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Discussion Starter #1
So yesterday found me and my Pup moping about the house - gazing out across the Valley as the rain volume increased steadily, and the wind began to think about really winding up the turbines. No Way I'm headed to the River in that crap! Even though this might be the last few hours before she blows out, I simply do not like donning a Dry-Suit and dragging a heavy anchor around to keep me dry, and tagged to the ground.

What to do... bored... Hmmm...

Well I do know that the local Island deer will generally move out of the timber when this type of weather intrudes. Seems they are rather easy pickings for any predator that is capable of a sneaky approach in the rough, so they know it is often a better option to get a little clear sighting range around them. Hmmm...

Pup suggests We Go Now! I ain't hard to convince as he drags my shell belt and then his leash to the front door.

Load up the truck, and head off into the hills. Lots of branches and leaves litter the roads, swirling around in the wind tunnel. No-one about, not overly surprising even though it is a weekend.

One of my Buddies had recently seen a Biggie near the top of a local mountain, so we set our sights on that distant peak, wondering how close the truck could even get, and prepared for a bit of a hike in the ugly to get to where the highest clear-cut is. The trail wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, although it was threatening to become a river in a few places. Despite two-wheel drive, the little truck crept along nicely, and we made our way slowly up towards the chosen area...

When we got to the point it was more than obvious the truck couldn't make it any farther (looked more like a job for a mule than a vehicle!) we eased out, and wandered off up towards the area that buck should be in. Got there after 45 minutes or so of climbing, and settled in for a watch. Rain running off the ballcap, my nose, the rifle and the pup (who thankfully doesn't even seem to notice sky-water) sitting patiently beside me, both of us scanning the edges of timber surrounding the cut. An hour goes by. Another. Mind drifts off to other hunts, the season's fish and fun, and soon the sky starts to darken. Nightfall will be upon us shortly. Although we might see the one we're are after closer to dark, in the interest of finding the truck while we can still see it, the decision was made to extract. The downhill stroll was uneventful, taking about 1/2 the time it did to get up there. Twilight coming soon, we began the slow crawl down the mountain, being ever so careful not to slip off the edges - in places several hundred feet in depth.

Rounding one corner, a movement on the high side, approaching the road? Huh? ???
Shut down the truck just as Mr. Wonderful struts quickly across the road at 250 yards! Woosh! He's a Good One! :p
Obviously has no idea we are there, and he begins to feed a dozen or so yards away from the road on the downhill side. Heheheheheh... Mistake! ;)

I tell the Pup to sit quiet now, and he grins his consent. Slipping quietly out the door, I begin a painstaking pussy-foot approach, constantly keeping a good screen of bush between me and the quarry as I do so. Peeking from time to time, I can just so see the tips of the antlers above the brush when the buck checks his surroundings. Nope, still hasn't caught on! Looking Good!

Ever so slowly I cut the distance. Extreme care now not to make ANY noise, and every sense on Full Red Alert. Then my ears pick up the sound of a distant rumble? What?? Hadn't seen any sign anyone else had entered this block? OMG! It is a truck, running FAST for both the sketchy trail and poor weather! Too Fast!! Suddenly the truck rounds the corner from a tiny decommissioned spur trail, bearing down on me at 45 miles an hour! Surely this MadMan will see me, recognize what I'm up too, and simply pass. Surely...

NOT! Hillbilly that's driving has a rifle barrel out the window, and a beer in his hand. What? Seeing me he SLAMS on the brakes, sliding to a stop mere inches from my toes! The pitbull in the back of his truck lights up HARD (What are we stoppin' for Boss?) seeing me, the dog goes BALLISTIC! I frantically look in the direction of the buck, who is now beating the hastiest retreat ever seen into the thick. DAMMIT! Now my Pup perceives the pitbull as a threat to me, and also joins in the deafening roar. JuHeeZuz!

Hey Buddy says the NutBar, whattaya say we let the dogs get to know each other? What?? ???
Not wanting this Fool to know what was on this mountain, I simply told him You just blew off a two point for me - only buck we've seen all day. I'm not too damn happy with you right now. Way it goes he says, now what about letting the dogs mix it up a little? That's IT! I SNAP! Control your dog I cry, he gets out of your truck (in the open back, not tied down) we are going to have a MAJOR problem! Hey buddy, settle down says he. I AIN'T your Buddy, and I STRONGLY suggest you wander off my reply. Eff You was his retort, and he spun all four, kicking gravel all over me and my truck as he departed, his hound literally screaming every inch of the way down the hill.

Man-O-Man! Some days!! Shaking my head, I wander back down to the waiting Pup. Settle in, and slowly maneuver down the mountain towards home. Now the rain increases intensity to the point the wipers simply cannot keep up. Slow drive home. Disappointed at first, I slowly rationalized away the experience. The Idjut doesn't know of the Biggie. I do. If we had taken him then, it would have meant cleaning and extracting well into dark. In the driving rain. Tomorrow (today!) is another day. The buck will still be there. The hunting adventure can continue... OK, not all bad.

So, now sitting watching the rain pour down over the Valley... Bored...
Wondering if the buck will come back tonight.
Thinking he likely will.
Hoping the Hillbilly finds another mountain to terrorize.
Hoping the trail doesn't wash out.
Getting the gear ready while the pup paces.
The Biggie got away yesterday.
Today is another day...

And on it goes...

Cheers,
Nog
 

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Discussion Starter #4
good story, is that the one that got away that did not get away8)
This one obviously didn't get away. Actually shot him in a case of mistaken identity - thought he was the Biggie we were after. He wasn't. Still not bad for an Island buck.

The Biggie wandered over 8 miles down the mountain (something I have never heard of before!) with my Wing Man and I in Hot Pursuit. For more than 6 weeks we tried to figure out his puzzling patterns. One day he made the mistake of dropping even lower, and entering posted (No Hunting) lands while chasing a 3 point off a herd of does. We watched that happen, but of course could not capitalize due to the posting. The guy who owns that land had no such qualms. He saw the bugger through his kitchen window, grabbed a gun, and shot him on his own posted fields (read: private game reserve). Peed me right off.

Still searching for two others we know of. Getting down to the wire, but 4 days left...

Cheers,
Nog
 

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i will have to let my son read this, he has been hunting a couple of years now, he did a solo up around barriere about a month or so ago, i was not too thrilled about that but 21 years old and no fear and trying to find his path in life....but we all did stuff like that at his age
 

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Discussion Starter #6
And... That's a WRAP!




Held out to the last possible moment for another Biggie, but I guess that simply wasn't in the cards for this season. Season-Ender yesterday, a fine "eating buck" to round out the 65 plus days I spent afield - often with Buddies, just as often solo. Was a hell of a good run, first time I have put that much effort into black-tails, and gotta admit, I thoroughly ENJOYED the time I spent doing so! Learned a LOT and had a lot of FUN!


So now, I am hanging up the guns for another year. Certainly seemed to me it went by WAY too Fast! Two hundred and seventy days of waiting for the next run on them. Guess I'll be dusting off the ol' fishing pole to while away that time...

Cheers,
Nog - The Search For Steel Commences...
 

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Nice blackie Matt.....:thumbup:

I grew up hunting moose first and at the ripe old age of 18 stayed on the Island for several months helping my cousin with his farm......

Still remember the day I shot my first Island deer.... a nice three point..... when I walked up to it, they should have taken my picture as I was soooooooo use to moose sizes, couldn't believe the size of these things!!! (and they told me it was a good sized buck for the area...::))

Miss hunting them Island deer, don't miss the ferry costs and waits!

Mike
 
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