As Fate Would Have It

By Brett Ritter
Wyoming, 2011, DIY, Public Land

Brett Ritter - As Fate Would Have ItNovember/December 2011 EBJ (Issue 68) - I watched in absolute disgust as the arrow sailed over his back. I knew the yardage, used the right pin, my form and hold was rock solid. So why did I flinch so bad? Whatever the reasons, it was too late to take it back and I was now experiencing the lowest point of my hunting career. I had just blown it on the biggest ram I had ever seen in Wyoming. Not only did I feel extreme disappointment, I felt like I had let my dad and good friend, Jake, down also. A lot of hard work and sacrifice had been put in by my two companions to get me too this point in the hunt. Not only that, I had been dreaming about this hunt for years. My number one hunting goal was to take a bighorn ram with my bow; I had just let that goal slip away.

After a long sleepless night, I finally talked myself into getting out of my sleeping bag. Albeit was a half an hour later than I had been getting up. "Let’s go see if we can find the seven rams from the first day,” is what I said to my dad. "Maybe you will see the big one,” he replied. Nice try cheering me up, dad.

So, we saddled up the mules and headed up the mountain. When we got to the spot that the mules could no longer take us, we picketed them and headed up the rest of the way on foot. Jake and I were the first to reach our glassing spot - the old man is seventy one; he has slowed down just a touch. I started glassing where we had seen the seven rams a couple days prior but didn’t spend much time looking in that direction because I wanted to look down at where the big ram had been. I just knew that if I did look that direction, he wouldn’t be there and that it would just add to the depressed feeling I was experiencing. Oh well, here it way, can’t be, "Jake, I think I found those three big rams again!” I looked through the spotting scope to confirm – it was them, game on. About then my dad showed up and I told him that I might be getting a second chance. I looked at him and said, "Hey, by the way, look at where you were sitting the other day.” The ground was all torn up, obviously by a foraging grizzly. "Glad I wasn’t still sitting there,” the old man said with a smile. With that, we gathered up our gear and the stalk was on.

Brett Ritter - As Fate Would Have It

For a full account of Brett's adventure, go to page 14 in the November/December 2011 issue of Eastmans' Bowhunting Journal.