Ollin Magnetic Digiscoping System



Grand poopa
Dec 9, 2000
Boise, Idaho
OK, HEre's the deal... I only want STORIES posted in this thread. NO comments or suggestions. JUST STORIES...

Here's the RULES.

1.Put a NUMBER in front of your post and that will be the number people "VOTE" on. The numbers will progress as the stories go on.

2. You can Enter AS many stories as you want!!! We are just looking for GOOD CLEAN hunting stories. We hope that they are true..

3. # or words...I would say 100-200ish I don't have time to read 48 1000 word stories
get creative, let it flow! ie. the big, full bodied, tawny-colored, mass of a mountain cat...

4. SPELL checker Mandatory. (Therefore I won't enter it

5. 12PM MArch 1st is the LAst day that entries will be accepted. I will lock this thread after that. We will tell people how to vote and How long they have to vote on March 2nd.


1.Any Comments made that's not a story I will NUKE out ofthis thread. I want JUST the stories to go in here and The stories have to be in her to Win. I don't want to have to Search 10 different threads to read them


I will give the Winner a Huntalk.com Cap, A cammo Fanny pack and a 20$ gift certificate to outdoor outfitters store that we will have up and running tomorrow and we will try to get it in a Magazine for puplishing. Moosie can Pull strings TOO!!! (OR BUY MY WAY IN!!
).... Sounds Good??!?!!?!?

Just shooting from the hip here.

ALSO I don't want the Responsibility of Voteing. We will let Each person on the Forum Send in a vote After ALL the posts are in and we will give an Email addy for the Private voteing at that time!!

You can CUT and PASTE your story in here if you have already posted it. If you don't know how, MAke a post that says were it is and I will Eddit your post and Paste it in here for ya.....

REMEMBER, MArch 1st is the last day!!!

ANY QUESTIONS, Ask Bcat or Sparkman.. They are running this show

<LI> AKA Moose Hunter
<LI> www.huntandlodge.com



[This message has been edited by Moosie (edited 02-11-2001).]
#1 From Boggy Creek Ranger


It was a lovely early fall morning when Calvin and I left the horse pen on some errand or the other. Time has dimmed the memory of just what it was. I was riding Bill, a big long legged black gelding and Calvin was on Lou, a good little mare but slow.
We were single footing across the pasture and for some reason I had a loop shook out when we busted a bunch of deer. I had always wanted to rope a deer and it came to me that there was no time like the present. I hollered and goosed Bill. Old Bill was kind of slow to start like most long legged horses but when he got started he could split the wind. The little six point split off from the does and that white tail waving seemed sort of a challenge. I cut after him. In about two hundred yards we where on him. When he discovered we were on him he quit that tail waving head up foolishness and went to running serious. Bill put me in position and I dabed a loop over his head and cut left. When the buck hit the end of the string it twanged like a G string and he cut a flip in the air. Hit the ground, bounced up and tried again. Same result.
Then he started up the rope. I have always been a tie down roper and there sure wasn't time to untie.
We started going the other way about as fast as we had come with me in the lead. I saw Calvin trying his best to come to us and I hollered at him to heel the durn deer. He hollered back that there wasn't no way he could get there in time.
I commenced to wonder what I was going to do with that durn deer now that I had him.
Up ahead there was a pretty good thicket and I headed for it. There ain't no soft spots in the brush so I just hit it square.
When we come out the other side I had lost my hat, one arm from my blue jean jumper and there was enough wood in the fork of my saddle to have barbecued that deer.
When he came out he was some the worse for wear being drug over and around the vines and saplings and down stuff. He was still game and kept coming.
We made two more trips through that thicket and when he came out the last time he was pretty docile. He was also missing his left horn. I was missing a few parts too. The thicket looked like a twister had held Sunday School there.
Calvin came on up as he had been circling the thicket trying to guess where we were going to come out at but guessing wrong each time.
He caught the back leg and we stretched the buck.
Now we had him and all we had to do was figure out how to turn him loose.
By using another rope we managed to turn him loose and he went one way and we the other all of us kind of glad to part company.
That is the story. If you ever take it in your head to rope a deer I'd advise you that the fun ain't worth the cost.
Spring Bear Hunting on the Pecos

As we drove up the rugged mountain road, the orange-red tinge in the eastern sky was becoming just bright enough to see if a bear track had come off the soft cut bank beside the road. As we drove along my John and I talked about wildlife, weather and game management policies, but the discussion always seemed to return to the sport of bear hunting with hounds.

When we finally reached the top of the hill, we parked the truck and trailer in a high mountain meadow and unloaded our horses, Rocky and Spirit. After packing our lunches and releasing the anxious hounds from the dog box, we saddled up and began our hunt.

The cool, damp spring morning made trailing conditions ideal for starting a bear race. Hunters, hounds and even the horses seamed to be in high spirits as we rode along the Apache Creek Trail. We had not been riding for more than thirty minutes when suddenly the dogs became very tense and excited. Upon inspection of the spot we were elated to see a huge, fresh black bear track clearly etched in the damp soil. Little did we know then the kind of adventure the day would bring.

Growing up near the town of Pecos in North Central New Mexico, a country boy like myself that enjoys being outdoors, hunting, fishing, camping or riding could not ask for a better place to pursue these activities. My hunting experience then included Elk, Deer, Turkey and other big game but recently hunting Bear and Cougar with hounds had become, and still is, the most exciting type of hunting to me.

John Brown, a very good friend and well-known outfitter located in the mountains North of Pecos, had gotten me started in the dog business a couple of years earlier. Little by little I had begun getting my own hunting dogs and on this day although most of the dogs belonged to John, I was proud that he trusted my dogs enough to allow them to run with his pack.

My two young dogs needed no encouragement to run the track and immediately were out of sight as they bayed frantically on down the hill. But why were the older veteran dogs uninterested in the fresh trail? Did these seasoned dogs know something about this bear that we didn't?

After some encouragement, the hounds, for the exception of Dottie, started on the track and were soon out of sight as they bayed in the direction of the younger dogs. Dottie was a very well-trained Bloodhound that John had raised and used as a strike dog for many years. She had been in on countless bear, cougar and bobcat hunts, but for some reason wanted nothing to do with this bear.

We ran our horses along an old logging road following the pack and trying to stay within hearing distance of them. After following the dogs for about three miles, we stopped to listen for them. As we sat quietly atop our mounts listening to their melodious chorus, we suddenly recognized that the baying had suddenly become much more intense. John looked over at me and said, "They've caught up with the bear and they're baying him at the bottom of the canyon!" Dottie also recognized the change in the dogs' barking and as if knowing they needed her help, suddenly began baying and in a flash was down the hill to lend them a hand.

John at once recognized the danger the dogs were in, as the bear refused to take refuge in a tree and instead had stopped to fight the dogs on the ground. Without hesitation he turned his horse toward the fight with Rocky and I in hot pursuit. Before we could get to the bottom of the canyon the bear again broke and ran up the opposite slope with the dogs bawling and baying so loudly we could tell almost exactly where they were. We tried hard to get a glimpse of them as they went up the hill, but the thick scrub oak they were in made it impossible.

As we started up the hill after the dogs and bear, we found that to traverse the rocky hillside we would have to hike and lead our horses through the steep, rocky terrain. In the time it took us to reach the top of the ridge, the dogs had put allot of distance between us and were out of hearing range. It was now 11:00 a.m. and it had been about an hour since the last time we heard them. We struggled through rocky draws, up steep ridges and over deadfall in the direction we thought the dogs had gone, but it was very difficult to make good time.

We finally reached a point overlooking a deep basin that would allow us a good position to listen for the dogs. We stood there straining to hear them but it was hard to hear anything over our own panting. After a short while, we could faintly hear barking in the next canyon over.

The top of the ridge was fairly level so we remounted our horses and ran toward the action. In the excitement, as we recklessly galloped our horses down the ridge, I misjudged the height of a big, green branch that was quickly approaching my position. As I tried to duck to my left to miss the branch I lost my stirrup and the next thing I knew I was flat on the ground beside the tree. Fortunately Rocky stopped a few yards away and I was able to remount and catch up to John before he realized what had happened.

After a couple of miles on the ridgetop, we again stopped to listen and found we were only a few hundred yards from the dogs. There we tied our horses to a couple of pine trees, I grabbed my .44 carbine from the scabbard and we quietly made our way toward the dogs' barking hoping to get a shot at the bear.

As I followed John along an old game trail, the music of the pack became louder and louder. Suddenly John stopped, pointed down the hill and exclaimed, "There he is and he's a hell of a big bear!" The dogs were all around him and would run back and forth in front of him as he would lunge toward them snapping his teeth and growling, then he'd turn and try to go the other way. Instantly the dogs would be in his face again baying and trying to get at him.

As we ran toward the melee, suddenly Dottie seeing an opening, lunged forward grabbing the bear by the neck. In a flash the bear rose on his hind legs, grabbed Dottie with his powerful forearms and bit into her neck. As the bear let her go, she fell to the ground and laid there motionless.

At the sight of what had just happened I had a hard time concentrating on a shot but I also felt that I must kill this bear before he had a chance to kill any of the other dogs. As the bear again swapped ends, for a brief second I saw an opening between the dogs and took a quick shot at the bear. The bear wheeled around and in a blink of an eye was running full speed down the hill to our right with the dogs hot on his tail.

We laid Dottie's body at the base of a big fir tree and without saying a word turned and quietly walked back to the horses. It was hard to leave her after witnessing the courage and loyalty she had just displayed, but the safety of the other dogs was a concern that needed our immediate attention.

I felt badly for having missed the shot, as this meant we could have other dogs hurt or killed, not to mention the possibility of the race going on for many more miles.

Upon reaching the horses we mounted and rejoined the chase. The last we had heard of the dogs was when they bayed down the canyon and up over the next ridge.

