Archive for the 'Hunting Stories' Category

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Published by admin on 06 Nov 2013

Right stand-Right time by Ron

Right stand-Right time
By Ron aka. rjs

First of all, do you happen to know anyone that seems to connect on big deer season after season? They just seem to be in the right spot at the right time. Why do you suppose this is? It’s because they ARE in the right spot at the right time. These guys understand deer habits and how to use this knowledge to set up productive stand sites. What is the right stand at the right time you ask? I’ll explain.

I break my stand sites down into categories, early season (September), mid season (Oct. 1st-25th), rut (Oct. 25th-Nov. 25th), and my favorite, all season. Each stand has its own purpose and best time of the season to hunt it. It will also have prevailing wind direction factored in and a planned access route to get in and out. Let’s break it down even further.

10-25-2013-behind house 025

EARLY SEASON

My early season stands are typically food source stands. Crop fields, food plots and water are the most productive. I usually only hunt them in the afternoons and evenings. If I do hunt in the morning, I arrive very early to avoid bumping deer out of the fields when heading to my stand. Keep in mind that deer will migrate to different foods as the season progresses. Whitetails love soybeans, but will ignore them when they start to turn yellow and dry out. Water sources can be hit or miss. If you have a week of rain it might not make much sense to sit above your favorite pond. There will be puddles in the ditches and deer can drink without traveling very far. I won’t waste my time sitting on a yellow bean field that deer have forgotten about or overlooking a pond during a rainstorm. A productive early season stand will have a food source that is active. Again, right stand, right time. I will have a couple of stands set up over food sources. Some can be hard to hunt more than a couple of times because deer will be out in the fields and I guarantee they will bust you leaving your stand or will run into your scent trail after you leave. I will hunt these setups a couple of times then move on when the crops are harvested. I have other plans for these stands later in the season and will pull them down. Now keep in mind, if you have crops in the field that mature at different times and they become an active food source, this stand now becomes more valuable and can be used longer and becomes a mid season stand too. But, more on this later….

MID SEASON
My mid season stands will also have active agriculture food sources nearby, but also take advantage of the local acorn crop. I live in SW Wisconsin and when the acorns fall, deer sightings in the crop fields drop dramatically. A lot of people call this the dreaded “October Lull”. The deer activity seems to drop off like they left the area. Trust me, they haven’t. The deer have simply adjusted to the changing food source. I will have a stand or two that will be located off the agriculture food source and by a stand of oaks. I look for an area with an old rub line. I also look for an area that the bucks will use as a staging area this time of year. If you can find a spot that has a scrapes in it year after year, this is better yet. I wait to hunt these stands until the bucks are becoming a bit more active. Most of the local bucks will visit this spot at one time or another when the rut is just warming up. Again, right stand right time. I again only hunt these stands a couple of times. Most stands are too hard to get in and out of without being busted. The last thing you want is to alert every buck in the neighborhood that he is being hunted.

Corn, bean and Buck forage oats makes this stand productive the entire season.

THE RUT

We have now transitioned from early season to the beginning of the rut. Now for everyone’s favorite, “rut” stands. It’s no secret; the bucks go where the does are. I locate my stands just like everybody else. I look for pinch points, ditch crossings-any spot that will funnel deer to me. I set up a couple of stands between bedding areas and in travel routes that contains a rub line. I have found that there is a small window of opportunity to “mini” pattern a buck before the rut fully kicks in. Bucks are now on their feet more and will start traveling from doe group to doe group, in essence taking inventory of all the local does. More than once I have watched a buck move through a travel corridor, out of bow range, realized that I needed to adjust my stand a bit, then arrowed him later that day or a day or two later. Again, right stand right time. Another type of rut stand is for hunting “cruiser” bucks. These are the bucks that you have never seen before, have no trail camera pictures of and didn’t even know existed. I set these stands strictly off the terrain features and past buck sightings. I prefer ridge tops over valleys. I find it easier to keep the wind in my favor. I hunt this setup later in the rut, after the peak breeding is over. I might not see as many deer, hunting from this type of stand, but the ones I do are usually older age class bucks. This is the only stand that I don’t worry about overhunting and may sit these spot several days in a row. Again, right stand right time.

ALL SEASON

This brings us to my personal favorite, all season stands. Remember the early to mid season stands that have food sources that last into the late season? You can catch bucks during the rut, cruising the edges farm fields looking for does that feed in these areas. Remember the early season stand overlooking a farm pond? If November is hot and dry, this stand site might prove a winner when a rutting buck comes in for a drink. What else does a stand need to be considered all season? Well, that answer is easy, all of the above. Food, water, travel routes and bedding areas in the right locations. The best all season stands will be next to a food source with water. It will be on a travel corridor between bedding areas and have access for you to get in and out without the deer knowing it. What makes this stand special? It’s the right stand that can be hunted ANY time the wind is right. Do all properties have such spots? No, unfortunately not. You can create them with a little work, but that is a discussion for a different day. Take a look at your current stands sites, see what category they fit into and see if you are hunting the right stand at the right time.

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Published by Frank Biggs on 29 Oct 2013

Bwana Bubba’s 2012 Oregon Blacktail Archery Hunt

Sunday Morning Hunt

Taking the Shot Buck!

Combat Mode! 

Though this story will end up with harvesting of a small Blacktail Buck from the Willamette Valley in Oregon, it is more about the principles and aspects of aging in the hunting scenario.

I would like to say this is the buck of harvest, but not! Right Handed Tree Stand in background!

Over the years, especially when I was younger I lived to hunt and fish.   I was very selfish and would spend most of my time either at work or doing the great outdoors.  It was a total escapement from reality after serving in the U.S. Navy and being In Country. I found great excitement with chasing and harvesting game.  My fishing was about how many fish I could catch, later finding it was more fun to catch and release.

Now later in life I find I do not have as much time to hunt and fish with the reality of still working into my 60’s.   Weekends are a thing of the past since I have been in the RV selling business.   Hunts have now turned to hunting in the valley close to home for the elusive Blacktail Deer.

What started with getting permission to take pictures of Blacktail Bucks on a parcel of land outside of Oregon City & Canby, Oregon has turned into the place to have the opportunity to harvest a Blacktail.  The landowner himself is a Vietnam Vet and I know he finds great peace to be able to walk his timbered land and in some places be able to escape the daily grind!

This year was different from the past years on the M & L Ranch as I call it.   It is the first time other than a Blackberry thicket blind, that I have setup a real tree stand and fixed ground blind.   My thoughts have always been to glass, spot and pursue the game, with an occasional wait at a nearby waterhole for Pronghorn.

I had past him up at 40 yards, but this is not what I saw from 40 yards through the Blackberries!

The 2012 Archery Season in Oregon was of great expectations in harvesting one of the Big Three Blacktail bucks that we all had captured on Trail Cams.   With Odd 3 X 3 leading the pack, “Sticker” second and finally the P & Y buck Even 3 X 3.  You do notice that I have never mentioned a 4 x 4! I have yet to see a 4 point buck western count in 2012.   In the past I have seen a number of them and have put them on film!

I truly hate to say it, but many of the big bucks I have seen have been poached.   I have heard rifle shots in the familiar sound of hunting situation before the archery season and during the season.  Poaching has become a major issue in Oregon!   It can’t be about the meat, but about the rack.

Blacktail Deer - Even 2012
P & Y Buck at probably 110″ Maybe JR can get him!

So with the missed opportunity on the Even 3 X 3 in the first couple of days really took me back mentally.   The easiest shots, can most often not work!  I am sure most know that deal in hunting.   Having hit the tree stand rail not once but twice on the 25 yard shot was embarrassing for sure.    Small note:   WHEN PUTTING UP A TREE STAND AND SETTING UP THE LINE OF THE ANIMAL TO BE POSITION, MAKE SURE YOU PUT UP YOUR STAND IN RELATIONSHIP TO BEING LEFT HANDED OR RIGHT HANDED.   In this case for me being Left Handed I should have put it across the path to the opposite tree.  It is definitely a Right Handed tree stand.  Guess I will have to get another one and put it on the opposite tree 25 yards across the path!  My partner’s JR (Frankie) and Mark are right-handed!  They had decided what tree to put the stand up before I can to help!  Pretty smart guys!

As most of you know that are in the circle, with two weeks into the archery season had a second chance with a 20 yard shot on a nice heavy 3 x 3 at 20 yards (No Hesitation Either).

The one that also got away and survives another day! Flesh Wound!  He was harvested in 2013 on Opening Day!  Strange as it is, he not the first buck to take an arrow clear through and survive.

I shot through the Camo mesh of the ground blind, leading to a close Kill shot (3”) to a glancing arrow hitting the shoulder and ricocheting upward and out.   I have had someone call me unethical for not making this one buck the one find and harvest.  In this case give me a break with a Blacktail and the odds, especially with a bow!   Mark and myself spent 3 hours looking for blood on the buck, which ended with one final drop about 300 yards away in the dark at 2200.  The following morning I spent another 3 hours and found no more blood on the ferns and what appeared to be a buck with normal walk back into the forest (no broken limbs or down branches).

Great shot on a Blacktail Buck – Martin Onza 3 on display also!

So in the following weeks the buck has been on trail cams in good health.  In fact when Mark was in his tree stand with his rifle (Willamette 615 anything tag) the buck came to within 12 yards of him in good health.   As this is another story of Mark’s buck that he took at that time, all I can say is the buck might have been a vendetta for me to get him, but I was not worried about his health any longer.  Just a bad hit!

