Author Topic: Hide and seek with a blacktail  (Read 189 times)

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Offline Okanagan

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Hide and seek with a blacktail
« on: November 08, 2018, 08:40:54 AM »
Had the most fun deer hunting yesterday that I've had in ages, but did not get a deer.

Grandson Cody is a pretty good blacktail hunter, and when he went hunting with me a couple of Decembers ago, he pointed out one mountain ridge that he was sure had some big bucks on it.  The ridge is several miles long, 4500 feet elevation along the top and 1400 feet along the creek below it.  A logging road switchbacks up one end and then does a climbing contour along the east side, staying about a half mile below the top.  Very few deer in that whole country.

I had never climbed to the top of the ridge but did yesterday in an inch of soft snow.  Not a single deer track on the way up, but just when I reached the breakover onto the top of the ridge, I hit a BIG deer track walking along that edge, as fresh as my tracks.  I glassed around, could not see the buck, but knew he was near.  His tracks made me think that he had heard me coming up and had walked over to look down and see what was making the noise. 

The ridge top is not a clean line but a lumpy series of knolls and gullies about 150 yards wide, all in open old growth timber.  There is little under brush due to lack of sunlight under the big trees.  The ridge runs north south and the buck tracks continued walking north along the east side bench edge.  The slight breeze was moving from east to west, to my left as I followed the buck tracks north. 

A line of three knolls angled along the ridge to my left, downwind and 30 feet feet higher than the bench along the edge, with a bit of brush among the rocky tops.  I figured that the buck would lead me north past the knolls, then cut left, to the west, downwind, and reverse back to the top of one of those knolls.  From there he could both watch and smell me as I tracked him past the humps.

I cut left around the farthest knoll to the left, stalking the tops of the two knolls in line to the north.  His tracks beat me there.  He had circled back to the third knoll back from where he cut back, and his tracks had shuffled in the snow on top of it as he watched me try to double cross him.

Game on!

I spent two hours up on top after him; tracking, watching ambush corridors, laying doe in heat scent, calling at times, finding where he had reversed course and watched me.  I never saw him.  All I wanted with the calling and doe in heat was to get him curious enough to pause or sneak around downwind of me. 

With my legs and age, I should not be up there alone and likely will never go back, but man it was fun!  It is so steep in one section of the way up and down that I considered crawling.  Lots of small cliffs to slalom around.  It took me 55 minutes straight traveling to get down to the road.  Not a good idea for an old man if he is trying to bring a buck down that.  Had I killed a buck, I had decided to roll and slide him, follow down and roll him again till we either got down or he hung up in deadfalls to the point I'd have to bone him out and pack him from there. 

Offline HaMeR

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Re: Hide and seek with a blacktail
« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2018, 05:53:59 PM »
Sounds like a very exciting & enjoyable hunt Ok!! Glad you made it out & back unscathed!!  :yoyo: :yoyo:

RIP Russ,Blaine,Darrell

2014-15 TBC-- 11

Offline JohnP

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Re: Hide and seek with a blacktail
« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2018, 08:25:43 AM »
Great story, enjoyed it very much and I do know the pain and agony.  I just had a similar hunt with Mandy's grandson Cole and I am sure it will be my last mountain hunt.   
When they come for mine they better bring theirs