September/October 2012 EBJ (Issue 73) - The ever so slight whisper of my footsteps on the new snow fell only upon my ears, and thankfully not on the bedded mule deer buck I was rapidly closing in on. Helping cover any noise also that day was the wind, we all know that the wind can be the best or the worst of companions we have in the field.
As I closed the distance between me and the bedded buck, I couldn’t help think to myself, against all odds this may actually happen! The rutting activity and mid day lull had begun to take its toll on the sleep-deprived buck. His head began to bob down to the ground as he was falling asleep. Only a few more yards and I would be in position as I thought, wouldn’t this be icing on the cake, to an already fantastic season, only a few more yards!
The year 2011 was one to remember for me and many of my hunting friends, it started out with all of the same planning, plotting and hoping that we could all draw some great tags in the western states. With a lot of luck in the draws things really started to look up, not only for me but, many of my buddies too! I had the good fortune of pulling two tags in the Nevada draws, an early rifle antelope tag and a late season archery deer tag. I was really excited for the antelope tag, but a little leery of the deer tag, it was not my first or second but my third choice in the draw and I would be burning up eight years of points if I chose to accept the tag! I also drew in Wyoming a coveted Area-7 bull elk tag and the season dates conflicted with the Nevada deer tag, but I thought I could hunt the last six days of the November deer season and hopefully it would be hitting smack dab in the peak of rutting activity! I opted to think about it for the time being knowing that I could turn the tag back if I chose not to hunt (one of the luxuries of Nevada’s draw system).
As summer progressed and hunting season was fast approaching, I was thankful for how I chose to spend my summer, hiking, biking, and participating in many 3D shoots. Before realizing it, the hunting season began and I happened to be the first in our group to get it started in early August with a hunt for my Nevada antelope. On opening morning I harvested a nice mature buck and we were off to a great start!
Next to roll around was our Idaho general archery season. Elk and deer were on the menu, and my treestand was in place, many a night was spent in the stand until dark waiting for the 6x7 bull I had seen, but no arrows were set loose. Mid-season came and I took a break to accompany my buddy, Gordon, on a Utah desert sheep hunt, which turned out to be a terrific and successful experience.
For a full account of Doug's adventure, go to page 18 in the September/October 2012 issue of Eastmans' Bowhunting Journal.