Sitka Mountain Gear
NV Success
Mule Deer
Contributors to this thread:
Hollywood 20-Aug-08
Hollywood 20-Aug-08
elmer 20-Aug-08
Hollywood 20-Aug-08
Hollywood 20-Aug-08
Hollywood 20-Aug-08
Hollywood 20-Aug-08
elmer 20-Aug-08
Rob in VT 20-Aug-08
Hollywood 20-Aug-08
Hollywood 20-Aug-08
Hollywood 20-Aug-08
Hollywood 20-Aug-08
'Ike' 20-Aug-08
elmer 20-Aug-08
HuntinHabit@Work 20-Aug-08
Hollywood 20-Aug-08
elmer 20-Aug-08
Hollywood 20-Aug-08
Genesis 20-Aug-08
Hollywood 20-Aug-08
Hollywood 20-Aug-08
Hollywood 20-Aug-08
bowhuntress 20-Aug-08
Hollywood 20-Aug-08
Steve H. 20-Aug-08
pumatagger 20-Aug-08
Hollywood 20-Aug-08
Genesis 20-Aug-08
loesshillsarcher 20-Aug-08
Hollywood 20-Aug-08
Hunts_with_stick 20-Aug-08
Matt 20-Aug-08
Hollywood 20-Aug-08
Hollywood 20-Aug-08
'Ike' 20-Aug-08
dihardhunter 20-Aug-08
chip 20-Aug-08
Bx3 20-Aug-08
Heat 20-Aug-08
SDHNTR 20-Aug-08
COLO 3-D 20-Aug-08
Hollywood 20-Aug-08
Snag 20-Aug-08
Zackman 20-Aug-08
sticksender 20-Aug-08
DJ@work 20-Aug-08
Hollywood 20-Aug-08
Hollywood 20-Aug-08
Hunts_with_stick 20-Aug-08
pumatagger 20-Aug-08
Ermine 20-Aug-08
Elkstuffer 20-Aug-08
Bowboy 20-Aug-08
gerald martin 20-Aug-08
WylieCoyote 21-Aug-08
Shaft2Long 21-Aug-08
iowaPete 21-Aug-08
cb 21-Aug-08
Genesis 21-Aug-08
Owl 21-Aug-08
Finally 21-Aug-08
Hollywood 21-Aug-08
STIKSLINGR 21-Aug-08
bowhunter43 21-Aug-08
Hollywood 21-Aug-08
gamedog 21-Aug-08
swp 21-Aug-08
MULIES4EVER 24-Aug-08
nijimasu 24-Aug-08
Orthopod 24-Aug-08
Wirehair 25-Aug-08
Jaquomo_feral 25-Aug-08
elknuts2 25-Aug-08
onlybow 27-Aug-08
Hollywood 14-Feb-09
'Ike' 14-Feb-09
BULELK1 14-Feb-09
RedneckSundevil 16-Feb-09
bowhunter43 16-Feb-09
BB 16-Feb-09
Shear Madness 16-Feb-09
Hollywood 16-Feb-09
'Ike' 16-Feb-09
medicinemann 17-Feb-09
Bigpizzaman 17-Feb-09
Charlie Rehor 17-Feb-09
Bowfreak 05-Oct-09
Hawkeye 05-Oct-09
SAVILO 07-Oct-09
sunsignarcher 07-Oct-09
Acoupstick 08-Oct-09
Preacher Man 18-Jul-11
'Ike' (Phone) 27-May-12
Hollywood 27-May-12
midwest 04-Dec-15
ben yehuda 04-Dec-15
trkyslr 04-Dec-15
IdyllwildArcher 04-Dec-15
trublucolo 04-Dec-15
Chris S 05-Dec-15
Willieboat 05-Dec-15
t-roy 06-Dec-15
Paul@thefort 06-Dec-15
WV Mountaineer 06-Dec-15
Genesis 07-Dec-15
Mark Watkins 08-Dec-15
willliamtell 08-Dec-15
Hollywood 08-Dec-15
From: Hollywood
20-Aug-08
Just back from 23 days in NV and thought I'd share some pics. It was a good hunt, tough like I expected and with its share of surprises. Not as many bucks as I would have liked to have seen, but a good hunt never the less. I won't give too many details away as I may try to get an artical out of this one, but I wanted to share with all of my friends here on the bowsite first.