It is now Sunday September 9th in the morning about 0430 and my wife wakes me up and says “aren’t you going hunting this morning!”  Na!  I got to work and need my sleep!  I am now awake and say to myself, I am gone.   In minutes without combing my hair I headed out the door and into the darkness.  Looking at my cell found I see JR.; my son left me text messages (10) about the morning hunting.  I text back are you awake as I am already heading to my secure parking spot!  No return text, guess I got the place to myself today!  It would have been great to have him with me!

It does not take me long to get ready once there and I head off to the stand about ¼ from the parking spot.   Quickly get up in the stand with the anticipation of a good hunt, as it cooler this Sunday.   I figured I might get the spike and of course plus the one doe with twin fawns in first, with maybe a big boy coming in before 0700.   I patiently wait, which is a major problem for me as it super quite in the draw.  The only noises are the wind rusting the trees and occasional Scrub Jay squawking in the distance.  I should add the lone owl hooting in the canyon!

It is now approaching 0700 with no movement at all on the forest ground, I am extremely bored and need to get on feet and make a ground hunt.   I lower my bow and day pack to the ground, check the trail cam and see that only 6 pictures from the 12 hour period.   I thought about heading back to the house and catch a few winks before work, but I would not get any sleep.   I dropped the pack and headed over to Mark’s stand near the edge of the western sector of the farm.   No movement in the heavy grasses and I surely did not jump anything, as Mark’s stand borders the field and heavy timber.  Hmm!

I pick up my day pack and talked to myself and ask the question to drive around to the eastern sector and hunt from there and see if I can jump a Blacktail Buck.   I tell myself to go back to the stand and head up the trail that leads to the dry creek bed and the eastern sector of the farm (most of us old war dogs talk to ourselves a lot).   I decide that I wanted to go light on this expedition with only my bino’s, range finder and bow!   I am wearing a Camo long sleeve shirt and I have my booties on as it is very noisy place to walk and think you are quiet when making a good stalk.

Here I am only about 200 to 300 yards from my stand on the trail and spot a doe that had just come up out of the draw that leads down to the creek bed and the other side of the farm.  It is a warn trail now and used by the game since Frankie (JR) and his cousin had taken a D-6 Cat through the property, it has given a game when not disturb a bit easier route to feeding areas.  There are places near the creek bottom that are so thick; I would have to eat the deer there!

Ok!  I spot the doe and she is a ways out there, I would put her at about 50 yards line of sight.  Not sure if she has caught me as slither back into the Scott Broom.   I decide to range her in and use my left hand, my release hand.  Shaking a bit, I target to the left of her to a small bush and it says 48 yards.   I got the area pretty well dialed in and will wait to see what come out of the draw.  Finally a very smart move on Cobra’s part!   Her fawns that no longer have spots doodle along and up.   I can not see the doe at all during this time and I assume she did not see me!   Then I see a deer coming up, it stops and see it has a rack, I can not tell the size it all seems to blend into the background of brown grasses and the fir trees.   Knowing what my Martin Onza 3 can do for me, I am at instinct mode and without though of size or distance my eyes as they are looking through the peep side have the orange 40 yard pin set about 1-2 inches above the back bone.  The release is very smooth and no hesitation on my part.   I see the arrow in flight as the  Norway Zeon Fusion (pink) vanes are evident in flight.

I love the way these beauties fly and glow for me!

The buck has moved forward during the short time of flight of the arrow.   “Damn” is all I could say when I see the arrow hit the hind quarter forward.  What surprised me was to see the deer drop like a sack of bricks and then he shook!  Wow!  Then to my further surprise the buck go back up and struggled into the Scott Broom.  Out in the distance at about 100 yards there is a monster buck facing directly at me when I stepped out to lay the bow down!   I quickly move up to the spot and find blood.   I marked the spot with my bow and head back to the day pack to get what I needed.  I call my JR and to my surprise he answers his phone! Hoorah!  He is on his way with his truck that he can get back there and not be upset with the blackberries scrapping the side of his truck.  I do check at my launching point and range find to the spot the buck was initially standing at and it hits 63 yards.

I have a head in this picture! Keep it clean! I still have the ability to shoot some distance!

I have to tell you that during the flight of the arrow, there seem to be little arch (trajectory) in the flight.  What a strange feeling of watching the flight which was under a second, like out of a movie!  The Martin Onza 3 is most likely pushing 330fps with my setup!   Outstanding performance for me!  Martin bows have never failed me on a hunt!

I have pulled my rig near the stand, hoof back to the area with cameras and my Gerber’s.   I did not have to go very far from the hit spot, the blood trail was extensive and the buck was stretched out about 80-100 yards from the impact area.  I could see the buck is one that I had seen on camera and past up an evening before when I went to the stand and had him at 40 yards.  He was a young 3 X 3 or better 3 X 2 with no eye guards.

I was in combat mode during this time period of spot and shoot.  I truly love to spot, stalk and then kill!  I have found that the times in the field with difficult shots and I go to combat instinct mode the job usually gets done.  I do not think about anything, but the mind has allowed me to react!  One can read a book call “Blink” and understand what I am saying.  Thinking about a situation to much, I feel that you can make a dumb mistake!  Let me tell you I have made mistakes and failed number of times.  Being on the ready at all times makes for success.

The arrow did hit his hind quarter on the right side, failed to pass through.  During the Hawaiian Field Dressing operation I could see what had happen and I am most surprised, as I have never seen this before. I failed to mention that JR had given me a package of new broadheads to try and just that morning I did put one on my arrow.  The broadhead does not look like it could be as effective or un-effective as the Thunderheads I had on the rest of the arrows.   The name of this broadhead is Slick Trick 100 gr.!

This is a picture of the Slick Trick 100 gr. Magnum after hitting the ball and socket!

So during the Hawaiian field dressing using one of my gifted Gerber Gator knives I find that if the arrow had passed through there would have been pumping out even great flow of blood, but what happen once the arrow hit the flesh it angled back and somewhat down hitting the knuckle in the hip joint pulverizing the ball joint.  I have never seen this done to an animal with a Broadhead in all my years of bow hunting.   I have seen ribs cracked or cut, but for the arrow to go through that much tissue and still do that at the range of 60 yards is simply amazing.   As you know at this time I will be changing in the future to Slick Trick Broadhead.   Another thing that arrow flew as straight as if I had shot at 10 yard target.  My Onza 3 highly tuned, as all my Martin bows have been.  Reminds when I tried Barnes X bullets 225 grain in my Weatherby 340 on an elk hunt and took out the bull at 1000 yards approx (testimonial proof) and he dropped in his tracks.  I have never looked back on using the product.   Knowing that the product will do the job, if there is a mistake it is usually the hunter!  It can be equipment also if you don’t check and make sure it ready to shoot! So my deer hunting for 2012 has come to an end and I now can if time permits to focus on elk or help JR get his archery buck in the State of Oregon!

This story has been posted in Bwana Bubba which is a big deal for me to get a story posted!

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Published by Frank Biggs on 27 Oct 2013

Bwana Bubba’s 2013 Archery Hunt – Boys get their first Blacktail Bucks!

The Oregon General Archery Season Opener proved to be a successful opening day hunt in the Willamette Valley for Blacktail Deer Bucks’.  Neither of the two young men had every taken a Blacktail Buck with the bow and arrow!

The anticipation of the 2013 Oregon Archery Season Opener had been a very exciting anxiety brain thought for me. 

Having myself wanting to target two (2) different bucks during the season, I was ready for the opener on August 24th, 2013.   There would be two (2) other hunters hunting the small parcel (90 acres) of un-fenced land in the Willamette Valley of Oregon in the Clackamas County zone outside of Oregon City, Oregon. Neither of the other two (2) young bucks (Frankie or Mark) had ever taken a buck deer with the bow and arrow.   Considering the Columbia Blacktail deer is one of the toughest to hunt, the odds are lowered.  One hunter was my son Frank Jr. who has been hunting since he was 12 years old and the other hunter Mark S. one of Oregon’s finest…

Both are experience hunters with the rifle and have taken Mule Deer, Blacktail Deer, Elk and Pronghorn. Mark would be hunting from his treestand at the far end of the property in which he can view the vineyard that the deer were still working over during the year.   Jr. would be in a ground blind in the same draw that I was in, though I would be in the treestand.  This year Jr. would be hunting for the first time with a 2013 Martin Rytrea Alien XT and also for the first time the HHA Sports 5519 Optimizer Bow Sight.  All of us would be using again for the second year the Slick Trick 100gr. Broadhead.

Mark's Blacktail in the velvet!
Mark’s Blacktail in the velvet!
WGI_0132
Frankie’s Blacktail in the velvet and how he saw him on opening day, but in the daylight!

 

Anticipation by all was at its highest with all of us to harvest a Blacktail buck, since we had many bucks working the area.  At times it would seem we would have an atmosphere of a buck pasture, as does working the area lacking! Just before shooting time, I get a silent text message from Mark, “they are all around my tree”.  My thoughts were of course those of jealousy with him getting first lick on a buck.  Legal shooting time was upon us and I get another text message from Mark “Elfi is down, I smoked him”.  Now I had a bit of relief that he did not take the Number 1 Blacktail on vineyard and there would still be a chance in the future.

Mark with his P & Y Buck!  First bow kill of big game!
Mark with his P & Y Buck! First bow kill of big game!

Mark text me again that he would stay in this stand for an hour to wait on the deer and give us a chance.

Now the story gets really interesting, as Mark’s last text comes in, I see a lone deer moving through the tree to my left at a good pace.  Thinking back the deer was running a bit erratic.  This would come into play in about an hour of this sighting! It is now about 30 minutes later and I spot from the treestand about 4-5 bucks in the Douglas Firs, just milling around across the gravel road from the draw.   I see they are moving to the North and there is an opening in the blackberries.  I knew at this time they deer were heading into the draw.  The bucks and a couple does go out of sight as they go around the blackberries, travel 30 yards down the gravel road and turn east into the draw. Quickly sending Jr. a text that they were coming towards him and too be on the ready. The action is about to start, as deer are under my stand coming from the South and I can see the bucks with does coming from the West into the draw.

