3Rivers Archery Supply
JLS goes solo in the Ruby Mountains
Mule Deer
Contributors to this thread:
JLS 25-Aug-14
JLS 25-Aug-14
JLS 25-Aug-14
JLS 25-Aug-14
JLS 25-Aug-14
JLS 25-Aug-14
JLS 25-Aug-14
JLS 25-Aug-14
drycreek 25-Aug-14
JLS 25-Aug-14
Backstraps 25-Aug-14
JLS 25-Aug-14
Jaquomo 25-Aug-14
JLS 25-Aug-14
JLS 25-Aug-14
JLS 25-Aug-14
JLS 25-Aug-14
JLS 25-Aug-14
JLS 26-Aug-14
JLS 26-Aug-14
JLS 26-Aug-14
Huntcell 26-Aug-14
JLS 26-Aug-14
JLS 26-Aug-14
JLS 26-Aug-14
JLS 26-Aug-14
JLS 26-Aug-14
JLS 26-Aug-14
JLS 26-Aug-14
JLS 26-Aug-14
JLS 26-Aug-14
JLS 26-Aug-14
JLS 26-Aug-14
Surfbow 26-Aug-14
JLS 26-Aug-14
JLS 26-Aug-14
JLS 26-Aug-14
JLS 26-Aug-14
JLS 26-Aug-14
JLS 26-Aug-14
JLS 26-Aug-14
JLS 26-Aug-14
JLS 26-Aug-14
JLS 26-Aug-14
JLS 26-Aug-14
JLS 26-Aug-14
JLS 26-Aug-14
JLS 26-Aug-14
JLS 26-Aug-14
speedgoat 26-Aug-14
JLS 26-Aug-14
JLS 26-Aug-14
JLS 26-Aug-14
JLS 26-Aug-14
IdyllwildArcher 26-Aug-14
JLS 26-Aug-14
JLS 26-Aug-14
JLS 26-Aug-14
JLS 26-Aug-14
JLS 26-Aug-14
JLS 26-Aug-14
JLS 26-Aug-14
JLS 26-Aug-14
JLS 26-Aug-14
JLS 26-Aug-14
JLS 26-Aug-14
JLS 26-Aug-14
JLS 26-Aug-14
JLS 26-Aug-14
JLS 26-Aug-14
JLS 26-Aug-14
JLS 26-Aug-14
JLS 26-Aug-14
kylet 26-Aug-14
BULELK1 26-Aug-14
Scoot 26-Aug-14
pav 26-Aug-14
DJ Trout 26-Aug-14
CD 26-Aug-14
BC 26-Aug-14
GhostBird 26-Aug-14
loopmtz 26-Aug-14
sureshot 26-Aug-14
NY Bowman 26-Aug-14
trkyslr 26-Aug-14
Dwitt2n 26-Aug-14
buzz mc 26-Aug-14
Beav 26-Aug-14
Genesis 26-Aug-14
SteveB 26-Aug-14
Lost Man 26-Aug-14
Fulldraw1972 26-Aug-14
badlander 26-Aug-14
JW 26-Aug-14
sitO 26-Aug-14
Amoebus 26-Aug-14
Whip 26-Aug-14
BoonROTO 26-Aug-14
Medicinemann 26-Aug-14
Ermine 26-Aug-14
Schism 26-Aug-14
ki-ke 26-Aug-14
Stinkbait1 26-Aug-14
Shiloh 26-Aug-14
Rocking R 26-Aug-14
DWarcher 26-Aug-14
BOWUNTR 26-Aug-14
Eagle_eye_Andy 26-Aug-14
HUNT MAN 26-Aug-14
Medicinemann 26-Aug-14
Halleywood 26-Aug-14
Owl 26-Aug-14
cityhunter 26-Aug-14
BOWNBIRDHNTR 26-Aug-14
Chip T. 26-Aug-14
bowkill1978 26-Aug-14
Brotsky 26-Aug-14
Z Barebow 26-Aug-14
'Ike' 26-Aug-14
elkmtngear 26-Aug-14
dmann 26-Aug-14
IdyllwildArcher 26-Aug-14
midwest 26-Aug-14
HoytSlinger 26-Aug-14
W8N4RUT 26-Aug-14
TreeWalker 26-Aug-14
Bullhound 26-Aug-14
Heat 26-Aug-14
Willieboat 26-Aug-14
Bill in MI 26-Aug-14
Ken 26-Aug-14
bowbeck 26-Aug-14
Paul@thefort 27-Aug-14
weekender21 27-Aug-14
JLS 27-Aug-14
cmbbulldog 27-Aug-14
speedgoat 27-Aug-14
LUNG$HOT 27-Aug-14
Stan NJ 27-Aug-14
stealthycat 27-Aug-14
Sixby 27-Aug-14
JEG 27-Aug-14
WoodMoose 27-Aug-14
OdinsEdge 27-Aug-14
TD 27-Aug-14
hunt'n addict 27-Aug-14
Ridge Wraith 28-Aug-14
5575 28-Aug-14
Caddisflinger 29-Aug-14
AZBUGLER 01-Sep-14
t-roy 01-Sep-14
Db1 01-Sep-14
Mark Watkins 01-Sep-14
TREESTANDWOLF 01-Sep-14
Straight Shooter 01-Sep-14
Dooner 02-Sep-14
petedrummond 02-Sep-14
Pete_H 02-Sep-14
wild1 02-Sep-14
ChrisH. 02-Sep-14
fairchase 02-Sep-14
Trial153 03-Sep-14
JLS 04-Sep-14
Caddisflinger 04-Sep-14
dm/wolfskin 04-Sep-14
jdee 04-Sep-14
Outdoorsdude 04-Sep-14
Dennis Razza 04-Sep-14
Bowme2 05-Sep-14
Dennis Razza 05-Sep-14
DL 05-Sep-14
Bou'bound 05-Sep-14
Grunt-N-Gobble 05-Sep-14
Elkdog 18-Sep-14
Dwayne 18-Sep-14
Butts 29-Sep-14
t-roy 30-Sep-14
Z Barebow 30-Sep-14
Bogey 30-Sep-14
JLS 05-Apr-17
loopmtz 05-Apr-17
WV Mountaineer 05-Apr-17
midwest 06-Apr-17
razorhead 06-Apr-17
Iowabowhunter 10-May-17
Bullhound 11-May-17
From: JLS
25-Aug-14

JLS's embedded Photo
JLS's embedded Photo
Just as the title says. This isn't semi live, rather it's post mortem. Hopefully it will have a better ending than a live hunt in Connecticut :^)

This hunt had been on my bucket list for quite a few years now. I had hoped to have a partner, but my hunting buddy in Montana just started a new job and didn't have vacation available. A couple other guys contemplated it but couldn't/didn't make it work, so I opted to do it alone.

The tag arrived from Nevada DOW this summer, and some VERY helpful folks on this site and others helped me in my planning.

Finally, t-0 days arrived and it was time to take the bow for a walk. You can see several essentials there, including the trekking poles, flip flops, and a spotting scope. I literally would spend hours behind the spotter, finding deer I had missed with my binos.

From: JLS
25-Aug-14

JLS's embedded Photo
JLS's embedded Photo
I left my house at 5:30 AM, PST and headed south.

