A hunt I’d rather forget

F250

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You made the right choice. I lost my 14 year old Chesapeake the night I got home from Wyoming last fall. I really think she waited for me to say Goodbye.
 

TERMINATOR

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I leaned pretty early on who to take and who not to on hunting trips in specific areas. Back in the days when I thought I needed a hunting partner for anything “out west” A really good friend of mine and I decided to go chase mule deer. It was gonna be a hard hunt with not many mature bucks in the area, we knew it was gonna be hard.

I’m not going to disparage him, he’s still a great friend and a good hunter, we are just total opposites, he’s very calculated, and gets down and out easy. I’m a runner and gunner and as long the season is open I’m still hopeful.

The scouting day didn’t turn up much but small bucks and a million people. Opening day we hiked in as far as we could in the dark and were overran with people 30 minutes after sunrise. He had already mentally checked out. We moved 30 miles to some different terrain. I found a good buck about 4 miles away so we made a stalk. We had a chance at a “decent” buck in between but both passed it. As mule deer do the big one vanished by the time we got there. We’d planned to hunt the whole week, on the way back to the truck he said he was done and was going home. I felt bad for bringing him snd made the 8 hour trek home after opening day.


I almost turned around when we got home, but I never did. It’s the only time I’ve ever given up on a tag and it made me sick. I’ve eaten plenty of tags, but there’s a level of satisfaction knowing you did absolutely everything you could to be successful. I won’t be leaving early in a tag anymore unless it’s punched.
I would be in heaven if I only lived 8 hrs away from my hunt areas out west. First week of Oct my son and I drove the 21 hours from our homes in Michigan to Craig, CO we drove 11 hours the first day and 10 the second.

If I only had an 8 hr drive to get back there I would have been back in my unit the next day.
 

TERMINATOR

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There are some hunts or trips that I wish I’d never gone on or id rather just forget and this year was one of them.
I made my flight to Colorado from Pittsburgh with a brief stop in Denver before getting to Montrose. After a long travel day I set up camp for the evening with plans to head in the next morning.
View attachment 242135

The next morning started out perfectly. I located some elk and waited for the wind to be in my favor to move in.
At that point I got a message from my wife on my inreach saying that my dog had unexpectedly become horribly sick and she was headed to the emergency vet. Needless to say my mindset changed immediately. I got out of the woods and drove to service so I could call. After talking to my wife and the vet it was determined that there was a mass on his intestines and with his age they couldn’t do anything and he would not make it until my return.

I packed up all of my stuff, drove through the night to Denver and got the first flight home in the morning. Shortly after arriving home my long time buddy was gone.
Though he was not a hunting dog he was trained from a pup as a tracking dog and did a good job until he was older and couldn’t get through the woods as easy. He enjoyed going fishing and hiking with us.
View attachment 242137
Him along with his older “brother” were our family pets and big part of our lives.
View attachment 242138

He waited at the door for me at all hours of the day while working shift work and was always happy to see me. He was there through all the good times and the bad, through my wife and My marriage as well as the birth of both kids and everything else that ever happened in 9 years of his life.

I know some people would say it was crazy to come home just for a “pet” and there are people out there with much more dire things going on in life but he was more like another kid to me and was part of my family. I figured he was there for me every minute of his life so I wanted to be there with him. It’s definitely been a tough several weeks for myself, wife and kids with the house feeling more empty.
Hindsight is always 20/20 but I’d really wished I hadn’t gone hunting even though it would not have changed the outcome. I’m sure as time goes on it won’t be nearly as tough and I’ll be looking forward to next years hunting trip but for now it definitely sucks.
Sorry to hear about your dog. It is really hard when a pet leaves us.
I will go through that again in the next couple years with our Black Lab and I am not looking forward to it.

I am glad that when my prior dogs passed I was not in a position to have to choose between an expensive ass tag, or worse yet, a very expensive guided hunt and being there.
And I hope that isn't the case when my dog Ben(elli) passes.
 

