The other is yo-yoing wish is not a good thing at her age.
Now for the hunt information!
Started day 1 out in the cold, snow, and yes fog. It was nuts. Visibility was 50-100 yards at best. No animals taken.
Day 2 found the weather somewhat improved. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I took a rookie (35) on his first western hunt. He had a blast, but had a serious case of nerves and seemed wide-eyed for the first few days. I see that as excitement and a good thing. Unfortunately I took him on a long successful stock and got within 150 yards of 20-25 antelope with 3 bucks - two of them being really nice for the area. He did not feel comfortable and again was nervous and we backed out as they seemed to spoke a little. Good news is we didn't blow them out of the area. Which was surprising as it was very tough hunting after this seeming moderate level stalk. Seeing how things might go on this hunt with spooky animals due to 3 weeks of hunting pressure and bad weather and a learning rookie, I decided to take a buck (named Mass) I'd glassed earlier in the day when I relocated him very late on day two. We had to scramble almost a mile to get within 525 yards. There was no way to get closer without walking straight at the heard. I got all setup and looked over the group as there were several bucks, many smaller, but one other buck we nicknamed the sage buck as he was always laying with his head in the bushes. He was tall with coal black horns, but with only 1 small prong and a nub on the other side. But that height - wow! That said, I felt good and the heard had not noticed us so I setup for the shot, dialed my turret to 525 yards and settled in for the shot. Once a few antelope cleared out, I squeezed the trigger. The spot of impact can be seen in the below picture. Luckily the wind had faded in the 30 minutes leading up to the shot. I practice regularly out to 650 yards and felt very comfortable and confident in this scenario.
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Over the next few days we chased and stalked several small groups. The rookie finally cut his teeth and tag on his first western animal. We found a small group to stalk and had a tough time getting close before they spooked. However they ran over a draw, but did not come out the other side. The rookie was again disappointed, but I said wait! They did not come out. I told him to get his gun ready as it may happen fast. I told him to find a nice lone doe to take as we slipped over the edge. As anticipated, they were looking back and took off but only made it to 250+/- yards before slowing to look around. He picked out a 'doe' and let one fly. I was unsure what animal he was on, but did manage to see one running a different direction that the rest of the heard when they again took off over the prairie. I saw an animal drop. Unfortunately, when we finally walked up to recover his 'doe', we found it was a buck with 4" horns. It did have a black cheek spot as well so I'm unclear if he misjudged the shot or lost the initial animal while we quickly tried to find a suitor and re-acquired the wrong target. I was also suspect of his rifle due to the far-back shot as well, but there were to many variables to determine what happened. He was disappointed, but joked the bar would be easy to raise.
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Seeing his demeanor, I thought it best to get him on another animal to boost his confidence and elevate his fun meter. Surprisingly, we were able to get on another small heard in a very stalk-able location. We were just inside 200 yards. He made the shot, which I was able to film and the animal dropped upon bullet impact. After walking up to the animal, it again appeared the shot impact was back, but not a far this time, but the distance was also 100 yards less. Based on this, I determined his rifle windage was off so we made a quick check and adjustment. All was well for his 3rd kill and 2nd doe at 150 yards.
I was able to fill 2 more doe tags. I love to film my hunts, but trying to film, teach, and hunt all at the same time can be a challenge before you start to consider the weather we were dealing with on this hunt.
I was also able to determine the viability of several new HWA and public lands on this hunt which is always a big bonus as I work hard to find easy to draw tags in tough to hunt areas.
BTW: I was wearing an orange toboggan, but usually take it off for pictures. I also think I now have my reloading skills honed!
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Now to get back to bow hunting in Ohio! Good luck out there my Eastman Brothers.