From: JLS
25-Aug-14

JLS's embedded Photo
JLS's embedded Photo
I love driving across NE Oregon, but I had a long day ahead and it was a welcome sight to hit the Idaho line.

From: JLS
25-Aug-14

JLS's embedded Photo
JLS's embedded Photo
I took full advantage of the 80 mph speed limit in Idaho and made some great time. That is, until I made the stupid mistake of trying to get lunch in that mess that now resides between Nampa and Boise.

After a little aggravation and an illegal left turn, the Dodge is full of diesel and I'm full of a gut bomb and we're headed east.

I made a last minute stop at Wally World in Twin Falls to get a few items I had forgotten, then hit the highway south for the Silver State.

From: JLS
25-Aug-14

JLS's embedded Photo
JLS's embedded Photo
Nevada has some of the most unbelievable thunderstorms I've ever witnessed. I hit this on just south of Jackpot. One bolt of lightning must have been right by the highway, as I could literally feel the concussion inside of the pickup.

The rain made visibility very poor, and there was a bad wreck along the way. Fortunately, it looked as if no one was hurt. However, there was a pickup sitting by the side of the road that was missing a front wheel and part of the axle. That can't be good.

From: JLS
25-Aug-14

JLS's embedded Photo
JLS's embedded Photo
A traffic jam in Wells? WTF?

Must be rush hour.

From: JLS
25-Aug-14

JLS's embedded Photo
JLS's embedded Photo
Finally, I hit the trailhead at 5:00 PM and right on schedule. I visited with two hunters who had just come out and had each harvested beautiful bucks.

They gave me some information on where other hunters were camped, and where they were finding the deer at.

I had initially planned on hiking in about six miles and camping near a lake. However, based upon their recommendation I decided to abort that plan. Instead, I would go in about five miles tonight, and then head further on in tomorrow.

One last look back at the trailhead before the sweating really starts.

From: JLS
25-Aug-14

JLS's embedded Photo
JLS's embedded Photo
I pushed pretty hard and had time to set up the spotting scope and do some glassing before it got too dark. I located a nice bunch of bucks that would be in a huntable location.

I also noticed a perplexing lack of deer in the upper basins, where it looked like the hills should be crawling with them.

Finally, daylight faded and it was time to get to work and get my tent up before any thunderstorms rolled over the mountains. I reached my first night's campsite at 9:00 PM. It took me roughly 2.5 hours to climb 3000 feet from the trailhead. I was feeling great and it was obvious that the summer's conditioning efforts would pay dividends on this trip.

From: drycreek
25-Aug-14
Good luck !

From: JLS
25-Aug-14

JLS's embedded Photo
JLS's embedded Photo
It rained hard during the night, and there were a few flashes of lighting. Nothing close enough to make me wet the sleeping bag or anything.

The guys I had talked to at the trailhead said that the night before they pulled out there was a storm that rolled over that had them crying like schoolgirls in their sleeping bags. The Rubies had been hit hard with thunderstorms for about a week in a row, and they said there were some rather harrowing moments.

Dawn broke, and I crawled out of the Big Agnes Inn.

Outfitting dirtbags in the Rubies....

From: Backstraps
25-Aug-14
Loving it so far. Bring on some.

From: JLS
25-Aug-14

JLS's embedded Photo
JLS's embedded Photo
I broke out the topo map and looked for a likely camp spot to the north. I identified a saddle that would give me decent access to water and would also put me in a position where I could hunt several canyons without having to go too far for each one.

I shook my tent out the best I could and loaded up the Metcalf to go see some new scenery. I filled up with water below camp and off I went.

From: Jaquomo
25-Aug-14
Keep it coming Jason. We need this right now!!!

From: JLS
25-Aug-14

JLS's embedded Photo
JLS's embedded Photo
I had my first encounter with adversity when I got to my pre-determined camp site and found three tents there. That's certainly not what I was hoping for.

I visited with three guys, one who had harvested a three point and was headed out tomorrow. The other two were going to load up camp and push west into some more remote country. One other hunter was still out hunting and would also be leaving tomorrow.

They shared information with me about what had been hunted, and I now understood the lack of deer that I had mentioned earlier. This basin had been hammered with hunting pressure.

The good news was that they had not hunted much to the north, and didn't think that anyone was currently hunting there. The only hunters they had seen to the north were the two that I had spoken to at the trailhead yesterday.

They kindly shared some water with me, so I ate some granola and chatted with them while they were loading their packs. I asked them about water, and they did tell me about a snowbank that was off of the top that was flowing enough water to filter out of.

I thanked them for their hospitality and wished them luck. I pushed on about an hour to the north and found where I thought the water source was. The wind was blowing hard, and I thought I could hear water running but was not sure.

I looked around for a place to set up camp, and finally decided that this site would work despite the crappy view.

From: JLS
25-Aug-14

JLS's embedded Photo
JLS's embedded Photo
I need to stop right now and apologize for the quality of the pictures. My old Nikon Coolpix has an issue with the lens cover not opening, and it's in the process of being repaired. That thing takes outstanding pictures.

I used a Panasonic Lumix that I carry for work. I don't know why, but it always has a blurry image on the right side. I am horribly disappointed in this camera and it is going to be returned. I was so bummed when I got home and looked at all of the photos, only to see blurry pictures and poor quality.

Okay, now that I have that off of my chest we can carry on.

I got camp all set up and got my pack ready to go kill something.

Here is a photo of my new Mystery Ranch Metcalf collapsed down into the daypack mode. I really like this pack, a LOT. The spotter strapped to the outside very nicely, making it easy to get to. The person that chose the side zipper on the main bag is a genius.

From: JLS
25-Aug-14

JLS's embedded Photo
JLS's embedded Photo
So this morning, before I reached the camp with the four hunters, I had glassed a herd of deer below the trail. None of the bucks were exceptional in any way, but they were in a very good location to stalk. I had told the other hunters about them, as one of their party was a newcomer to bowhunting and was looking for his first buck with a bow.

They had asked if I was sure, and didn't I want to try for them myself. I told them that I hadn't even set up camp yet, and that honestly if I shot a deer then I would feel like I was cheating myself out of the experience and the adventure that I was really after.

That afternoon, I found water and filled up all of my containers. I left one by the trail to pick up on the way back, and pushed on to scout some new country. I glassed a couple of small bucks and some does.

I glassed this basin until almost dark and only saw a doe and a fawn in it. On the walk back to camp I was starting to question my decision to walk right by bucks this morning. Was this going to be an omen for the days ahead? I reminded myself that I had eight days to hunt, and that patience really was a virtue.

From: JLS
25-Aug-14

JLS's embedded Photo
JLS's embedded Photo
This is a view of the ridge looking north from my camp. I couldn't imagine that there would not be deer in this area, but as I hiked back to camp at dusk the hillside was completely void of deer.

I picked up my water along the trail and hustled back to the tent. I ate some dinner, had a shot of Waitsburg bourbon (which is the best bourbon I have ever had. It's distilled in the tiny town of Waitsburg, Washington. I'll deliver to you for the nominal fee of a place in your hunting camp) and crawled into the sack.

I made some notes in my journal, pored over my map, and decided to glass the meadow below camp at daybreak and go from there.

