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  • bowhunter75richard
    replied
    Originally posted by Amflyer View Post
    It was a warm October day, and we headed to the hunting spot to “check stands.” As we pulled up to the bottom, far farther than we normally bring the vehicles, I tell my father, “hope i don’t see a big bruiser, to make me fret all night for the next month.”

    As I get out of the truck, I see tall times, bobbing through the trees. Very long tines. Very big deer.

    “Gotdammit, there he goes!”

    I had something to think about, for sure, on those dark nights for the next month. Yeah boy.


    I usually sit in a hochsitz in the morning on opening day. I usually see deer, but rarely shoot one. I think the big ones hang out across the creek, and need to be stalked. So i wait.

    That year, it was damn cold. Not just normal cold, as it is November, but DAMN cold. The bank at the last town I went through told the numbers, but not the wind chill. And the wind; she sings, that morning.

    My father stayed home, in the cold and wind, with a promise to meet me later in the day should it warm up.

    I made it on stand until 0830 or so. Then back to the truck to warm up. Nothing moving. No deer. Chattering teeth. Scary cold. West wind, making it too noisy for the deer to hear, to feel safe.

    After a bit of coffee, some running-truck heater action, I set out across the creek. I would walk through the snow, puffed up in my cold weather gear, pack, and rifle. I held to the cedars, good cover in the snow, with the wind in my face.

    Coming around a clump, I saw a butt. A deer butt. A BIG deer butt. I froze, and the rifle came off my shoulder, and the safety came off. I was 30 yards away, offhand

    When the buck cleared cover, he was nose down, tracking a doe, presumably. I saw tines, big tines, and the crosshairs centered seemingly of their own accord, and the big 30-06 spoke; challenging the rasping of the wind.

    Down he went, and I could tell for good. Sometimes you just know. I put a hand on his flank, kneeling beside, looked into his eyes and told him I was sorry.

    He gave one involuntary flex, and my deer season was over.

    It was then I recognized this buck as the one I saw back in the warmth of October. He had impossibly tall brow tines, and it gave him a look, something you remember from a fall day.

    “I’ll be damned," I whispered to myself. He had stuck around.

    Coming down the hill to the creek, with the cape and head on my shoulders, I found my father waiting on the other side.

    “Just like a blister,” I called out as a greeting. “You only show up when the work is done.”

    He looked at the antlers on either side of my orange hunting hat, and ignoring the jibe, he smiled.

    “You found him!"


    IMG_1641.jpg IMG_1663.jpg IMG_0005.jpg
    Nice story, nice deer Amflyer ! I enjoyed your writing, your words went together very nicely. Being a retired taxidermist, I particularly liked the mount job as someone certainly knew how to perform the work that such a fine creature deserved in its preservation ! It is always a joy for me to see quality work, thanks for posting the photo and also for such a fine job of relating the hunt itself !

    Leave a comment:


  • bowhunter75richard
    replied
    Originally posted by fitch270 View Post

    I think the saying goes “Discretion is the better part of valor”, but hey, we’re talking elk here. Discretion is subjective.
    Discretion is not even a known word in an elk camp ! Once elk hunting enters the bloodstream, brains no longer enter the equation.

    Leave a comment:


  • fitch270
    replied
    Originally posted by bowhunter75richard View Post

    .....”Twice I have come down from treestands due to badly gusting winds........” !

    Was hunting elk in Colorado, tree stand placed in a tree we had used several times over the past 5-6 years. However, this year, a beaver had been working on falling that tree and was not quite half way through. It being the only available tree for a stand in the area, and the area being an excellent elk producer, we attempted to use it anyway. Who ever said that brains were more important than elk steaks, evidently never ‘ate’ elk back straps ?!? The first 3-4 sits seemed to present no problems or fears, so confidence rose and brains became less the dictator of smarts. However, the next day with higher winds, tree swaying more than normal, I left the stand on 3-4 occasions that evening until gusts lessened. The next morning when I again arrived, the tree was down, and the lack of smarts took on a whole new meaning, as did the importance of elk backstraps.
    I think the saying goes “Discretion is the better part of valor”, but hey, we’re talking elk here. Discretion is subjective.

    Leave a comment:


  • bowhunter75richard
    replied
    Originally posted by fitch270 View Post
    PH; Digging the Real Tree Advantage camo we’d discussed recently. Great buck there as well, similar but larger than my split brow buck from a few years ago.

    Twice I’ve come down from treestands due to badly gusting winds. The first a large tree came down in earshot but out of sight. The second I just couldn’t take the swaying in the tree I was in. Bow hunting anyway so wouldn’t have had a prayer if an opportunity presented itself.
    .....”Twice I have come down from treestands due to badly gusting winds........” !

