Well here I am again, making another post, I just had to finish out the deer Hunting Trip since it is now over. It was a successfully hunt but one of the hardest things I have ever done physically in my life besides working on the fishing boats in Alaska.
I spent another 5 days in the Santa Rosa Mountain Wilderness Area and worked my but off literally, I lost 10 pounds in 5 days. The last trip I lost 7, if that helps to give you some kind of a gauge to how hard this hunt was. Anyway about it, it is over but it was worth every bit of the pain and work.
We left town Thursday Night and headed to the cabin, we decided to do a little drive in some of the range further north first. After the drive we hit the trail about 6 pm and started the hike in the dark. The weather was light rain with a little wind. The trail was kinda muddy but we worked our way to the ridge and set up base camp at the same place we had the previous trip. After setting up camp we settled in and called it a night.
As with most every day deer hunting we started out before the crack of dawn, the weather was very cold and very windy coming from the west which was in our favor for the day as we would be traveling north from base camp to Solid Silver Mine. As we left camp and headed into the cold morning air we came over a ridge where we had seen deer on the last trip. We poked our head over the tops of some rocks and started to glass the area, after 30 minutes or so I finally spotted one which can not be seen very well in the picture but he is a 3×3 and was not even close to what I was hoping to shoot. So after a while we decided to move to the saddle of two mountains above us. As we crested the ridge we stopped and glassed for deer but saw nothing. When we started to head out we looked to the top of one of the mountains above us and three bucks we head up over the top, we could clearly see one on of the three was more along the size we had in mind of shooting a real toad. We each headed to opposite sides of the mountain in hopes of cutting them off at the pass on the other side.
As we crested the top and saw each other we knew they had slipped away and that luck was not on our side this time. However, Bill on the other side of the mountain did push out a animal to me. It came around over the next saddle, I put my binoculars on it and I am quite confident it was a grey wolf. When Bill and I got back together we talked about it, we both were sure it was a Grey wolf, to us this was already quite a day, as you can imaging, provided you clicked on that link and read the story.
Anyway, at this point we decided we would head north to Solid Silver Mine to see if we could come across the deer again. As we worked our way north we never saw the deer and reached our designation and then returned back to our camp. As we headed back south I decided to head up over the top of one of the peaks and down the other side. After summiting the peak, I started down the other side, as I crossed at the bottom I chased a small fork and horn back almost all the way to camp. I returned back to camp around 6:30 pm and eat and proceeded to go to sleep.
As we woke the day was breaking and it was clear that it was going to be a warm day, so we headed out south this time to go look into an area we had seen deer on the last trip also. As we got into the area we saw a pretty good size 3×3. Bill decided he was going to put a stock onto it and see what happened. I sat on the ridge and watched him from the ridge line in the spotting scope some 2000+ yard away. After about an hour and a half Bill was within shooting range, the buck had seen him and Bill did not realize he had moved, but by the time Bill saw him the only shot he had was a neck shot so he took it. Kaboom rang out through the bowl and the deer took off running down the hill, he missed. After the excitement I crossed the hill over to where Bill was and we had a snack, after the snack I decided I was going to hike to the top of the hill and circle around to the other side to see what I might find. Off I went, once I got to the top I drew back around and drop to a ridge line and poked my head into a bowl, as I looked over there was a buck and two does, the buck was clearly in rut as he was pushing the does up the hill. I pulled out the spotting scope and checking him out, he was a 4 x 4 nothing really large like I was hoping for but it was a 350 yard shot and they had no idea I was there. I looked over the lay of the land and gave it some thought, I pushed the safety off and was ready to shoot, then I stopped and thought about it some more and maybe I should have thought some more? After a few minutes I decided that this was probably going to be the last weekend I would make it out and pushed the safety off pulled back on the trigger and kaboom. After the dust settled I looked down the hill and he was rolling to a stop. The next thing I heard was the walky-talky in my pocket say ” I sure hope that is a monster you just shot”. I came back with “no but he is down!” At this point Bill headed back to camp to get the rack packs and I started to de-bone my deer. It was about 4 pm in the afternoon and getting dark fast. After about two and a half hours Bill returned to the area but the sun had set and he did not know where I was exactly, I ran out to the ridge line for him to see my flash light. We then returned to load the dear that was now de-boned and ready to haul back, in the dark we could not find my day pack, rifle or two jackets that I had laid out in plain sight or the deer. I started a grid pattern up and down the hill, with no luck. Then I started another grid pattern going back and forth across the hill still not luck, by now it was 11 pm and I was getting very cold if I stopped for anything longer than a couple of minutes. With a great amount of frustration now, it was decided it was in our best interest to head back to camp. After the two and half hour hike back it was now 2 am and I was completely exhausted and rather dehydrated since we had also ran out of water.
The next morning I woke at sunrise after hardly sleeping because of worrying that the deer was being ravaged by mountain lions or wolves all night long. I headed off and grabbed water and set off to get my deer leaving Bill behind to go off and continue hunting. I made it to the ridge line by 8:00 am and as soon as I came over the top I could see all of my stuff. As I got closer, the anxiety was growing but soon went a way as I saw that all of my meat and everything else was just like I had left it. I then loaded the pack up with all of the meat it was as full as could be and weight somewhere around 120 -130 pound. I could hardly pick it up let alone put it on my back, but I had no choice, Bill was on the other side of the hill and out of radio range and I sure wasn’t going to leave the meat there again. I did manged to get it on my back and headed down the hill to the cabin 3 miles away. I could hardly walk and started to feel it in the legs immediately, but four and half hours later I made it to the cabin completely worn out. Once I arrived, I unloaded the pack of all the meat and got it on ice. After an hour break I looked back to the hill I had to climbed and the sun rays were getting long and the shadows were casting across the draws of the hill and I knew I was running out of sun light. I headed back to base camp, the hike took me 2 hours. I did not stop the whole way, I was beyond exhausted I was becoming semi delerious but that was alright I knew that when I got to camp the hunter was over other than crawling back down the hill. I arrive back to base camp around 6 pm or so and the sun was clearly about to fall behind the mountains, I eat some food but I did something that I had wanted to do much of the trip, I drank 4 Natural Ices (Twice the Alcohol, Half the Price, Ooooohhh so nice!) that I had packed up the hill from the cabin. I put down the Natty Ices like a crazed mad man, and a bit of the freeze dried food and was out like a light.
The next day we slept in until the sun was already up, I was really sore and stiff, every movement hurt but I still felt rather strong. We then started to pack up camp and make the last trek down the hill. By the time we got to the bottom the stiffness had left the body but the soreness was still there. We loaded the truck and headed back to Reno. All and all, the trip was quite and experience, one I am not sure I will do again but it was really fun and if nothing else, it will make for some good stories.
There you have it, I am now done blogging…