September/October 2012 EBJ (Issue 73) - With the sun beating down, I stared through my peep as my focus narrowed and my concentration intensified. My entire summer had been dedicated to this one moment, this one opportunity. My finger wrapped around the trigger of my release as I began to pull through the shot. As the shot broke, my eyes started to track the arrow on its course through the air.
When deciding on my 2011 hunting plans my boss informed me he wanted to apply for his favorite mule deer hunting area and I just wanted to hunt the Colorado high country for mule Deer. His suggestion: We apply as a group to hunt the Colorado high country for mule deer so we were either hunting together or not at all.
Being a self-proclaimed mule deer FANATIC, I couldn’t resist the opportunity and as an added plus, it’s with the boss. That meant guaranteed time off to hunt! The one thing he kept telling me, "you will need to shoot 60 yards with confidence!”
When the Colorado draw results finally came out we stared in disbelief as we had drawn our first choice high country mule deer tag! I now possessed two incredible mule deer tags for the 2011 season for Colorado and Kansas!
With the high country hunt in mind, I decided I needed to make some upgrades to my equipment. I had never hunted 10 days straight in the backcountry and pack weight was my primary concern. Limited by the 3200 cubic inch capacity of my pack, every piece of gear needed to be scrutinized and weighed to make the most out of the room I had. Nutrition would be another key factor. My meals were bagged based on daily intake so I knew my exact daily calorie count.
Next, I needed to practice at distance, and often. Daily I was out shooting, warming up at 80 yards and working out to 100 yards. At those distances I consistently shot sub-4” groups with field points and my broadheads produced the same result. With gear sorted, weighed and packed we left town for the high country, destination: 12,000 feet.
Opening day found us splitting up. Bill, my boss, headed down an eastern ridge to a basin affectionately called, "Buck Alley”, while I made my way along a western ridge. Over the course of the next 10 days I hunted that area and I quickly learned how accurately this nickname depicted the area.
At 11 o’clock on the first morning, I turned on my radio and keyed the mike: "Bill is your radio on yet?” After a short period of silence I again repeated, "Bill is your radio on yet?”
For a full account of Evan's adventure, go to page 38 in the September/October 2012 issue of Eastmans' Bowhunting Journal.