Frankie with his first bow buck kill with the bow and arrow!
Frankie with his first bow buck kill with the bow and arrow!

I am just mesmerized by the movement and the amount of game upon us.  I have my Optimizer set at 30 yards in anticipation of the bucks coming into my open shooting zone. The deer are on top of Jr.’s ground blind and I just sit there watching the action and not wanting to standup and get ready.

He still lives and looks to have made it through the rifle season in Oregon.  No one is suppose to hunt this place with a rifle!
The Even 3 X 3 has been harvest on 11-22-13 and he had a rough score of 123.   Great buck for the area and since I took him after chasing him for two (2) years, he left his blood line going into the future bucks!

The big Even 3 X 3 is at 42 yards from me, if I were to shoot at the easy shot, the arrow’s flight would have to zoom between Douglas Fir branches and then over the top of Jr.’s blind.   All the deer just stop at this point which is 2 – 10 yards from the blind.  They know something is up at this point, but still wanting to move down the draw to the creek bottom.  All of a sudden one of the bucks looks into the only open window in the portable blind.  The buck has eye contact with Jr., (should have had sunglasses on) snorts and bulks.   With that movement Even 3 X 3 and all the other bucks and deer are gone in a flash.  I was mistaken since I could not see one of the bucks that remained.  A Forked Horn with Eyeguards (only buck that is still in velvet) stands his ground at 5 yards from Jr.’s blind.   In my mind I am saying shoot, what are you waiting for Frankie!  A split second later I hear the report of the arrow hitting the buck in the zone.  The buck walks off directly away from him, turns and jogs about 40 yards and the rest is history!

 

As for myself I am still stunned that I did not take the shot, but there was something in my mind that told me not do so it.  Reasoning or Mind Drift? Quickly I am out of the stand congratulating Frankie and he find his deer in minutes. You ask why Jr. didn’t take the Even 3 X 3, same question I asked him!  “Dad that is your buck that you have been chasing for 2 years, I wasn’t going to ruin that moment!”

A great hunt that I got to see the hunt un-fold from above!
A great hunt that I got to see the hunt un-fold from above!

After finding Frankie’s buck from a good blood trail within a couple of minutes, taking pictures and High Fiving, Frankie now tells me that we need to help Mark find his deer.  This happen to be a work day for me and want to get one deer Hawaiian Quartered and then worry about Mark’s buck secondly! We do go over to Mark who was coming back to the truck to get rid of his gear.  His buck had not dropped out in the vineyard.  We all went back to help him find his buck.  A most difficult venture at first as there was little sign of blood to track.   After about 15 minutes I told Mark we would be back, as we need to get the buck taken care of now! Mark informed me and Jr. that he had called his Dad, Dan to come and help.

Dad and Son teamed up to trace the buck!  4 eyes many times works better than 2!  Hoorah!
Dad and Son teamed up to trace the buck! 4 eyes many times works better than 2! Hoorah!

As you read this you wonder about Mark’s hit on the deer.  It will be another story once Mark gets it written, but from the video he had taken, it was a good hit and finding the buck would come. We get Frankie’s deer done in about 30 minutes Hawaiian style of quartering, taking only the meat out.

Get with Mark and Dan, as they found some more blood.  Telling him about the deer I had seen moving through the trees just after his shot, proved to be the positive outcome of finding his buck.  The deer have had the habit of escaping or when hit to travel down into a deep canyon on the farm, that I did not even know existed until January of this year.   As soon as Mark and Dan hit the deer trail at the top of the canyon the blood trail was very heavy, but not without the buck expiring in the in heavy cover.  The dandy Pope & Young Blacktail buck didn’t travel more than 300 yards from the stand, though he made an oval track circle to the right, then straight into the canyon.

Frankie’s buck was a really nice Velvet Forked Horn with Eyeguards, with great sylemtry.  Mark’s buck was a very tall 3 X 3 with Eyeguards and would make Pope & Young.  It also was the buck that I had put an arrow completely through in 2012 that did not affect the deer.  Strange as there were no signs once skinned he had ever been hit, yet we have pictures the day after in 2012 of wounds on left and right side.

At this writing Even 3 X 3 is still alive waiting for the rut to find him.   Since opening day he has only been seen 3 times, twice on cameras at the wee hours of the darkness in the morning and once during the general rifle season out in the open field!

It is great that the two young shooters found their marks on bucks to give them the confidence of the bow and arrow on big game. 

In the State of Oregon, bowhunters have greater amount of time and opportunities to hunt for big game.

Bwana Bubba

 

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Published by Frank Biggs on 30 Jun 2013

Bwana Bubba’s Thoughts – On Being Field Prepared!

This article is about being prepared for the un-expected in the field.  

Then again on a well planned trip, you forget an important item that might just save your life!

Many years ago when I was leaving Vietnam after a tour with the 5th Marines and got into the back to the Duce and Half, which was supposed to be heading to the airbase in DaNang a not so funny thing happened.   As most know, since I was heading back to Naval Communications Station in the Philippines I turned in my M-16, 1911 and my M-3 Grease Gun.  The driver a young Marine E-2 just in kcountry forgot something very important, especially when you get lost and drive into enemy country.   Maybe he thought he was in Conus and it was a trip into the countryside?   We came under fire, with the yelling and moving into the driver’s seat, we all survived.   His M-16 and bandoliers’ were still back at the command up on Hill 327!

In the modern day world I do not believe that anyone that goes out into the Great Outdoors should ever be in a situation of being lost and not being able to get back out on their own unless they are hurt and unable to move!  One can be lost of course, but one should be able to recover easily from being lost in the moment!

Yet so many times we hear of kids, hunters, hikers’, cross country skiers, snow mobile riders, and mountain climbers getting lost for days.   I wonder about the mine set of people, except the kids that should have help from guiding parents in the fundamentals of being in the outdoors.

Does one really feel that this mountain has any feeling about you? The fact that Mother Nature determines the out come of weather, one should always be on the ready for anything!  Bwana Bubba

Does one really feel that this mountain has any feeling about you? The fact that Mother Nature determines the out come of weather, one should always be on the ready for anything! Bwana Bubba

Years ago mountain climbers were the direct cause of a National Guard Helicopter going down on Mt. Hood in Oregon, thus costing millions of dollars of equipment lose.

Just the recently there was a young man lost in the rugged Columbia River Gorge in Oregon.  His comment after being found was “I am going right back out”, note that it was raining hard and the area is very steep and heavy timbered with many deep canyons of no return.  Of course he did not have a GPS or any other type of communications that working in the field.  I do not think he had a clue as to the cost, plus the fact he was a flatlander (from the Midwest).

Another one lost on Mt. Hood this week had forgotten this locating beacon.  Everyone said he was a very experience mountain climber.  Mt. Hood as any other mountain doesn’t care how experience you are, as Mother Nature is not forgiving!  The Air National Guard in a Blackhawk Helicopter found his body!  Terrible as he might have fallen and died on impact, but if not maybe he would be telling the story of the climb today!

I am firm believer of modern day GPS products such as Garmin GPS’s that have high sensitive antennas that will work in deep cover.  Many do not realize that many GPS products that don’t have high sensitive antenna or WASS Enabled.  If a GPS does not these features it will not record tracks or even pick up the satellites in deep timber.

Families that take their young children up in the mountains prior to Christmas to look for a tree for Christmas might think about having one of the Garmin GPS or similar products for dogs.  Funny!  Not really, as kids have a habit of moving fast and panic sets in.   Many years ago (1998) in Oregon on such a trip a young boy was lost.  I do not believe he was ever found, so the possibility of him being abducted might be there.  The instance that the parent could not see him, they could have located him quickly.

There are also hand-held 2 way radios that will reach with line of sight for 25+ miles.  Years ago there was a man lost in Oregon and the searchers were able to find him as he had a 2 way radio that he was sending out for help.  It was picked up some 50+ miles away.

Persons that are going mountain climbing on such treacherous places such  Mt. Hood, Mt. Lassen, Mt St. Helens or any other place with glaciers and changing weather at moment’s notice should have a locating beacon at all times with them.  You can rent them on most mountains or just buy one.  It is not required in the liberal state of Oregon.  A few mountain climbing organizations’ feel it infringes on one’s right.  Thou it is ok to bring out a team to find the lost souls and maybe lose a person in the search or equipment.

Have I forgotten about the cell phones, which have become so good with GPS and long lasting batteries?   One can always have a solar cell and recharge the phone when there is some sun.   I know it all about the weight when climbing, hunting or hiking right!?

For some it all about the money, yet how much does a pair of cross country skis cost, the outfit, the Weatherby rifle, and the mountain climbing goggles?   Yet again is about being macho or just knowing you are the best.   I feel the same way, but I know from being turned around a few times, that it better to be safe and make it back to camp then spend the night out.  I have spent the night out in bad weather, not due to being lost, but because the conditions would put me at risk in treacherous rimrock of the John Day River Canyon!

Years ago while hunting in the Snake River Canyon I came out on the ridge road two hours after dark fell upon the Snake River and wondering where my horse was located.  It was such a relief for me that Czar whinnied and I was able to get to him quickly.  I never carried a GPS in those days, as they were new and I only packed a compass.  I could have walked out as there was the ridge road, but how about Czar.  A GPS in hand I could have plugged in the waypoint where I left Czar while I was elk hunting.

My thoughts are the following and if one ever wanted to hunt with me and I don’t have many hunt with me as I do not want the responsibility of them!

The equipment with the following attached is required!