From: JLS
25-Aug-14

JLS's embedded Photo
JLS's embedded Photo
I awoke the next morning to see about a dozen deer in the meadow below me. The only bucks in the bunch were two big forked horns that I would see on a regular basis over the duration of the hunt.

I opted to east and look for the group of bucks that I had glassed the first night on the hike in. According to the topo, I could simply drop down and get water, then follow the ridge out to the east about a mile and half.

I dropped about a 1000 feet in elevation, glassing as I went. I saw another small buck down in some cliffs. I shaded up under a whitebark pine tree that was kind enough to grow out of a rock outcropping and provide me with a shaded hide that I could spend the day under.

After about an hour behind the glass, I located a good shooter buck down below me. He was holed up in the mountain mahogany, and was surrounded by does. There was no way I was going to infiltrate the perimeter and get to him. I glassed and waited.

The does were up and milling around, and I decided to drop lower in elevation in hopes of being able to set up an ambush when they began feeding in the evening.

As I was dropping down, I watched a small forked horn walk behind a huge rock outcropping. That was where I wanted to go. I crept around the rock and counted coup on the little buck. His eyes were pretty big when he saw an Optifade object holding a Bowtech 12 yards away from him.

Unfortunately, the deer all fed down the hill in the evening. I waited as long as the thermals allowed it, then bailed out before they got a nose full of my stench.

From: JLS
26-Aug-14

JLS's embedded Photo
JLS's embedded Photo
This is a view of where the deer had been bedded. The red stars are where the does were and the orange star is where the buck was.

The little forked horn was bedded at the red arrow. I had moved down below that rock into the meadow where I had hoped the deer would feed up on the same route they had two days ago.

From: JLS
26-Aug-14

JLS's embedded Photo
JLS's embedded Photo
The next morning I woke up at dawn and crawled out of the sleeping bag. It was just light enough to glass, and immediately I could see there were new bucks in the meadow below my tent.

One of them was a very good 3x4 with a nice wide frame. He immediately became the target of my attention. I heated water and ate some oatmeal and drank coffee while glassing from camp. I watched him feed across the meadow with three other bucks. He bedded right in the meadow and I thought to myself, could I be this lucky?

No.

He got up and moved to the north, but he was bedded in a very huntable location. There was a rock outcropping above him that would provide me cover to get within 40 yards or so.

Now, my quandary was that I was very low on water and needed to find some. I could drop down into the drainage below my camp and get water, and there was a very good stream flowing in the bottom. It would also allow me to keep eyes on the buck in case he moved.

I figured he would be staying there for the better part of the day and there was no huge hurry. I decided to go with that plan and dropped down into a cut that would provide me with cover until I hit the timber.

All of a sudden, two spikes fed out of an aspen patch directly above me. I kept crouched down and was able to make it down the dry streambed to the timber. Unfortunately, I blew a deer out of the timber and could not see where it went. Unsure if the deer ran through the bucks, I spent some time glassing until I could confirm they were still bedded.

The descent was further than I thought, and I got down in a jungle of aspens. I had a neat buck that was a 4 point on one side and a funky blade on the other get up in front of me. I would have shot him if he presented the opportunity, but he didn't.

Finally, I reached the creek, filled up with water, and started back up. I glassed again and could see the bucks bedded. The red arrow shows where they were located.

From: JLS
26-Aug-14

JLS's embedded Photo
JLS's embedded Photo
Just as I was making mental notes on landmarks to conduct my stalk, the bucks decided to get up and move. I watched in disbelief as they milled around, then continued on around the hill into the timber.

I decided at that point that I may as well try to find them again, so I hot footed across the meadow and stopped at the timber's edge.

I knew that I had to be careful not to bust them, so I crept through the whitebarks ever so slowly. I crept along until I reached a small opening, then sat down for a while.

I could not see or hear anything, and felt that I was too high up. I backed out of the timber a ways and then dropped in elevation before continuing on. Several well worn trails crossed at my elevation.

This is a view looking back up the canyon. I came down the timber on the left.

From: Huntcell
26-Aug-14
Have you seen any Himalayan snowcocks? I have yet to hear of one being taken with bow and arrow The most difficult archery trophy remaining in North America

From: JLS
26-Aug-14

JLS's embedded Photo
JLS's embedded Photo
I finally worked my way down to an open bench that was right above the creek. I stayed back in the timber above it and decided to spend some time glassing as I knew the deer must be on the open slope across from me.

I sat there for several hours without seeing anything. I had time to reflect on life. I thought about a lot of things. I thought about those that die too young, like Cody Moore. I thought about Bigdan and the hurt, the healing, and the memories.

I thought about my own parents, who have both been long gone. I thought about how they both lost their battle with depression, and how sad it is that my dad could have never allowed himself to do a trip like this because of his self imposed ideas about what one should do with life. I thought about how sad it was, that even if he was still around he would have never done anything like this.

I thought about my girls, and how I hoped that someday they would share this with me. I thanked God for my health and the opportunity to do this trip. I realized how fortunate many of us are to be able to enjoy the richness with which we have been blessed.

I continued to glass, and finally saw this guy. After watching him a while, I thought he looked very much like one of the bucks with the big 3x4 I had seen that morning. I knew I had to keep glassing as he was likely very close by.

From: JLS
26-Aug-14

JLS's embedded Photo
JLS's embedded Photo
And then, I saw this guy.

From: JLS
26-Aug-14

JLS's embedded Photo
JLS's embedded Photo
This buck was everything I was after. He was only a 3x3 on the mainframe, but I would put my tag on him in a heartbeat. I have no idea where he came from, he just appeared on the skyline.

From: JLS
26-Aug-14

JLS's embedded Photo
JLS's embedded Photo
I named this deer "Frank the Tank". His body was massive, and it was obvious that he was a very mature buck. I watched him walk around behind a big rock.

He pawed the ground, then flopped down like a big Labrador Retriever after he's eaten dinner.

From: JLS
26-Aug-14
It took me about one nanosecond to decide that I wanted to kill this deer. I quickly assessed the situation and was loading up my pack for a rapid ascent up the hill so that I could loop around above Frank the Tank.

That plan quickly disintegrated though, as I saw two deer get up in the chute that I would need to go up in order to get the elevation I needed.

The red stars depict where the deer were. Frank would be behind the pine tree on the left.

From: JLS
26-Aug-14

JLS's embedded Photo
JLS's embedded Photo
Ooops, here is the picture.

From: JLS
26-Aug-14

JLS's embedded Photo
JLS's embedded Photo
After sitting back down, I saw the big 3x4 from the morning get up and begin feeding. He had been under the same tree as the little buck above.

He was now within 100 yards of Frank the Tank.

From: JLS
26-Aug-14

JLS's embedded Photo
JLS's embedded Photo
By now, all of the deer were up and milling around. I decided my best bet would be to try and ambush them when they fed down the hillside towards the creek.

I began easing my way out across the bench and set up where I thought they would cross. I sat there a while, and watched two forked horns cross the bench across from me at 75 yards. I quickly realized they would not cross there and I needed to back out and work my way down further.

I slowly backed out and moved down. Now, I could see the 3x4 feeding with several other bucks, with Frank in the back. They were moving down the slope, so I hustled around to where I thought they would cross. I nocked an arrow and eased over a rise.

