ONE SHOT ONE KILL
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: western pa
Game Wardens do not have a sense of humor
As you all know, it is now Late Archery Season here in the State of Washington. I have been out Bow Hunting as much as possible.
I love this time of the year out in the woods. The weather has mostly been pretty nice, the Fall Colors are breathtaking and the anticipation of seeing a monster buck in the rut keep my heart pumping at itís fullest.
The alarm clock has yet to catch me sleeping when it finally decides to go off at 4 a.m. because I have been awake for at least a half of an hour. Iíve been just like a little kid on Christmas Morning, anxiously awaiting the adventures of the days hunt.
When the sun finally comes up it finds me out in the woods sitting on my three legged stool, bow across my lap with an arrow nocked and ready to let fly. All of my ghillie suit has leaves interlaced in the mesh so that I look like a big bush just waiting for a buck to stumble into my shooting lanes.
This brings me to my current report about late archery season and my success. A Couple of days ago I was sitting ready, willing and able to shoot myself a big buck.
I was a little tired from the 4 mile hike into my hunting area. The road in is a pretty nice logging road, but from where I have to park the truck it is a mile or so down hill to a bridge over a creek, then you have to climb up hill for 1,000 feet before the hilltop flattens out. Of course, way across the top of the hill on the backside is where all the deer activity is and has been, so that is where I had to walk to and get all set up.
Iím getting to blooming old to make that trip with a 50 pound pack on my back plus my bow, a pair of Binoculars and a range finder on my chest. Not to mention the weight of the ghillie suit. But, none the less I made it there without having a major heart attack.
So, I settled into my hunting spot for a much deserved and welcome rest. The woods settled down to dead quite, except for chirping of the birds, the quacks from ducks flying overhead and occasionally the chatter from a squirrel or two.
Just about daylight I head a buck snorting and thrashing the brush with his rack. He was Close! I could tell that he must be a dominate buck because suddenly I heard the crashing of a younger buck as he hastily retreated from the area.
A little ways away and partially across the plateau I cold hear a doe making sexy little calls to the buck as she came our direction. I kept thinking to myself, ďPlease, please donít let her stumble into me and make her spook that big buck!Ē
Luck was on my side for a change. As first light of day came sneaking into the clearing I was watching I spied the doe about 20 yards away. Carefully and slowly I began to glass the woods for the buck. He literally melted right out of the heavy brush and only 45 yards away. That set my heart to beating, especially when I counted the points on each side! One side I counted 7 points and the other I counted 5 points. Wow! He is a Monster Non-typical and heís big enough to be a New State Record! Heís also a candidate for Pope and Young record books, Plus Boone and Crockett record books.
I immediately ripped off my Binoculars and range finder, pull up my face mask, don my hood and check my bow to make sure that everything is ready for a shot of a lifetime. Second dragged and seemed like days, as the monster buck strolled forward with that doe in his sights and Lust on his mind. Step by step he came, the lure of the doe had taken over his mind and he had thrown caution to the wind. Not once did he look around for danger. Not once did he hesitate to stop and sniff the wind. He had one thing on his mind and nothing was going to deter him from attaining his goal!
My mind raced, my heart pounded, my hands and knees were shaking like leaves in a windstorm. I wasnít sure if I was even going to be able to draw my bow and settle down enough to make the shot of a lifetime.
When the big buck was finally well within range and finally turned broadside to me I slowly but surely raised my bow, smoothly came to full draw and picked a hair right in the kill zone. As if by instinct, the arrow went flying right into itís intended target; a Direct hit! Precisely where it had been aimed.
I heard the thump, watched as the buck jumped and ran off about 15 yards. He stopped, looked all around as to say ďwhat the heck hit me?Ē Then Mother Nature took a hold of his brains again and he turned to head back to the doe. But, alas, it was not meant to be. He crumpled within a few feet of his beloved quarry.
I always wait at least 30 minutes before I let out my war hoop and before approaching my wild game, so I looked at my watch, laid my bow down a safe distance from my feet. Now my whole body was shaking, I had a major knot in my stomach and my mouth was as dry as a cotton ball. This 30 minutes was going to kill me!