1)      Cell Phone – GPS capabilities if you not going to have a GPS.

2)      A two way handheld communications device, similar to Motorola’s.

3)      GPS – Colored with mapping capabilities – GARMIN is preferred.

4)      Mapping to go with the GPS, such as Hunting GPS Maps that will give you private boundaries.

5)      If in treacherous mountainous areas a locating beacon is required.

6)      Some extra batteries for devices that are not using lithium batteries

7)      Your own toilet paper!

In closing with just the GPS, one can back track to their original starting place and if the GPS has Topographic mapping, one could possibly figure out a direct route back if the terrain is manageable.

Don’t leave home with just your clothes, the basics and your bow or rifle!

Bwana Bubba

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Published by Frank Biggs on 03 Jun 2013

Bwana Bubba’s Last Minute Oregon Blacktail Buck

Blacktail Buck in the Unit in 2013!
Blacktail Buck in the Unit in 2013!

THE SHOULDA –WOULDA – I DID BUCK

This hunt took place on the last day of the archery season in Oregon and it was my last and final effort to harvest a Blacktail Buck after a great deal of hunting during the season.  It also would be the first time I exposed my young daughter to an animal of majestic qualities to her dead to look at and touch!

An extremely large buck just stood there looking at me, probably wondering why anyone would be down in a hole like this!   This deer hunt was the end of a long Oregon deer season for me.  Earlier that season, I spent four days at Hart Mountain in southeastern Oregon looking for one of the famous big mule deer bucks that dwell there.  My vacation time had been changed and I was not able to hunt the first part of the season with my group.  So getting that early jump on a big velvet buck was gone.  I’d seen as many as 14 bucks in a group at one time prior to the season.  Truly the big bucks had been stirred up by earlier hunters and were keeping their distance.

I found myself seeking a buck to take home on the last day of the late November hunt in the Santiam Hunt Unit in Western Oregon, just west of the National Forest Boundary in the BLM. It seems on the last day we (empty-handed) will do some strange things. The trip in itself was similar to my earlier trips in which I covered innumerable miles looking for greener pastures.  I must have traveled 800 miles in three days only to find myself hunting in dense forest 30 miles from Portland, Oregon my home. On this trip, I was by myself, my partners having had their fill of hunting for one season. With the heavy rain & wet snow coming and going, I’d just about had enough myself. Then by mid afternoon it started to snow and by 3 PM there was about 4 inches of fresh snow on the ground. I was glad I’d missed a 60-yard shot at a small buck I should have not taken with the wind blowing.  The small buck seemed to be playing king of the mountain standing on a ledge overlooking a deep canyon.  If I’d hit him, he surely would have taken to the canyon below – what a pack out that would have been.
So, like any other sane bowhunter, I went down into the canyon. I decided to walk the naked alders and fir trees, which seemed to surround the small creek that wound through the canyon. I noticed some large deer tracks in the snow and told myself they must belong to a big Blackie.  I hadn’t covered more than 100 yards when I just about stepped on a deer. I was so busy stepping over downed limbs and following the tracks that I didn’t even noticed the deer bedded under a fir tree.  The most beautiful Blacktail I’d ever seen jumped up and ran out 30 yards and turned broadside to me and gazed back at me. Not taking time to count points, I was already at full drew with my Martin Cougar Magnum, set the 30 yard pin on the buck’s chest, and let fly. One would have thought I was shooting with fingers, ah I was shooting with fingers.  The buck was no longer just standing, he’d flat busted out of there. He moved so fast I just shook my head and wondered if I’d missed. I went to the spot where the buck had been, no blood. Now the snow was really coming down and the wind had picked up in the canyon. My heart pounding in my chest, all I could do was follow the tracks in the direction he’d gone.  I started to notice some foamy blood spots and walked about 80 yards on the blood trail, stopped, and looked around. There, in the ferns just below me, was the butt of a deer.  He must have taken one last leap in this last breath! The broadhead had done its job; my shot was a bit high barely missing the heart. I was able to find a small road out of the canyon, thus was able to drive my truck with chains forward and aft down into the canyon.  The buck was a heavy load to pull up into the bed of the truck, especially since I was wet, tired and the snow being everywhere.
My Columbia Blacktail had one of the most beautiful basket sets of horns a person could want, a very symmetrical four point with eye guards. He scored officially at 129 7/8 P & Y Net (Pope & Young).  Never wait so long to get an animal scored!  If he had not had a small chip off of the G-4 on left side, it would have made the B & C (Boone & Crockett) book along with the P & Y book during that time frame. Now in B & C is at 135 to be listed.  I’ll bet that a great deal of hunters do not know that you can list your Archery harvested animals in Boone & Crockett also if it meets their standards.  Double the pleasure of being in both Books! Sometimes it pays to do the unexpected at the last minute.  

Hmm! Now I will check out the head!

You can see from the expression on my daughter’s about her thoughts of seeing a dead animal lying on the ground. In the future I found she would not want to harvest an animal, but would get involved with the field dressing of animals on trips that I took her on.  

Rebecca wondering what the heck dad!

Have fun hunting!  Bwana Bubba 

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Published by admin on 11 Apr 2013

A SIMPLE REMINDER MADE THE BEST SEASON EVER

A SIMPLE REMINDER MADE THE BEST SEASON EVER

by Ted Nugent

Kid Rock called and asked if I would teach him to bowhunt. He said Jerry Lee Lewis had taught him how to rock the piano, so he would accept only the masters to light his way. Who’s he gonna call? Tom Petty?

Game on!

As one of the world’s most talented and successful performers, I knew better than anyone how important it was for my friend to escape the mayhem of rock-n-roll and cleanse his soul with the mystical flight of the arrow. Plus we all know that the more backstraps one personally harvests and consumes, the more intense and soulful one’s music and life.

Uncle Ted, Strap Assassin1 to the rescue.

We were hot and heavy into the October bowseason up in Michigan, and as a fellow MotorCity Madman, Bob made the short trip to our sacred hunting grounds and the archery lessons began post haste.

Already tuned into the joys and marksmanship disciplines of hunting game with firearms, Bob wanted to elevate his hunting to the intense challenge of getting to fulldraw on elusive critters up close and personal, right in their face with a sharp stick.

On cue, Bob produced a brand new bow from his vehicle and told me how his buddy had set him all up with the ultimate gear for his bowhunting quest.

I tried to subdue my predictable fears, but alas, the bowhunting industries’ self -inflicted suicidal curse reared its ugly head again. Bob’s nice new bow was set at nearly 80 pound draw weight, and though we could draw it back, albeit with much effort and anti-archery gyrations, I took the matter into my own hands, drew if back and let go, dry firing the contraption causing it to blow to smithereens.

After much explanation, my archery pro-shop buddies whipped out a bow set up exactly like mine with a nice, graceful 50 pound draw weight.

Bob drew this bow back effortlessly and smiled broadly at the graceful upgrade, relieved that it was dramatically better than that other T-Rex killing machine he wrestled with a moment ago.

I tuned him into the basic archery form, mindset, touch and hand-eye coordination routine to get him on target, and within mere moments, my rock-n-roll buddy was zipping arrow after arrow into the vitals of our 3D targets. He liked it a lot.

I just so happened to have Don Williams on hand, a highly respected Olympic archery coach and all around “physics of spirituality” martial arts guru to assist Bob with the ultimate fine tuning of becoming the arrow.

I sat back and watched Don coaching Bob with his form, emphasizing precision mental focus and repetitious muscle memory.

When Don removed the sight pins from Bob’s bow, positioned him five feet from a large bale target with a small black dot in the middle, and had him repeat his shot procedure over and over again, a blinding bright light went off in my head as I recalled this exact same procedure being taught to me by my hero Fred Bear, way back in the 1970s.

With no intention of hitting the black dot, but rather concentrating on controlled, repetitious shot procedure while focusing intently on a given minute point of aim, I came to realize that my occasional missing and dreaded target panic hiccups were due to the mistake of focusing on my sight pins instead of the exact, tiny spot I needed to “will” my arrow into.

Oh glory, glory hallelujah!

I grabbed my bow, removed the pins, and stood side by side with Bob as we carefully executed killer shot after killer shot.

After a few dozen arrows like that, we re-attached our sight pins back onto our bows, stood back at the thirty yard line, and allowed our bodies and brains to celebrate the same exacting archery that we had at five feet, but now our muscle memory took over, and as we owned the black dots on each target, our sight pins magically floated onto the dot, we loaded our triggers and the bow went off.

Well, Kid was ecstatic, I was moved, and I went on to have the greatest bowhunting season of my life, making shot after shot, kill after kill, firing off the prettiest, most consistent arrows of my sixty plus years of bowhunting.

Throughout the season I continue to practice the “blind bale” routine, and constantly remind myself that I mustn’t look at the sight pin, but always the tiniest of spot on the crease behind the shoulder of my target animal.

When you watch our Ted Nugent Spirit of the Wild TV show on Outdoor Channel this season, watch all those pretty arrows disappearing into unsuspecting herbivores’ pumpstations, and know that the procedure outlined here will dramatically upgrade you archery and bowhunting accuracy and joys.

Kid Rock is on his way, but sometimes the old dogs have to go back and remember the old tricks. Backstraps are us

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Published by Frank Biggs on 18 Mar 2013

Bwana Bubba’s Thoughts – Hunting Equipment – Blacktail Deer Hunt

Oregon needs to get in the 21st Century on Lighted Nocks & Expandable-Mechanical Broadheads

Sweet Baby James’s Oregon Blacktail Hunt of Woes!

Though this is not a long story about a successful so to speak Blacktail Buck hunt in the late season 2012 archery hunt in Oregon, it is about absurd hunting regulations on bow hunting brought upon by the minority to the majority.