Directly below me I could see antlers in the aspens. I was seconds too late. Five bucks were coming up out of the creek and they were 60 yards out. The big 3x4 stopped broadside below me, feeding. I didn't like the shot and watched them move on below me towards the big meadow below my camp.

Frank was still on the other side of the creek. I ranged him at 70 yards. He was feeding, and I slowly cut the distance to 60 yards. He turned and headed towards the creek, and I readied myself for what would be a 50 yard broadside shot at the creek bottom.

However, Frank got nervous and stopped. I tried to reposition myself as I could feel the thermals shifting. Frank decided he didn't like the situation and began moving away. Here is a crappy photo I snapped before backing out.

From: JLS
26-Aug-14

JLS's embedded Photo
JLS's embedded Photo
Technical difficulties with the keyboard operator. Probably too much beer.

Frank is in the middle, although it's very blurry.

From: JLS
26-Aug-14

JLS's embedded Photo
JLS's embedded Photo
I hiked back out, heading to the top of the ridge in hopes of not spooking the bucks that were now out in the meadow.

When I got to camp, Frank, the 3x4, and one other buck were 200 yards below camp.

I had another shot of bourbon, ate dinner, and enjoyed a Nevada sunset.

From: JLS
26-Aug-14

JLS's embedded Photo
JLS's embedded Photo
The next morning I rose at daybreak. The meadow was completely vacant, except for the two small forked horns who were making their way into the timber on the north end.

There was no sign of Frank or the 3x4, and I wondered if they got a nose full in the evening and vacated the premises. I decided to get water and look into the canyon to the east.

I quickly glassed three bucks. One was a good 3x4 and he was feeding where the red star is. He fed for a while, then quickly headed back around the hill for unknown parts. I decided to quickly filter water, then head for the south facing slope and see if I could glass him there.

From: Surfbow
26-Aug-14
This is great!

From: JLS
26-Aug-14

JLS's embedded Photo
JLS's embedded Photo
I spent about an hour and a half combing the southern face. I glassed and glassed, slowly working my way through the maze of cliffs and pine trees. I found deer, but not the buck I was after.

I finally gave up and headed around to the spine of the ridge. As I broke around the edge. It dawned on me that there were a few trees on the spine that I had not glassed. I had seen big dug out deer beds there a couple of days ago.

A sinking feeling came over me about the same time the buck jumped out from under the uppermost tree and bounded over the hill.

I threw my hat on the ground in disgust, as the deer would have been in a very huntable location. The rocks and slope aspect would have allowed me to easily get within 40 yards of his bedding area.

From: JLS
26-Aug-14

JLS's embedded Photo
JLS's embedded Photo
Gotta watch where you sit, even at 8500 feet in elevation.

From: JLS
26-Aug-14

JLS's embedded Photo
JLS's embedded Photo
The day is quickly warming up and my mental state is not very sharp. I started across a hillside before glassing, and realized there were two bucks bedded beneath a cliff. Disgusted with myself, I backed out while they watched me, and circled around to the east.

I had hoped to find the buck that I glassed a couple of days ago down in the mahoganies. I found deer, but no bucks worthy of much attention. I felt like a high school boy, the night before prom that doesn't have a date yet.

Here it was almost 11:00 and I'm trying to figure out what to do. I decided that maybe I would try a stalk on the bucks that had already seen me if they had settled down and were stil there.

I worked back to where I could glass the canyon they were in. All of a sudden I can see them, now three bucks, and they are feeding right out in the open. I've noticed a peculiar quirk with these deer in that they aren't afraid to get up at midday and move a LOT. I've watched several bunches move a quarter to a half mile right in the middle of the day, and these are no different.

They fed down the canyon and bedded under a lone mahogany tree. I quickly assessed the situation and decided that I can sneak these deer. There is a 4x4 in the bunch, that has shallow forks but is a really dark color and would be worthy an arrow.

This is looking down one of the rock chutes.

From: JLS
26-Aug-14

JLS's embedded Photo
JLS's embedded Photo
I was working my way down and was within a couple hundred yards of the bucks. All of a sudden, I spotted a couple of does below me. Crap.

I climbed back up and picked a different route, only to get cliffed out. I climbed back up AGAIN, and finally was able to work my way down. A doe was standing to my left, and I finally said screw it and figured I could get below her before she winded me and she wouldn't bust the bucks. It worked, and before I knew it I was positioned alongside a big rock.

The bucks were bedded 50 yards down the hill below me under the tree. The drawback to my position was this. In order to shoot, I would have to move alongside the rock. One of the bucks was looking uphill towards me. I would have no choice but to wait until they were up.

The 4x4 stood up and milled around at one point, and I could have mustered a shot except for the buck looking directly at me.

I sat there for two hours waiting. Word to the wise, don't eat trail mix while sitting on some bucks. I got a piece of almond caught in my throat and had an unstoppable urge to cough. Finally, I had to just lean over and put my face in my arm and cough.

Fortunately, the deer didn't hear me. Unfortunately, when they did get up at 4:00, they fed directly away from and didn't turn broadside until they were 75 yards out.

The bucks are inside the red circle.

From: JLS
26-Aug-14

JLS's embedded Photo
JLS's embedded Photo
This is looking at the tree where they were bedded.

From: JLS
26-Aug-14

JLS's embedded Photo
JLS's embedded Photo
I briefly thought about trying to move in on the bucks again, but they quickly dispelled that idea when they circled the wagons on an open ridge with scarcely enough cover to hide a grasshoppper.

I backed out a ways and assessed.

Nevada is a wonderful state, it's simply a sea of desert and mountains. I wonder if I can see the mountains where Randy Newberg (aka Big Fin) and his son are hunting.

From: JLS
26-Aug-14

JLS's embedded Photo
JLS's embedded Photo
Anyone know what these rocks are? They are layers of transparent material that almost feels like plastic. You can peel them away and they are about the thickness of construction paper.

From: JLS
26-Aug-14

JLS's embedded Photo
JLS's embedded Photo
Mountain Mimicry doesn't tolerate the UV light very well. I imagine someone was a little disappointed when they found out they had lost their nice Sitka top.

From: JLS
26-Aug-14

JLS's embedded Photo
JLS's embedded Photo
It's a long climb out of the hole I was in. This is looking back down towards where the bucks had been bedded. They were about 400 yards below the big pointy rock in the middle.

From: JLS
26-Aug-14

JLS's embedded Photo
JLS's embedded Photo
I still have to go up and over this ridge to get to camp.

From: JLS
26-Aug-14

JLS's embedded Photo
JLS's embedded Photo
A random shot looking down some of the cliff formations that are common in this area.

From: JLS
26-Aug-14

JLS's embedded Photo
JLS's embedded Photo
This is why I love the Katadyn filters. It was so easy to pump out of this little trickle. Water was like liquid gold in this country. Every bit I got I had to pack to camp or get on the way in/out.

From: JLS
26-Aug-14
Another beautiful Nevada sunset. It took me 1.5 hours to climb out of the abyss and back to camp.

As usual, it was a couple of shots of bourbon, dinner, a few notes in the journal, and strategizing for tomorrow.

From: JLS
26-Aug-14
Another beautiful Nevada sunset. It took me 1.5 hours to climb out of the abyss and back to camp.

