Trip to the Backcountry

My backcountry bowhunting trip is without a doubt, the trip I look forward to the most every year.

I go solo.  5-7 days with a pack on my back.  The area I hunt is a 4 hour trip one way and 4500 vertical feet of up and down.  Sleeping in a bivy on a narrow game trail keeps it light.  I simply can’t find another way to do it.  There are some great animals, but it is harsh terrain.  Two years ago I almost killed the mule deer buck of a lifetime. 

I spotted this monster buck down in a deep basin. 3 hours later I was guessing a bit, but thought I was within 40 yards of his hiding place.  I popped over the narrow ridge between myself and where he had been all morning.  I looked down the ridge to where I thought he was holed up.  Perfectly upwind, the greuling stalk had gone exactly as planned.  But he wasn’t there.  Had he found a secondary escape route?  I had the rest of the basin to my open view and I was sure that he and his 4 buddies had not left their spot.  That was when I heard the snort-wheeze.

I was within 40 yards of the big buck, but while I was circling to the other side of the basin behind the bucks, I had gotten a bit disoriented.  I had come in 40 yards below and downwind of the 5 bucks (all 4 points or larger.)  They were in the process of blowing out of the country.  I was able to snap a few photos at about 150-200 yards.  That was the last I saw of those bucks all week.

Later that week I was able to get my arrow into something much larger.  But that is a story for another day.


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