When I get into the story you the reader will understand where I am coming from on my logic on hunting regulations that should be changed to improve the experience of hunting.  Much like taking away anchored putters from golfers as technology changes!  As I write that might not happen for pro-golfers…  In their case they still got to get it in the hole!

Sweet Baby James, as his peers called him in the days of his professional boxing is a very good friend of mine.   This past year I got permission for him and his brother to hunt a few days on a small place in rural Oregon in the Willamette Valley to bow hunt for Columbia Blacktail Deer on the late season archery hunt.   His brother was successful in getting a deer for meat and made a great 12 yard shot on the deer.  James would remain un-successful until the last week of the season.

Readers should know that the Columbia Blacktail deer is one of the hardest to hunt and I do believe they are even more nocturnal that the elusive Whitetail deer.  In the Pacific Northwest low light comes earlier than some areas with the heavy brush cover and deep canyons.   Oregon is a mountainous state and Blacktail deer range from 10,000 feet to sea level.  I sometimes feel that the canyons can range the same in footage.   Those that have never hunted in the habitat that Blacktail frequent with the creepers on the ground, blackberries, thistle and deadfall are in for an experience.

As I said before many know James as Sweet Baby James, the professional boxer from Oregon, who has fought clear to Madison Square Gardens, knowing the likes of Ali.  He came from a background, whose father was a world ranked Archer, who should have been in the Olympics 1968, but because took a prize of 73 bucks, he later would be turned away at the Olympic Trials thus not allowed to shoot for the United States of America.   Hmm!  A great deal has changed over the years in that aspect.  He was a good friend of Fred Bear and shot Fred Bear traditional bows before the compound came out.  So growing up with a father that expected the best from his son, James became a great fighter, archer and hunter himself.

It is now Tuesday evening and he is in the treestand about 2 ½ hours prior to the end of shooting time.  He had not been in the stand for very long when from the northern sector of the property he could see a big Blacktail Buck working its way through the maze of vine maple, blackberries and ferns, at 40 yards he could see the buck was the Odd 3 X 3 that seldom entered this area.   Over the course of 6 months I would say the Odd 3 X 3 has been on camera about 20 times in this area.  The buck seems to be on a mission and a direction he was heading for in hindsight would be the deep canyon leading to another property.  The buck did not stop; thou he was walking down the trail to the flat, James made the decision to take the shot at 18 yards with focus and direct eye contact on the boiler room.   The arrow tipped with a 100 grain Thunderhead hit the buck hard a bit back from the heart, which appeared to be in upper lung area.   He could see the arrow hanging out on the opposite side of the buck.  The buck in an instance dug with his hooves and vaulted into forward motion with head down and not missing a step.

James could hear the noise of the buck on the gravel road and anticipated the buck would come around his backside and he would see movement in the trees…

James waited some 30 minutes before leaving the treestand to look for the buck with about an hour of light left to find his trophy Blacktail Buck.   He finds one speck of blood in the dirt, but nothing in the gravel.   There are no tracks to follow as from both sides of the road there is nothing but blackberries and heavy brush.  He felt the buck had entered back behind him and headed into another creek bottom to the east.

I get phone call James while I am down at the coast asking for help, “sorry James but I am long ways away” “did you check to the west of the road”.   Of course it started to rain when he got out of the treestand and there is not going to be any trace of blood to follow.  With no tracks or blood trail and heavy cover James still continues to look for three hours with a flashlight and no help.  Without an extra set of eyes it most difficult on your own to find a downed animal while in panic mode.   If it was legal in Oregon to have a lighted nock on your arrow, James might have seen the travel of the deer through the brush.   More likely if the arrow had fallen out he could see the arrow from an elevated point near the area if he could have used a lighted nock in Oregon.

The next day James looks for more than four hours, but if there was any blood it would be washed away by the rain.   A very distraught hunter not being able to find a big buck that should have gone a very short distance from the hit! If it had been legal in Oregon, an expandable-mechanical broadhead might have help greatly on stopping the buck or leaving a blood trail at the gravel road.

Over the course of months and going out to the farm, this included me to look for the buck’s remains, along with looking for drops we never could find the buck, but still knowing he went down on the property since he was hit hard.

Just recently after going through the winter and the deer moving through the farms or lands in the area, they have made many worn trails.   So this past week in March 2013, I told my son that James’s buck headed to the west canyon a normal route for him to escape.  So with our minds intent on finding the remains, we ventured out.   In know less than 100 yards from the treestand Jr., finds the arrow.  Noted the brush is bare foliage and the blackberries have no leaves on them.   The arrow is completely intact right along the game trail.   Next thing was to scan and split up with me working the lower eastern edge of the canyon and Jr. going to the flat on the western edge of the canyon.  He spots something about 150 yards away, then loses sight and said it must have been a deer.  I tell him to continue to the spot as it is probably what we wanted to find. Low and behold it is the Odd 3 X 3 Blacktail buck.   The coyotes had taken care of the deer and closure was made for all that have hunted the place.

Recovery of the rack is illegal in Oregon, so it will stay until it skull denigrates or grows into a tree ornament as it mends into the V of a tree. Thus only pictures are taken for remembrance of the hunt.

I know myself if I had been shooting an expandable-mechanical broadhead, I might have made a fatal hit on the buck I shot with the arrow passing through the buck and not hitting a vital in front shoulders.  Ok!  He has survived the winter and will be bigger next year as I have vendetta to harvest him.

From my understanding OPS Game Officers have talked and feel that there would be greater recovery on big game with expandable-mechanical broadheads and lighted nocks.   Over 44 other states allow lighted nocks.  All but three states allow the use of expandable-mechanical broadheads.  Oregon, Washington and Idaho have an issue, it is said by some that crossbow users are the problem, but in Oregon they are not allowed…

Did I mention that in Oregon you can use any arrow or broadhead for Game Birds though?  It is said that light nocks and expandable-mechanical broadheads will lead to poaching!  Give me a break, only the stupid would poach at night, thinking they might get away with it.  Poachers are going to do what they do until they get caught.  In Oregon the O.S.P. Game Officers are very talented and educated.  It may take a while but they run a high successful rate on catching the big game poachers.  Poachers should have a clue by now because there are so many trail cams on private and public property out there that the bucks and bulls have names.

Just watch the Outdoor Channel and you see that on every program.

Sort of funny while looking for the buck, we see the landowner and talk about who has access.  She had told us she allow a couple of guys that do business with her they could come out and get some ornamental plants, but said to them “oh we have cameras all over the property”, one of them said “Hmm, I hope you didn’t catch us by a tree..”  They were surprised that the land had surveillance…

Technology in archery or bow hunting has been improved, but the principal of archery and bow hunting remains the same.  You have to be able to hit the target with your talents.  The recovery of game should be in the balance for the hunter, thus I feel that using light nocks and expandable-mechanical broadheads with lead to greater recovery of game.  I am all for a change here in Oregon, as well as everyone that are known in my circles.

Oregon, Washington and Idaho should get out of the dark ages and move forward to the betterment of the sport.

I did do a quick P & Y field measurement on the buck.  To bad he was odd!  He netted out at 92 after setting in the brush for 4 months.  He had 15 inches of penalty with the odd rack.  He has nice symmetry when viewing straight on, most interesting buck…  You would need 95 to make P & Y for Columbia Blacktail!

In closing how many of us can shoot out to 40-50 yards and hit the target, yet miss an easy 20 yard shot?

This is a picture of the Odd 3 X 3 in the velvet.  He would be arrowed within 5 yards of this spot!
This is a picture of the Odd 3 X 3 in the velvet. He would be arrowed within 5 yards of this spot!
This is how the buck was found some 300 yards line of sight from the target area
This is how the buck was found some 300 yards line of sight from the target area

Bwana Bubba aka Cobra

Here he is after rubbing off his velvet in the area!
Here he is after rubbing off his velvet in the area!

 

 

 

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Published by Frank Biggs on 11 Feb 2013

Bwana Bubba’s 1987 Rancho Rajneesh Deer Hunt

Me and my pink vanes!  This is how I found the buck!

Me and my pink vanes! This is how I found the buck!

It was extremely hard for the team to stop hunting the Rancho Rajneesh, it was an addiction!

It is about time that I share this story with my readers and friends with all the facts.   It happen a few years back, lets say some 25 years ago, (which feels yesterday), during an opening day bow hunt in Central Oregon in the Grizzly Hunt Unit for Mule deer.

The story is of humor, comedy of errors, or just plain hunting!

We would be hunting the Rancho Rajneesh again or better known to the locals as “The Big Muddy” we spent a great deal of time over there, glassing, scouting and taking pictures of the deer and elk that thrived in the area.   On this hunt I would be accompanied by one of my hardcore hunting partners Dave Brill who is a very accomplish bow and rifle hunter.   On this trip I actually let someone else drive their truck.   This would work out greatly for me at the end of the hunt. “Dave it looks like I won the toss, so I get first shot at a Mulie buck” “Ok! Bubba, even if it is my truck and all!”   “Ya! Dave, like you would let me drive your truck?”  That was a great line to use, but the next day, I would have his truck while he hunted…  I needed to get the deer meat into cold storage in Madras, Oregon.  One of the grocery stores in town had a separate locker for game meat!

Again we would be hunting one of our favorite spots in Central Oregon, which would be outside of Donnybrook, Oregon on the south side of the Rancho Rajneesh.   There was a couple of parcels we found ourselves going back too every year, as it was B.L.M., yet tied to a couple of ranches that we could pass through and sometimes hunt.   Ah!  You are wondering of the spot, well I will give you the spot of big bucks as near Hinkle Butte!  Old man Crowley (Raymond) was a great man to know in the area!  You could find him on his front porch at his home in Donnybrook along Gosner Rd.   He had a number of parcels that bordered the BLM in the “Big Muddy Ranch.”  This gave a save access into the BLM without being noticed.   We were able to keep are secret spots to ourselves for over a 20 year time frame.