Thanks to everyone who helped me out on this hunt and those of you who lent me tremendous moral support while I was in the field.

Don.

From: Hollywood
20-Aug-08

Hollywood's embedded Photo
Hollywood's embedded Photo
This is one of the better bucks I saw while scouting in late July.

From: elmer
20-Aug-08
tell us just a little....were you successful? was it just mulies you were after?

From: Hollywood
20-Aug-08

Hollywood's embedded Photo
Hollywood's embedded Photo
Deer were spotty, but not these guys!

From: Hollywood
20-Aug-08

Hollywood's embedded Photo
Hollywood's embedded Photo
The things you see when you don't have a tag! 16 yards!

From: Hollywood
20-Aug-08

Hollywood's embedded Photo
Hollywood's embedded Photo
Opening Day, pm.

What the heck is that? Could it be???? ...at 16 yards?

From: Hollywood
20-Aug-08

Hollywood's embedded Photo
Hollywood's embedded Photo
Cue the Cat! ...and ACTION! Exit stage left at 22 yards.

From: elmer
20-Aug-08
great pics hollywood!

From: Rob in VT
20-Aug-08
Very cool!

From: Hollywood
20-Aug-08
Days 2-4 were a daily and nightly routine of close encounters with Garfield. After a late night thunder-shower that left all of my gear soaked(Thank God for good synthetic sleeping bags). I backpacked out of the wilderness and returned to town on the morning of the 5th for a shower/shave/cheeseburger and oh yes ...a mountain lion tag.

From: Hollywood
20-Aug-08

Hollywood's embedded Photo
Hollywood's embedded Photo
On the evening of the 5th, I was back in the Wilderness area and in my log-jam blind by 5 pm or so.

From: Hollywood
20-Aug-08
On cue, garfield starting squalling up-canyon about 6-ish and then went silent.

Garfield came in silent and I was taken by surprise when I turned my head to the left to meet the eyes of the big cat at 22 yards. I was definitely busted and Garfield decided that I should be on the evening's dinner menu and pinned her ears and came for me in a rapid low sneak.

To say, "I drew as fast as I could" doesn't accurately desscribe the speed with which I hit my anchorpoint and acquired the cat in the peep. As soon as my 20 yard pin was on hair, I cut the arrow loose and stopped the oncoming feline at 12 yards as the arrow struck the cat directly in the right eye.

Then there followed a great fury of sound and action as the cat tore up the mountain side like Warner Brothers' Tasmanian Devil.

Any critter that can take a broadhead to the skull at 12 yards from a 68 lb Mathews Legacy and run away strong can certainly lay overnight. I had read Capstick's "Death in the Long Grass" way too many times to go charging after a wounded lion in the brush in the impending darkness.

It was a long night, as I lay awake in my bag awaiting a one-eyed ball of fur to tear me into a thousand pieces. A vivid imagination is not always a benefit.

4:45 am I was up and making a cup of coffee with my jetboil and was back in the blind 20 minutes before shooting time. About 5:45 a 5 pt bull elk was making its way to the waterhole and came to screeching halt as it got downwind of the brushpile my cat had disappeared into. The bull tested the air a few times, let out an alarm bark and went stampeding up the ridge, barking all the way.

Alive or dead, my cat was in that brushpile. I couldn't delay any longer and although I tried to procrastinate and went at great lengths to make a total idiot of myself, I recovered the cat, dead as can be, a bloody mess, and with only 4 inches of arrow shaft left protruding from it's skull.

I cleaned it up for a few pics and snapped a few shots as the sun was just starting to break over the ridge. I had the cat skinned and was off the Mtn by noon and headed into town to have the cat sealed at the NDOW office.

From: Hollywood
20-Aug-08

Hollywood's embedded Photo
Hollywood's embedded Photo
The lion was a 125 lb female, 6' 2" long, the NDOW biologist estimated she was at least 5, from the looks of her teeth. I don't know why she thought I would make a tasty treat as she had the better part of a calf elk in her stomach.

A friend I relayed this story to suggested I should change my handle to "Meow Mix".

From: 'Ike'
20-Aug-08
Out-frick'n-standing Don!!!

From: elmer
20-Aug-08
wow....that was crazy! good Shot! can't wait to see the photo.

20-Aug-08
Wow, that's awesome!! Congrats on a great trophy!

