Colorado, 2008, DIY, Public Land
There are no words that can adequately describe the experience of a solo backcountry hunt. You just have to experience one for yourself. For those who have never experienced such a hunt, I will attempt to describe some of the highs and lows I experienced last fall on my Colorado deer hunt.
At the trailhead the day before the start of the archery hunt, there were five trucks already at the trailhead. I wanted to set up camp and glass before dark, so I quickly loaded my pack and started up the mountain. After setting up camp, I glassed the alpine basins for bucks and also for hunters. Within a few minutes, I was able to locate three bucks.
Just before dark, another hunter came in and set up his tent 500 yards down from the head of the basin where I had located the three bucks. He was the only other hunter I spotted that afternoon. My best guess was that he would pressure the bucks into the head of the basin early in the morning.
That first night in the backcountry is always restless for me. I’m not sure if it is nerves, the quiet wilderness night, the hard ground, or most likely a combination. Up hours before sunup, I was in position early. As the first hint of light began to break the darkness, I could see the three bucks already headed up and out through a narrow chute on the opposite side of the basin. There was no way for me to catch up to them.
Plan B was to move around the basin toward the other hunter’s camp, checking the benches. Within a few minutes, I was 80 yards above two bucks feeding. One was a good 27-inch 4x3; the other a smaller 3x3. I have been fortunate enough to harvest several nice bucks but never a clean 4x4, so this year my primary goal was to hold out for that type of buck.
For a full account of Omni's adventure, go to page 30 in the November/December 2009 issue of Eastmans' Bowhunting Journal.