Spur of the moment

Bullshot

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Sept 8, 2021 - So last month my solo Idaho plans fell through and I had to return my tag. I've been bummed and probably a little depressed and more crabby than normal with the family. But I just got a new hunt twinkle in my eye (literally 10 minutes ago) and immediately asked wife for permission to go to CO for a 5-day OTC archery try. I think I am going to do it, not totally sure, but leaning 75%. I have not even asked my boss. Ha ha! A departure in 8-9 days would be ideal. Gives me time to do a tire change on the truck, finish some household honey-do's, and work out a Walmart trip or two for provisions. Maybe I'll target a unit I know absolutely nothing about and just wing every single detail. Usually I plan all year and pack all summer and get in better shape. No time for that! As some of you may know, I am on east coast and this is a major solo undertaking. But what could be more fun! I am posting this here in the event this actually comes to pass, to motivate me to make it come to pass, to show it can be done, and maybe just maybe to post some success, or even interesting failures... while proving the concept for anybody who's on the fence to try a similar hunt. If it ends up not happening, I'll only be a little embarrassed for sharing this prematurely, but let's see what happens! On to the packing......
 

Bullshot

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Most of last year’s gear is still pretty well organized and accessible…. Already have the licence from application period… and was actually able to find my hunter ed card…. off to a good start. Now to look
over some maps, get a tag, activate the garmin if I can, and a few dozen dozen dozen other things….
 
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Bullshot

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No worries…. dusting off the 21 year old Hoyt Redline Viper to take the place of the 17 year old Mathews Outback. The Hoyt is not as smooth or dead in the hand but it is lighter and faster than the Mathews. These bows were no slouch in their time, or any time for that matter.


HOYT Viper Redline HO: The Viper is the most radically reflexed bow in the Hoyt line. Its brace height is only 5 1/2 inches, resulting in screaming arrow speeds. The bow's stylishly machined riser features smooth, rounded corners and six large cutouts to save weight. The Viper with the Redline HO cam is one of the fastest bows on the market with an IBO rating of 328 fps. Combine that with a short axle-to-axle length of only 34 1/2 inches and you have a bow that is quite a departure from Hoyt's traditionally conservative lineup. It's a great choice for the hunter who demands speed and portability in a hunting bow.”

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DIYerr

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Sep 10, 2021
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I know the feeling of being bummed out! Been planning a OTC Colorado elk hunt for 6 months now. My two "buddies" decided to back out last night and we were suppose to leave tomorrow. I was just going to be the caller this year, then next year we would switch out. We switched over from rifle this year and I decided to hold off on buying a bow until November when the new ones come out. Went to the bow shop to get a bow bought and setup to maybe salvage the time and money I already have invested this year. They didn't have a single left handed bow, it was like getting kicked while I was already down. I was feeling defeated and hopeless. Then I read your post, I guess you could say it motivated me because I decided to go anyways with no bow. I guess I won't be hunting but I'm sure I will learn something and its better than waiting until next year.
 

Bullshot

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A no-pressure trip to the elk woods in September is just what the doctor ordered! Scout several OTC units if you can and you will be way ahead of the curve for next year. If you really want to have fun, with a brightening moon and some luck picking a camping spot you will be kept awake with bugling at night!
 

DIYerr

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I think that's what the plan will be. Carry in a couple days of food scout the area, then move to another spot. I hope you get to follow through with you last minute plan, and it turns out with meat in the freezer good luck!
 

Bullshot

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So the mundane details and complications piled up exponentially once the decision to do this was made. Over a normal time frame, it seems second nature, the rythm of packing, arranging food, sighting in / practicing with the bow (or gun), prepping vehicles, etc. But once compressed, the situation turns kinetic fast, with an ever diminishing window of opportunity. Case in point, the broken bow. Over a 72 hour period, I have taken hundreds of shots with three different bows, have turned a lot of screws changing out sights, rests, etc and had to quickly sight in my backup, go to my shop to drop off the broken one for warranty (fingers crossed). while there at the shop, I up and decided it was smart 🤔 to just buy a new bow and start from scratch. So aside from the expense, I spent a 1/2 day getting that purchased and set up, then realized that it was 85% letoff which is no beuno in Colorado. Ok, no worries, just change the module to an 80 letoff. Not in stock you say? Ok, well order it Monday…..again, fingers crossed. Then in the meantime, I scour the internet and make some calls and located a in-stock set 150 miles from my house, but closing at 4 and it’s 3:45. So wait til Monday, then a 300 mile round trip, and I spent nearly the entire day going out there to buy new cam modules and reconfigure the new bow. More expense. More time, but Ok. Done. Then on to the Apple store to get my beat up, cracked, low battery phone fixed. 50 mile round trip plus another few hours. Plus another 250 bucks 😓. While it was in the shop, drove to Walmart to get food and drinks. Ok. Check. Back home, shoot the bow some more. Shooting OK. Need more time on it, but in the “pie plate” every time so there’s that. This whole day was after working on a million details yesterday from morning til 2 am. There is still my daily job, house, family, and pets to contend with. And the fact that I am basically throwing darts at a map and researching units trying to decide on a plan for where I will be spike camping 5 days from now in a location that a)won’t kill me, b)still gets away from people, c) has a reasonable chance of elk, d)i can pack one out of myself. A lot to think about with no time to do it. And where the hell is my tent….

But….I am still running on adrenaline and excited to go.

Moral of all this mundane story….. If I pull this off, it will be a better story in retrospect than it sounds in real time! Especially once I get out there
with some real posts, photos.
 

Bullshot

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Two days into the rising sun
I am BEAT. About 7 hours sleep over past two days. Not the best way to prep for a trip departing soon.

The long haul can be intimidating when going by myself with a tight window of opportunity. I may take the southern route to avoid any Chicago area traffic issues. Adds only about 15 miles. Worth it.

Also, while perusing Google Earth, it dawned on me that I am 1000 miles (1000!) closer to Hudson Bay polar bears and caribou and about 500 miles closer to Havana, Cuba, and 200 miles closer to Greenland than I am to my Colorado elk spots. I’ll have plenty of time on the drive to chew on that perspective.
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OntarioHunter

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Bullshot, if I told you all the hurdles I had to jump through to get to Africa it would make you swoon. Right up to the last minute too. Getting the govt to cough up gun export documents almost didn't happen. Fed workers working from home = 18 month coffee break! Then the mess trying to get my old Springfield rebarrelled. That wasn't fully resolved till just before flying out. Required about five hundred miles of driving and crossing the border twice. Got home, bedded the gun, and to the range with three days to go. Then two days before leaving I had to drive to Minneapolis for COVID test because our hospital's testing center couldn't print up a copy with my last name on it. Seven hour drive one way. Got home at six in the morning and flew out four hours later. Hassles getting vaxed and three surgeries during lockdown in months leading up to departure almost made the trip a no go. Thank you US Veterans Hospital In Minneapolis!

The misadventures make the adventures we don't forget. Hope you're over the hump. Will you have anybody to help with the driving? Good luck. Enjoy the scenery.
 
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