Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Janis' Colorado Mule Deer 2012

After working/guiding hunts since mid August, I finally got a chance to go cruise the woods on my own, at my own pace.  I had a CO third season Mule deer buck tag in my pocket and was pumped to say the least. My first two hunts were duds.  A combination of warm weather and bad picks of locations on my part.  I had guided the first five days of the nine day rifle season so I was only left with three and a half days to hunt. Seven hunts total.  On my third hunt, I went glassing and found lots of deer but no shooters.  The next morning came with a blizzard.  Visibility was 200-300 yards when the squalls subsided.  I decided it would be best to be in the woods anyway and try hunting the old fashioned way, just slip around and still hunt.  
The drainage bottoms were much less windy and that's where the deer were.  The first depression I came to was holding a dozen deer with four bucks, but still nothing to make me chamber a round.  Cresting the next ridge, I peeked and spotted a lone doe.  I glassed all around her for 15 minutes but found nothing.  Ten steps later, I saw the bedded buck that must have been watching me, bounding away.  I wish I could say I had a shot.  I muffed that opportunity bad!  He was very very close to being a shooter, but I'll never know for sure.  After he bounded away, the other ten does busted out of the cover.  Lesson learned:  Where one mule deer is, many mule deer are.  Patience.
I figured each new drainage was showing promise so why not one more.  I watched as a single doe fed in the bottom.  Soon the one doe turned into six.  An hour later, another deer came into view.  "YES, YES, YES", I thought.  I got to watch this buck push his does around for an hour, never offering a clear shot.  They all bedded around noon, with only one doe in view.  The next four hours went something like this: "Stay here or go."  "Boy it's cold."  "Stay focused." Shiver, shiver.  "He wasn't that big."  "I should go glass somewhere else."  "Man it's snowing hard, again."  Shiver.  Eat something.  Drink water.  Shiver. Repeat.  You get the point.  I was only 200 to 300 yards from these deer, but could not see them.  It was too risky to move to  find a shooting lane.
At 4 pm, the deer were feeding again and soon came right below my position.  Between a numb trigger finger and the shivers, I'm lucky I hit the buck, even at 70 yards.  My patience was rewarded with a beautiful representation of the species.  I feel very fortunate to have had a hunt such as this and am looking forward to drawing a mule deer tag in the future.
My KUIU gear kept me in the game.  I was especially enthused with the Guide pant.  Breathed well on the uphill, and kept me warmer during my sit.  The merino neck gaiter was also a game changer.  After remembering I had it stowed in my chest pocket, the addition of this super small item, seemed to bring my core temp up ten degrees.
Enjoy the pics!

I sat this meadow my first evening.  No deer, but the peace and quiet and dozing made for a great evening.

My KUIU Icon 6000 loaded with hunting gear, three bone in quarters(lost one shoulder to the 300WSM), backstraps, tenderloins, and heart.  Plus chocolate horns!  Must have been close to 100 lbs. but the pack handled it well.  Truly a pack that can go in light and handle coming out heavy.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Giant Desert Bighorn Sheep Video

Check out the great 2011 desert bighorn sheep hunt my friend, Mike Miller, from Miller's Southwestern Meat Processing and his brother have in Arizona.  This desert ram nets over 180 inches!  Sheep season starts in a few days!  Good Huntin' to those who have tags this year.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Colorado Mule Deer Buck- Apre Hunting Season

Here's a pic of a buck that will be around for the 2013 hunting season.  I'd like to run into him next year!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Arizona Elk Video-The Brawler Bull with Colburn and Scott Outfitters

Check out this rut crazed Brawler Bull filmed in Arizona during the elk rut with Colburn and Scott Outfitters.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Desert Sheep Scouting Photos-Peek-a-boo Ram

Scouting AZ Desert Bighorn Sheep-  I had a great little encounter with this ram that saw me at the same time I saw him.  He would move behind the rock then peek around then wait and peek around again.  This went on for over 10 minutes.  He finally came out so that I could see he was a nice young ram.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Desert Sheep Hunt Scouting Photos

Enjoyed another great day scouting for sheep in the Arizona desert.  Finished off the day with another amazing color picture by the creator which makes two awesome sunsets in a row.  Can't wait to see what tomorrow may bring.....

Sunday, November 18, 2012

AZ Sheep Scouting Photos in Unit 22

Scouting continues in Unit 22 for Desert Bighorn sheep.  Hunt starts in 13 days.  Can't think of anything else I would rather be doing right now.  Special thanks goes out to my good buddy Gary Kimball for all of the fun we have been having.  

Thursday, November 15, 2012

AZ Desert Bighorn Sheep Scouting-Dead Head Found

I have the privilege and honor of hunting and scouting for desert bighorn sheep with Ernie and Seth Meeske, of Payson Arizona. We have made many trips to the Arizona desert while looking for Ernie's ram for the upcoming hunt. Some of the trips have been scorching hot and some have been windy and cold. Some of the trips have yielded many rams and some have produced very few sightings like our trip yesterday but the journey continues and the search remains constant. We made a big hike yesterday into God's masterful creation and at 2:00pm we were positioned on a high bluff glassing the surrounding area. Seth got my attention and told me to just look through his binoculars. I thought he had found a giant ram, well as it turns out, I peered through his binos and saw a yellow horn sticking out from under a rock. I pulled out of the binos and the father son duo had a smile that was from ear to ear. Seth made a heroic attempt to get off the ledge to go inspect the find. Congrats to Ernie and Seth on their great trophy head. Quick measurements of the head are 36 2/8, 14 6/8, 14, 13, 9 4/8. Mid 170's ram that had been in this position for at least a couple of years.

It is so refreshing to see the love and respect that the Meeske's have for each other.  It is not hard to see the tight bond between father and son during any circumstance that we have encountered.  I look forward to our adventure in the search for the Ernie's once in a lifetime ram and feel honored to be part of the team.
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