    Was hunting elk in Colorado, tree stand placed in a tree we had used several times over the past 5-6 years. However, this year, a beaver had been working on falling that tree and was not quite half way through. It being the only available tree for a stand in the area, and the area being an excellent elk producer, we attempted to use it anyway. Who ever said that brains were more important than elk steaks, evidently never ‘ate’ elk back straps ?!? The first 3-4 sits seemed to present no problems or fears, so confidence rose and brains became less the dictator of smarts. However, the next day with higher winds, tree swaying more than normal, I left the stand on 3-4 occasions that evening until gusts lessened. The next morning when I again arrived, the tree was down, and the lack of smarts took on a whole new meaning, as did the importance of elk backstraps.
    Last edited by bowhunter75richard; 07-21-2021, 08:58 AM.

    Leave a comment:


  • PigHunter
    replied
    Originally posted by fitch270 View Post
    PH; Digging the Real Tree Advantage camo we’d discussed recently. Great buck there as well, similar but larger than my split brow buck from a few years ago.

    Twice I’ve come down from treestands due to badly gusting winds. The first a large tree came down in earshot but out of sight. The second I just couldn’t take the swaying in the tree I was in. Bow hunting anyway so wouldn’t have had a prayer if an opportunity presented itself.
    I've often wondered about the extra side load on the tree with me in a climber. The ones that really worry me are the southern pines in wind gusts. I won't test my luck.

    Leave a comment:


  • fitch270
    replied
    PH; Digging the Real Tree Advantage camo we’d discussed recently. Great buck there as well, similar but larger than my split brow buck from a few years ago.

    Twice I’ve come down from treestands due to badly gusting winds. The first a large tree came down in earshot but out of sight. The second I just couldn’t take the swaying in the tree I was in. Bow hunting anyway so wouldn’t have had a prayer if an opportunity presented itself.

    Leave a comment:


  • FirstBubba
    replied
    Geez! Nice buck pighunter!
    Geez I love hunting inclement weather! ...but I don't think I could handle a tornado! LOL!

    Anymore, I have to escape to my box blind. If I can get to it without getting soaked, I'm good to go.
    I can remember the day when chasing woodies up and down Keechi Creek in the rain. Getting sopping g wet, going to camp and drying off and warming up by the old woodstove.

    Leave a comment:


  • PigHunter
    replied
    12-16-2000 ... On this date, an EF4 tornado tore through the southern part of Tuscaloosa, killing eleven people and injuring over 100. I was in the woods just 14 miles away, carting a 9-point whitetail to my vehicle.

    It was a muzzleloader only day at the WMA. My best friend and I hunted about 2 miles in - I chose a thick bottom and he went over a hill to sit among pines. There was a light rain so I sat under a poncho on a folding dove seat, protecting the in-line 50 cal. It was my first time to use buck pee and had accidently spilled it onto the camo fabric of the stool, stinking pretty badly.

    Around 8:30, the rain had stopped and I got bored, so I slow stalked up a branching stream, looking for pigs. About 10:00, I was almost back, slowly moving and watching along the way. At the creek crossing, I eased around undergrowth and spotted a large buck, standing 40 yards upstream, looking towards where I'd left the folding stool. His nose was in the air, apparently smelling that damned buck pee.

    Bringing my rifle to my shoulder, I had to stop raising the muzzle about halfway as he glanced my direction. I froze in place and he gave me a quick look before turning his head back upwind. That was my chance and I wasted no time getting the iron sights onto target, letting the 240gr Hornady XTP do the rest.

    The deer only ran about 20 yards and was expired by the time I walked up. My buddy heard the shot and we talked by radio. He continued to hunt while I walked back for my homemade deer cart. All told, it was over 8 miles of walking that day. The photo was taken where the buck died, the little stream course is in the background. Notice I'm wearing snake boots

    We got to the check-in station for weighing and the ranger told us about the Tornado destruction near Tuscaloosa which occurred around 12:45. My friend and I had noticed the bad clouds and thunder not far away while walking out and even discussed sheltering in a gully if it got worse. Had to use an alternate route home.

    9 point 2000_12_16 r.jpg
    Last edited by PigHunter; 07-19-2021, 06:32 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • PigHunter
    replied
    Originally posted by Amflyer View Post
    Thanks Fitch and FB. Enjoyed your stories too. My Pa took the pics. As for scoring, just informally. He was a 4 x 4, so no big score. But still the best I've ever been lucky enough to have a crack at.
    That was indeed a good story. Thanks for sharing it.

    Leave a comment:


  • Amflyer
    replied
    Thanks Fitch and FB. Enjoyed your stories too. My Pa took the pics. As for scoring, just informally. He was a 4 x 4, so no big score. But still the best I've ever been lucky enough to have a crack at.

    Leave a comment:


  • FirstBubba
    replied
    Awesome deer.
    Awesome story.

    I spotted one a week before season once. I can't imagine being on pins and noodles for a month! LOL!

    p.s. - did you have him scored?

    Leave a comment:


  • fitch270
    replied
    A buck like that deserves to have a great story behind it, shared with people who understand. Nice.