As usual, it was a couple of shots of bourbon, dinner, a few notes in the journal, and strategizing for tomorrow.

From: JLS
26-Aug-14

JLS's embedded Photo
JLS's embedded Photo
Not sure why that photo didn't attach, but here it is.

From: speedgoat
26-Aug-14
I have hunted some of the exact turf you are showing in your photos! I love Nevada!

From: JLS
26-Aug-14

JLS's embedded Photo
JLS's embedded Photo
The next day I decided to get up before daybreak and head north. The wind was blowing out of the east, which wasn't ideal. Orion the Hunter was watching as I headed up the trail.

From: JLS
26-Aug-14

JLS's embedded Photo
JLS's embedded Photo
I absolutely love the moment when the sun lights up the landscape, God's promise of a new day.

From: JLS
26-Aug-14

JLS's embedded Photo
JLS's embedded Photo
A beautiful Nevada sunrise.

From: JLS
26-Aug-14

JLS's embedded Photo
JLS's embedded Photo
These trees up here must live in purgatory.

26-Aug-14
Great thread so far. Gotta go to bed. Don't go ridge raith on us now :)

From: JLS
26-Aug-14

JLS's embedded Photo
JLS's embedded Photo
I spent a couple of hours glassing, without seeing a deer. It was cold and I was glad I had a down coat and gloves.

The only animals I saw were mountain goats.

From: JLS
26-Aug-14

JLS's embedded Photo
JLS's embedded Photo
I finally gave up on the basins I was glassing. I couldn't believe there were no deer in them. I crossed over to glass the east side of the divide and quickly found a buck.

He was a pretty good 3x3 and was in a very huntable location. However, that quickly changed when he got up and relocated under a pine tree with no cover for 100 yards in any direction.

It was hilarious watching this buck. He was standing on a rock with his head wedged in a crevice feeding on some browse that was in there.

From: JLS
26-Aug-14

JLS's embedded Photo
JLS's embedded Photo
I sat and assessed my options at this point. I decided that my best bet would be to go back to where I had seen the goats. From there, I could drop down onto the ridge where Frank the Tank had been and glass/still hunt my way down the ridge.

The wind was in my favor, and I knew that as long as I went very slow I should be able to hunt my way down it without blowing any deer out. It would have been preferable to glass it first, but that would entail a lengthy hike and the wind was wrong to do this.

I stuck with my plan and worked my way down the ridge. I had a staredown with a blue grouse at 10 feet. However, I couldn't remember if I needed an upland stamp for grouse in Nevada, or if the season was even open. After some deliberation and fondling of the judo arrow, I decided to err on the side of caution and allowed him to live.

I was able to weave my way between several does without incident. Suddenly, I saw antlers below me.

There were two 3x3 bucks bedded. I dumped my pack and slithered down another ten yards before I felt that I needed to stop. The bucks were 50 yards below me. I waited.

At 3:20 the bucks both got up. Unfortunately, the angle of the hill didn't allow me a good shot.

The red circle shows where the bucks were bedded.

From: JLS
26-Aug-14
The bucks both fed to the left, beneath the big white rock. I ran to the top of the rock and peered over it.

Nothing. WTF? Where in the world did they go?

It looks like I was foiled again.

From: JLS
26-Aug-14

JLS's embedded Photo
JLS's embedded Photo
But wait.

I backed up and worked to my left through a gap in the rocks. Suddenly, I could see the tips of antlers in front of me. The smaller 3x3 was only 12 yards in front of me feeding!

With an arrow nocked, I waited. I could now see the bigger 3x3 below him, feeding to my left across the hill. I could only see the top half of his body.

I waited, and the smaller buck fed out and across in front of me. His bigger buddy came up the hill slightly and joined him.

I drew, and the smaller buck looked at me. I waited, and he resumed feeding. When the bigger buck gave me the opportunity, I put my 30 yard pin on him and let fly.

From: JLS
26-Aug-14

JLS's embedded Photo
JLS's embedded Photo
At the shot, the deer bolted down the hill.

This angle is looking back up the hill to the gap in the rocks from where I shot.

From: JLS
26-Aug-14

JLS's embedded Photo
JLS's embedded Photo
I worked my way over to a rock, and looked down the hill. I could see my buck, 70 yards below me. He was standing broadside and I could see my entrance hole.

The elevation was perfect and I could see that he was bleeding. He walked behind a rock and I eased over to where I could look down the hill. He was bedded beneath a pine tree.

From: JLS
26-Aug-14

JLS's embedded Photo
JLS's embedded Photo
With my binos, I could see good blood in the spot where he had been standing. I contemplated trying to shoot him again, but with the now gusting cross winds I decided against it.

After an hour, his head was still up and I began to get concerned. The wind suddenly shifted and he stood up and looked in my direction. He slowly walked off towards the creek.

He bedded once on the other side of the creek and then for no reason jumped up and started running. He couldn't run up hill at all, and slowly kept working his way down the hil towards the bottom.

I prayed that he would not do a death sprint into the aspen jungles down low.

From: JLS
26-Aug-14

JLS's embedded Photo
JLS's embedded Photo
I kept the spotting scope on him as he slowly descended the ridge. He would go 100 feet and then stop. I could see that his breathing was labored and shallow.

The exit wound was right above the bottom of his rib cage, but was further back than I would have liked. I had obviously misjudged the angle at which he was quartered away. His offside leg was covered in blood and I knew that it was only a matter of time.

Finally, he stopped beneath a mahogany tree (red circle). I could see him lay down, and then saw him roll down the hill. I gave a sigh of relief and gave thanks to the Lord.

From: JLS
26-Aug-14

JLS's embedded Photo
JLS's embedded Photo
I began working my way down the hill. I stopped to filter water at the creek and give him a little more time to make sure he was dead.

As I began working my way up the ridge, I nocked an arrow and eased my way up. I could smell him before I saw him.

As he lay....

From: JLS
26-Aug-14

JLS's embedded Photo
JLS's embedded Photo
My first velvet muley buck.

From: JLS
26-Aug-14

JLS's embedded Photo
JLS's embedded Photo
Camp is up there, in the tiny rock outcrop in the middle of the photo.

From: JLS
26-Aug-14

JLS's embedded Photo
JLS's embedded Photo
I went to work butchering, and soon had the meat boned out and in sacks. It's a PITA to butcher deer that are molting out of their summer coat. Hair just seems to jump off the hide and onto the meat. The Metcalf is loaded up and ready to go.

I did a necropsy to find out what I had hit. My entrance hit the top lobe of the lung, and the exit hit the bottom lobe on the far side. What I had thought was gut shot was actually from the esophagus where the broadhead severed it.

It was a double lung shot, albeit a somewhat poor one. Had my arrow been a few inches further forward the buck probably would have died in minutes. As it was, it took him 1.5 hours from shot to fall.

It was a steep climb out, and I was very thankful for trekking poles. It took me an hour and a half to cover the mile back to camp.

From: JLS
26-Aug-14

JLS's embedded Photo
JLS's embedded Photo
Who can get tired of Nevada sunsets? Not me.

I reached camp and finished off the last of the bourbon. I ate some lentil curry soup that was awful, all the while thinking that it wouldn't look that much different when it came out.

