May/June 2012 EBJ (Issue 71) - I’ve always been a strong believer in making one’s own luck. The harder you work, the more rewards will come your way; especially in bowhunting. For the year leading up to my fall hunts in 2011 my gym workouts intensified; one to keep my body in shape, but mainly because I knew physically what it would take to have success on my hunts this fall. I shoot year round to keep my shooting skills ready. Going into the bowhunting season I was confident in my abilities to get it done because of all my pre-season preparation.
Every so often I require humbling experiences to remind me of the gifts in my life and where my gifts come from. Deer hunting in Utah this past fall was one of those experiences for me. No matter how hard I work, which is a good thing, there are many things in life I cannot accomplish alone. The morning before the season opener I found myself sitting behind binos admiring velvet mulie racks in alpine basins. This morning was one of those magical mornings when I located several groups of bachelor bucks.
About an hour after first daylight, two bucks crossed over the top and into the basin I was watching. The first buck was a nice 4x4 similar to the other bucks in the basin. I was content to pursue any of the bucks and optimistic about the opportunity to potentially get a shot opening morning at one of the bucks. But it was the second buck that came over the crest that started my heart racing. My breathing quickened to the point I had to pull my eyes away from the glass, close my eyes, and take a deep breath.
His rack would go the magical 30-inch mark with flaring main beams; four on his right and three on his left, good mass, and eye guards to boot! I have never taken a buck over 30 inches and knew this buck would push that mark. For the next two hours I watched as he fed in the basin until he disappeared into the timber to bed for the day.
That afternoon in the same glassing seat this time with friends, Kelly and Jerry, I wanted to show off the buck from the morning. Within a couple minutes of glassing we located the 4x4 at the edge of the timber but the 30-inch 4x3 didn’t show that evening.
After a short restless night, we were up before the alarm at 4:00 am. I couldn’t get breakfast down quick enough and gear ready in hopes of being the first into the basin. Climbing the mountain in the dark, I was taking time to stop frequently in attempt to keep from sweating. It was an hour and a half climb to the basin where the big buck had been feeding the morning before. Not wanting to risk any chances that were within my control, once at the top of the basin I stripped my camo off and wiped down with scent eliminating wipes and then sprayed down my camo and body with scent eliminating spray. I then eased into the basin to set up for glassing.
After glassing for two hours I was able to locate many of the other bucks from the morning before, but the buck I was after was nowhere to be found. Confident the buck had to be in the basin somewhere and with only the weekend to hunt, my window of opportunity was short. It was time to make my own luck, or so I thought.
For a full account of Omni's adventure, go to page 20 in the May/June 2012 issue of Eastmans' Bowhunting Journal.