Saturday, November 14, 2015
Thursday, November 12, 2015
Monday, November 9, 2015
Somewhere in that batshit craziness though, Tater and I were able to make plans for what has become our annual foray for ducks at the farm. In what was almost a repeat of last year, we set up the pond, and waited in the dark as ducks poured into it. Once again, our shootin' left a lot to be desired, but at the end of the day we came away with a trio of woodies and a pair of teal. The company was good, and the B.S. was flyin', so all in all, it was a mornin' well spent.
After our mornin' duck hunt, I loaded up the truck and headed up to Ron's to get some freezer meat.
A little back story here... Pennsylvania has an early muzzleloader season for antlerless deer, and you can use these newfangled inlines. You might as well give me my .30-06, as accurate as these things are. The deer are still in their predictable late summer patterns and haven't been pressured, so essentially, they're still dumb (for lack of better description). Basically, if you're competent enough to get within 200 yards of where they have been comin' out regularly, it's about as close to guaranteed meat as you can get.
I generally like a little bit of challenge when it comes to huntin' deer, but the deer are extremely overpopulated up there, and several of the farmers that give us permission each year are completely fed up with the amount of crop damage they experience. With that in mind, I had no qualms about takin' the inline out and helpin' the cause. I was able to take two mature doe out of the population in as many evenin's.
Fast forward a few weeks, and I still hadn't had any hunts with a bow in my hand, outside of a few quick sits behind the house after work. I finally had a day off on my schedule, and with the peak of whitetail rut approachin', it was time to be in a tree. Havin' had plenty of excitement in the rut at the farm over the years, I headed there and climbed in the same tree that I took my buck out of last year.
I saw a few deer early, but that was 'bout it for the mornin', sans a careless groundhog that showed up around mid mornin' and a great blue heron sneakin' down the creek.
Around 2:30, I had just finished bangin' out my post about our elk hunt when I heard some crashin' to my right. I looked down, and a scant five yards away was a doe, pantin' hard and lookin' behind her. I immediately panicked, because I was slouched down in my stand, and wasn't even remotely close to bein' ready to shoot. Hell, I didn't even have my release strapped on. Sure enough, I heard a grunt behind her, and followed her gaze to see a good buck about 25 yards behind us. Somehow, I managed to get stood up, get my bow in hand, and fish my release out of my pocket and into my palm without gettin' busted. He turned and headed down the same path the doe took, and I was able to get a good arrow in 'im at about eight yards. It wasn't my best shot, so I called Joe and gave the buck time to expire. A few hours and a short track later, we made a quick recovery of what turned out to be a much bigger buck than I thought he was. He even had a big non-typical point on the left side at the base, and some other junk stickers. I was damn near speechless when I walked up to him. I've been waitin' a long time to shoot a buck worthy of a shoulder mount, and this'n was it.
|A stop at the stuffer was in order on the way home.|
Friday, November 6, 2015
|Sunrise from camp.|
|Our modest accomodations for the week.|
|The "Ol' Man's Hole", as our buddy Robert calls it. It's close to|
the truck, and has been very good to him over the years.
|This tree was about 3" diameter, and|
was broke about 8' up. Elk in the
rut take no prisoners.
|A few views across the valley.|
|Some of those aspen trees get the damnedest bark markings...|
|Dad's second day spot.|
|Joe, with a beautiful native brook trout.|
|The view from the top... 11,300ft.|
|It's a little hard to see, but there's an elk calf in the middle of the|
picture. The cow had already gotten behind the trees.
|I snapped a few pictures on the way to and from town. Of|
course, I had to ge the obligatory Park Service sign.
|Not exactly roads that you want to misjudge...|
|One of many rocky bowls that led down into a large ravine.|
|This is a zoomed-in view from where I shot. you can see the|
elk layin' in the middle of the picture.
|This was the bowl where the elk were hidden.|
|Naturally, he came to rest between several rocks and an old|
log, which made the butcherin' process a bit tricky.
|My first elk. Hopefully not my last.|
|Everything bagged up and coolin' in the shade.|
|Jesse bought me this pack for Christmas|
ages ago. I do awful things to it, and
it just keeps on tickin'.
|My final picture from the trip. Dusk as I headed down|
the mountain with the final load of meat.
Tuesday, November 3, 2015
Tuesday, October 20, 2015
I got back from the Promised Land just in time to launch straight into my "hell" week at work, so suffice it to say, I'm way behind on postin' shit.
That said, I have a good story to share in a few days when I free up some time, and some bone to back it up. My first elk hunt was a success beyond my expectations, and that was before I even pulled the trigger.
Stay tuned, y'all.