I crawled into bed, debating about whether to head for the trail head tomorrow or take a rest day. It rained and blew during the night.

From: JLS
26-Aug-14

JLS's embedded Photo
JLS's embedded Photo
When I woke the next morning, the pair of forked horns were directly above my camp. The weather appeared to be unsettled, and I made the decision to head out today.

I quickly broke camp and began loading my pack. I had decided that I was far enough in that I would do it in one trip instead of two. When I got the Metcalf loaded up it was heavy. Slow and steady wins the race Tigger....

From: JLS
26-Aug-14

JLS's embedded Photo
JLS's embedded Photo
I started up the hill. I took a break every hour and sat down for 10 to 15 minutes. I ran out of water about a half hour before the first stream crossing, and was very glad when I finally reached it.

From: JLS
26-Aug-14

JLS's embedded Photo
JLS's embedded Photo
I pressed on. I had to climb a series of switchbacks before I started my long descent. I could take about 20 steps before I had to stop. Finally, I reached the saddle.

The descent was only slighty easier. At one point, I took a break and dumped my pack. However, the hill wasn't steep enough for me to get under my pack and stand up, and I couldn't get it on by just hoisting it up. Finally, I found a wash that I could set my pack on and get it buckled before standing up.

The switchbacks were endless. Normally, I consider it very poor form to cut switchbacks. However, I think this trail crew got paid by the mile and not the hour. I began shamelessly cutting swithbacks whenever I could.

The thunderheads rolled in, and I was glad I had made the decision to come out today.

From: JLS
26-Aug-14

JLS's embedded Photo
JLS's embedded Photo
The trailhead was a sight for sore eyes and legs. I had left camp at 8:30, and I reached the truck at 4:45. My feet were swollen and I knew one of my toenails was going to turn black.

What a feeling of exhilaration and accomplishment it was when I dropped my pack for the last time.

I swapped my boots for flip flops, loaded my gear and headed for Wells. I got a Whopper with cheese, fries, and a large chocolate shake. It took me about 3 minutes to devour it all. I had a hard time eating all of my food on this trip, and I knew I had lost weight.

I was supposed to go to Ogden and meet my wife, as my nephew was getting married on Saturday. I was shocked when she told me that a cousin of hers had been killed in a freak accident.

He had been a safety crew member at a demolition derby at the county fair. He had run out to check on a driver when a car went on its side. The car tipped over on him without warning, crushing him. He died on the helicopter flight to the hospital.

I drove as far as I could before I knew I had to pull over and sleep. I laid there that night thinking about how unpredictable life is. I thought about how a hunt like this is entirely meaningless in the grand scheme of life, but yet it is the essence of living.

I thought about how life is full of opportunities to be taken, moments to be seized, and lives to be touched. I missed my hunting buddy immensely and wished he could have been here with me.

Hug your spouse, your kids, your family, and your friends. Never miss an opportunity to tell them that you love them. Live life with abandon, and never overlook the moments in time when you can have a profound impact on someone else's life.

May your season be blessed with unforgettable moments.

From: kylet
26-Aug-14
Awesome write up. Congratulations and thank you.

From: BULELK1
26-Aug-14
Hell yeh--you did great!!

Thanks for sharing with us all.

Good luck, Robb

From: Scoot
26-Aug-14
Absolutely wonderful, JLS! Thanks very much for taking the time to share this with us. Thanks too, for your words of wisdom. Congrats on one fine adventure!

From: pav
26-Aug-14
Very well done Jason....the hunt, the photos and the recap.

Thanks for sharing.

...and Congratulations!

From: DJ Trout
26-Aug-14
Congratulations on a very nice buck JLS! Your adventure was a great read and thanks for sharing.

From: CD
26-Aug-14
Awesome story!!! Thanks for sharing with us... making me late for work reading it! haha

CD

From: BC
26-Aug-14
Man, that was a great hunt...awesome. Thanks for taking us along.

From: GhostBird
26-Aug-14
Excellent.... thanks for sharing your hunt.

Congratulations!!!

From: loopmtz
26-Aug-14
Awesome!!! Thanks for sharing.. Superbly done!!

From: sureshot
26-Aug-14
Great hunt! Thanks for taking the time to share it.

From: NY Bowman
26-Aug-14
Very nice job. Excellent hunt, buck, and philosophy!

From: trkyslr
26-Aug-14
Great thread! Congrats!

From: Dwitt2n
26-Aug-14
Thanks for taking us along on what was an amazing experience in amazing country.

From: buzz mc
26-Aug-14
Great story and thanks for taking the time to post it.

From: Beav
26-Aug-14
That was absolutely awesome! Thanks so much for sharing.

From: Genesis
26-Aug-14
Thanks for posting that,very enjoyable read!

From: SteveB
26-Aug-14
Thanks JLS....I'd share a camp with you any day! Great story!

From: Lost Man
26-Aug-14
Nice post JLS...the stuff that makes Bowsite different.

From: Fulldraw1972
26-Aug-14
That was an awesome story. Great job not only in the writing, the photos and the success in harvesting your deer. Congrats to you.

From: badlander
26-Aug-14
Awesome write up JLS! I'm SO GLAD there are hunting seasons back on so we can finally have great threads like this to read on Bowsite again!

From: JW
26-Aug-14
Great story and pics. Thanks for sharing. Congrats.

From: sitO
26-Aug-14
Read every word...what an awesome adventure, thanks for sharing it with us!

From: Amoebus
26-Aug-14
It was interesting to hear about the quest for water. Could you have set up a collecting tarp for the overnight showers?

I have had 3 Lumix cameras over the years. The first one drowned, the second was crushed by my butt. The third still is going strong. None had the blurry pictures so I think you got a klunker.

Sorry to your wife and you on her cousin's death.

From: Whip
26-Aug-14
Excellent story telling! You brought back great memories of the Rubies for me. One of the most beautiful (and rugged) places I have ever hunted. Thanks for taking the time to share your adventure with us and congratulations on a great hunt!

From: BoonROTO
26-Aug-14
Great writing and well done on the buck.

From: Medicinemann
26-Aug-14
Jason,

SteveB X 2!!!

A very well written narrative, complete with gratitude for what you have......well done. If you have more hunt stories like this, don't wait to post them on here.

From: Ermine
26-Aug-14
Great write up. I enjoyed it

From: Schism
26-Aug-14
Great hunt and write-up! Thank you for taking the time to share it with us!

From: ki-ke
26-Aug-14
" I laid there that night thinking about how unpredictable life is. I thought about how a hunt like this is entirely meaningless in the grand scheme of life, but yet it is the essence of living."

Absolutely. You put into words what is at the core of so many of us.

Thank you for a fantastic write up of something that has been on my bucket list for years.

Next time you need a partner, I would love to apply for the job.

Thanks again

From: Stinkbait1
26-Aug-14
Great story, thanks for sharing. By the way, that funny rock you found is called Muscovite mica.

From: Shiloh
26-Aug-14
Awesome write up about your hunt. I really enjoyed it!! I don't think I would enjoy being out there by myself, but I might have to try it one day just to see.

From: Rocking R
26-Aug-14
Great thread. Really enjoyed your story. Thanks for posting.