This land is now owned by Young Life and a real estate broker in three separate parcels.

We had spotted a number of bucks during our trip into the area for the evening hunt.  The morning hunt was a bust for both of us!  I love to hunt the evening, as most everyone else has settled back down into their camps.  It does not bother me to hike out in the dark when I am deep into the interior of B.L.M.; usually the evening is from about 1330 on.   If I look back over the years I have probably harvest more game from 1300 until dusk!  Figuring that big bulls and big bucks need to stretch a bit after their mid-day nap!

Let’s get back to the story, as I stated earlier, we had seen a number of bucks on the way in.  As we were approaching the honey spot, I notice a real dandy buck up on the hill with what I figured at about a 29” outside spread and heavy racked.   Hunt on, as I roll out the truck and took off with my pack, pack frame, crackers, light sweater, Leupold binoculars, camera, new Martin Onza bow, and Kershaw knives!   Oh! Did I mention that I forgot water in my pack?  The buck is working up the hillside and not knowing that I am behind him I figured.  So quiet that I am in the stalk of this “Big Muddy” buck.   He is working up in front of me through the Junipers, rocks and Sagebrush still in view at about 90 yards.  I feel that I am closing the distance quickly and when I get within 40 yards I will just let him have it when I grunt at him and get him to swing broadside. As I turn the corner of the ridge I was working up he has disappeared, “what no way he is gone.”  The wind was coming down the ridge into my face; I just missed seeing him turn into the draw…

Got over that little trip in the mind and decide to continue the hunt at a place we called the swamp.  

As I approach the swamp, I see a lone buck standing at the edge of the water with lots of cover to work into him.   The buck is not very wide, but tall and extremely heavy with abnormal points.   As I get ready to drill him at 35 yards (he has no clue I am behind him), out of the corner of my left eye, I see about 25 bucks starting to get up in another part of the swamp in the cattails at about 45 yards.  They were now in full line of sight.   I swung onto this buck that was pushing 30” who was just standing their broadside looking me, as were all the rest.   Easy shot and I took the shot, only to see it hit the only branch of Sagebrush sticking up at the boiler room.  The arrow of course deflected and cut the hair off the top of the buck’s back.  He gave me a smile and just walked off into the direction sun and they all stood out at 70 yards on the open hill side!  “A bird in the hand is worth how many birds in the bush?” I would have say that was pretty wild and not ever going to be repeated in my lifetime of so many bucks taking a bath together at one time.  I found a few empty Ivory Soap wrappers at the waters’ edge…

I am now over that experience also and moving on as I had more ground to cover and see what was out there.  

I move alone a Juniper tree line and spot 6 good bucks, one being swamper in a small basin at about ¼ mile away.  To run the game down to within 100 or so yards, then put the final stalk on was great enjoyment for me.  Mule deer with enough cover are pretty easy to sneak up on.  I get to Juniper and Sagebrush along a B.L.M. cross section fence line that was next to the small barren basin which is about 50 yards from the deer.   You wonder about the 50 yards and all!  I used my range finder the wheel type and it said 50 yards to the big buck.   I took a picture of the big boy also!  You’re saying how many big bucks can this guy find? Well it was un-real, but real.  The big bucks were there and everywhere around the area within a 50 mile circle.  Alright being skeptical of my dial a wheel range finder (just got it), I felt the buck was no more than 40 yards as I drew back and shot through the brush, I should have believed the range finder, as the buck must have been 50 yards, as I watch arrow past under his belly.

Almost!  Horseshoes anyone?

Now I am really bummed out about this whole hunt and rushing into the hunt and not believing first thoughts.   Well there was still some day light left and I never give up until it is illegal to shoot.

I am now up on the plateau glassing down into another basin.   All of a sudden I see a single buck at about 1000 yards out.  I figure he is about 25” to 26” wide and a pretty good looking buck, plus the fact it about time to get the job done.  He is feeding in the middle of the basin, but I could see that he was working towards the West.  In his path of travel it would lead him past a big pile of dead Juniper trees.

This is another reason we keep coming back.  Michael James took this picture during the opening day of archery, but in another one of our spots.  He was a rifle hunter, that love to scout when we were archery hunting...

This is another reason we keep coming back. Michael James took this picture during the opening day of archery, but in another one of our spots. He was a rifle hunter, that love to scout when we were archery hunting…

Hunt on, as I race to cover ground and get on the buck.  Getting within a quarter mile of the spot that I would ambush the buck, I drop my pack frame.   With only my Martin Onza (first run production Onza) I raced to the pile of dead junipers.  I was completely invisible (another words he had not clue I was standing in the open and waiting for him) from where I was standing, yet I could see his rack as he moved along the pile.  I went to full draw and had the 30 yard pin on the spot I figured he would come to once he cleared the pile.  It is great that he covered the distance in a short period of time as the Onza had a draw weight of #90.  It was mental thing in those days of bow hunting to have the biggest and baddest bow made! In the 21st Century my new Onza 3 with a draw weight of 72 is most likely about 100 fps faster than my first Onza and it was a hottest bow in the 20th Century! (Yes, I know believed the range finder and mentally plugged in points of yardage.)  As he cleared the pile and was broadside to me, yet was still feeding, I let my fingers do the work.   As the XX75 2317 26 1/2” with a 125 gr. Brute 3 in flight the buck look straight at me into my sunglasses (he heard the bow, but it was too late for him).  That was the last time I saw his eyes looking at me, as to my amazement the arrow hit him dead center in the mouth.   “You got to be kidding me”, as the buck jumped over the side of the rim that I didn’t know was even there.  I thought to myself as the light was fading, what I am going to do now?   I set my bow down on the rim and started to glass in to the bottom of the canyon.  It took me about 2 panic minutes to spot him hunkered up in the bottom (arrow went down this throat about 12 inches).   Ok! I have found him, but I don’t have my pack frame or camera.   I took off on a dead run to where I left my pack frame and ran right back to the rim.   It took me another 90 seconds to remember where I left my Martin Onza.  Finally I get myself down to the buck, take pictures as no one is going to believe this shot.   I give the buck my “Hawaiian Cut” which puts him in quarters with the removal of backstrap and tenderloins.   This is the only way I field dress big game, fast (30 minutes on a deer) and there is little blood!  I get as much as I can on the pack frame along with the head and cape.

Strange Rack on this buck, with a double left beam.

Strange Rack on this buck, with a double left beam.

I have to climb out of the bottom and head back to the truck that would be waiting for me I hoped.  It would be about 3 miles line of sight to get back and light was fading fast, real fast.   There was a great deal of cheat grass and it made it possible to see for a while.   I had decided to take a short cut to the road, which would be a mistake for me.  It was now dark and dark, as the thunder heads over the John Day River were settling in.  Thunder and Lighting now was everywhere, plus it started to rain.  When the sky would light up I would move towards the direction of my pickup spot.  I could see the micro wave tower light and that helped me for a while.  I then lost all the grass and got into just rocks.  I could no longer go forward in reaching the truck or Dave. I had lost the lighting as it would move further east towards Mitchell, Oregon.

I was going to have to spend the night out in the weather with only a light sweater on.   Did I mention that I had forgotten water, now I needed it for sure after eating the crackers?  The crackers were pretty dry.  It was a good thing that I trained in the desert on running missions with no water… The temperature had now dropped and my sweater was not enough at this point.   I hate DIRT, (did I say I hate dirt?) but knew the only way I was going to make until morning, was to hunker down under a low hanging Juniper and bury myself in the dirt (dust).  Though it was raining it would not last very long, as the storm had past.  That is just what I did; waking up about every two hours to see if light had come finally over the John Day River.   It was probably about 5:30 AM when I woke up again and could see a hint of sun coming over the hills above the John Day River.  There was not a cloud in the sky now with only the sun to show up for the day!

Later in the day the temperature reaches about 98 degrees, same the first day. I was now up and getting the pack frame on with most of the buck attached.   It was a good thing I did not try to venture further during the night; I surely would have found myself in the bottom of narrow rock crevice for life.  There was no way that I would have seen the edge and would have fallen to the bottom.  Making it out to the dirt road, out of no where, Dave and his truck appeared.  Dave had driven the dirt road hitting the horn once in a while until about midnight, and then parked off the road until morning; he figured I would be ok with my military background!

Dave's Buck from the last weekend!

Dave’s Buck from the last weekend!

I told Dave it was time for him to hunt the elk he had seen while he was coming up the road.  I could get the front quarters out later in the afternoon! Dave never got on the elk again, but at the end of the season we went back to our spot and he killed a great buck!  That will be another story, but I will let you see Dave’s buck from the last weekend of the archery season in 1987!

Morale of the story:  Be Prepared – Have a Trusting Friend

 

 

This is why we hunted the Grizzly Unit in the day!  This is a great 37" buck taken!

This is why we hunted the Grizzly Unit in the day! This is a great 37″ buck taken!

 

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Published by admin on 08 Feb 2013

The coolest friend I never met…

 

Straight Shot

   with frank addington, jr.