From: Hollywood
20-Aug-08

Hollywood's embedded Photo
Hollywood's embedded Photo
With the cat sealed and in the bag and in the freezer in town, I backpacked back into the wilderness and got serious about my mule deer hunt.

From: elmer
20-Aug-08
Thanks for helping out the elk herd!

From: Hollywood
20-Aug-08

Hollywood's embedded Photo
Hollywood's embedded Photo
Day 7, 18 yards.

From: Genesis
20-Aug-08
Glad it was no eye for an eye....wow!

From: Hollywood
20-Aug-08

Hollywood's embedded Photo
Hollywood's embedded Photo
Day 8, pm. This beauty closed to 4 yards at one point, the closest I've ever been to a trophy bull. He's almost completely out of the velvet.

From: Hollywood
20-Aug-08

Hollywood's embedded Photo
Hollywood's embedded Photo
Day 9, am. A whopper 5 pt, the best I've ever seen closes to about 16 yards. Look at those Tre's!!!

Isn't there one mule deer buck in this whole freakin' unit?

From: Hollywood
20-Aug-08

Hollywood's embedded Photo
Hollywood's embedded Photo
What an enormous bull, look how he dwarfs this 2 1/2 yr old 5 pt.

From: bowhuntress
20-Aug-08
Man, that's cool! Just to get a cat on their own grounds without dogs or anything...I think that's incredible! Good thing you made a great shot! I look forward to the rest of your story.

bowhuntress

From: Hollywood
20-Aug-08

Hollywood's embedded Photo
Hollywood's embedded Photo
Through astute scientific observation, I concluded on day 10, given that I had not seen a single mule deer buck, that the mule deer of that particular wilderness area did not drink water, at least not during NV's prescribed hunting hours so I relocated to a different wilderness area about 40 miles away where I had previously scouted a fair number of mule deer bucks.

From: Steve H.
20-Aug-08
KA Holly!

From: pumatagger
20-Aug-08
Amazing cougar kill! You will remember those minutes your whole life.

From: Hollywood
20-Aug-08

Hollywood's embedded Photo
Hollywood's embedded Photo
My first day of in-season scouting revealed 3 bucks using a waterhole near a wilderness access road. I also spotted a tremendous buck that appeared to carry great forks and was aprox 30-31 inches wide.

Ahhhhh! So there are mule deer in NV.

During the mid-day heat, while all the deer were bedded, I popped up my portable blind and brushed in my new home hoping that I would have a chance to take a buck that evening or in the days to come. I fell back over a saddle and set up a primitive camp about a mile and a half from the water.

From: Genesis
20-Aug-08
Those cats can tell when someone is cycling....:)

Awesome hunt so far!

20-Aug-08
Cool!!! Thanks for sharing!!

From: Hollywood
20-Aug-08

Hollywood's embedded Photo
Hollywood's embedded Photo
Days 11-16, were a bit of a routine. Up at 3:45 for coffee and a granola bar or mountain house breakfast and then the mile and half hike to the waterhole in the dark a full hour before shooting time, so as to not spook any approaching bucks. Out of the blind by 8:30 and hike to the top of the Mountain for some late morning glassing in the hopes of putting Mr. Thirty incher to bed. Then the hike back to the truck for a granola bar and a nap during the heat of the day and then back in the blind by 5:00 and sit til dark and hike back to the camp in the dark, dinner around 9:00, ahh yes tonight Turkey Tetrazinni, etc, etc.

...and repeat.

The new area was much improved for mule deer activity as I saw deer every time I sat the blind and saw bucks about half the time, mostly small 3 pts, 4x3's, or big forkies. I had one chance at a nice 4 pt on day 13, but a doe spotted me in the blind drawing my bow and blew and deer ran everywhere.

20-Aug-08
Sweet hunt

From: Matt
20-Aug-08
I am starting to get the feeling it may take you 23 days to finish the story. ;-)

From: Hollywood
20-Aug-08
Hunting Day 17,

My morning was a routine, so I was going through the motions, but my confidence was increasing daily. The full moon had come to pass and it would start getting smaller soon, not to mention moon rise was later every day and although the morning hunts had been slower, evenings were usually action packed with deer activity and a handful of elk coming to water.

Every one has a gift, and in some cases, gifts. One of mine is making routine things difficult. As the shooting time came and passed, a group of 10 deer made a sudden appearance en masse at the waterhole shortly after 6 am.

