As with all of you I have seen many memorable things while afield. However the hands down best happened on Kodiak Island while I was deer hunting after a summer of living on things that swim.
After a long morning of glassing for a meat buck I finally found one bedded close to some thick willow brush on a small tundra bench. After a short stalk I settled the .338 onto my pack and dispensed a 225 grain death pill. Needless to say the buck never heard the report. You all know what comes next... Work. Upon getting dinner boned out and placed in pillow cases I was putting my gear away and just slipped on the heavy pack while reaching down for my rifle I heard willows crack about fifteen yards away. I knew exactly what was there and standing up shouldered the win mag and found myself peering over the scope at one of Kodiak's famous thousand pound residents. The brownie had not come to the gun shot but had instead smelled the blood and sauntered over for a look see. Well, the meat was on my back instead of on the ground so that meant if he came he was coming for me and the meat. Soooo, off went the safety and on went the bear voice... Hey bear, get outta hear bear,(I do not know why we always call them bear, like they dont know or something). Well, he decides that there is easier food else where and lumbers off, much to my relief, leaving me with a full pack, full drawers, and decent story.
Not a hunting tale but.....Years back, I was bank fishing a canal for bass in the Florida Everglades. I heard some laughter and voices and then two young women, paddling a canoe, came floating by about ten feet out in the water......both of them were bear a** naked. Can you say "gulp"? (Oh ya....they acted like nothing was wrong)
I once saw my father track a deer from a half hour before sunrise to a half hour after sunset and we got him. I shot the deer the previous night and we decided to let him bed for the night. This was my first deer with a bow. I'm not going to get into the ethics of the shot with you all, but I think its important to the story that I tell you that I had hit the deer 2 inches above the hoof of his front left leg and broke his leg. It is by far my smallest buck but my fondest memory. I learned more about hunting in that one day than all other days combined. I learned about the importance of taking ethical shots, doing everything in your power to retrieve your animal, the importance of paying attention to the "signs" of the blood trail, and that dads really can do anything.
We tracked this deer across river bottom for miles and miles and bumped him at least 15 times that day. The deer backtracked 3 times on the same mile long deer trail. Let me tell you, that makes tracking the blood trail completely impossible. We had to look for his track going south, north, and then south again to make sure we were still on his trail. The deer bedded only in places that he could watch his tracks. The deer busted out of the river bottom eventually and ran across a plowed field that all the snow had blown off of. Since he wasn't bleeding hardly at all and there was no snow in the field, the only way we could follow the deer was to look for the 3 legged deer track on the frozen dirt, this was no easy task as the field was covered with other deer tracks. Keep in mind that this all was happening on December 29 in North Dakota. It was COLD!!!!
I was ready to give up and my father new it. We were miles from our vehicle and it was starting to get dark. My father told me we should keep at it though as the deer was bleeding less and less and he was bedding more frequently. We caught up to the deer and bumped him yet again. This time something was different though. The deer had ran 50 yards and bedded back down right out in the open next to a bunch of cattle. There was no way to sneak up on the deer so we both just walked towards it. It once again got up and ran another 50 yards and bedded yet again. Once more we walked towards it and when I was within 40 yards I took the kill shot.
Just yesterday I decided to score all the deer in our house. The total number of inches between 29 of the muleys and whitetails that my brother, father, and I have shot is over 4,300 inches. I shared the scores with my brother when he returned from work. He jokingly asked, "what does that one score" while pointing at an older tiny forkhorn that was hidden behind a couple of antelope skulls. I smiled and though to myself, "that deer scores more than any other deer in this house."
I have seen what I consider incredible things while out hunting....huge deer sparring, 3 muleys in a bachelor group that all were well over 30 inches wide, 19 muley bucks in the same bachelor group, a whitetail that had to be 28 inches wide with 7 inch circumferences at the main beams, a heard of coyotes take turns chasing an antelope kid, a whitetail doe chase a coyote away from her fawns...but when I think of something memorable, all that comes to mind is the times I've spent with my family and friends while enjoying the sights and lessons we encounter along the way.
One of me other top memories is when I guided my 93 year old Grandfather on the last muley hunt of his life. He made a 200 yard shot on a 165 class deer. He shot, I said "you got him". He asked, "was that the right one, I couldn't even see his horns". This was by no means even close to his largest deer, but he was tickled to get it and I'll never forget that.
Last edited by ando_31; 09-20-2012 at 09:30 AM.
Heck of a post, ando. Thanks for sharing that.
Tragedy of an airplane crashing. I use to hunt near Colburn, Colorado up Brush Creek on Elk mt. There are two big prominent rocks exposed in an open park. These rocks are probably the best elk crossing in all of Colorado. My local old west cowboy friend Cecil Stykes, ask me one day did I know about them and I told him, "Cecil , I have been hunting there for years and you are just now telling me about that crossing."
Huning in the park and watching the crossing from above I observed a low flying airplane flying up the canyon from Colburn toward Vega. The plane was in the canyon and just a mile or two before Vega and there was suddenly smoke and no plane visible again. Being a pilot myself and flying an airobatic airplane I knew what had happened. I was staying at Vega in one of the cabins, so that evening I found that recovery had used a dozer and ploughed a road to remove the body and wreckage. The plane had hit wires causing the crash.