For the next three hours we rode and hiked down more canyons and over more ridges than I care to remember, hoping to catch up with the dogs or find some sign that would show which direction they were going. We could do neither and hope of catching this bear before dark was fading.

At that point we turned down hill again to the creek bottom. John thought it would be best to climb back out of the canyon to see if we could hear anything from the ridge top above us. I thought I could hear a very faint echo of the dogs barking down the canyon but it was very hard to tell for sure because of the sound of the creek. Sometimes you want to hear the dogs so badly that your mind plays games with you. I decided I would go down the creek to check it out while John tried to make it to the top of the ridge. If we didn't find anything I would slowly make my way up and meet him on top later.

As Rocky and I made our way down the creek for about half a mile, the brush was so thick that the only way that we could get through was to go right down the middle of it. Now I was sure I could hear the dogs and they were not more than a few hundred yards away up a side draw that drained into the creek we were in. I rode about fifty yards up the draw until I found a good green tree I could tie Rocky to.

I grabbed the rifle from the scabbard and quietly began climbing up the draw on hands and knees in the direction of the barking. I knew I was getting close to the action but it was not until I poked my head over a ten-foot cliff that I knew just how close I really was! I could not believe my eyes, for there, not twenty yards away was the biggest, maddest bear I had ever seen. As he was busy fighting off the dogs, he had not yet seen me, so I eased back down off the cliff and chambered in a round.

I knew I had to make this shot count. The last thing I wanted was to wound the huge bear that was already mad and needed little excuse to cause serious harm to me or the dogs. I climbed back up the ledge, found a solid rest for the rifle, took a deep breath and carefully aimed for the side of his head.

At the report of the rifle the bear dropped to the ground and instantly the dogs were on him, biting and tearing at him as they rolled him toward me. The bear was snapping and growling at the dogs and trying to sink his deadly claws into them. I quickly ran up, shoved the gun barrel through the mass of hounds and finished him. The hunt was over.

After a few minutes of wooling the bear, the exhausted dogs quit barking and laid down next to their huge trophy. They had been on this bear for thirteen hours without rest, food or water and now it showed.

John heard the shots and after a few minutes rode down the creek and up the draw to where we were. He dismounted, tied up his horse and walked over to admire this monster of a bear. After congratulations and some back slapping, we too, could now sit and rest after the grueling 15 mile trek we had just made.

As we sat there repeatedly reliving the day's events, I turned and asked John how we were going to get the huge bear back over all that God forsaken country and back to the truck. He laughed and said, "Don't you know the truck is only a few hundred yards down the hill?" In all the excitement I did not realize that during the course of the day we had made a huge circle. He laughed and kidded me for being able to "get lost in my own back yard."

We hoisted the bruin up a tree using Spirit, then walked Rocky underneath him and slowly lowered the bear into the saddle. Rocky had a hard time carrying this three-hundred-plus-pound bear down the steep slope, but soon we were back at the truck with our trophy.

The dogs and horses had worked very hard for us and that night when we arrived home they all got extra feed, and the dogs got some fresh bear meat. It had been an unforgettable day for all of us.


Moosie, sorry if this it too long.

"The worst advice you can give a person with a sour attitude is to be himself"
[email protected]

[This message has been edited by Bear Creek Adventures (edited 02-12-2001).]
# 3
The late seaon Bull
I have been lucky that I have drawn this Idaho late season tag two out of three times trying. The last time, I got a 6 point bull that scored in the 260 range.
I was pumped that I gotten this tag, but I knew I had to wait for the last part of the season. Kasi my 12 year old daughter had a late season deer tag that lasted until the 24 of NOV, BTW she got a buck that grosses 180!
I left home ready for a 4 hour drive and ready to hunt bulls. I pulled in to a town two hours away and realized, I had forgot my tag! All I could do was turn around and go back. This put me into camp at 5:am. I was beat from driving and decided to take a rest. A good friend was hunting with me, his name is John McClain. We got up at daylight and went looking around. I had only been glassing for about 10 minutes when I found a good bull. This bull had long main beams and seven long points per side. There was three other bulls with him and the largest of the others was a bull I guessed to be a 325 bull. We were both beat from the long trip, so we decided to watch them bed. We have hunted bulls here before and we knew right where they would go. Since we were on the main road with tons of hunters passing we decided to go back to camp and watch them from there. The bulls bedded right where we knew they would and this set the stage for the morning hunt. At daylight we found the bulls again. this time they were in a open area 300 yards to the right of where they were bedded the day before. I decided I would take the Bull that had 7 points and long main beams. I figured him to be a 360 bull. John would hold fire and take the 6 point that would go 325.
Back at home we had made a deal before the hunt that who ever sees the bulls first has first right of refusal. So I called the 7 mine and with a large bit of confidence headed up the hill ready to hang a tag.
The plan was to get to a half way point between where the bulls were and where we knew they would go and ambush them there. We were almost in place when all of a sudden the bulls were heading out.
I knew the shot looked long but I made a huge mistake by not taking a second and figuring out the range. I yelled at John, the big bull was on the right of the dead tree and hunkered down for the shot. John waited for me to shoot and then he tied in. The bull stood there then took off. We went to the place of the shot and started to track.
We followed the tracks for a mile and decided that we had missed. We then went back to the place of the shot. This time I found the spots where the elk was standing and I found where the bullets hit, 4 feet low.
I was bummed about not realizing the distance and missing, but I was glad I knew that we had missed them clean.
The next day we got up late and went out looking. We were using big spotting scopes and binoculars to look about 2 miles to where we thought we would see the elk. At 10:00am I found another group of bulls. The first one was a small 6 point, a little smaller than the bull I had shot in this area before. Then a good bull stepped up. I figured him to be a 325 bull, and with only two more days left to hunt he looked damn good.
We worked our way up the ridge and at noon we were close. I looked in the brush and rocks for a glimpse of the big bull. I found him bedded in some rocks below a burned tree. While I was looking at him the wind started to hit us in the back. I told john lets move back and get higher on the ridge. We moved up the ridge farther and this placed us at what I thought would be a little under 300 yards. I was looking through my binoculars when I thought I heard John say there up? I said No I see a bull with 20" brow tines bedded in heavy brush. He said NO THEY ARE UP!
I looked up and the big bull I had seen with the spotting scope was in the lead with the small bull in the rear and a third bull that looked good was still bedded. I decided to take the big one. I laid my pack on the snow and got ready to shoot.
I figured that I needed to drop this bull flat. I was shooting a pre-64 winchester 270 with a 140 grain Hornaday moving at 3000. I elected to go for the spine shot because I knew if the bull was still on his feet after I shot, John would also shoot him. Then we would have a problem on our hands as to who's bull it was. We would also only get just one instead of filling both tags.
I figured the yardage for 250 and held for a spine shot through the shoulder. At the crack of the rifle the bull dumped flat! The second bull took off, but John called him and he turned to watch the big bull flounder in the rocks.
John made his shot and I saw his bull almost fall then recover. He shot again as the bull entered heavy cover and was gone. I turned my attention back to my bull. He was now up on his front legs, I placed another round in the hart and he was done.
As I walked to my bull, I kept wondering how big is he really. I wanted a bull from this hunt that was a big mature bull that would gross over 300 points. As I walked to him I was pleased with the reverse ground shrinkage. Instead of getting smaller he got bigger. I looked him over and then I went to help John decode where his bull went. We soon found out that he had pulled his shot low and broke a leg. We decided to let him stiffen up and go back and take care of my bull.
WE capped my bull, and cut him in half so we could move him. I have been in on many elk kills, and I had shot the 6 point a couple of years before in this same canyon. But this guy was BIG. I remembered when I shot him he was several inches taller than the smaller bull. After we had gotten him taken care of, we took off after the other bull.
WE followed the bull up hill for a couple hundred yards. We found several places where he had laid down and rested, but he was moving strong. After about 4 hours and a couple of miles on the trail I told John. This bull is still strong, and I heard on the radio that there was a big storm heading our way. We have to find him before dark if we were going to find him at all.
I took the lead and we started to move fast. I wasn't tracking as much as I was going by instinct and finding blood and tracks while I was on the run, John tracked. The temperature was going way down. My gloves started to stick to the barrel of my gun and I knew it was COLD. I stopped at a big spot of blood and felt it, IT WAS WET!
We took off on a run and broke out of the trees into a clearing. The bull was standing on the edge of some rocks looking like he was about to jump. I moved to the left and I yelled at John, SHOOT HIM!
His first shot hit the bull hard, then he hit him a couple more times. The bull was barely 15 yards away!
At the shots he raised up on his hind legs and flipped, head first into the rocks.
I went over to the spot he was standing just seconds before. HE was standing on the edge of a cliff that dropped over 20 feet straight down.
We took pictures, and then John cut his head off and gave him a push. He tumbled we dragged and this went on for a couple hundred yards. WE got him within 200 yards of the road and left him for the night.
The next day we went to my bull and packed out the head, cape, hind quarters, and the neck. The walk in was two miles and by the time we were done, we were beat.
The next day we went to John's bull first and put him on sleds. We had him out in 3 hours. After lunch John had to go home to deal with his ex wife and get his kids.
I went up to my bull and boned the ribs and loaded the front shoulders on a sled. This was the hardest pack I have done in a while, but when I got him to the road I was done. The next day when I got home. I took Kasi my daughter out of class to see the bull. Many of the teachers also came to see and children looked out the windows. I measured him up, and Kasi and I decided to have him mounted.
One thing I will say is I owe the bull to John. He could have easily pimped me out of the bull by shooting him when I was looking at the other bull in the brush. He is a great hunting buddy and friend. The next time we have tags in this area I will repay what I owe him. Ron





[This message has been edited by Idaho Ron (edited 02-16-2001).]

