Caribou Gear Tarp

Lost zeros, wrong turns and broken packs


Well-known member
Oct 15, 2017
This has been the longest deer hunt since we moved to Wyoming 4 years ago. I could not find a buck anywhere! I mean nowhere, all my honey holes that have been productive in the past were either dry or covered up with out of state trucks. I hiked into places that I didn't even know existed until I got desperate. It was always the same story, I would hike deeper than everyone else yet all I would find was does and fawns, there were bucks around but they were always on private. Things got decidedly harder when I was helping 270.Rose unload her buck, my gps disappeared, gone, vanished without a trace. So I had to go old school and use paper maps.

Saturday afternoon I hiked into a private walk in area that tied into a big chunk of state ground, I bumped into another hunter from Michigan who was hunting antelope, and he told me about three bucks that he had seen earlier in the day as he had hiked in from the other side. I spent the rest of the afternoon looking for them and when I couldn't find them I sat on water.

About a half hour from dark I spotted a buck about 3/4 of a mile away, I headed down in a hurry to beat the dark that was rapidly approaching, as I got closer I realized with a sinking feeling that he was bedded on private, but hoping the other two buck were with him I kept going, glassing as I did.

I crossed a small creek and then spotted a buck, he was well on my side of the fence but he was heading towards private. The grass was too tall to sit down so I made may way to a cottonwood tree that I could shoot off of. I took a quick range, 240 yards, I dialed to 250 yards on my scope. My crunching on the leaves had gotten his attention and he turned broadside, he was on a bit of an incline so his rear end was a bit lower than his chest. When I fired the shot felt perfect, there was a satisfying thump and he collapsed. Patting myself on the back for a good shot I was getting my brass picked up, rangefinder found and put away when I looked up and seen my buck up and moving, I got my rifle back up and had just found him in the crosshair when he fell down again.

I threw my pack on and hurried across to where I had last seen him. I found him crumpled in the creek bottom. I rolled him over to do the gutless method and as soon as I inserted my knife into his pelvic area to cut forward so that I could cut out the back straps, blood gushed out, kind of weird but I kept going and found that my bullet had hit a full 30 inches to the right, impacting the pelvis and smashed it to a pulp, I was completely sickened when I found that. Yes he was dead but certainly not the way I had been hoping. I finished quartering him up in full dark and got my pack loaded.

When I went to put it on, I knew I was in trouble, this was the heaviest load I had ever gotten under and I knew it was at least three miles back to the trailhead. I headed out following a two track road, I hiked for about an hour and a half when I finally hit the fence that separated that private walk in area from the state ground, here I had a problem, I couldn't cross normally with my pack on because the weight was going to blow out my unsupported knee, and I didn't want to walk the fence line blindly hoping to find a gate that might be locked anyway. But the alternative wasn't good ether, I would have to take my pack off and drag it under the fence. Looking around I also realized that I was in the wrong canyon and that I would have to climb the north side to get back to the road. Not having much choice I broke my own rule and took my pack off and slid it over to the other side.

It wasn't pretty, I was further south that I thought and it was 11 o'clock at night when I got back to my truck. I had to take my pack off to drag it under the fence to get it into the truck. When I grabbed it by the waistbelt to pull it under the fence the nylon strap holding the waistbelt to the frame broke.

In total this was the dumbest thing that I have ever done, we weighed out the meat last night when we cut the meat up. We got 92.5 pounds of useable meat off of him after all the trimming. The total weight was 132 pounds. Next time I will just embrace the pain and make two loads for dang sure!


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Congrats on a nice buck!! Did you figure out why your POI was so far off? Sounds like an excuse to buy a new pack and scope!😁
Congrats on a nice buck!! Did you figure out why your POI was so far off? Sounds like an excuse to buy a new pack and scope!😁
Haven't had a chance to shoot it yet, but I am defiantly buying another scope and will be sending the pack in for warranty work. To be fair it the pack was used when I got it and it was just normal wear and tear.
Ollin Magnetic Digiscoping Systems

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