Slm864

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I would be in heaven if I only lived 8 hrs away from my hunt areas out west. First week of Oct my son and I drove the 21 hours from our homes in Michigan to Craig, CO we drove 11 hours the first day and 10 the second.

If I only had an 8 hr drive to get back there I would have been back in my unit the next day.
Yea same here. Unfortunately for me it’s approximately a 34 hour drive. Done it several times so far. Just so happened this year was a quick flight since I was solo.
 

wllm

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Sorry to hear this buddy. Gus goes with me everywhere, he's been my primary hunting buddy and coworker for 8 years, it's going to be a hard loss when it comes.

I would have made the same choice knowing that if I stayed I would have been way to distracted to enjoy the experience.
 

Slm864

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Sorry to hear this buddy. Gus goes with me everywhere, he's been my primary hunting buddy and coworker for 8 years, it's going to be a hard loss when it comes.

I would have made the same choice knowing that if I stayed I would have been way to distracted to enjoy the experience.
Thank you. It definitely stinks that they don’t live longer. It’s always tough when you know they are slowly getting old and to that point but nothing really prepares you for it.

I always enjoy seeing the pictures of Gus on your trips!
 

TOGIE

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just finding this thread.

i woulda done the same thing. haven't even had our golden for a full two years yet and it already kills me to think about the reality of how long she'll be around.
 

Djfan

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First of all, Doxies are the best dogs out there. I lost my Fred over three years ago, and still not really over it.

Secondly, you did the right thing.

Lastly, this Wyoming Steelers and Pens fan invites you to hunt with me anytime.

Sorry about your loss.
 

Slm864

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First of all, Doxies are the best dogs out there. I lost my Fred over three years ago, and still not really over it.

Secondly, you did the right thing.

Lastly, this Wyoming Steelers and Pens fan invites you to hunt with me anytime.

Sorry about your loss.
I could definitely see getting another one at some point. My wife always says we need to own them in pairs which I’m ok with because I really like them.
Man the Steelers and Pens are both rough this year. I’m a huge Pens fan. I thought they were looking good through 5 games but not so much now. Hope it’s just early season slump.
I might take you up on that!!!! Hoping to finally draw a Wyoming general tag for 2023! Thanks!
 

Djfan

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I could definitely see getting another one at some point. My wife always says we need to own them in pairs which I’m ok with because I really like them.
Man the Steelers and Pens are both rough this year. I’m a huge Pens fan. I thought they were looking good through 5 games but not so much now. Hope it’s just early season slump.
I might take you up on that!!!! Hoping to finally draw a Wyoming general tag for 2023! Thanks!
Do it. I hunt general almost exclusively.

The Pens are killing me. Hate the Bs.
 

Slm864

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just finding this thread.

i woulda done the same thing. haven't even had our golden for a full two years yet and it already kills me to think about the reality of how long she'll be around.
I had a golden for 16 years as a kid for my first dog. He was great. Unbelievably loyal and full of energy. I would hit baseballs for him to fetch for hours and could never wear him out.
Dogs in general are the best. I think I’d take them over people in some instances.
After losing him my initial reaction for the remainder of September was to never want another as to avoid going through it again. Now that a couple months have past I’m just happy I had him as a part of my life.
 

Djfan

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I'll add one more thing - I teach inmates in prison. When they get divorced, or loose their home, etc., it's hard. But, I have seen these men break down and cry when they hear about their dogs dying.

I get it.
 

TXLonghorn

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Man that sucks.
I had one of those little black and tan dogs that went everywhere I did mostly because she was compact and didn’t take up much room.
I lost that dog about 12 yrs ago. Know how u feel, would’ve done the same.
I still think of that dog often.
 

TXLonghorn

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In time though, I find myself thinking less about her passing and more about the years of faithful companionship and all the cool and crazy stuff she did. And the impact a good dog has on a person.
 
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