2000 Bull Hunt

This is a story of me and my two cousins who all drew Branched antlered bull tags in 2000 In Washington state and the picture of us is at the bottom to go along with the story.

My phone rang one Friday morning in early August, it was my cousin Troy
Leuenberger (Right), the other applicant on our partnership 3 points or
better bull application. He had good news; he told me he had received his
notice from the state that we had drawn a partnership 3 point or better bull
permit. The bad news was that it was our 3rd of four choices. An area we
had never hunted before. After calling all my relatives, the rest of the
hunting party; I had discovered that not only had we drawn tags but that my
Other cousin Ryan Downey (left) had also drawn a 3-point or better bull tag
for an area 20 miles to the north of where we would be hunting. After all
the phone conversations we knew it was time to do some homework. We had our
work cut out for us since we had never set foot in this unit and these tags
are hard to come buy in Washington, it is about a 4% draw on these tags.
After studying maps and several scouting trips to the area we had a pretty
good idea of where we would be opening morning. It seemed like October 23rd
would never get here, opening day for permit holders only. Well it did and
opening day was not what we had anticipated, no elk, no shots and hoping
Ryan had had better luck 20 miles to the north of us. The second morning
found us heading into a large basin with several old clear cuts in it, right
below an area where we had seen several bulls earlier in month. As we neared
the cuts in the basin it sounded like the rut was in full swing, there were
bulls bugling all around us on the 24th of October. It seemed very late to us
but we weren't complaining. We headed for a bull that had a very distinct
growl in his bugle. As we approached the bottom of the cut he was in, we
could here him in the top of it. The cut was about a ½ mile square with 15 ft.
tall trees in it. We glassed from the bottom but could not locate him do to
the tall trees. As we tried to wait him out it sounded like he was going
over the top into the wilderness area. We decided to make a stock on him
before the wind turned as the sun was coming up. We split up about 100 yards
apart and headed in to the clear cut, Troy only had visibility of about 15 feet do to
the new growth, I could see about 30 yards. At 75 yards from the top of the cut and
about 25 feet in front of Troy, elk jumped every where, Troy could not see any
of them and immediately hit his cow call, I heard elk taking off but could only hear them, as I was hunkered down behind a small fir tree, i looked up and saw the tips of antlers over the tree as the bull was looking back at who cow called, couple seconds later he came walking right in front of me and a few short seconds later my Remington 270 spoke out. At 15 yards I pulled the trigger on a nice 330 class 7x8. The bull had broken off his G-3 on
the left side about 2inches off the main beam. Had this bull followed his cows we would of never seen him, luckily he left his cows and made the wrong mistake. Working all day and most of
the night to get my elk out found us back at it the next morning trying to fill Troy’s tag. The next
2 days were just like the second. Bulls bugling and jumping elk And Troy could
never get a look at. On the 5th morning we decided to head in to a large
Sagebrush flat on the south side of the mountain that makes up the north
side of the basin. As we where cutting threw a ½ mile stretch of the timber
to get to the sage flat we stumble across a 6-point bull moving 6 cows
quickly through a small meadow in front of us. There wasn't much time to
think, Troy instantly threw his 7mm to his shoulder and planted a 160 grain
Nosler tightly behind his right shoulder. As we walked up to the dead bull
we could see he was not a 6x6 but a 5x6. It wasn't the bull Troy had hoped for
but he was not disappointed at all. Packing him out and packing up camp left
us wondering how our cousin Ryan was doing. Saturday morning we headed to
Ryan’s camp to discover that he had been passing up spikes and little rag
horn bulls all week long and had taken a nice 5x5 bull at 400 yards with his
300 win mag.


http://members.aol.com/kleuenberg/hunting.html http://members.aol.com/kleuenber4/fishing.html


[This message has been edited by kirkl (edited 02-13-2001).]

[This message has been edited by kirkl (edited 02-13-2001).]

[This message has been edited by kirkl (edited 02-13-2001).]
#5 Ramon Fernandez


I arrived at our campsite the afternoon before the moose season began, and several hours ahead of my hunting partners Jesse and Bob. It was cool and cloudy, so I decided to build an A-frame structure on which I could throw a tarp and cover my tent from the elements. The rain came halfway into my project, and it didn’t take long before I was drenched although I was wearing a Goretex rain suit. Later, a new set of dry clothes felt good as I sat in my tent warming by a propane heater.

Later that evening as I dosed off in my sleeping bag, the distant noise of my hunting partners’ ATV’s startled me. I hurriedly got up to greet them since I knew what was up next. We always eat well, and celebrate late into the night before the season opens. Early the next morning Jesse and Bob departed to their favorite hunting spots, and I rode further down to an old “Cat trail” on which we have killed moose the past three seasons. I sat there scanning the rust and gold colored foliage hoping to see a bull moose, but by nightfall I hadn’t seen any.

That night we had another good dinner by the fire, drank hot cocoa, and talked past midnight. When I got up that morning, Jesse and Bob had departed towards the end of the trail, so I rode my ATV in the opposite direction after breakfast. It was such a nice day, I thought, as I felt the cold September breeze on my face. I was not thinking of hunting then, just admiring the foliage, a myriad of Autumn colors. There were lots of ptarmigan on the trail, hurriedly keeping a short distance between us and then flying away in fright whenever I got closer.

It was 10:30 AM, and I slowly rode towards a rocky knob near the trail. The puddles from the previous rain had almost disappeared, but ahead-where spruce trees line both sides of the trail-plenty of soft mud was still there. I pulled to the left just a little to stay out of the mud, and to my amazement I saw a set of very fresh moose tracks. It was very exciting to see these tracks, and I could hardly contain my enthusiasm. “I didn’t see calf tracks on the trail…Are those from a bull?” I asked myself in anticipation.

Moments later I saw a moose in the trees to my left, somewhere between our campsite and the rocky knob to my right. Perhaps I had ridden past the moose minutes before without noticing it, and by now it was foraging in the trees about 150 yards away. I could see the shiny antlers as it methodically reached for some birch leaves.

The moose was far enough and it didn’t seem to notice me, but I moved slowly down to my knees and crawled the rest of the way to the rocky knob ahead. There it was in the middle of the field, unaware of my presence. I could almost hear my heart pounding in my chest, only I wasn’t tired! I realized that I had to calm down and concentrate on how to proceed, and made a mental note of what to do every step of the way until taking the first shot. This seemed to help.
Concentrating made me feel like walking out of the fog, but I still felt as though I were in a timeless place. In slow motion, I crawled to a small tree on which I could rest my rifle. Still on my knees I loaded a round in the rifle’s chamber, aimed carefully at the animal’s shoulder, disengaged the safety, and gently pulled the trigger. The moose jumped forward, and dropped on the brush after a step or two. I kept my eyes glued to the spot, and reached for my binoculars. I could clearly see the golden glow of antlers under the sun, and its body out of view in the brush.

I stayed there for a while looking at the antlers through my binoculars, memorizing the area where the moose had stood when I shot it. “Easy enough” I thought. “ I wonder if Jesse and Bob heard the shot.” As I waited there I made a mental path that later would lead through the trees, and to the moose in the center of the field.

I rode my ATV a few yards on the trail, and walked through the trees the rest of the way marking a route with surveyor’s tape. “There it is!” I said loudly when I saw it lying on the brush, glossy shape beside some dead trees. As I approached the downed moose I felt sadness for taking the life of such a beautiful animal, but this gave way to a feeling of elation and gratitude.

The weather was perfect for skinning a moose, nippy, dry, and no insects, but I still had to fast and cool the meat promptly. I hurriedly rode my ATV to our campsite, grabbed my game bags and knives. I also left behind a note for Jesse and Bob explaining where I was. About one hour later they came in. By then I had the moose partially skinned, but I was glad they had arrived to help. Skinning and cutting a moose is a back-breaking job.. I would have hated to do it without my partner’s help.

The antlers measured a little over 42 inches across, with very symmetrical and sharp tines. The three brow tines at each side indicated the moose was approximately four years old. I couldn’t find the 230 grain FS bullet that killed it, but it had broken its shoulder bone, cut through the heart’s arteries, and then the other shoulder bone on its way out.