From: DWarcher
26-Aug-14
A well written story Jason, thanks for sharing.

From: BOWUNTR
26-Aug-14
Great stuff... congratulations. Ed F

26-Aug-14
Awsome story! What a way to start the fall! Great perspective on life!

From: HUNT MAN
26-Aug-14
That is what Bowsite is all about. Thank you for taking the time to post. Congrats on a great deer. HUNT

From: Medicinemann
26-Aug-14
Stinkbait X 2

It is Muscovite....a potassium aluminosilicate that breaks down into clay particles rather easily through chemical weathering. It is a very common mineral that can be found in igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks.

From: Halleywood
26-Aug-14
Excellent!! Thanks for sharing!!

From: Owl
26-Aug-14
Great story very well expressed. Nice photos. I hope you have many more adventures.

From: cityhunter
26-Aug-14
Jason way to go how is the bow working out for u ? I had same issues with my Nikon Coolpix it finally got crushed by humping out a elk ..

From: BOWNBIRDHNTR
26-Aug-14
Terrific hunt and an even better write up! Thanks for sharing it all.

From: Chip T.
26-Aug-14
Hell of a story!!! Congrats!!!!

From: bowkill1978
26-Aug-14
Now THAT was a great story. Loved every second of it.

From: Brotsky
26-Aug-14
Thank you JLS! Great story that deserves to be shared! God bless you and your family and have a great rest of the season!

From: Z Barebow
26-Aug-14
What a write up Jason! Thanks for sharing!

We have mica in western ND (Badlands) also.

"I laid there that night thinking about how unpredictable life is. I thought about how a hunt like this is entirely meaningless in the grand scheme of life, but yet it is the essence of living."

Brilliant statement and spot on. You have captured in a few words, how many of us feel.

This story is the epitome of why Bowsite is #1. That is how is it done. Quality contribution, not idle commentary.

From: 'Ike'
26-Aug-14
Amazing Jason, huge congrats...

From: elkmtngear
26-Aug-14
Love your writing style, JLS. Great account of a beautiful area, you got to stalk some great bucks, take some amazing pics, and in the end, you got it done. Congrats!

Thanks for sharing this great hunt!

From: dmann
26-Aug-14
Great story.

26-Aug-14
Grats. Great thread. Thanx for taking the time to do it.

From: midwest
26-Aug-14
Outstanding! Loved every post and pic!

I'll say it again....this is the best part of Bowsite!

From: HoytSlinger
26-Aug-14
That was fantastic!

Sorry about the accident.

Thanks for sharing a terrific adventure.

From: W8N4RUT
26-Aug-14
JLS--

Thanks for taking the time to tell the story, great write up. Like most hunts, wish they didn't have to end so soon! Congrats!

Scott

From: TreeWalker
26-Aug-14
Great looking country! What was the issue with the outfitter. Was there trash that first morning? You note dirtbag but I could not figure out what happened by looking at the picture.

From: Bullhound
26-Aug-14
great job! Absolutely thrilling to read while looking at the pictorial.

I do not want to miss your next!!!!!

From: Heat
26-Aug-14
This was an excellent report of your hunt! Great pics as well. Congrats on your velvet muley buck!

From: Willieboat
26-Aug-14
Thanks for taking us all along !! Great story !!

From: Bill in MI
26-Aug-14
I really enjoyed that. Great job.

From: Ken
26-Aug-14
Awesome hunt and awesome story. Great pictures too. Thanks for taking the time to share it with us.

From: bowbeck
26-Aug-14
Thanks for sharing your story!! Congrats on a fine buck!!

From: Paul@thefort
27-Aug-14
Jason, You surely captured the essence of the hunt through words and pictures.

Stopping to "smell the roses" and reflecting on what is really important in life, is surely a breath of fresh air.

My best, Paul

From: weekender21
27-Aug-14
Congrats! Looks like an amazing hunt. I'm just impressed yo got everything in your Mystery Ranch Metcalf, thats a serious load in a medium pack!

From: JLS
27-Aug-14
Thank you for all of the kind comments guys.

Paul, your threads over the years of high country mule deer hunting have been the driving force behind this hunt. Thank you.

Cityhunter, I love the Bowtech. In all honesty, I probably could have easily made the 60 yard shot at Frank the Tank, but I just can't comprehend taking a shot like that unless conditions are perfect.

Treewalker, "outfitting dirtbags everywhere" is Big Agnes' slogan. It was merely a play on that.

Amoebus, I could have set up a collection tarp, but it didn't rain with enough regularity that it would have made a difference.

I have to say thanks to BB, as his threads over the years have motivated to take a camera and USE it. For many years I have neglected to take the time to stop and take a picture. One day I realized how few photos I had of all of my travels in some incredibly beautiful parts of the world.

Since then, I have made it a point to take scads of photos. Last year my buddy and I were hoofing it up the mountain after a bugling bull. I stopped to take a picture of the aspen grove we were crossing through and my buddy looked at me with a bewildered WTF? look. I laughed and told him I was stopping to smell the flowers. He laughed and said "if I had done that a few years ago you'd have kicked my ass.

From: cmbbulldog
27-Aug-14
Great story, what an adventure. Thanks for sharing.

From: speedgoat
27-Aug-14
JLS, Having hunted some of the same terrain that you hunted, I really appreciate what you went through to get your buck. I have parked in nearly the same place and climbed some of the same trails. The country you were in is a very tough place to hunt. It's even tougher when hunting alone. The difficulty of the terrain, loneliness, isolation, and at times, just finding bucks to hunt, will test your abilities and desire. You conquered the mountain as well as the beast. Packing your deer and camp out together is a whole different matter. I did that last year, finishing the last hour and a half in the dark. Congratulations. Thank you for a great story that would not have been nearly as good without the quantity and quality of photos.

From: LUNG$HOT
27-Aug-14
Great thread Jason, thanks for sharing. Sounds like you had a great hunt. Cant wait to chase some elk in Gods country this September. -Joe

From: Stan NJ
27-Aug-14
'One of the 10 best" if you ask me....well done to say the least...thank you!

From: stealthycat
27-Aug-14
great great adventure there

From: Sixby
27-Aug-14
Wondderful writing ans story. I believe it is one of the best I have ever read. I was right there on that hunt every step of the way. Thanks so much for sharing it. God bless. Steve

From: JEG
27-Aug-14
Great story/pics, congratulations on your first velvet muley, and thanks for sharing!!

From: WoodMoose
27-Aug-14
excellent story telling,,,,I really appreciated,,,,and congrats!

From: OdinsEdge
27-Aug-14
Great story JLS, an amazing adventure. Congrats on your velvet Muley, well deserved, and thanks for sharing it with us.

From: TD
27-Aug-14
Great story, pics.... this is the stuff that makes keep coming to bowsite. Thanks for taking us along. Well earned congrats.

Sorry to hear of the family loss, seems life just keeps on chugging down the trail no matter what, never takes a break. But sounds like you have the outlook and attitude to take it all on.

Well, that and the bourbon..... =D thanks again.

27-Aug-14
Great story. Thanks for sharing. Congratulations on your deer.

From: Ridge Wraith
28-Aug-14
Awesome hunt and story. Thank you for taking us along on a hunt I'll likely never have the opportunity to do.

Congratulations on your buck!

