Idaho, 2009, DIY, Public Land
On opening morning, my best friend Mike and I headed out just like we have done for many years. With packs on our backs and rifles on our shoulders, we were ready for the day’s adventure. As we sat at our favorite glassing point, it was plain to see in the new snow that there wasn’t much moving around. From past years hunting in this area, we knew the deer had to be close by.
We worked our way deeper into the mountains, walking through ankle-deep snow. Finally, we started seeing tracks; not much, but enough to keep our motivation up. We followed the tracks across a narrow ridge, through a maze of downfall, and into another canyon. We finally found deer - all does and fawns - but as my grandpa would say, at least we didn’t get skunked. The next few days the weather took a turn and most of the snow disappeared.
Needing to get my mind off of the lack of deer in the area, my cousins Kevin and Ferrin and I decided to go elk hunting. While we headed out that morning looking for elk, in the back of my mind I was still hoping to see deer.
The elk hunting wasn’t much better than the deer hunting had been. We spent the day sneaking through heavy timber, pushing through thick brush, going cross-country, and up and down ridges, canyons, and draws without much luck.
After a couple more hours of hiking, we decided to head back. We made our way across a steep quaky hillside, spread out 100 yards apart, and came to a large draw that we were going to have to skirt around. I started to make my way down to the bottom of the draw, and looked back to see if my cousins were following my lead. I saw Ferrin pointing at something down in front of me, and turned and peered through the trees. I saw a good buck no more than 75 yards in front of me, and it didn’t even know I was there (I thought). He was facing the opposite direction, and the wind was right. I quickly raised my .280 Remington to my shoulder and looked through the scope. Apparently the buck had eyes in the back of his head, because as soon as I put the crosshairs on him, he bolted down through the draw and into the timber. We never saw him again.
For a full account of Jared's adventure, go to page 30 in the February/March 2010 issue of Eastmans' Hunting Journal.