Two future bowhunters and a proud father. Thats what hunting is all about.
After filling one of my tags over a week ago, I set out to arrow a monster I’d seen during the last rainstorm. A few close encounters with him were all I have had since the cooler weather came along. This morning I had planned on hiking up “killer hill” and going after him again, when my daughter (8) and son (10) BEGGED me to take them with me. Well, I knew my daughter would probably have a tough time hiking into that area, so I switched to plan B and went to another area that was a bit easier to hike.
Just a half-mile into the hunt, I spotted a buck looking at us from a fairly close distance. I decided I was going to pass him, when my daughter pleaded that I “get him”. She’s never been with me when I’ve arrowed something and I think she gets jealous because her brother has. After several, “please daddy” whispers from her, I caved in and snuck in on the buck, arrowing him from 30 yards. To say she was ecstatic would be an understatement!
Both kids got to blood trail the buck, help me de-bone and load it into my pack, and talk for hours about how they can’t wait until they’re old enough to arrow one! I guess arrowing the buck wasn’t such a bad idea after all, huh?
He’s nothing like the one I was after, but a great family buck for some future hunters. Check out those smiles!
Two Year Wait.
I spent over a hundred hours building and sitting in my tree stand, after seeing this buck during the 2003 season. I didn't hunt him much last year because I was not prepared to put an effective hunt on him. In the spring of 2004 I set up my tree stand in a core rut area close to his home. When a doe in estrus ran by my stand in the morning, I knew it was just a matter of time before the big boys showed up. I waited until 4:00 pm and the hunt was on. Five bucks in five minutes passed by my stand!. I knew the one I was waiting for, and when he showed up, I planed on filling my tag, and I did. He had a huge body! After the buthcher was done with him I got 117 pounds of meat packaged into steaks and pepperoni.
The storm I had been waiting
for finally came, so I bivysacked into one of my favorite honeyholes about
4 1/2 miles from the nearest road. The snow from the storm was driving the
deer down. After a cold night sleep the next morning I spotted this big boy
and was lucky enough to take him at 150 yds with my 30-378, using handloaded
180 grain Nosler Partions.
Season Opener to Remember
Mike Bosisto (top) with five of six hunters he recently guided on a successful Washington hunt.
Pictured from L-R are, Ray, Chris, Jeff, Kurt and Todd. John (far right photo) had to leave early.
The season opened
up here in Washington on the 12th of October. The day before we all met up
and drove out to the property. Camp that night was the usual, lots of food,
some drinks, and tons of male ego bashing sessions. The trash talking reached
a fevered pitch at about 9:00 PM, and that is when we all decided it was
time to hit the rack. We had to get up pretty early to get everyone set up.
third deer was bumped out of a thick clump of buck brush. He turned around
to see what was after him, only 70 yards off. I set up the hunter for an
on target neck shot, that he took. The buck turned out to be a very nice
2 point. It was only about 10:00 AM.
Pair of Washington Blacktails
Ryan Krizan enjoyed a successful Washington Blacktail Hunt
The first picture
is of a buck I took this year in western Washington. He was roughly 180 yards
away although the terrain was very deceiving. I figured it would be a 250
yard shot, but wasn't positive because I had inconveniently forgotten my
range finder. I aimed high and hit the deer right where I had aimed, he was
closer than I had originally suspected. When I first located the buck, I
had positively seen a 3x3. I then changed positions and found the deer again.
Needless say, buck fever set in and I shot. I was very excited, it was only
my fourth year hunting (I was 17 at the time) and my first deer. As I approached
the deer, I immediately noticed it was a 2x2 , and was surprised to see the
buck that I had originally spotted run off. I was a little shocked, but none
the less very happy. The deer I had taken was very nice and weighed roughly
165 lbs dressed.
Steve Kane with his big Vanouver Island Blacktail
It worked, I just
got home with a beautiful 4x4 blacktail, what a comedy of errors tonight
was. It was the most uncomfortable sit I've ever had. The only good tree
to hang my stand in was a big maple and I couldn't get the stand level, it
was sloping out real bad. I had to sit there for three long hours, WOW, never
again, gotta go fix that.
the magic of Deer Season is in the anticipation that it arrives with. I work
all year and save my pennies for the upcoming season. It brings new opportunity
every year. So many seasons have come and gone and yet the adrenaline and
excitement never seem to stop. Why is that? Wouldn't you think that I would
take it for granted after so many hunts? I don't understand it myself, how
could anyone else. Once a friend said " man you really get excited!"… I guess
trip to Idaho was on an invitation from a good friend. With a family and
all I was nervous about was the costs. To justify the trip I felt I HAD to
fill my tag. So to be safe I just bought a deer tag. I had a blast! I rode
my horse, played cowboy, saw moose (Wow) and on and on. It was the time of
my life, and my goals were to just enjoy the moment, see some country and
learn. Often I read of someone in new country asking for advice, my thoughts
are don't expect much for the first few years. If you get meat, great consider
it a success. I keep preaching this to myself now that I live in Alaska.
I look forward to an interior moose hunt, but the cost is substantial. Once
again it pressures me for the need to fill the tag. We have to chuckle don't
we, September still brings those challenges. I haven't taken an Alaskan deer
and already I am worrying about interior moose hunts. I know, I know, one
thing at a time! Hunters, we are a rare bunch! Knowing what to do is one
thing, doing it is something else. Reminds me of a time in the high country.
name is Rick Bennett and I live in Dallas Oregon, which is just west of Salem.
I stumbled on to your website and really like it. I have two photos to share.
The first one is a 5x6 non typical that I shot on the last day of the 99
season here in Polk County. I laid down a scent trail and used my grunt call
and he came in close enough for a twenty yard shot.
Silently the buck
slipped behind a huge boulder, still uncertain, I moved and sited into the
next opening…he never showed again. Had another elusive Northwest Blacktail
slipped away…time was yet to tell.
Day 1, 4:30 AM
As I left camp
and hit the trail I noticed two flashlights blinking in the dark on the hill
far above. "Dread" I thought this meant some hunters from another camp had
the jump on me! Knowing too well the early riser usually gets the buck I
simply put my head down and took off. Soon I was high on the rim resting
against a boulder. As I lay back catching my breath, I wondered where the
two lights had gone. In the meantime the view of the ever-lightening sky
was incredible. Across the valley, the far ridge was just a rugged silhouette…awe
inspiring. Minutes later I saw the glowing end of a cigarette about two hundred
feet away, hmmm, the hunters. With the eastern sky still just a light glow
I moved to a position closer to let them know I was in the area. We met and
talked and it was decided in respect to them I would move on to the next
basin down the ridge.
Day 2, 5:30 AM
Dawn broke in the Buckhorn that second morning with me up on the mountain
and not a soul around. Hidden in an outcropping of rock we appropriately
called ‘The Castle’, I spotted all sides. I gleaned three small bucks and
two does from the brushy basin, not good enough, I moved on. Nestled in the
rocks on the rim of the next basin, I spotted intensely the valley floor.
With no luck, I slowly moved up the ridge, then there he was…a decent buck
feeding on a talus slope.
Three Bucks in Three Hours!!
Joe and Earl Willis with their three California Blacktails, taken within three hours of each other.
a heavy rain the night before, Joe Willis and his brother Earl left their
camp well before daylight. They wanted to get to an area before first light,
where they had seen many good bucks in the past.
Blacktail Country Articles
Hunting Stories Page 1