4 bucks came in single file from my left and a dandy 4 pt hung up just at the edge of my shooting window at about 30 yards. After botching the draw on a buck 4 days ago, I had devised a new method for drawing my bow in the blind without drawing attention and it worked brilliantly as I hit my anchor point with little attention from the herd of deer all within easy bow-range.

Seated in a very expensive folding chair from Wal-mart, I had to twist at the torso as far as I could back to my left to get a good sight picture on the buck. I craned around and buried my 30 yard pin right behind the bucks shoulder and touched off the arrow. To my horror, the arrow was not only less than perfect, it was just plain bad. The arrow center punched the deer in the gut and angling forward exited about the 2nd rib from the back on the opposite side.

The buck trotted about 40 yards and stopped and hung his head for nearly a half hour before wandering up the hillside to bed down in an isolated patch of timber.

I snuck out of the blind about 8 am and left the deer for about 6 hours in the hopes that I had caught liver. But that was not the case.

Picking up the blood trail about 2:30 pm, I tracked the wounded buck at a snail's pace and eventually kicked the buck out of his bed at about 4:08 pm. A couple wayward arrows failed to find their mark, but given a fairly unique set of circumstances that I'll save for a far more self-deprecating magazine article, I was able to arrow the buck in the heart and finally breathe a sigh of relief and give a simple prayer of thanks at about 4:10 pm.

I spent at least 5 minutes apologizing to that buck for what should have been a simple shot that would have ended my hunt at 6:11 am. I spoke mostly out of sheer guilt and partly because I'd been 23 days by myself in the bush and was at a point where I was telling myself jokes I hadn't heard before. After a long one-sided conversation with my buck, I got to work butchering and bagging and I had him packed off of the Mtn well before dark.

From: Hollywood
20-Aug-08

Hollywood's embedded Photo
Hollywood's embedded Photo
Okay! Okay! Matt, here he is.

THE END!

From: 'Ike'
20-Aug-08
Awesome Don, simply awesome.....Congrats!

From: dihardhunter
20-Aug-08
Congrats Don, public land DIY, true success! The lion story is still blowing me away!

From: chip
20-Aug-08
Don-You can do the magazine article and I will take the movie rights. I especially like your converstation with the buck. It says a lot about you. Hell of a hunt. Congrats!!

From: Bx3
20-Aug-08
Oh man, what a great story! Congratulations on all the success! Extraordinarily admirable case of hunting by you. You might be my temporary idol for the cat kill. That must have been pretty enjoyable having 23 days out there. What went through your head during the and after the cat incident? Thanks for sharing!

From: Heat
20-Aug-08
Great photos and story Hollywood and an even greater buck! Most of all Congratulations on killing that lion, with a bow nonetheless! I appreciate you sharing with us.

Nick

From: SDHNTR
20-Aug-08
Now that is a FANTASTIC hunt! One of the better reporting jobs I've seen on here too. You are a stud for sticking it out for 23 days! Congrats.

From: COLO 3-D
20-Aug-08
Way to stick with it when things were tough. Great buck!

From: Hollywood
20-Aug-08
Thanks for all the feedback guys! I really appreciate it.

Bx3, to tell you the truth the cat incident was so fast, I really didn't get too shook up in the moment and was actually spooked more later that night when I had time to really think about how close she got and she was one good bound away from being in my lap. She never flinched, her ears never came forward and I'll forever remember how excited she was as the tip of her tail twitched back and forth with nervous energy.

Given the benign nature of our first encounter, and her daily vocalizations, I was entirely lured into a false sense of confidence about my close proximity to the daily travels of this cat.

As far as sticking it out is concerned, I didn't really give myself a choice. It took 5 years to pull the tag, so I wanted to give it the effort worth "5 years of waiting". I didn't want to settle for anything short of a P&Y qualifier.

From: Snag
20-Aug-08
Way to stick with the plan. It all paid off even with an extra! The big kitty cat! You did your part for conservation by killing a deer and elk killer. She would have killed a lot more of them you would!

From: Zackman
20-Aug-08
Congrats "Meow Mix" on an incredible story and superb backcountry, bowhunting trophies.

Bear Bait

From: sticksender
20-Aug-08
Congratulations Hollywood, ya' done real good.

When does the elk hunt launch?

From: DJ@work
20-Aug-08
Great story, Don. I've always wondered how to join that relatively small group of bowhunters who've bagged a kitty on the ground and without hounds, and now I know...act like a piece of meat. Enjoy the memories of that trip!