 

Tony

 

The coolest friend I never met…
My phone would ring.  It may 10am or 10pm.  “Hey Pancho….” a voice would say.  From that point the conversation could go 100 different directions.   Tony Dukes was like that.  He may want to brag on some tacos he and Milo (Dave Milam) had just eaten, tell me his latest tall tale, or anything under the sun.  You never knew with Tony where the conversation was going.
I can’t remember just how Tony Dukes and I became friends. It seemed to happen all at once about ten or more years ago. He and I would talk on the phone and we had a lot of common friends. Ted Nugent was the main friend we shared but there were many more, including Jesse and Ginger Moorehead. Everyone seemed to know Tony. He was a wheeler dealer and always working on a deal, a trade, a hunt. He had gotten passionate about taking wounded warriors bowhunting upon their return from war. He had a big heart and was always soliciting gear for these hunts. He wrote articles and also appeared on a lot of hunting videos. He was a good promoter and was always thinking of ways to help wounded warriors.  That became his passion.  That and archery.  He loved them both, and he loved God.
He told me lots of stories over the years about famous people. You see Tony was a bass player. Evidently a talented bass player who had shared a stage with some of the 70’s and 80’s biggest names in the rock and roll world. He collected, bought and sold guitars and loved to play music. He is known as one of the last of the real blues players in Texas and I believe was inducted into the Texas Music Hall of Fame.   Tony was weak when we first talked.  As a matter of fact he was terminally ill the entire time I knew him. Talking with one friend today he estimated Tony had been terminally ill more than 12 years. But Tony survived and always seemed to beat death. So often that his military friends started calling him old “Hard to Kill”. Tony took pride in that.
Tony was the kind of guy that would do favors for you “just because.”   He felt I should meet Dave Milam, Toby Keith’s road manager and one of Tony’s closest friends.  So Tony stepped in and made sure Milo and I met.  This lead to a great friendship and I have enjoyed this friendship for almost ten years now.   Every time Tony and I talked we usually got around to chatting about Milo.
I encouraged Tony to bowhunt for bear with Danny Dyer in New Brunswick, Canada. Danny really liked Tony and put Tony in his next season’s hunting brochure.   I also introduced Tony to my pal Butch Thompson at King Ranch via email/telephone and Butch was honored to help a wounded warrior with a hunt. Although I got tickled at Tony who called me upset because the guides at King stayed with him, he couldn’t just go hunting on his own.  I was laughing telling him no one got to just roam around the 825,000 acre ranch, they had rules and that was one of them.  You don’t just go roaming around that ranch.
Tony had a passion for archery.  I knew him to use a compound but he also took game with traditional equipment from time to time. Tony felt the late bowhunter Bill Negley belonged in the Archery Hall of Fame.  Negley took the African Big Five and was a legend in Texas with his bow and arrow.  The Buckhorn Saloon in San Antonio features a prominant display on Negley.  Tony also told me a story about making the wooden arrows used in the movie Lonesome Dove. Tony always amazed me with his stories and who he knew and where he’d been. He was never boring, that’s for sure.
Tony would call out of the blue and hand the phone to a soldier and tell me to say howdy to them. He would also take them to WHATABURGER and tell them Addington had suggested it. He was always up to something.  He loved his friends, good times and the Lord. He was passionate about our troops. He also was loyal to all of his friends and often sent gifts to my son Gus from him. Just because. He had turned his life around from his wilder rock and roll days.
I got a call from Tony about a month ago. Seems he was dying. He had made a list of a few folks he wanted to chat with and was basically calling us all. I brushed it off because, after all, he’d been dying every time I talked to him.I somehow expected Tony to just keep beating death like he had a dozen times or more it seemed.  We had a great conversation and shared a laugh or two. He really liked my dad and asked about him. I’d hooked Pop and Tony up and they shared some time at an archery event. It was a good visit and I was sure we’d talk again soon.  When I hung up though I realized that call was different.  Tony’s tone was different.  He was in a hurry.  He kept the subject light and cheerful.  Looking back, maybe I knew it would be the last call but wouldn’t accept that.
Sadly that would be the last time I’d ever hear Tony’s voice. I got an email this morning from Dave Milam that Antonio was gone. Ole “Hard to Kill” went to Heaven around 5 PM on January 7, 2013. His physical pain and suffering here on earth done, he’s now up there with the other archery legends who went before him.  If he has access to a bass guitar I’ll gaurantee he’s playing music, telling jokes and making people laugh.  And of course shooting a bow and arrow.
News of Antonio’s death saddened me for two reasons.  First, I’d not share anymore crazy phone calls with him.  Second, I’d never get meet Tony Dukes in person. You see, Tony and I had never once met face to face. Although he had hung out with my dad, hunted with friends of mine, and we shared lots of mutual friends, I never once got to shake his hand. I called Dave (Milo) today and told him that fact and he was shocked. He didn’t know Tony and I had never met face to face.  Tony was perhaps the coolest friend I’d never met.

So long Antonio, your spirit, your sense of humor, your patriotism, your passion for archery and archers, your laugh and your bravery will be missed. I am sure Milo will eat some good tacos for you soon, Ted Nugent will shoot an animal of some kind, and I’ll bust a few baby aspirin from mid air for you amigo. Ted Nugent, Milo, and I join a lot of other people who will miss you but are glad you suffer no more. Your work here is done. Godspeed, and as Theo often says, “In the wind…”

 

You can visit Tony Duke’s Memorial site at:  http://memorialwebsites.legacy.com/dukes/MemorialSite.aspx

 

The photo is from Dave Milam.  That’s my first STRAIGHT SHOT Column for 2013.  As always, Adios and God Bless.
Shoot Straight,

Frank
www.frankaddingtonjr.com

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Published by admin on 16 Jan 2013

Bwana Bubba’s 1985 Rancho Rajneesh Hunt Hunting the Rancho Rajneesh

Bwana Bubba’s 1985 Rancho Rajneesh Hunt
Hunting the Rancho Rajneesh aka “The Big Muddy” Ranch #1

My best Mule Deer Buck!
Before we start the story of a lifetime, there is more to the story than just the harvesting of a monster Oregon Mulie (Mule Deer) buck, but more about time period of this great hunt.

“It is 1985, a time in Oregon‘s History that will never be duplicated!”

The following story might be hard for some to fathom, but is real and unless you’ve had the opportunity to experience even a part of it, it may appear to be something from a fictional book!
The Leader with his disciples (Idiots)!
During this era of time we would be hunting on and off of the original “The Big Muddy Ranch” located in Oregon close to Madras, Donnybrook (Historical), Ashwood (Post Office), Clarno (Historical) and the Famous Town of Antelope or better know at the time as Rajnesshpuram. The Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh (later known as Osho) came to America from India to be a teacher of his faith and culture. He would take up residence on the “Big Muddy Ranch” outside of Clarno, Oregon (Historical)! The main house would be at 3 miles line of sight to Clarno’s Grange Hall which sat along the John Day River! There would be more than 2000 disciples on the ranch!

The purchase of the ranch was made through lawyers, un-be known (as the local story goes) to the Rubin Evans as to who was actually buying the 64,000 acres of land that also encompassed a great deal of BLM and some State Lands. Rubin made a great deal of money (4.3M gross) on the sale of rimrock, sage and juniper trees that could not support any sizeable amount of cattle. The City of Antelope (97001 Zip) some 12 miles away from the main ranch was later taken over the Bhagwan and his followers, thus it was incorporated and called Rajneeshpuram.

Rajneeshpram (Antelope) and the Rancho Rajneesh now had its own Peace Force that carried Uzi’s and M-16’s. Traveling into the ranch on the county road (Cold Camp Rd) and once past the boundary of the Smith Ranch (cattle guard) were Security Huts with active machine gun toting Peace Force clear down to the numerous buildings and hotel! I can remember when Burns Bros., Travel Stops sold FM handheld radios to the Ranch. They were used to monitor people driving through the ranch on the county road. How much time it would take to travel in and out of the ranch. There were back doors into the BLM via Gosner and Muddy Creek Roads to the southeast, but you still would get stopped in remote areas. Questioned of course what your intent was, which we would say was traveling to Mitchell, Oregon. Once out of sight, you would get yourself deep into the BLM, such as Horse Heaven. It is hard for most to understand what this place became and how things were done. I would have to think it was one of the largest Commune’s of its type that has ever been established in the United States. There was even a Crematorium and Machine Gun Range on the ranch. If one ventured deep enough into the interior of the ranch, you found many un-expected buildings and sights! A great deal of land use laws were broken by the leaders of Rajneeshpuram and Rancho Rajneesh!

The people of Rancho Rajneesh even damned up Current Creek (dam is still there) and made a dandy lake with a floating lodge on the lake for the followers to sunbath. As said before they broke many land use laws and even made a paved road that was built in the center of the ranch and put in an airport. The paved road was built so the Bhagwan could exit without notice to Madras, Oregon in one of his many Rolls Royce’s. The road came out on Gosner Rd. on the south side of the ranch.

The Bhagwan did some improvements to the land with the planting of wheat, alfalfa and putting in small stick dams in the creeks plus the electric fence that surrounded more than 100 square miles of BLM and Private Land. It create a atmosphere for deer, elk and antelope to multiple, live longer and move into neighboring ranches in the area up to 10 – 15 miles away line of sight.