[This message has been edited by bcat (edited 02-13-2001).]
By ElkchaserHere is an elk story from 3 years ago. After spending 15 days chasing elk up on the divide above Leadore, ID during the general archery season, it was time to bring my wife up as she had drawn a rifle tag in the same area. We headed out the first morning, up onto the divide, and a couple of hours later through new knee deep snow just in time to see a herd with some monsters pull into the timber across the valley. We opted to head back and try an evening hunt in a lower area because the access was pretty bad where we had seen the bulls go. It had been a pretty tough morning and my wife was asleep just a few minutes after we reached the truck and headed towards town. When we were about 2 miles from town and 5 miles from the nearest pine tree out in the desert, I look out and though what I saw was a herd of elk quite a ways out in the sage. I drove out a ways behind a butte, and woke up my wife. After weaving our way through the sage for 30 min I found a nice 6 point rack poking up above the sage, and then noticed a group of 10-12 cows and calves in the same area. We started to close the gap hunched over and using terrain, but soon ran out of terrain and the sage was 2 feet tall at the most at a range of 500 yards. It took us about an hour to close the gap on our bellies. I would say " I think we are about 200 yards out lets sit and wait form him to stand" but she would want to get closer so we just kept crawling. Cows would stand, feed and look right at us but we were still able to inch forward. Finally at about 100 yards, I told her that was it, we couldn't risk getting any closer. In a few minutes the bull stood and began to feed. She couldn't get a shot in the prone, so ( I know this isn't safe and wouldn't recommend it) I laid on my side in front of her and she laid the 30-06 across my back. She fired and the 165g Grand Slam hit the bull quartering away just behind the rib cage, lodging in the opposite shoulder. The herd jumped up and came toward us not knowing where the shot originated. The bull took 3 steps then his back legs went out and he was dead when we got to him a few seconds later. A nice 280 point bull 6x6. I consider myself a very lucky man to have shared this hunt with my wife and best friend, and to be married to someone who loves the outdoors and the chase. Funny thing is she said, "Where were you for 2-3 weeks last month? You must have a girlfriend up here, it only takes one day to get a bull!!!!"
By Spoted OwlI'll guess I'll start the ball rolling. Back
in 84, I got drawn for Mtn Goat in Wa in the
Pratt River area by North Bend. I was totally
pumped, and shot a nice long haired billy on
the 3rd day. I was fortunate to have been drawn, but didn't think I would ever draw
again. As luck would have it, I got drawn
for the last time in 99. Its now a once in
a lifetime hunt after 99. I got drawn for the
Castle Mtn. area, which is 30 miles from my
house. I scouted it out all summer, and saw
many nice animals. The season started sep 15, but I waited till the first week in Oct
so the hair would be alittle nicer. My buddy
Jack and I Started at the trail head at 5am,
and climbed up to the Cascade Crest Trail at
daylight. It was foggy, and we made the hike
to the basin above Goat lake. Around 11am, we
jumped a herd of goats on a finger ridge, and
decided to wait on top because of thick fog.
Jack decided to take a short siesta. I was
wanting to look around, so I grabbed my rifle,and went for a nature hike. About a
hour later, in dense fog, I ran into a herd
of 30 goats feeding on a graasy bench. I dropped down on my belly, and watched them
for afew minutes. The wind was at my face, and they were unaware me. I was looking for
a nice billy. I finally found a pretty good
one. I slowly got up on 1 knee, and put my
270 up. The goats suddenly started moving slowly to the cliff line. The billy was about
100 yds, and I shot him in the front shoulder.He did a hiho silver, and ran off with the herd right off the cliff. We searched for blood, but only found afew drops.The cliff was too steep to go down, so we circled around, and found him a couple
of hours later a 1/2 mile down the slope. He
had both lungs blown out. By the ring counts, he was a 7-8 year old billy. We then
snapped afew pictures, and cut him up. Then
we packed him out 8 miles to the truck. We were back at the truck at9 pm. Made for a long day, but it was a hunt I'll never forget. Pictures will be posted when I figure
out how its done.
By Bill HefnerHere's my moose hunting story...
Back in 1996 I booked a hunt in Newfoundland and on the first morning of the hunt the guide was driving us down a dirt road in his pickup next to a small pond when he jams on the brakes, looks my way and says, "Holy shit!" I jumped and rolled down my window and saw a huge bull with 2 cows about 80 yards off the road. The guide says, "Take him".

I slide out and take a few steps off the road and look thru my scope and all I saw was hair. The guide keeps whispering at a panic level, "Take him". By this time the bull had lowered his antlers and was rolling them back and forth and was slowly coming toward us. I told the guide I was waiting for a broad side shot and asked what his rush was. He said, "Because he's getting ready to charge, damn it!"

By this time the bull was about 35 yards away and closing. I squeezed off a 300 grain Nosler from my .375 H&H. I hit him a little high in the chest on his right side and he just jumped a little and then started coming straight toward me. I chambered another round and by this time he turned the corner at the end of the pond and I got him behind the left shoulder and he didn't even break stride!

By the time I chambered a 3rd round he was in the bush thrashing and moaning. The guide said to wait 2 minutes and then we'd go in and get him. I asked why 2 minutes and he said it took that long for them to bleed out from lung shouts. Well, 2 minutes later he looked at his watch and said, "Y'know, we've only been gone from the lodge 7 minutes."

Since he didn't carry a backup weapon I was point man. About a minute later when the guide was about 5 yards away he said, "Holy Jesus." I almost jumped out of my knee-high swamp boots. He said the moose was down and he was a big'un.

After we high-fived and took some photos we went back to the lodge for a ATV and a tape measure. This ol' bull measured 53 1/2" and had 26 points. Not bad for the first 7 minutes of the hunt. Lucky thing, too, because for the rest of the week I had an intestinal virus which kept me in bed for 5 days.

My brother-in-law said he shared my big bottle of Jack Daniels with all the guides and himself because he didn't think I was in any condition to drink and he didn't think I would mind.

That moose yielded 500# of de-boned meat and it took me and my wife 2 years to eat it. The outfitter estimated live weight about 1,200 lbs. When we field dressed him we learned the first shot took out his right lung and the 2nd round took out his left lung. No wonder it only took him 2 minutes to bleed out! He was running death but he didn't know it. Those animals can certainly absorb a lot of punishment.....but they do taste good.
By Bill HefnerHere's one on a hog hunt I did.

Over Christmas of '96 my wife's mother and grandmother came down from Detroit for 2 weeks. Her brother from Alaska also was there. Being the devoted son-in-law at Christmas time, her brother and my dentist (retired) and I took off and drove 3 counties away for a 3 day hog hunt on private land.

The evening of the first day, after tossing a couple handfuls of corn in a sand pit about 4:30 pm, I climb the tree stand and wait. About 5 minutes before dark (6:00 pm) 3 sows and a bunch of half grown piglets suddenly appear from the palmetto bushes behind me and make a bee-line for the corn.

They were vacuuming up those kernels so fast I could hardly line up my cross hairs on the ear of the biggest sow. When she did stop to chew the corn I squeezed off a round from my .30-06....and wouldn't you know it, she moved just as I fired. Instead of an ear shot, I hit her in the snoot. She went down like a bag of nickels and started break-dancing in the sand pit.

After several more rounds "toward" her ear I managed to hit her snoot 3 more times! With 1 bullet left I waited until she slowed down a bit and then really shot her in the ear. She didn't move any more. By this time all the other hogs scattered.

Anyway, I climbed down and prop my empty rifle up against the barbed wire fence and drag the hog out of the sand pit to wait on my ATV pick up.

It was almost dark beside the swamp and suddenly I hear something "grunt" and turn toward it. About 15 feet away I could see a shadow of something slowly coming toward me and it was pretty big even in the dark. I start to back up to my empty rifle and the shadow gets closer and grunts more.

I grabbed my .357 Magnum, ****ed it and pointed it toward the shadow. I couldn't see any details of head or ears. About this time this shadow was about 7' away and closing. I kicked sand toward it and yelled "Git!" as loud as I could. I kicked sand several more times and yelled "Git" some more.

Just about then I hear the ATV headed my way. The shadow grunted a few more times and turned and headed back into the palmetto thicket. About 30 seconds later my dentist pulls up and we tie the hog on the back of the ATV with me sitting on top and head back to his RV and the vehicle barn where we had power and water.

She weighed 150#. Then we gutted her and tossed her into a walk-in cooler.

The next day I set up a blind about 40 yards from the corn and get me another sow in the ear with the first shot just before dark. About 20 seconds later I hear another show from the direction where my brother-in-law was. After waiting about 45 minutes the ATV pulls up and my dentist said my brother-in-law got him a hog, too. We tokk the porker on the back of the ATV and head back to the barn.

About 10 days later I have some real nice pork chops.
May 1999 Southeast, Alaska

As with most stories this one began a few months ago. Since coming to Juneau from Ketchikan in the early 90’s my hunting career had been rather sporadic with a new job, house, kids in school, etc. Late in ’95 I started hunting with my 11-year-old son. For the next 4.5 years he and sometimes some of his friends were my only hunting partners. I did all of the planning, logistics, camp selection and set up and naturally my hunting partner/s were always a little light in the checkbook. Great times were had by all. In late ’98 a very good friend at work asked me if I would like to go on a spring Brown Bear hunt with him and another fellow. I immediately said yes and then he told me that he would do all of the planning and logistics and this hunt was for me alone, not my son. A great friend and some very unfamiliar ground for myself. Mark did allow me to bring some prepared meals and some ole snake bite medicine. (By the way we don’t have many snakes in Alaska) He actually gave me a list of what he was providing and a recommended list of what to bring. We changed boots about 8 times a day. Hip boots to short rubber boots to deck shoes and back again.

