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Tales From The Hunt
Also Available in Kindle Format at Amazon.com
Les Makes a Decoy
It was like watching a hunting video unfolding before our eyes. The antelope buck had no clue Les was approaching. I told Lawrence, “If Les keeps going up the gully; he’ll be able close the distance for sure.”
Everything went fine until Les suddenly came out of the gully hiding behind his decoy. The buck saw the decoy and immediately charged down the hill towards Les. “This is going to
be great,” I said to Lawrence. When the buck was about 20 yards from Les, he dropped the decoy. The buck slammed on the brakes, turned around and ran back up the hill. The buck stopped about 300 yards away, turned and started snorting, wheezing and pawing the ground. We looked back at Les, and he was back behind his decoy moving towards the buck. The buck stares at the decoy for a minute, then charges down the hill again. By this time Lawrence and I are wondering what was happening. As the buck gets within range of Les again, I see Les drop the decoy grab his bow and off goes the buck again. Les picks up the decoy and starts after the buck. As soon as the buck hits the top of the hill it looks back sees the decoy and down the hill he charges.
By this time Lawrence and I are on the top of the hill rolling on the ground laughing so hard I think Les and the buck both heard us.
Come Back With my Arrow
Crack!! The sound of a branch snapping draws my attention to an area about 20 yards to my right above and off the trail. There before my eyes was a large 4 x 4 muley buck slowly rising to his feet. I was busted!! The buck just stared at me as thoughts of “what do I do next?” raced through my head. I had heard you could hide behind your bow if you do it slow enough. With agonizingly slow movements, I started to nock an arrow. Whoosh!! The buck snorted as he caught my movement, but he didn’t move a muscle.
This had never happened before. Usually a deer is off at the first sign or scent of danger. Not one to look a gift horse in the mouth, I continued to nock my arrow. At the sound of the nock snapping on the string; came another whoosh, but as before, the buck stood his ground and did not move. Now that my arrow is nocked, how do I draw my bow? I could do it as quickly as I could and try a snapshot as the buck surely would bolt away, or continue my slow movements in hopes of somehow coming to a full draw.
Slow it was and moving like molasses in the wintertime. Slowly, ever so slowly, I raised my bow. If I could get my bow raised, I would be able to hide the movements of my draw by facing the buck. All this time the buck just kept watching me, waiting for me to make a jerky motion. After what seemed like an hour and to my surprise, I was able to raise my bow without spooking the buck. Then the oddest thing happened-- the buck laid back down facing me.
Ambush in the Clearing
Jose and I charged into a small clearing and got about half way across it, when the whole world around us exploded. We froze in our tracks as elk were everywhere, in every direction. Everywhere you looked all you could see were elk heads and elk butts going in every direction possible. The cows were barking and mewing, timber was breaking everywhere. I don’t know if you have ever been close to elk in the timber when they are spooked and want to get away, but they sound like freight trains going through the woods. Now just imagine twenty-five freight trains going through the woods all at the same time. That’s what it was like to be standing where we were. We figured that there were about 25 to 30 elk in that clearing with us; some were as close as 25 feet away. They had heard us coming up the trail behind them, but we were down wind and they were unable to pick up our scent. They decided to stay put and get a good look at what was following them.
It all seemed to be happening in slow motion though and it took only a few seconds for Jose and me to get our composure back and react to the situation. As we regained our senses, we turned back to back and started firing
A Trophy Bear
I was looking through the pine boughs, trying for a better glimpse of Gargantua. Finally, through a small gap between the branches, I saw him. A huge basketball-type head bobbing up and down, I began shaking from excitement and fearful respect. Nocking my arrow became a real chore. I stood there holding my bow up and ready, waiting for the bear to come 30 more yards into my firing lane. The bear had a different plan, and he stopped and checked everything in his path. My bow was getting heavy. I lowered it, resting my bow arm, or I wouldn't have strength to draw when the time came. A good thing I did, as two long minutes passed until Gargantua appeared. There he was--12 yards away on the opposite side of the ravine and to my right. The terrain sloped steeply upward on the other side, positioning the huge bear level with my stand. He was cinnamon colored and so fat his belly hairs touched the ground as he stood broadside looking me square in the eyes. I was thinking about what to do next. The bear was still 10 yards from the bait on my left. Would he close the gap and go to the bait, or would he see me standing there shaking and run off?
Hide and Seek
The elk moved a little. Finally an opening appeared. The elk now stretched his neck. He's trying to smell Jerry! The cross hairs were now on his throat. I'm shaking. Calm yourself. It’s only buck fever. My late father’s words of wisdom come to me. It’s OK to get buck fever. Just do it after the shot. Calmness came over me. The cross hairs stopped shaking. They were now glued to the throat. I released a 165 grain boattail to do its job. The elk goes down hard. A four point rack was now visible. The elk struggled to get up. I looked down to reload a fresh round. Off I sprinted to the elk. As I arrived, I saw the tail end of a huge bull elk crashing downhill through timber. I swung the rifle into play, only to catch a fleeting glimpse of hair in the scope.
This is just a small sample of the book filled with stories from actual hunts. Some were successful, some were not. The book is great reading, sit back relive the hunt with the authors as they recreate the excitement they felt during each hunt!!
Also Available in Kindle Format at Amazon.com