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.