Day one began with very little sleep. Went to bed early, planing on being up early.
Couldn't sleep. Finally got frustrated and crawled out of bed and headed into the hills. I sat on the same draw that has always produced for me, and the only thing that I saw was other hunters and deer. The winds were running at 40 mph, and the critters stayed way back in the dark timber. Day two was basically the same, didn't see nothing. 13 were shot up in the gap, so I figured that I would go up there and check it out. Spent the day in the gap and seen a bazzillion deer, some were monsters too. Didn't see any cougar or moose at all. Day four was also spent in the gap, and I sat over the same draw for five hours. Nothing was moving. Roger, the F&W officer showed up, and we talked for a while, and he told me that he seen three of them back in the other draw, about 600 yards east of me, but they were heading for the heavy stuff. I figured that I would head over there and have a look around. I fired up the 4x4 and away I went. I got over there, and was just getting out and................
RIGHT WHERE I WAS SITTING BEFORE,
OUT THEY CAME!
I just watched them go across the field into the next batch of bush. I also made a few comments to no one in particular, which I won't put into print.
I then packed up and headed for home, by way of Dennis's ranch. About 2 miles back in the boonies, I found a huge mule doe. She was well out of 45 70 range, so I pulled the 270 Weatherby out of the mothballs and airmailed a 140 grain Hornady boattail. She went about 5 feet. After I had her cleaned, I tried to load her into the truck, and there was no way. I then got the hairbrained idea that if I drive down into the creek bottom, I could get my endgate about 6 inches off the ground. I proceeded to hop (FALL) out of the cab. there was about 4 feet of clearance under me when my front end was up on the other bank. Picture an old geezer hanging off a 4x4 by the steering wheel with a few inches of air under his boots. I got her loaded, and headed over to joe's ranch, which was kind of on the way home. I went way back in the hills, and was sitting on top of a rise, and lo and behold out came a large bodied whitetail buck. I snuck down into the draw, hiked a couple hundred yards up the draw, climbed up the other side, huffing and puffing like a dragon with a plugged nose, and then seen him. He seen me too, but was a little too far for me to make a comfortable to me shot with the 45 70. I squatted down and waddled another 100 yards. When my head cleared the rise, he was on me like white on rice. I tried to hold on him and It was impossible, I was everywhere but on him with the crosshairs. I then moved about another 10 yards, sat down in the wet snow, lasered him at 257 yards, gave 8 inches elevation, and touched er off. In 40+ years of hunting, I have never seen anything like what happened after that bullet hit him. He was looking directly at me, ant the bullet hit the sternum about 3 inches from the left shoulder, travelled about 1 inch below the spine, and exited about 1/4 inch from the vent. It litterally flipped him over backwards,full summersault, and he didn't move. He is the first unicorn that I have shot. His right antler was broken off 1/2 inch from the skull, and the other one had 4 points broken off. Would have been a good looking deer if all of the hardware was intact. there was a little sporatic hematoma along the left backstrap, but nothing major. I took him and the doe over to a buddies place, gave him the doe, and deboned the buck, taking the backstraps and roasts for myself. Joe wanted some to make jerky, so I let him have the front quarters, and he was a happy camper. Soooooo, maybe next year, the elk hunting will have a different ending, or so I'm hoping anyway. Take care all, and better luck too!