Trying to calm my nerves I dug my thermos of coffee and a donut out of my pack. I think I spilled at least two cups of coffee on to the ground as I tried to carefully pour the hot liquid. Then I set my mind to the task of getting out my gimble and knives, so that I would be ready to set to the task of gutting my prize after I had taken a gazillion photos.
My trusty Canon Digital DSLR camera and the tripod came out of the pack and I attached the big telephoto lens to the camera so that I could take a few photos of the buck from my ambush point. After I took 20 to 30 photos from my spot, I changed back to the wide angle lens for close ups. I also attached the remote trigger to the camera so that I could get in the photos with my beast.
As I finished my donut and second cup of coffee I looked at my watch for the first time and was happy to see that it only took me 45 minutes to calm down. I also saw that it was more than enough time to slowly, but carefully approach my victim. Back came the shakes!
I could hardly believe my eyes when I got close enough to finally get to touch my monster! He was absolutely Huge! Bigger than I had originally thought he was. I wrapped my hands around his horns at the base to move his head so that I could get a closer look at his rack.
That is when I suddenly realized that I was in deep trouble! This buck was so big and so heavy that I could barely move his head! How was I going to be able to spread his legs and keep them spread so that I could gut him? My gimble was designed for much smaller deer. Then came the thought; how am I going to get this monster all the way back to my truck? Even if I quartered him up, it was going to take me a good many trips back and forth to the truck, plus I would be at it all day.
Suddenly I remembered a friend that had told me that if I ever get a deer to give him a call. He has a deer cart that would easy the transportation issue. So I turned on my cell phone and dialed his number. As luck would have it there was nobody at home. So, I went through all of my local friends phone numbers and even tried my two Son-in-laws. Nobody was at home on my list and the Son-in-laws were at work.
What A Dilemma! These Things Always Happen to me! Now I have to get ingenious and figure out a way to get this monumental task done! So, I go back to my pack to access the situation and see what tools O have on hand.
Fortunately for me, I grew up as a Boy Scout! I had about 100 feet of rope with me. I could use that to tie onto the bucks legs and over to a tree to separate the legs enough to gut him. This would make the job a tiny bit easier.
After I took about 100 photos from every conceivable angle I put my camera away safely and set to work on the task at hand. Even after all my years of hunting, I still hate to gut out an animal!
I finally finished the nasty job, I cleaned up as best as possible and decided to try calling everyone I could think of to get help. I had no better luck this time than I did the first time. Now what do I do? There I sat, covered in blood, over 4 miles from my truck with a worthless cell phone that couldnít get me help, a dead monster trophy, tagged deer, all of my equipment loaded into my pack and a major problem.
As I sat there cussing my luck and my phone I had one of my not so ďBrilliant IdeasĒ ! I had a cell phone and I could use it to call for some unlucky help. I quickly dug into a side pouch on my backpack and found my State Hunting Rules and Regulations Pamphlet. That handy dandy pamphlet contains the phone number for the Washington State Game Department Poachers Hot Line! I could call that number and report to the Game Wardens that I had scared off a poacher from a freshly killed monster deer! I just Knew they would come out in force to apprehend the villain!
As I lied through my teeth to the poor soul on the phone I felt a twinge of remorse, but hey; nothing was going to keep me from getting that deer back to my truck! After I hung up the phone with the game department I quickly removed the deer transport tag from the deerís rack and I moved it to the deerís tongue. Then I shoved the tongue back into itís mouth.
In about an hour and a half 3 Game Wardens showed up riding on 4 wheelers. They couldnít believe their eyes when they saw that monster buck! They took down all of my information and told me that they would give me a ride back to my truck if I wanted to accompany them back down the hill. I quickly said yes and grabbed my gear for the ride out.
When we got back to the parking area they pulled up to the trucks and dismounted the 4 wheelers. Then they hooked up a set of straps to the deer and swung a little side boom crane over to pick it up. I waited until they had the deer in the air before I stopped them and confessed to my evil doings.
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