It was not an easy tasking for anyone to hunt the public land, as the Bhagwan thought the BLM also belong to HIM, his (followers-disciples) would do everything to keep hunters out of the public land that intertwined the ranch. I probably forgot tell you that there were hundreds of No Trespassing Signs put on the parameter of the ranch, which included the posting of all the BLM, even if it was not on Rancho Rajneesh. We use to joke that if we were ever caught, that are destiny would be left at the Crematorium!
Been there and it was big, even with bleachers to the north!
The challenge was on for myself and a few other fellows, such as “Stick”, “Baily”, “DB”, “MJ”, “Bennie” and “Bone” just to mention a few that I knew that would hunted for the monster Mule Deer bucks that harbored on the ranch! I did leave out the fact that in 1984 we discover Elk on the ranch while glassing for bucks in a basin below the tower via the county rd. I will leave that up to your imagination whether we hunt for elk, but then that is another story…

If one thought they would get away with trespassing on the private part of the ranch, they had something to look forward too, like 50 – 100 young people some with weapons in lines working down the ridges or draws where you might have been spotted from the “Tower” that had windows & maps with a 360 degrees layout! The “Tower” was put on the highest spot of the ranch that would allow the viewing of draws such as Gallagher Canyon, Fir Tree, Lyon Ridge and Vanderhoof Canyon. It was not only the Rajneesh patrollers (disciples) that could number in numbers, but the local law enforcement… I will never understand the alliance that was between the cult and government’s police forces’.
This sign was taken from B.L.M. Land near Mays Res., to the south in 1984!
Oh! It would have been great to have my BLM mapping program and a modern day Garmin GPS, which would leave no doubt to being legal! Then again BLM had great maps and I could read and visualize the land marks!

It was once told to “MJ” by an old Oregon State Police Game Officer of the time, “Go in on BLM and Come out on BLM”.

The cult would take the State of Oregon and other people to the cleaners over the years with Debt, above the law and trying to rid Wasco County of a good people.

In 1987 the Rajneeshpuram came to an end and not without controversy, such as Ma Anand Sheela setting up a Bio-Terrorism attempt in The Dallas with Salmonella Poisoning. She would later be deported back to the United States from Germany to stand trial. The Bhagwan would be deported (allowed to leave) back to India! He died in 1991 of Aids, so you might be able figure out what else went on in the ranch besides the spiritual teachings!

I would have to say it was like those that drank the Kool-Aid at thePeoples Temple Agricultural Project of Jonestown. People gave their wealth away to follow the Bhagwan’s radical teachings! I understand their standings in the cult were based on the money!

Now let’s get on with the story!

The Oregon Archery Season was coming to a close in three days. I’s passed up many smaller bucks during the early season, trying to find a P & Y Mule Deer.

Now it was performance time!

I made a quick call to Dave Brill because I knew I could count on him to go on a mission with me at the drop of a hat. I told him we could make a Saturday afternoon hunt over on the breaks of the John Day Rive rin Central Oregon.

The final weekend of the season also happened to be my drill weekend with the U.S. Naval Reserve. Luckily, I only had to spend half of Saturday and Captain’s Call was out at 1130. I made it to Dave’s place just past noon in east Clackamas County. There was an hour drive to the BLM, leaving us about 6 hours maximum for hunting.

On the way to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) property, we spotted a small herd of mule deer, with five bucks located on Earl’s Smith’s property. All looked pretty nice, and I decided to take a few photos. They were in the 23 to 25 inch class with one respectable four point at about 28 inches. I did not have permission to hunt Earl’s Ranch, which would come later!
I took this picture on Father’s Day on a scouting trip with Dave Brill! I spotted the buck in the canyon and worked within 300 yards and let him come to me at 8 yards! He was very surprised!
At 3:00 p.m., we reached the B.L.M. land on the west side of theJohn DayRiver. There a mutual friend, MJ, met us. He wanted to show us where he had seen some big bucks. In the middle of the basin were four “swamper” Mulie bucks, two around 28” and two in the 30” neighborhood. I know, at this point you probably think I’m really pulling your leg. I did take a few pictures of these bucks also, as they were not hunt-able at this location also.

Then, it was time to put down the camera and get down to the business at hand. We split up and MJ headed over to his a ranch he would be hunting located along the John Day River to locate a Mulie he felt would easily go 36”. By the way M.J. took this buck during the rifle season and he was 36”. M.J. was a rifle hunter that we put up with as he was great with the game location logistics!
I would get a shot at the middle buck the following year!
With only about three hours of hunting time left in the day, finding a big Mulie was going to be even tougher. Just before dark, I located a buck that would be about 28” to 29”, but he wouldn’t cooperate as I just couldn’t get on him in the open terrain pushing to fast before fading light.

We departed the area as Mother Nature began to drown the junipers and sagebrush. The most difficult part of the trip was yet to come. As I told you earlier, this was supposed to be a Saturday afternoon hunt-only. Now, Dave and I would have to make phone calls to our respective wives. Both ended being most understanding, which meant they knew we would be calling. So we would have one more chance to get our big bucks before the rifle hunters came out of the woodwork in about 1 week. You wonder how they were most understanding, well we did stretch the truth and told them we had a buck down and tried locate it in the dark, but would have resume in the morning!

The next morning we awoke to 39 degrees, patchy fog and overcast skies in Madras, Oregon. We were working against the clock now, so crispy bacon and eggs at the Madras Truck Stop were out so a Coke Cola and Hershey Chocolate Bar were in order. Ok! Had a large jar of Jerky!

There is one smell in Oregon that really turns me on and that is the smell of wet sage at daybreak. You have to know the feeling you get from the smell, as this is an optimum time in space to kill a buck!

It was already light when we arrived at the main access road. Strangely, we saw nothing along the road going in. When turning down into the main access road the Muddy Rd., there were fresh tire tracks in the road as it was very muddy, that was the answer to not seeing any game! The roads in the area turn to slick clay like surfaces and deep ruts. In about two miles we caught up to a Black Bronco II in front of us and the driver climbed out with bow in hand. We pulled up for a brief conversation, and soon he couldn’t hold himself back. He said he’d already had taken shots at 2 big bucks and that he saw a 30” buck feeding. In the back of the rig was a respectable three-point his partner had taken with a 50-yard heart shot. We also told him that he was now on ranch property and he better not be here hunting! Oh! Don’t get out of the truck with your bow if stopped by the patrollers! He might get a chance to visit the Crematorium…

This 30” talk was something that should be investigated, I figured since it was located on BLM by the way he described the spot. David and I headed back, hustled out of my truck and I climbed up the draw where the hunter said he’d seen the buck! The draw would lead into a small basin with volunteer wheat. It was in the BLM near Currant Creek, one the great spots to hunt. There, at 45 yards, was a massive buck, feeding and completely unaware of my presence. He was a long tined four-point, with extremely long eyeguards. I felt he would be real close to 200 Pope and Young and real Oregon Record contender. (You can tell I already had him on the wall!) I did not have my bow with me, just my camera (I didn’t even take a picture).

I watched him for a few more minutes from behind a juniper grove, and then slowly backed away. I hurried back to the rig, told Dave what happened, and quickly returned to the spot with my bow. He was gone! The shot was there if I had taken my bow instead of the camera.

I returned to my truck, more than a bit upset with myself, but Dave quickly lifted my spirits.

“Frank,” he said, “I’ve located some more dandy bucks!”

As we stood there making our game plan up, there was a group with some twenty bucks in the distance, but immediately are plans to hunt ended quickly. It was incredibly exciting to watch them through the binoculars as they departed out of the tight draw in single file. The smallest buck of the group was no less than 24 inches wide. Seeing that group of bucks only made me a firm believer in “buck pastures”. I have to tell that over the years hunting here, it was always like that. Very few does were ever seen in the area during the archery season. It should be noted that the big buck in the back was at about 38” on the roll jabbing the other bucks to move along. He was a buck that one would never forget it if seen again.

Within a few moments we on a small out cropping of rocks, Dave and I located a good buck, bedded and chewing his cud. I put the spotting scope on him-not real wide, but great long tines with super eyeguards. I felt that he would score very well, a 180-plus. The hunt was on! I dropped into the canyon, using junipers for cover. The terrain wasn’t too rough and I was able to circle around the rim quickly without making noise. In these days I was running no less than 50 miles a week! The wind was coming straight at me, and a light mist of fog hung in the area. What more could I ask for? I slipped into the junipers between the buck and myself.

At 40 yards approximately I decided it was time and drew my bow back without thought, set the 40 yard pin on the lungs just in case I miss-judged the distance of the bedded buck. The 125 grain 3 blade broadhead was delivered to him right into the lungs behind the shoulder. He was up in a hurry, but soon collapsed down the draw.
Great Bucks of the B.L.M. in the Oregon Grizzly Hunt Unit!
Thanks to Dave’s help, we were able to drag him to the truck fairly easily. I couldn’t wait to put the tape to him. With a quick measuring, he went 27” wide, not counting the “cheater points” on each side of the main beam of the same length. I also did a quick P & Y score for a solid 198 green score. My net score on this tremendous buck was 190 P&Y. (After some 15 years I had him officially measured at Sportsmen’s Show and he would be set at 188 2/8, to bad I waited to long to put him in the Oregon Record Book). Just think he wasn’t even one of the real monster Mulies and my taxidermist felt the buck was only about 5 years old!

While leaving the area, Dave and I saw at least six more good bucks. I went back during the general rifle season to camera guide and saw two taken that went 32” and 38” wide.

As the readers might find it hard to believe the amount of deer, I will close with this one comment.

In the mid 80’s and until about 2001, it was not uncommon to see as many as 100 plus bucks in a morning or evening drive!

The 38” buck that was mention earlier on my bow hunt was the same that one that Greg A. would take in the rifle season in 1985. The buck was 38” on the roll and would have a net score of 201 B & C. The buck was killed within a 2 miles of where he was spotted him during the archery season. He was taken on a piece of private land that bordered Rancho Rajneesh to the S.W.

You are probably wondering why I have not put down having any encounters with the disciples of Rancho Rajneesh, when you know the enemies’ habits you learn when to come and go! We did have some encounters, but then it also help to have a local rancher with you once in a while.

Michael was very close to this Shooter Buck!

Whether it was to get dropped off at the BLM corner or BLM Section by someone, bike ride or run the 12 miles back to Antelope to get the pickup vehicle, it was always a rush and an outstanding Clandestine Operation in Hunting.

Camo was worn to conceal from the enemy, not the game!

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