From: 5575
28-Aug-14
Thanks for sharing your story, photos and words to live by, greatly appreciated!

29-Aug-14
Way to go, Jason!! Congratulations on an excellent adventure. They are, after all, the very essence of a life fully lived.

From: AZBUGLER
01-Sep-14
Great read! Congratulations on a job well done.

From: t-roy
01-Sep-14
When I saw there were over 150 posts on this thread, I thought I'll read it when I have a little more time.

Sure glad that I opened it! Great thread JLS! Like others have posted, thanks for putting a little perspective on things.

Also, congrats on your buck & your experiences.

From: Db1
01-Sep-14
Great read and hunt..congrats!

From: Mark Watkins
01-Sep-14
T-roy x 2!!! One of my all time favorite posts......very well done!

Mark

01-Sep-14
T Roy x 3!!!

What a great write up and story, I just had to read it twice. Congratulations on a fine hunt and story.

01-Sep-14
Jason,

Very nice write up with a bunch of great reflection. Congrats on a very successful hunt.

DJ

From: Dooner
02-Sep-14
Wow! Great write-up. Thanks for sharing.

From: petedrummond
02-Sep-14
Leading by example

From: Pete_H
02-Sep-14
Just outstanding how well you told your story - I felt like I was there with you the whole time (other than when you were in your sleeping bag that is...)

From: wild1
02-Sep-14
Now that was a hunting adventure I thoroughly enjoyed! Congratulations and all the best!!

From: ChrisH.
02-Sep-14
Really enjoyed reading this JLS.

From: fairchase
02-Sep-14
Thanks for taking us along on your hunt. Pictures were great.

From: Trial153
03-Sep-14
nicely done, super thread

From: JLS
04-Sep-14
So here's a funny (kind of, now) addition to the story.

I up the skull and had planned on doing a European mount, complete with velvet. I had been letting the skull sit in hot, not quite boiling water for several days and had cleaned all the flesh off. I put it in a clean bucket of rinse water this morning and decided I'd let it sit in there during the day, then I'd rinse it again tonight and let it dry.

As I was getting ready to leave for work, I thought about setting it up on top of the BBQ, but then decided there was no need because the dogs wouldn't be out in the yard between now and then.

I got home from work and took the girls to the store for some school supplies. When I got home, I saw my skull sitting in pieces and the velvet in shambles. It turns out that the girls had put the dogs out in the yard and left them out there, despite standing orders that the dogs aren't left outside unattended.

My German Wirehair pup promptly found the deer head and made it his for over an hour. When my oldest daughter saw my face she began apologizing profusely. She could tell I was P-I-S-S-E-D.

I gave myself a moment, kicked a bucket, then went inside. I found her sitting in the corner sobbing. I gave her a hug and told her that it was a deer head, and nothing more. I reiterated that the dogs shouldn't be put outside and left, but that I shared equal blame for leaving it where the dogs could get it.

I constantly harp on my girls about perspective, grace, forgiveness, and leading by example. Well, it was time for dad to walk the walk here. After a couple of big hugs, I told her that the way for her to make it up to me was to save up her money and buy me a Nevada deer tag next year....

....she smiled and laughed through all of the tears and smudged mascara, and my wife snorted and said "I don't think so".

04-Sep-14
Wow.... thats priceless, Jason. Only one with a German wire hair can truly understand. I feel your pain. Mine ate the velvet off a bull I killed a couple of years ago. Glad all ended well, although I can't see why your wife didn't think it was right for your daughter to buy you another tag.p

From: dm/wolfskin
04-Sep-14
Does anyone else lungs and legs hurt after that great hunt. I can smell the air.

From: jdee
04-Sep-14
Now that's how you tell/show a hunting story !! just wish it was about 100 pages longer. If that doesn't make you want to go bow hunting nothing will. Congrats!!

From: Outdoorsdude
04-Sep-14
" I thought about how a hunt like this is entirely meaningless in the grand scheme of life, but yet it is the essence of living."

Great story and write-up, even the post add on. Thanks for inviting us along and sharing.

From: Dennis Razza
04-Sep-14
That was great! Thanks for sharing.

From: Bowme2
05-Sep-14
Great story and great patience in your story telling and your hunt. Congratulations!

From: Dennis Razza
05-Sep-14
That was great! Thanks for sharing.

From: DL
05-Sep-14
Those are the moments that define us as parents. This will never be forgotten. Beautiful pictures, great hunt and a fantastic job parenting.

From: Bou'bound
05-Sep-14
That was absolutely awesome! Thanks so much for sharing.

05-Sep-14
Great story!!

From: Elkdog
18-Sep-14
Wow. Just an awesome story about bowhunting and life perspective. I hunt the high mountains of Nevada with my boys diy off our backs and know how hard this hunt is. Tip of the hat JLS

From: Dwayne
18-Sep-14
Excellent story and hunt. You made me feel like I was there with you...my knees even ache right now!

Thanks so much for taking us along!

From: Butts
29-Sep-14
Great write-up and humor to boot. "The Curry will look the same later" 8^)

From: t-roy
30-Sep-14
JLS, Thanks for the "addition to the story". It shows even more of your character!

Had a friend that had a trophy that experienced a similar fate. He bowkilled a 450lb black bear with a huge melon. Green scored way above B&C minimum. Left it on a work bench in his garage & his dog pulled it down & chewed the cheek bones off it!

From: Z Barebow
30-Sep-14
Yikes and kudos for keeping it together. Your daughter already knows how much it meant, and is punishing herself more than you could ever do. And she respects you more than she ever has. (Believe me as the father of two girls, I know!)

Now for you pup,(Henry? if I remember), at least it wasn't the rotting water. He would never smell the same! I know I would be giving him any dog "kisses"!

From: Bogey
30-Sep-14
Man, awesome hunt. Congrats and thank you for sharing.

From: JLS
05-Apr-17

JLS's Link
It's funny what a small world it is. I was listening to a Full Draw Full Time podcast today where Marc Smith was the guest. Marc was recounting a mule deer trip he did with Team Backcountry into the Ruby Mountains in 2014. Several parts of his hunt recount were ringing bells, so I pulled up Team Backcountry's website. After reading their blog, I quickly put two and two together and realized the Widmer brothers were the guys I spoke to on my way in and were camped where I had hoped to. I had always wondered how their final few days turned out, and was glad to see they were rewarded for their efforts. Here is the link to the blog.

From: loopmtz
05-Apr-17
Sweet

05-Apr-17
I don't know how I missed it the first time but, this was a great thread. Well done and, a belated congrats. Awesome. God Bless

From: midwest
06-Apr-17
Just read it all over again....great stuff, Jason.

From: razorhead
06-Apr-17
nice story, I hunted Nevada in the late 80's early 90's, not many guys and gals back than,,,, it is beautiful country, but so much different as far as bowhunting, today,,,,,

your a good father

10-May-17
Awesome! I konw this is an old thread, but was wondering what you used for a bow/head and arrows?

Thanks, great write up!! I can't wait to get out to NV myself!

Also, what spotter did you use?

From: Bullhound
11-May-17
Thanks for bringing this up again! I remembered it but just had to go through it all over again! Fabulous write up on this hunt. That is some fun reading!!!

  • Sitka Gear