From: Hollywood
20-Aug-08
Bull season opens there on Aug 25th.

I only bumped into 4 guys and 1 gal in 23 days. The first guy I met was a guy from So-Cal I met through the BOWSITE, bowhunter43, go figure!!!! Us California boys were the only ones dumb enough to pack into the wilderness. Used to CA, we were desperate to get away from other people and halfway into opening day we both realized, "there are no other people!"

3 of the other guys were scouting for bull elk, a hunter from WA, a local guide, and a well-published big game hunter that I recognized from his many articles. They were very cool and respected my space, backing out as soon as they realized I had a blind on the waterhole in the next canyon over. In return I spilled my guts on all the big elk I had seen including a couple of whopper 360+ class bulls I had glassed in the area.

The gal was a BLM employee and was just plain rude, as she nearly ran over my toes with her quadrunner and didn't even have the common decency to stop to chat. And me, wasting my tea and crumpets with no one to entertain. I suppose I was a bit intimidating in my dust-clad camos and she may have been a granola-cruncher at heart.

From: Hollywood
20-Aug-08
DJ,

I think when I turned my head, she thought the bill of my cap was the snout of a bedded deer. That's as best as I can figure. But like I said, I don't know why she was even hungry her belly was distended with calf elk parts, bones and all. I've cut up a fair # of big predators, mostly brown bears, but I've never seen that much bone in a critters stomach before.

20-Aug-08
"I was telling myself jokes I hadn't heard before"

Now that is funny!

From: pumatagger
20-Aug-08
Cougars are killing machines. I have often wondered why a cat would kill 5 - 10 - 20 - 40 or more sheep when they were only going to eat one. I found a lion killed and eaten doe once with two 6-month old fawns killed and left by the same cat. Other times they don't even mount a stalk of a prey animal. I would guess that Hollywood is right when he stated that bill of his cap looked like "prey".

From: Ermine
20-Aug-08
Thats cool. Great story and hunting. I wish our lion season here in colorado was open during this time. I cant belive it came after you. They usually are super scarred.

From: Elkstuffer
20-Aug-08
In-freaking-credible!! What a hunt and the season is just starting. Congrats on a beautiful cat & an awesome buck. I really respect the fact that you told us of the less than perfect shot and making ammends with the deer in the end. Most guys would have said they buried the arrow perfectly into the heart and watch him tip over within site. Kudo's!!!!!!

From: Bowboy
20-Aug-08
Congrats on your buck and cat you earned it!

20-Aug-08
Excellent! Thank you for sharing your hunt with us.

From: WylieCoyote
21-Aug-08
Hollywood, I just got through sitting for 3 days in a ground blind for antelope and thought I was pretty patient to accomplish that feat... as i rode a quad to the waterhole and slept in a motel each night..after reading your amazing story....I am a wimp and you are the man...you certainly deserve the success. Thanks for sharing the incredible adventure.

Joe

From: Shaft2Long
21-Aug-08
Good jog, great story, and I'm glad you shot that lion. Those things are coming after people more and more. Walking around in the dark is starting to seem like a bad idea.

From: iowaPete
21-Aug-08
Super hunt and fantastic story. The pics taken were first-rate. Appreciate you taking the time to share your success.

Congrats,

iowaPete

From: cb
21-Aug-08
congrats. excellent story. Thats a story that will probably be told by your kids and their kids long after you are gone. thanks for sharing

From: Genesis
21-Aug-08
Great hunt! The Eye of the Tiger!

From: Owl
21-Aug-08
I'm glad that close encounter added a chapter to your life story rather than ending it :) That is one of the more interesting hunts I've read about in a long time.

From: Finally
21-Aug-08
Hollywood Thats a great story and a great buck, I was out there last weekend scouting for my wife and daughters rifle deers tags and a good friends rut bull hunt. Would love hear about those good bulls if your willing. Thanks

From: Hollywood
21-Aug-08
Thanks guys, really appreciate your posts.

No Joe, I saw your antelope. You're the man!

...I'm just stubborn. And the spot/stalks were not really working out. I had never seen mulies so high strung, it was like trying to sneak on Coues deer. Wind was always boiling down in these holes where the bucks were bedding or they'd bed in mahogany thickets or P-J that were just ridiculous and you'd end up just kicking 'em out the other side. You'd never see 'em, you'd just hear 'em spooking out, so sitting the blind was way more productive for me for producing close encounters even though it was the more passive approach.