Time to leave. The other fellow cannot make it. Mark and I are ready to head out. Another friend and co-worker had asked Mark if he could deliver some stuff to his cabin in Tenakee Springs. So Ron, the co-worker, Mark and I set out in Mark’s 42foot fishing boat for Tenakee Inlet. Friday night the water was a little rough but not too bad. Commercial fishing boats are not fast. Spirits are high and after we dock in Tenakee they are also flowing. Sat am we deliver Ron and his stuff to his cabin and start the hunt. But first we cross the bay and drop some dungeness crab pots. Now we are hunting. We cruise into the first small inlet and I spot our first bear. We ease in for a closer look and while the damn thing looks huge to me Mark says that it is just a little one. The bear was very intent on following a land otter down the beach. We anchor the big boat and launch the 17-foot aluminum skiff. This a very heavy-duty skiff with a built in 50 gallon fuel tank, electric start battery and 48 horse Evinrude. We go ashore and glass and scout a huge meadow. Some snow is left in shady pockets but no bear. Mark is watching the tides and explains that his skiff is too heavy for the two of us to move if the tide drops out from under the boat. We had also brought along my 8 ½ foot rubber inflatable. Can’t have too many boat is Southeast Alaska. We cruise the shore in this inlet and see some deer but no more bear today. Great day & night, water clear, flat and cold. Springtime in SE is beautiful beyond belief. Bald eagles, and gulls floating in the clear blue air, forests of evergreens and we are the only two people on this side of the bay today. Next day we move the big boat to another inlet with another huge meadow. We hike to the back of this meadow and notice some eagles feeding on something. As we get closer we find a bear carcass. A little errie, how much they resemble a man. We cruise the shoreline and see a couple of more bears which Mark says are also small. This early in the season all of the bears that we have seen have good coats, not rubbed yet. Wake us the next day to another beautiful day with skim ice on the bay. We see two other boats this day. We have now seen 6-8 bears but according to Mark nothing too big yet. I spot a dark object on the shore and we cruise in closer. This is a coastal brown bear but it is coal black and the sun is reflecting off on his coat making it glow. I am about to go nuts when Mark says that this one is too small also. We sit in the boat with the motor shut down and just watch this magnificent creature he is aware of us but undisturbed. Eventually he goes back into the trees and we head back to the big boat for dinner. About half way back to the big boat Mark spots a bear on the beach. We stop and glass and he looks good enough for a closer look. We beach the skiff and stalk closer. At about 150 yards we notice another bear farther down the beach nearer the water. We move a little closer and the upper bear gives us a full display of his magnificent hide, Left side, front, back and full profile right side. Then he lies down to gnaw on something on the beach. Mark says that this is the best one that we have seen but the choice is mine to make. We discuss this one and the other one near the water. The lower one in black with a white patches what looks for all the world like a necklace. Mark says that the upper bear is the largest and that he is aware that we are there. I decide to try for him and I tell Mark that I am going to crawl forward a few more yards and take a rest over a down tree, but he is to keep a good eye on both bears, especially the lower one that is rummaging around. I really don’t want to crawl on my belly up to this next tree and peak over to be met by 500++ pounds of bruin looking back at me. I reach the tree, look back at Mark and he gives me the thumbs up. I rest me .338 win mag on the log and estimate the distance at 90-100 yards. I sight on the upper bears left shoulder. The bear is still laying down facing the beach with the dark forest approximately 40 feet behind him. I try to control my breathing and slowly squeeze off a round. I send a 250 grain Nosler Partition on its way. At the shot my bear jumps straight up in the air, does a 180 degree turn and sprints to the woods. Mark looks at me like how on earth can you miss something like that. I feel good about the rifle and the shot but there is no brown bear on the beach. I top off my rifle before we start don the beach. The Damn black bear with the necklace is still on the beach looking toward the woods. We shout, pick up rocks and sticks and throw them at the black one, wave our arms and finally the bear takes off for the woods. Mark finally asked me about the shot and I tell him I thought that is was good but had no explanation why I didn’t break the shoulder. The thought of going into the very dark woods after a possible wounded brown bear was not very pleasant to either one of us. We moved very slowly to where the bear was laying chewing on what appeared to be a sea lion hide that had washed up on the shore. No blood, no hair, no sign. The time is after 9 PM but still good light, on the beach if not in the woods. Directly behind where the bear was laying and where we thought that he charged into the woods is an indent in the forest line approximately 12’X12’. As we approach the entrance we can see a large brown lump just in the edge of the forest. As Mark readies his .416 Rem mag I throw a baseball sized limb onto the lump. My bear is as dead as he will ever be and we both sigh with relief that we don’t have to go in the woods after all. A careful poke or two or three with both rifles and high fives are passed around. I recall as we are looking over my bear, that he looks rather small. Mark and I have the same thought, he sure looked bigger out on the beach. Mark then starts to roll him over as he is just kinda balled up facing away from us and mark turns around and smiles. He grabs one front paw and holds it us and measures it against his hand, wow he sure doesn’t look small now. We manage to roll him over and turn him around for some photos. I stop and give a little prayer of thanks for the bear, for my friend doing this for me and a big one for not having to go into the woods after this guy. We were only able to drag him about 3-4 feet away from the edge of the trees. We were still surrounded on three sides by this little inset the edge of the woods. Well we rolled him over on his back and Mark makes the initial leg cuts and we start skinning. We are each working on a side, me with my backside in the bushes. After we have a fair start Mark looks at his watch and says that the tide is dropping and if we don’t want to wait for the next high tide he had better go and get the skiff off the beach and pull it up closer to where we are. I say great that I am having a ball with my Randall and my bear. I work for 10 to 15 minutes and Mark returns. I can see that he has brought the skiff closer. Well we skin for a few more minutes laughing and having a good time spirits higher that the stars. This is not a record book bear but he has an absolutely gorgeous hide with the back and side hair being as long as my fingers. Well Mark stands up to take a break form bending over as his laughter stops and he asked me where my rifle is and is it loaded. I said that it was right there about 10 feet away, yes it was loaded and why. He says that we have company. Did you know that with one reach my arms will stretch 10 feet. Sure enough the necklace bear is back on the beach and wandering toward us. We both shout and wave our arms. The bear is now between us and the boat. It is not acting aggressive just kind of curious. Mark throws some rocks to no avail. I asked Mark where his rifle is and he says it is in the boat, oh boy! After a few more rocks and sticks the bear retreats back into the woods a little ways up the beach. Mark smokes a second or third cigarette on the way back from the boat with his rifle. We start cutting again and as I get up to stretch, our friend is back.. This times we both pick our rifles and I fire a round about five feet in front of the bear. The bear takes off back into the woods again. We Mark looks at me and I look back at him form my position of butt in the bushes and we decide that if that bear wanted to walk right up to us from the trees that it would be there before we would even know it. I tagged the bear, put my tee shirt over the bears head and made some more human sent around the carcass and we headed for the skiff. Tomorrow in the daylight will be enough to finish the skinning when we would be sure on who or what was doing the skinning. It was after 1 am when we got back aboard the big boat. We had one drink, no dinner and crashed. At first light Mark moved the big boat to a cove nearer to the kill site and we jumped into the skiff to go after my bear hide. No sign of the other bear and no damage done by any varmints. We start skinning again with work a little more difficult after the carcass had stiffened. About 15 minutes into the skinning I stepped out of the little indent and what do I see but our black friend laying down on the beach about 40 years away. Still not aggressive but much too close for comfort. Mark and I took turns checking the black bear and skinning the brown one. We were almost finished when I peeked out to find blackie angling toward us. At 20-25 yards I put a .45 round about 2 feet in front of the bears nose throwing gravel in its face. It took off again, Mark tied the head and hide on my backpack and we skedattled. Do you have any idea how much a green bear hide weights? Enuf bears for a while We cruised some more but Mark did not see anything that he wanted to take. We pulled the crab pots and shared a victory feast and a few stories with Ron before heading home. My bear measured about 8.5 feet squared green and now rest proudly on my lining room wall. I cannot give too many thanks to my go friend Mark for the adventure of a lifetime. He wouldn’t even let me pay for the fuel.

After discussing this story with some other knowledgeable hunters we believe that the black bear was a female that they had already started pairing up. I think that if she had really realized that we had taken her lover she might have gotten a little meaner. In addition to the other wildlife that we saw we had a huge sea lion swim by the boat with what looked to be a 30 ++ pound king salmon in its mouth.
By Nodak HunterIt was the fall of 1991, and I had just recently returned from my nine month long all expenses paid trip to the Persian Gulf, courtesy of Uncle Sam. It felt good to be home.

While overseas, I had kept regular correspondence with my older brother back in the states. We had been planning a bighorn sheep hunt before I had left for the Gulf, and he had made the arrangements for us during my absence. I had only three weeks to prepare for our hunt in British Columbia upon my return.

Within a week I had my trusty Ruger .270 all tuned and ready to go. A brand new Burris 4X Fullfield was perched atop her, and she was zeroed in dead on at 250 yards. The excitement was building inside me with each passing day, as I practiced at all ranges out to 400 yards, using life size targets of sheep. I had never seen a bighorn before, and imprinted in my mind how large the picture looked in my scope at the various yardages.

Finally the big day arrived, and my brother and I flew into Vancouver, and then hopped a small plane to base camp. From camp, we hiked several miles further into the mountains, to the actual hunting camp.

Our hunt was booked for four days, and each of us had our own guide. My guide and I hunted hard for three days, catching glimpses of good rams, but always out of range, or in range, but on the move.

The fourth morning came far too quickly. My brother had taken a nice ram the day before, so now I felt the added pressure that only a sibling rivalry can produce.

As luck would have it, within a couple hours of setting out, my guide spied a good ram with a couple of ewes a half mile ahead. They were bedded down on a large outcropping of rock about 300 yards from the bluff we were on. They were out of the wind, and looked like they'd be staying put a while. We decided the best approach would be to climb a bit, and then stay on our side of the gully, descending carefully as we got closer, then take a shot across the gap. Our stalk began.

After over an hour of hiking, climbing, and scrambling, all the while trying to stay quiet, we managed to draw roughly equal to them on our side of the canyon. They hadn't moved. Range was estimated to be about 280 yards. I was hunkered down behind a rock, and my guide had placed his jacket atop it for padding. I firmly bedded my rifle onto the impromptu rest, and began the ritual of steadying my breathing, getting the target in the crosshairs, and trying to ignore the pounding of my heart I felt in my ears.

Just as I was getting under control, my right foot slipped on some loose stones, and I half slid, half fell down beside the rock and took a tumble down the steep slope. I had chambered a round, but fortunately had not released the rifle's safety. I came to a stop about twenty feet away, and frantically looked for the sheep.

They had heard me, but hadn't taken off. The big ram stood there, looking straight at me. Thinking he'd be gone before I could get a shot off, I tried to steady the rifle on my knee and put the crosshairs on him anyway. I expected to find his rump bounding over the rocks.

To my amazement, he was still there. I don't know if he had been dozing when the noise woke him up, and wasn't sure what he was looking at, or what was going through his mind. All I knew was he was quartered away looking at me, I had the crosshairs just behind his shoulder, and it was now or never.

It was automatic. Safety off, breath in, half out, squeeze the trigger. I didn't hear the shot, I didn't feel the recoil, but I heard the bullet hit him. I was working the bolt as my guide said, "Great shot! Are you ok?"

I was fine. I felt terrific. The ram was down, and he wasn't moving. I had taken my first (and still only) bighorn sheep.