    There’s something about the blood on your right hand that adds to that photo. Just makes it all the more real I guess. Did your Dad take it or tripod and timer?

    Leave a comment:


  • Amflyer
    replied
    It was a warm October day, and we headed to the hunting spot to “check stands.” As we pulled up to the bottom, far farther than we normally bring the vehicles, I tell my father, “hope i don’t see a big bruiser, to make me fret all night for the next month.”

    As I get out of the truck, I see tall times, bobbing through the trees. Very long tines. Very big deer.

    “Gotdammit, there he goes!”

    I had something to think about, for sure, on those dark nights for the next month. Yeah boy.


    I usually sit in a hochsitz in the morning on opening day. I usually see deer, but rarely shoot one. I think the big ones hang out across the creek, and need to be stalked. So i wait.

    That year, it was damn cold. Not just normal cold, as it is November, but DAMN cold. The bank at the last town I went through told the numbers, but not the wind chill. And the wind; she sings, that morning.

    My father stayed home, in the cold and wind, with a promise to meet me later in the day should it warm up.

    I made it on stand until 0830 or so. Then back to the truck to warm up. Nothing moving. No deer. Chattering teeth. Scary cold. West wind, making it too noisy for the deer to hear, to feel safe.

    After a bit of coffee, some running-truck heater action, I set out across the creek. I would walk through the snow, puffed up in my cold weather gear, pack, and rifle. I held to the cedars, good cover in the snow, with the wind in my face.

    Coming around a clump, I saw a butt. A deer butt. A BIG deer butt. I froze, and the rifle came off my shoulder, and the safety came off. I was 30 yards away, offhand

    When the buck cleared cover, he was nose down, tracking a doe, presumably. I saw tines, big tines, and the crosshairs centered seemingly of their own accord, and the big 30-06 spoke; challenging the rasping of the wind.

    Down he went, and I could tell for good. Sometimes you just know. I put a hand on his flank, kneeling beside, looked into his eyes and told him I was sorry.

    He gave one involuntary flex, and my deer season was over.

    It was then I recognized this buck as the one I saw back in the warmth of October. He had impossibly tall brow tines, and it gave him a look, something you remember from a fall day.

    “I’ll be damned," I whispered to myself. He had stuck around.

    Coming down the hill to the creek, with the cape and head on my shoulders, I found my father waiting on the other side.

    “Just like a blister,” I called out as a greeting. “You only show up when the work is done.”

    He looked at the antlers on either side of my orange hunting hat, and ignoring the jibe, he smiled.

    “You found him!"


    IMG_1641.jpg IMG_1663.jpg IMG_0005.jpg
    Last edited by Amflyer; 07-17-2021, 06:50 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • FirstBubba
    replied
    fitch270, Mitch and me became fast friends and we hunted and fished together for many years.
    In the fall of 2008, Mitch* came up to OK for the "Primitive Arms" season.
    He normally stayed for 3 to 4 days and returned home.
    This time, he stayed a week and left early in the morning of the 8th day.
    We both killed a deer.
    We both killed a turkey.
    We went squirrel hunting and even caught a few catfish out of Red River (TX/OK border).
    That was late Oct, early Nov.
    Late one evening in Feb 2009, his wife called me with news that he was not doing well and had been hospitalized.
    The next morning, I called the ICU waiting room. His oldest daughter actually answered the phone.
    He had passed away about an hour earlier.
    That was the last time Mitch and me hunted and fished together.

    * - Mitch was a "gun fixer". He apprenticed under a gunsmith in south Texas while serving in the Navy.
    He is the one I've told about several times that had a man drag an old muzzle loader into his shop and gave it to him.
    It took Mitch two years of soaking it in a bucket of WD-40 to get it apart and only lost one screw.
    When he finally got it cleaned up, he had the only known surviving rifle of the Confederate era "Kickapoo Rifle Works" in existence. The rifle works was between Frankston and Palestine, Texas (Hwy 155) and is marked only by a historical marker erected by the Texas Highway Dept. I'm not sure anybody even knows where the actual site is/was.
    Before his death, Mitch himself donated the rifle to the Sam Houston State University museum in Huntsville, Texas.

    Leave a comment:


  • fitch270
    replied
    FB; that reminds me of a fishing story from back in the mid 90’s. I was on a trip with two of my cousins and a couple of friends of one of them fishing the Salmon river in NY in early November. Primarily trying for steelhead. The river was up so my guide cousin decided we should try Lake Ontario instead. We set up on a gravel bar that was out from a small stream channel that was about knee deep on our waders. After a couple hours and one lost big steelie boats started hauling in off the lake. Next thing we know the storm was on us pushing water back up the channel. We had to carry gear up even with our armpits as the depth was now chest deep. Another ten minutes or so we’d been stranded on the bar in deep water.

    Leave a comment:

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