On some of the pics, the scouting pic of the buck was taken through my fujinon 20-60x105 spotting scope at about 400 yards. The first elk pic was through my zeiss 10x binos at about 140 yards.

From: STIKSLINGR
21-Aug-08
That is a great story! I could only imagine the adrenalin that was pumping when that cat came in!!!! Great buck.... Wow, persistence pay's!

From: bowhunter43
21-Aug-08
Congrats on the lion and the deer. I have been waiting for your post. I knew you would be successful. I'l give you a call soon and talk about my hunt. Steve

From: Hollywood
21-Aug-08
I look forward to it Steve!

From: gamedog
21-Aug-08
What a hunt/ story! congrats on a good recovery.

From: swp
21-Aug-08
OUTSTANDING! Congrats!

From: MULIES4EVER
24-Aug-08
Nice job on the writeup. That whole cat thing has me in knots. Talk about making you more humble. You are lucky that your shot was good. Congrats on the nice buck. Way to go buddy.

From: nijimasu
24-Aug-08
Well done, sir. I bet the last thing that went through that cat's mind besides your arrow was a huge "WTF?!?"

From: Orthopod
24-Aug-08
WOW...great story and great adventure. Congrats.

From: Wirehair
25-Aug-08
WOW! What a hunt!

25-Aug-08
Awesome story about an awesome hunt! Thanks so much for sharing with us, and what a great buck!!

From: elknuts2
25-Aug-08
I just opened this thread and WOW! What a great hunt. Congratulations on your success, but also having experiences that you'll never forget, sounds like it was a super adventure and can't wait to hear more about it.

I guess we all know where you'll be applying for elk now, huh?

From: onlybow
27-Aug-08
what an awesome story..you need to write that down in detail and let us know where it will be so we can read it in a magizine.....that hunt was special and makes me even more excited about going out this year....

From: Hollywood
14-Feb-09

Hollywood's embedded Photo
Hollywood's embedded Photo
As Genesis says, "He went from semi-live to 100% dead"

Now that's funny.

From: 'Ike'
14-Feb-09
I see you made it through the snow! Looks good amigo...

From: BULELK1
14-Feb-09
Dang nice!

Congrats

Good luck, Robb

16-Feb-09

From: bowhunter43
16-Feb-09
looks great any luck with getting your story published? Looking forward to it.

From: BB
16-Feb-09
Wow, I don't know how I missed this thread. I guess I must have been hunting.

What a way to take a lion. I have nothing against anyone who shoots a lion with dogs, but I personally have no interest in that, but I would love to accomplish what you did. That is just outstanding and very rare! The few times I’ve had chances to shoot cats (and they have been few and far between, spread over many years) of course I did not have a tag. I long just for the time now when I can shoot some photos under those same conditions.

And then to think you not only took a cat, but turned around and took that great buck. What a hunt and what an accomplishment. You are the Man!

This has been the best thread I've seen here in a long time, and to think I missed it on the first go round. Thanks to whoever brought it back up to the top..

Congratulations on a great and outstanding bowhunt.

May you have many more great bowhunts. BB

16-Feb-09
Wow ! Great story.. I also missed it the first time around. Are you getting the cat mounted ?

From: Hollywood
16-Feb-09
Bowhunter43, I have the artical finished, I'm shopping it around. I'll post if it gets accepted.

BB, a huge thanks for your generous praise.

SM, I'm thinking of having it full-body mounted, but I can't keep it here in CA as Mtn Lion maintains "Special protected status". So right now, I'm shipping it to WA, where I have a buddy who has half a dozen of my mounts hanging in his home.

I saw the cape and the European Mount of the skull. They look great, though the cat misses P&Y by over an inch. No matter to me. She looked like a freight-train when she was fixing to jump in my lap.

Don.

From: 'Ike'
16-Feb-09
"SM, I'm thinking of having it full-body mounted, but I can't keep it here in CA as Mtn Lion maintains "Special protected status". So right now, I'm shipping it to WA, where I have a buddy who has half a dozen of my mounts hanging in his home."

Chicken! Someone needs to set case law....LoL!

From: medicinemann
17-Feb-09
One of the few feelings that is more intense than the sick feeling of wounding an animal, is a successful tracking job that allows you to end the animals suffering. Wonderful story, great conclusion.