And he was better than my brother's...
By Texas HunterWe (my father and I) had booked an elk hunt for the 2nd week in October 1999 in New Mexico with an outfitter in May 1998. It seemed like 1998 would never end and then 1999 finally came. Every conversation we had for the year somehow centered around our pending elk hunt. During April, my father started having circulation problems in his legs and arms, we didn't think too much of it because the doctors said it was the medication he was taking for his cholesterol. For Mother's Day, we decided to take my folks out for dinner and then a hockey game. During dinner Dad began to complain about a great deal of pain in his leg, in the past once he started moving the pain subsided. We decided to head to the hockey game, everything was fine until about mid-way through the 2nd quarter when shooting pains went through his leg. He was immobilized and we knew we had to get him to the emergency room.
My mother, wife, and 1 year old ran up the steps to get the vehicle and meet us at doors so we could get him to the hospital. We started up the stairs about two or three steps with me supporting almost all of his weight when his leg collapsed underneath him and he fell. I struggled to get him back on his feet and was trying to carry him up the stairs when another two guys saw what was happening and helped me carry him to the concourse where building security had a wheelchair waiting.

We took him to the emergency room where they thought it was a sciatic nerve problem and gave him a shot of cortisone for pain. They commented that he needed to see a specialist to confirm their suspicions. This was May 9th, 1999. During the next three months he was on disability from his job, Dad saw over 10 different specialists and some of the most prominent doctors in this area. We were told he had cancer, heart valve blockage, brain tumor, degenerative arthritis, to permanent spinal cord damage. After all of this it was finally determined that he had experienced a drug reaction that only affects 1/100th of 1% of all patients, less than 100 known cases. During all of this he had lost 90% of the strength in his legs and arms.

My father works in a machine shop and returned to work to the end of July first of August. His body did not have time to adjust to the extreme heat of his job and he was physically fatigued and exhausted at the end of his day. However, everyday he went to physical therapy to strengthen his legs and arms. I told him we need to cancel this trip and plan for 2000, because there is no way he is going to be able to do the walking. He said NO! I am going on this trip if it kills me. He religiously did his therapy in the morning at his lunch breaks and then with the therapist.

Finally, the time came for us to leave. Seeing him walk and how he favored his legs when he got up from a sitting position, I didn't know how he was going to be able to do this hunt. The night before we arrived in camp, in our hotel room's bathroom he did his physical therapy exercises for about an hour. The first morning was not very strenuous just lots of glassing. We saw a big 7x7 about a mile away heading into the timber through a spotting scope with 15 or so cows and we saw a 320 class bull run up through the junipers, but would never give us a clean shot. That afternoon, we hunted Black Oak Canyon and had bulls bugling all around us all evening. We hiked down the Mesa into the valley floor and saw elk at a distance, but nothing that we wanted to make a stalk after. Finally right a dusk, a huge bull came down the mesa we had walked down, but would never give us a clear shot. We are guessing it was a 340 to 350 class bull that had very heavy horns.

That night we split up, I was going to hunt high on the mesa trying to catch the elk in the huge meadows on the top and dad was going to hunt the bottom. We saw a few elk, a couple of small bulls, but nothing to get us excited. Dad had seen 100's of elk in the valley floor and missed a shot at a 300 class 6x6. All of the sudden I heard, a bull bugle, I look across the valley (3/4 mile the way the crow flies) and there is a huge 360 to 370 class bull taking his harem up the drainage, he had about 10 or 12 cows with him. As soon as he went over the nob, another bull this one in the 320 to 330 class with 15 cows came feeding over this nob. I looked down far to my left and there is my dad and his guide making their way up through the oak thicket and junipers to get to these bulls. We decided to take a seat and watch the events unfold. They weaved their way through the brush to get downwind of this bull and his cows. The bull began to push his harem up the drainage to beddown, two of the cows didn't want to leave yet and wanted to continue to feed. We began to cow call and bugle to get the bull fired up as did Dad's guide. The bull started bugling and answering everyone of our calls. He moved up the hill to get the first cow, he circled her and started pushing her in the direction he wanted her to go. When she didn't go, he lowered his antlers and crashed into her pushing her in the direction. He then crashed into her with his chest pushing her away from our calling. He finally got her with the other cows and headed back up the nob to get the other cow. This cow wanted no part of his aggressive tactics and when he got close she ran the 500 or so yards to the other cows. During this whole exchange he must have bugled about 25 to 30 times.

The bull started pushing the harem up the drainage, but both of our groups continued to call and the bull continually responded to every challenge and cow call. Finally, Dad and his guide go to a point where they might be able to put a stalk on the elk. At this point, they were a good mile or more away from them. The guide started his hyper-cow call and the bull started responding even more vigorously and growling at the call. We couldn't see the elk clearly from on top of the mesa, but only catch glimpses of them every minute or two. Dad and his guide couldn't see them at all, they were completely going on this stalk by sound. Then the bull and his harem started back down the drainage towards my dad and his guides location. The bugles got louder and louder and closer and closer. Dad later commented that hair on the back of his neck was standing on end.

My guide said, you dad must be in some hell of a good shape to make it across this thick underbrush as fast as he has. I only said, if you only knew and left it at that. They kept working closer and closer to the bull and we finally lost sight of them in the underbrush. Dad later told me the brush was 10' to 12' tall and was all oak thicket. They were being so careful not to make a sound or crunch the leaves that he was exhausted. He kept telling himself just 10 more feet, just 5 more feet you can make it. Finally, we could see the elk and guessing on where Dad and his guide must be, they had to be close, really close! All of the sudden three cows and the bull burst from cover and ran about 75 yards up the hill and stood perfectly still behind a gigantic juniper.

When the elk burst from cover, Dad didn't know what was coming through the brush but he had never heard so many large branches breaking so close in all his life and not able to see anything but a glimpse of brown here and there. Dad had a small window to shoot through in front of him maybe 1 foot wide by 8 feet tall about 40 yards in front of him. He was able to see the bull moving his antlers back and forth surveying the area, but there was no way he was going to be able to shoot because of all the brush. Dad's guide started tapping his shoulder, finally he realized he wanted him to put his gun barrel on his shoulder for a rest. After about 10 minutes, seemed like 4 hours, the bull took two steps to his left. Had the bull gone any other direction, they would not have been able to see him. The bull stopped broadside in the shooting lane and he shot.

From my vantage point, I watched the bull raise up on his rear legs and take off and then I heard the KABOOM and WHAPP of the bullet striking home about 2 seconds later. At about the time I heard the bullet hit home the bull fell as he was trying to climb over this rise and then started sliding back down. Then when he stopped I heard the crash of him falling and then the sounds of rocks rolling down the hill. The bull only ran about 75 yards after the shot, and it took them about 20 minutes to get through all of the brush where the bull fell and then another 20 to 30 minutes of mashing the oak brush down so they could take pictures.

Dad was near tears when he finally got to the bull. He had endured so much during the year and it was finally well worth his effort. 6 hours later they finally arrived back at camp and you could tell that Dad was not only thrilled and excited, but somewhat relieved that he was able to make it and take an elk the way he wanted. Spot, stalk, and calling. The bull ended up scoring 325 3/8's B&C and now proudly adorns his wall.
Olefish Elk StoryFirst a HUGE THANK YOU TO BCAT FOR POSTING MY PICTURE FOR ME.This was my second year to draw the Laramie Peak bull permit and I was in contact with some friends that are guides and outfitters all summer trying to find were a good bull mite be lurking in the many timber pockets in the huge area. The real problem is that there is less public land than private, so I needed to find a landowner that I could gain access through also. By September everything was arranged with one of my friends and all I had to do was sit on my thumbs while they filled the people that had booked hunts, which would be done after about 10 days. I finally got the call to be ready to go on a Saturday, the 13 Th day of the season. We met at the local coffee shop and after some bacon and eggs with steaming coffee we headed up the mountain. There would be 3 of us hunting that were all locals, 2 with bull permits and one skin head or cow. The place we were to hunt was only 45 minutes from town and we arrived just as the sun was turning the sky into a pinkish orange morning. We were heading to one of local bull hang outs when a 6x6 came running out of the timber and ran between the 2 trucks we were in. Even as the sun glinted off his wonderful ivory tipped points, it was felt by all that he need at least one more year to be a shooter. My friend, his son and I parked and worked our way around a big basin looking for signs of fresh elk movement while the other group sat and watched to see if we chased anything out the other side. As we worked our way back toward the truck we came across some fresh sine crossing our tracks. All we had to do was go about 300 yards and 4 bull elk blew up and started crashing through the timber below us at about 40 yards. I was unable to get a shot off and so we went back to the truck and worked some other trails looking for sign from that morning, and with nothing of interest we went back to town. I went home and had lunch then found my favorite recliner, for a 2-hour nap. We headed back up the mountain at 3:00 pm to sit and watch some openings in the timber. It was starting to get cold as the sun was setting, with me on one side of the ridge top and my friend and his sin 60 yards way on the other. I was glassing the timber edges when his son came crawling over to me and says, come quick. I worked the long 60 yards and there right below us is my bull feeding along slowly about 100 yards away. I put the cross hairs of my old 300 win mag friend behind the front should and remembered my dads teaching of how to take a breath then let it out and squeeze not jerk the trigger. At the blast of my friend the bull was down and I was done for the year with my best bull. I had hunted less than 6 hours, what a wonderful day of friends, mountains, and a nice elk. olefish
#14 wall hangers Elk story:

