Ms. Geriatric 2015

Gerald Martin

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Jul 3, 2009
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So my doe tag has been burning a hole in my pocket through archery season and the first week of rifle. I've passed legal opportunities several time due to varies reasons, be it that I wasn't in the mood to process a deer that evening, or perhaps it was too close to the truck to feel like hunting, or some other arbitrary excuse that kept me from pulling the trigger.

This afternoon after hiking nearly four miles and 1/2 mile from the truck on the return trip I found the scenario that alleviated my reticence to pull the trigger. Multiple does, a long enough shot to make it challenging, but not too far to be risky and willing helpers to pack the meat had me nearly to the edge. When this doe stepped out, I took one look at her grizzled, white face, sway back, and long muzzle and made the decision to take her is she presented a perfect shot.

She was much more wary than the other two does and picked up my movements when I set up my pack for a prone shot. After a ten minute stare off, she turned broadside and one bullet through the lungs from my 30-06 at 325 yards put her down. I know it's not a long shot for some people, but it was on the longish end compared to most shots I take, so I was very happy to see the bullet impact almost exactly where I was aiming.

My initial accessement of her being an old-timer was confirmed by a look a her teeth. They were worn nearly to the gum line and I doubt she had too many winters ahead of her. She was in pretty good shape though with plenty of fat.

I was happy to have my hunting partners Tony and Raymond with me to get her back to the truck. I must say I'd much rather pack deer than elk. I spent a couple miserable, wet days with them last week. They both got bullets into this bull milliseconds apart right before dark. We lost the track after 200 yards that night and had to return in the morning to continue our search. Thankfully, the bull hadn't gone much further and we recovered it soon after taking up the track. However, since it had lain out all night, we had a frantic, backbreaking day of packing in all-day, steady rain to get it out to the truck and then a midnight marathon of butchering, grinding and wrapping to get the meat frozen before it soured.

I can now understand some of Randy11's rationale for not shooting elk. Deer are much more fun to get back to the truck than elk are.
 

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VAspeedgoat

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Its a shame we have no way to measure a doe. She is truly a trophy with that much age. Congratulations, thats one to remember.
 

Ben Lamb

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Cedar, MI
A fat doe is a special trophy. It reminds you that the largest rack isn't nearly as important as the taking of a life, and the sustenance that life will provide to others.

Well earned Gerald. :)
 

TRS_Montana

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Helena
It reminds you that the largest rack isn't nearly as important as the taking of a life, and the sustenance that life will provide to others.

Well earned Gerald. :)

I completely agree with this! I have much respect for people that intentionally shoot old animals, big rack or not. I would definitely be proud of her!

However, I'm dumbfounded by your preference of deer over elk. That extra work is rewarded when you sit down to a nice slab of elk meat. I would choose elk steaks over deer steaks any day of the week.
 

Elkoholic

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Ohio
Nice job with the doe Gerald. And that load of elk on your back doesn't look like a bad problem to have at all. Great looking bull your Buddy(s) took.
 

sra61

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Mar 30, 2003
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Location
Kalispell, MT
Congrats on a good hunt. She does look old. Nice bull too! That head and cape is way heavier than it looks isn't it! Have a great prime time rest of the season!
 

Gerald Martin

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5,636
I completely agree with this! I have much respect for people that intentionally shoot old animals, big rack or not. I would definitely be proud of her!

However, I'm dumbfounded by your preference of deer over elk. That extra work is rewarded when you sit down to a nice slab of elk meat. I would choose elk steaks over deer steaks any day of the week.


Thanks for all the kind comments guys. I wasn't sure how she was going to taste since common knowledge is that older animals are tough and chewy.

I had two pieces of fresh backstrap to choose from tonight. One was from a 2 1/2 year old muley buck that Tony shot and the other was from Ms.Geriatric. I fried up a test piece from both to see which was better.
The mule deer 'strap went back into the fridge to be cooked low and slow in the crockpot. It was a young deer but was shot poorly and the meat was very tough.
Ms. Geriatric has been cooling in my garage for a couple of days and died very quickly with a perfect lung shot. I chicken- fried her backstraps in olive oil and butter then deglazed the roux with a shot of white wine. Mashed potatoes and garlic green beans completed the experience.

TRS- I appreciate your perspective and know my growing preference for deer is heretical and dangerous to my social status as a Montany boy. However, I think this meal has completely pushed me over the edge and further emboldened me to declare. "I like deer better than elk!"

Having said that... we've got a fresh tracking snow and I've got tomorrow off work. Elk is my target and I hope I get one.... in an easy place to pack it out of. :D
 

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