From: Bigpizzaman
17-Feb-09
Don, thats a shame that an animal that beautiful and harvested legally cannot be brought back to your home state. The memories of the hunt would return everytime you laid eyes upon her. Great Story again.

17-Feb-09
Don: Glad you brought this thread back as I missed it last summer. Great story, IMHO these sort of hunt reports will replace the TV shows in popularity. It is just sooooo much more real. Thanks for taking the time to share and "keepin it real"!! C

From: Bowfreak
05-Oct-09
For those who didn't see it the first time.

This is AWESOME!

From: Hawkeye
05-Oct-09
I missed it but WOW!!!!! I can't imagine this story not getting published? I mean seriously...how many have EVER done what you did. Let me know and I'll buy some copies :)

From: SAVILO
07-Oct-09
Thanks for bringing it back to the top awsome story, congrats Hollywood!

07-Oct-09
wow, I'll be lying in bed awake tonight thinking about the look on that lions face.

unreal.

From: Acoupstick
08-Oct-09
Bowfreak, thanks for bringing it back, missed it the first 2 times. Amazing hunt!

From: Preacher Man
18-Jul-11
ttt

27-May-12
That is still a bull of my dreams....

From: Hollywood
27-May-12
Those are still the longest Tre's I've ever seen on an elk.

From: midwest
04-Dec-15
oldy but a goody...ttt

04-Dec-15
Whoa! That was an awesome read.

From: trkyslr
04-Dec-15
Awesome!!! This is new to me so congrats Don!

04-Dec-15
There it is :)

From: trublucolo
04-Dec-15
Great read, thanks for bringing it to the top.

From: Chris S
05-Dec-15
Glad this resurfaced what an all time classic!

Stories like this is why I return to this sight!

From: Willieboat
05-Dec-15
That was a sweet blast from the past....

Hollywood...You drank any Don Julio lately ?????;)

From: t-roy
06-Dec-15
Incredible story!! Congrats on all fronts!

From: Paul@thefort
06-Dec-15
Well, that was fun. Paul

06-Dec-15
This was really cool.

From: Genesis
07-Dec-15
It's been that long? Great story Don

From: Mark Watkins
08-Dec-15
Incredible adventure doesn't begin to describe....congrats Don!

Mark

From: willliamtell
08-Dec-15
Don What did you do to keep yourself from going stir crazy sitting in your blinds all that time?

I, every hunter, and every deer and elk thank you for eliminating that cat. One of these days somebody is going to get a good video of a cat hoping you're dinner and finding out otherwise. Of course, you have one in your mind's eye and a trophy (somewhere) - congrats!

From: Hollywood
08-Dec-15
Wow! I can't believe this has been resurrected!

Great hunt, great experience!

Williamtell, I've never had a problem sitting a blind or treestand. I just came off of 15 straight days in Kansas with no success. I just sort of "Zen out" and really focus on being in the moment and thankful that I'm not under the pressure of "producing". I'm at a different stage in my life as far as my hunting goes and I just don't have to kill a critter every time out. As a guide/outfitter you've only got 7-10 days to get the job done and the clock is ticking as soon as the client steps off the plane, so it's nice to detox from that whole aspect of my life and just "chill" and watch the animals. If big-daddy steps out, lucky for me! If not, it's not the end of the world.

Couple of things in the spirit of full disclosure, I previously failed to mention about this hunt, and since the article never got picked up. When I was tracking the wounded deer and kicked him out of his bed, I actually prematurely touched off my release while trying to quick-draw on him. That was the first errant arrow, I mentioned. The second miss, I clipped a tree limb which deflected the arrow and ended up drilling a tree directly behind the buck. The sound of the arrow striking that tree actually spooked the deer back to me and gave me a slam dunk 35 yard shot to finish the deer. So you never can tell what unusual chain of events will lead to success.

Another point I feel is important to make is that extended back-country hunts are a lot easier to pull off if you pace yourself 5-7 days at a time. Go hard for a week and then fall back to town, do laundry, catch a shower, eat a cheeseburger and have a few beers, sleep in a real bed. Call your wife and your hunting buddy, get the "Rah-Rah Speech" and then get back after it. Not an option always in places like Alaska where I've done months at a time in the bush, but certainly an option in Western States where you're almost always an hour's drive away from civilization.

I'm glad people are still enjoying this thread.

Have a very Merry Christmas!!!

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