Monday, November 16, 2015

Come Hunting with Me

From Richard
360 degree view

So we started at 7am in the place above, which is a  360 view. It's down at the Indian graves campground road. 532RR. We stayed there from 7-10:30 a.m. but nothing woke up and walked around. We liverally didn't see a thing. I walked the spine of the ridge behind Chris and looked up into where the deer usually cross. There was a pathway that would rival a foot traffic path on the U. of Calgary grounds. 5 inches deep and SOOOO well worn. Still, nothing today.

We started driving around trying to find another area where deer might be. The fish and wildlife police were out showing presence and they stopped us to talk. Usually they are looking for poachers, illegal / untagged animals, or if you are driving around with your guns loaded, which is the biggest rule that must be followed. The bullets can be in your hand next to the gun, but if they are chambered then you're getting a ticket.

After leaving the wildlife police we drove north into a willowed grassy foothill and I saw something on the top of a slight hill. It wasn't a deer but the crows were bothering it so I thought maybe a wounded animal that hadn't expired yet. I walked in to take a look. Half way there Chris spoke on the walkie talkies "STOP!" A deer was about to hop over a fence 100 yards in front of me. I couldn't see it yet but I stood and waited. It crossed but I couldn't get my cross hairs on it because I'd been hiking in so hard. I scooted over to the fence line to use the fence post as a rest. I did and took a shot but it wasn't to be. Operator error and the deer hopped back over the fence and into land that we don't have permission to hunt on.

The day was almost over so we decdided to make our way north to Longview and look on the fields going north on Highway22 (Cowboy Trail Highway). We saw two deer wake up and start to feed before nightfall but they were far enough off of the highway that I didn't feel comfortable shooting one and throwing it back over the fence. They were also within a mile of Bar-U Ranch and it's a fairly busy ranching community.  No good so we keep going north.

On a property just north of the 540 we have permission on "Snodgrass" property and a buck was sniffing 4 does. It was 500 yards off the highway and someone else was also parked and watching the herd. So I said let's go but Chris wanted to take a 'pot shot' at that buck even at 500 yards.

The other lookie lou's left so I said let's get them. I grabbed my rifle, hopped the fence and started to crawl towards the herd through the hay field. I kept asking Chris on the walkie what time it was because we were within 30 min before shooting light and it is illegal to shoot. I crawled about 150 yards through the tall grass and still had 20 minutes left. The tall grass was easy to see through but looking through the scope I couldn't see anything but hay. So I took my binoculars (which you should always treat respectfully) and jammed them glass first into a mole hill. Then using that added hight as a rest I got a good look at the look at the doe. She was sideways and not moving an inch. The buck had left by then and there were only does left. I had a great rest on my binoculars and took a 250-300 yard shot which is at the edge of what is a reasonable distance. I also had just switched bullets and wasn't re-sighted for this new bullet. So really... who knows if I was shooting straight or not. Luck was there and the bullet was sighted in well enough. I aimed for shoulder/heart but hit right 6" and up 3", which ended up being her neck and she expired quickly with little/no meat damage.

So a lucky day, just before sunlight, crawling through the grass and having perfectly good fun. We had to gut/dress that deer after sundown which was fairly pitch black but we had head lamps. Then, still full of adrenalin and endorphins I dragged that deer 1/2 a mile over to the road to throw it into the truck. My fitbit says I walked 6.5 miles that day and it wasn't on flat ground.

She got me back. At the end of the skinning I got the sharp skinning knife on the tip of my right hand ring. Three bandaids didn't work and it was still dripping so the cloth was necessary. We all paid due's yesterday. It was a good day. See picture that I sent yesterday for a big old smile.


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