This is
a story about my best elk a 6x6 I shot a few years ago . I was
hunting my favorite elk country here in Jackson. I had been hunting
for four or five days and was not seeing any bulls to shoot at. I had
seen a couple of bulls earlier in the week but they were to far of for
my shooting ability and moving out fast. I decided to hunt farther
in than usual only to find a camp full of hunters. The fellow who
was showing these hunters around said they were his relatives.
huh. So I hunted back towards camp. As I was working my way back
I heard a bugle way off in the distance, and down in this deep dark
timber canyon. It was late in the afternoon, and I was getting a
little tuckered so I talked myself into not going down in the canyon
after the bull. Next morning after an unsuccessful morning hunt in
the same area, and only seeing a few cow elk, I was on my way
back to a ridge to sit and watch, when from down in the canyon
came a bugle. Getting late in the week I decided to give it a try so
I started down in after the sound. Every 100 yards or so I would
cow call and every time he would bugle back. This went on for a
good 400 to 600 yards. As I was getting pretty close I could hear
the growl in his bugle. I started returning only every other bugle
with my cow call. As I moved into some very thick timber at the
head of a finger canyon two doe mule deer were standing their
looking at me. I sat down for probably 5 minutes while they move
around nervously trying to figure me out. They finally moved off in
the opposite direction I was trying to go. The bull was still going
strong. I moved in another 50 yards farther when I saw the side of
an elk moving through the timber. I froze and watched as a calf elk
walked out in the open. As I was standing there watching this calf
feeding along, and deciding what to do next, my bull stepped out of
the timber and let out a screaming bugle at about 80 yards. Just as
he finished his bugle I pulled the trigger on my 300 win. mag. and
down he went. Cow and calf elk errupted from everwhere. Maybe 20
head tore off up the canyon, then quiet. He had called me all the
way in.
#15 wall hangers Moose story:

This hunt was a very fun hunt because I had drawn a bull moose
tag, which are extremely hard to draw and I got to hunt with my
oldest son Mark . Mark and I don`t get to hunt together much
because he is a guide for a local outfitter, and is busy guiding at
the same time I`m doing my hunting. I shot this 43 7/8" bull on
the third day of our hunt. We had seen three or four other bull, of
smaller size. On a evening hunt we were riding out after watching a
pond, folling the creek that drained from it when I caught a glimpse
of an antler down in a deep part of the creek. Mark held the horses
while I put the sneak on the bull. As I looked over the bank I could
sell this decent bull standing in the willows unaware of me, I put a
round in my 300 win. mag. and just as I was raising my rifle up this
larger bull stepped up out of the creek and pushed the bull I was
watching out of his road. So I pulled down on him and fired. When
he went down he stumbled sideways and fell in the creek.

#16 IndyJay
Mine's a caribou story...

In April of '96 my hunting buddy and I had finally decided on an
outfitter for our planned '97 season caribou hunt. We chose High
North Outfitters out of Ft. Chimo, QUE. After 16 months of
anticipation, planning, anticipation and more planning, the day
before we were to leave for Montreal arrived! I was heading home
from a sales call when I checked my voice mail. I had a call from
the outfitter. When I called him back, he informed me that they
hadn't seen an animal on over 4 days and that the prognosis for
seeing more in the upcoming week was pretty bleak. Talk about
being disappointed. We were given the option of still coming up or
postponing a year. After much thought, we decided to postpone.
Another year of excitement, planning, etc.

Finally, the day arrives! We're in caribou camp. We hunt hard for 5
days and never see an animal! That's hunting! As we're getting
ready to board the float plane back to civilization, our outfitter
offers to bring us back the following year, '99 at his cost. We spend
the rest of the hunting season trying to decide. We finally accept
his offer to come back in September of '99.

I flew in with another hunter with the first wave of gear.
Immediately upon landing, our guide (the same one from the
previous year) says grab your rifles and fishing rods, we're going
out. Within 30 minutes, we see a nice bull at the end of a narrow
bay about 800 yards away. We hit the beach running and end up
stalking him for about a 1/2 mile. There were a couple of hummocks
between us so our approach was relatively covered. My guide asked
me how far I could shoot and I told him I'd like to get within 300
yards... we found a good spot where I could grab a rest and I got in
the prone position and squeeeeezed the trigger. The 160gr. Nosler
found it's mark and dropped him in his tracks! 275 paces... Years of
anticiapation and patience paid off.

On that trip I also took an SCI book bull, a 20lb lake trout, a 10lb.
laker on a fly rod, several 20" brook trout, char, and many willow

[This message has been edited by Sparkman375 (edited 02-14-2001).]
#17 Glen's Elk

The joy of the hunt was giving way to the disappointment of not seeing the quality of Elk we were used to in this area. My partner and I had been hunting in this unit for about 12 years and this was only the second Elk hunt we had been able to draw. Over the last few years, we had seen several bulls in this area in the 350 to 400 class. I took a 350 class bull the last time we hunted here. This time, we had seen over 60 bulls in five days of scouting, but not one of them would score over about 325. We were beginning to think all of the big ones were gone. After five days of scouting, freezing cold, mud so deep you could bury an axle in a heartbeat, we decided to go into town for a hot meal, a hot shower, (the water tank in the trailer had become a 31 gallon ice cube) and nights sleep.

I’m getting ahead of my self. Let’s go back to 1990 when Glen Foster and I first met. I had moved to Arizona for work. The company I had worked for in Los Angeles had relocated to Arizona and I came along to keep my job. Naturally, when I got here, everything was different than it had been in California. The thinking was different, the dress was different, the people were different. My new boss was a tall, lanky, ex sailor who had a strange sense of humor and a no bull attitude. On the other hand, he loved to hunt, so I knew we would get along OK. Well, the first year of hunting together forged a friendship that has lasted over the years. One thing about hunting with Glen, he always seems more interested in helping the others on the hunt than in filling his own tag. I wondered about this for a long time. Eventually, after the last Elk hunt we had together, I started feeling a little guilty about it. On the last hunt, Glen spent two days finding an Elk for the third member of that hunt, Bruce. On the third day, I shot a big bull that took us three days to bone and pack out. That took up 5 days of a 6 day hunt. We spent one day unsuccessfully looking for a bull for Glen. This scenario was a repeat of several other hunts for Antelope, Mule Deer and Coues Deer that we had been on for the last 10 years. This year I decided that we would hunt until we found Glen’s 350 bull. It wasn’t looking very good so far.

We had been in the area scouting for 5 days. We knew where we had seen big bulls in years past. We had talked with the local Game and Fish Ranger, a good friend. We knew this area, but we hadn’t found the big guys. So, discouraged, we went to town, got a room, took a hot shower, ate a good meal, and got good nights sleep. The next morning we decided to drive back to the hunting area by a different route. One that would take us farther east than we had ever seen big Elk in this area. We were bumping along a ranch road, when Glen pointed out a canyon south of us. I suggested we might want to glass the area. We pulled over and got out. As usual, I went straight to the canyon rim and sat down to start glassing, Glen walked a little west of where I was and did the same. After about four minutes, I heard a choking gagging sound and the sound of rocks rolling. I though my partner had slipped and was falling down the canyon wall. I jumped up and ran over to where I had last seen him and there he was. Standing there with his binoculars glued to his face. I looked where he was looking and I didn’t need binoculars. There, running down the slope was the biggest bull we had seen in five days. This guy was huge. As the story came out, it seemed the Glen had almost sat on this guy. The bull waited as long as he thought he could and then busted out to escape. Problem was, Glen had sat right in the middle of the chosen escape route. The bull almost ran over him. Well, since the hunt started the next day, we knew where we would be. We spent the rest of the day looking around other places. We didn’t see anything close to this guy. I must admit I was a little envious. I would love to hang this bull on my wall.

Opening morning found us flanking the canyon where we had seen the big bull the morning before. Glen was on one side, and I was on the other. We waited, and we waited, and we waited some more. It seemed like several hours. In reality, it was about an hour and a half. We had entered the mindset that every hunter recognizes. The “ did I come to the right spot or should I have gone…” mindset that makes you question your own judgment. Makes you think that you had several choices to pick from, and you picked the wrong one. I was just about to start my move to go around to the other side of the canyon and talk my partner into going back to the more traditional Elk areas, when a shot rang out across the canyon. I watched and waited. I saw nothing and heard nothing.
Finally, Glen came out from behind a small Juniper and screamed across the canyon, “Did you see him? Did he come out?”. I brought up my binoculars and scanned the opposite canyon wall. I saw a small 6 point bull sneak over the top of the opposite rim and disappear into the Junipers. I shouted back, “Ya. He just went over the top and out your way.” I started down the canyon wall to cross to the other side. To my surprise, Glen started down toward me. When we met in the middle, he was visibly shaking. I thought he was mad because he missed. “How many Elk went out? How many did you see?” he asked almost out of breath. “I saw one little bull go out your way. Why?” He immediately turned and started west up the canyon. Over his shoulder he said, ‘..Because there were two bulls that came over the rim, and I shot one of them.”. So, we started on the trail. We found no blood. What we did find was that same big 6 point that we had seen the day before. “Homer” as he came to be known, and the smaller bull that I saw go out, had come over the rim about the same time, as I was ready to leave. Glen had heard the rocks rolling down the rim as they snuck down through the bush. He got one shot, quartering away. That’s all it took. From evidence at the scene, we presumed that the Elk had taken one step, stumbled, and was dead when he hit the ground. We had a great hunt. I took a smaller bull the next day and we came home. That’s the way an Elk hunt is supposed to be. Two days, two trophies.

Dan AZ www.huntandlodge.com
Buffalos and Broken Bows
Thumper's first water buffalo hunt!

I realize that by talking about titles and nicknames, this is an odd way to start any hunting story, much less one about an unsuccessful Asian water buffalo hunt. But I have to start here to explain how a quest for a specific species can lead to gaining additional titles and nicknames. Some people are born to be given a nickname of some type during their lifetime. To me it does not seem odd that I have been stereotyped in that category. After all sometimes we bring the titles upon ourselves by our unusual actions or features. When I was a child, my grandfather called me wheel, because I rolled on the floor head over heels all the time. As I grew into a teenager, my boxing coach christened me with the title "Thumper". Last year a fellow chapter member dubbed me "The Milkman", from a nice little trick and bit of bear hunting advice in Alberta. I am sure that most of you have heard about the Milkman and Chief Ronnie no bears from, Marvin "POOH BEAR" Oliver.

Yes Mr. POOH BEAR, a few others and I know how you gained that one,but I promise I will not talk about "Winnie" and of how that came to be. But I give you credit for the milk advice!

Recently I have gained the nick name of "Bubba." Not because I am from the south or have a lot of country boy in me, but at the end of this story you will see how some of us gain these sometimes unwanted titles.

As I mentioned, this is a story about an unsuccessful but very eventful and amusing hunt. I can honsetly say that this is the first time I have written a hunting story that ended without a trophy on the ground. But after thinking about how much of an education I have gained from this quest, (Not to mention frustration), I figured I would share it with you. Sit back and enjoy.

As a lot of us do during the off season, we start checking into next seasons hunt. I was talking to some of our Australian employees about hunting and mentioned that I was amazed at the size feral Buffalo in the northern parts of Australia. They were happy to share hunting stories and bring back a few photos. As the majority of them are now limited to hunting due to new gun laws and with the closure of land they could once access. It seems that the only possible way to pursue the Asian feral water buffalo species Bubulis Bubalas down under is through an outfitter. When checking into this, I was surprised to find that the cost were around 4 to 5 thousand US for a water buffalo hunt down under.

Call me a cheap skate, but I could not justify paying that to hunt a species that I see almost every time I travel to the Thailand/Malaysian boarder. But after seeing the pictures like the one above of what our Australian employees would refer to as "One of me Mates buffs he took in the bush" I was now a determined man with a mission! After inquiring about the water buffalos on the Thailand and Malaysian boarder, I was surprised to find that the majority were indeed feral animals, that are rounded up, and sent to market to be sold as meat. (No wonder the hamburgers here taste different, all this time I thought it was monkey!) Our personnel coordinator, Khun Komson told me that since the induction of modern farming implements, many buffalos were allowed to roam freely and over the past 10 years the feral herds have increased to the point that annual round ups are held to gather the herds roaming freely through the jungles and marshes of Southern Thailand. My interest were now at a peak! Hunting for water buffalo in Thailand, no guides, little cost and a chance to take one that would possibly make the record books.

When I asked Komson if he knew of anyone who hunted them in the Jungle, he was happy not only to tell me, but made formal introductions to his brother in law. (Formal introductions in Thailand are considered as bringing a bottle of local whiskey to ones home and drinking this rot gut during the visit) His method was stalking the bush with an antique looking .357 magnum pistol. From the many sets of huge horns and skulls, I could see that it had worked for him. As I am precluded from keeping a firearm in my home in Thailand, I relayed to him that I intended to use my bow and have a back up shooter.

From his expression and the comments spoken in Thai to Komson, I am certain his response could be translated as "Where did you find this crazy American?" We agreed that we would go ahead the next weekend when I returned from an offshore visit. This was it, I was on my way, but as there are no taxidermist in Thailand, my next step was to check with the USF&W regarding CITIES permits.

I was surprised to find that the Asian species Bubulis Bubalas, is not a CITIES species and is importable . Although it took several e-mail's , faxes and phone calls, I can give the USF&W credit for sending me a letter stating that the Bubulis Bubalas, is not classified under CITIES. They did however inform me that I would need to discuss importation of the cape and horns with the USDA. The USDA requires that I declare the trophy, provide a certificate of fumigation from a veterinarian and a letter from local authorities stating where it was taken and that the species was indeed Bubulis Bubalas. At first this seemed easy enough, but I had to explain this to our personnel coordinator to assist me with obtaining such. This was ten times harder than explaining the case to the USF&W and USDA combined. The idea of permits and the name Bubulis Bubalas, was too far beyond comprehension. "Why is it bubba bubba, and why you need permit" was the question that I must of explained at least fifty times. I decided that I would go ahead with the hunt as planned and have my secretary work out the details later. The Southern Thai's have a certain mentality that classifies anything out of their norm as humorous. I can't began to explain the looks, comments and laughs I received when I started to inquire what the Thai's called "a game"

After my offshore visit, I was met by Khun Komson at the heliport. The bad news was that his brother in law had taken a job on a merchant ship and would be gone for 6 months. The good news was that he had left his 357 with Komson and definitely wanted him to take me on my hunt. I was sure that his brother in law was still laughing about this crazy American planning to shoot a water buffalo with a bow . Maybe he took the merchant job to stay away from what could have been a bad situation.

I found out that Komson knew the hunting area well, but this would be his first buffalo hunt. He had shot the pistol several times and felt confident that he would be able to back me up in the event of an emergency. We headed to a rental center where we rented a old willis jeep left over from the Vietnam war era and headed back to the office to load the equipment and camping gear. Hopefully this would be a quick two day hunt as his brother in law assured him that the herds had not been rounded up yet and they would be roaming the open plains and marshes on the edge of the jungle hills. This seemed positive and I figured we would pack for 3 days just in case I wanted to be selective.
(Yea, right)

During the four hour drive on the jungle roads, I mentioned that the bow would not drop the buffalo and it would require good arrow placement on my part and a follow up to the downed animal. In broken English Komson, replied "Don't worry Mr. Mark, if Bubba run you I shoot him in head , sister husband say to hit between the eyes and he die"

This boosted my confidence a little, but as this was new to both of us I still had some reservations as the bow looked smaller every time I looked at it. Oh well I have a .357 as back up. I love theses famous last words. After parking the Jeep and setting camp, we stalked into the jungle tothe bluffs overlooking the plains to start glassing. This was starting to seem more like the hunting I was used to. After about four hours of stalking and glassing, we found a herd of 20 or more buffalo's. I was impressed with the massive horn size, but one particular bull had a non-typical set that curled back and under , he was indeed unique and was what I decided would be my pick. I told Komson that we would stalk around the herd by walking inside of the jungle and try to cut them off. After we got ahead of the herd, we would wait for them to get into bow range and I would take the shot. I cautioned him, if anything goes wrong, shoot. Thinking back I now recall a nervous response of "Ok Mr. Mark, I shoot".

We were successful in our stalk and hid in the thick marsh brush about 20 yards from the trail that the herd was headed. Or so I thought. The longer we waited, the buffaloes started to change their course moving further away from our ambush spot into the open flats and old deserted rice paddies. The only way to get a shot would be to try to ease up to the herd using the old dikes of the rice paddies as cover. It seemed that Komson and I were gaining some ground and I would stop to check the distance of the odd horned bull.

As we got within 100 yards of the herd, it was evident that they were aware of our presence. The paddy dikes were worn down and could no longer serve as our cover. More than once I considered taking the pistol and attempting a crawl up and shoot method, but I was not going to "lose face" and remained determined to use my bow.

It seemed that the herd maintained a distance of fifty yards and a bow shot was impossible. I started to consider giving in and starting the next day. As that thought crossed my mind, what I thought was a change of fortune presented itself. To my surprise a nice horned buffalo cut out of the herd and headed back to our direction at a 45 degree angle. This was a shooter and as big as the ones I saw in the photographs from Australia. As it came closer, I readied my bow, and told Komson to get ready, if the buffalo charged after my shot, start shooting!.

The buffalo passed within 45 yards and as I started to come to a full draw, the buffalo turned directly facing me eye to eye. At that same instance, I heard a bellow to my left and turned to see a buffalo calf laying in the mud less than 10 yards from where we were standing.

It seemed that this shooter buffalo was a cow and had returned to claim her lingering offspring. She had no intentions of letting us get closer to her calf and let out a bellow that raised the hairs on my neck. She then started to swing her massive horns from side to side as if she was attempting to scratch her back. I knew this was not the case and told Komson to back away slowly from her and the calf and hand me the pistol.

I later found out that he thought I had said back away and run with the pistol. As that is exactly what he proceeded to do . With his actions, the buffalo made a direct line towards me. I proceeded to follow Komson, but he had probably set a new time record crossing open pasture and had made it to the thicket. As I crossed the opposite side of the rice paddy, I fell face first in three feet of water and hit a hard bottom. In doing so, my quiver broke off and I lost my arrows. At the time I did not notice that the top cam to my bow had also cracked. As I attempted to hold on to my bow and get to my feet I could see the cow closing the distance. Let me tell you holding a useless bow, with no arrows and attempting to out run a water buffalo across a water filled rice paddy is completely futile. As I reached the opposite side of the water, I turned to see the cow stop and return her attention to her bellowing calf. She had clearly made her point.

Even though I was out of danger, I made a fast return to the camp site. Upon my return, I noticed Komson was finishing removing his water soaked clothing. I could not help but to be a little angry to say the least. I am sure the readers would not care for me to repeat what I said, but I can assure some of the words i used are probably new to English profanity!

I started to remove my garb and noticed that not only had I lost my arrows, but had lost my wife's new camera, a great set of binoculars, my skinning knife and somehow ruined a pair of underwear. I assure you it was not from the mud! Upon further inspection, I noticed the broken cam and frayed bow string. The hunt was over. Not only had I not achieved what I set forth to accomplish but I lost more than just equipment, my pride. No comments about the underwear!

After we literally threw our gear into the jeep, we headed back to Songkhla. It was a quite drive and kept my anger in check. I was supposed to have back up and if I would have had the pistol andif I would have saw the calf and a hundred more what ifs crossed my mind along with the short comments crossed my lips.

Reality then struck me like a brick. All of my what ifs would not have amounted to anything. I now actually considered what had happened was for the better. You may wonder why after almost being ran down by 1500 pounds of hoof and horns, losing some gear that will not only be expensive to replace, but hard to get back to Thailand and embarrassed myself as well as my companion.

In short, if I would have shot that cow, I would had to kill the calf as well. I admit I was after the trophy and the meat would have been greatly received by the local children's home. This was a learning experience for me, an expensive one but a lesson that could have cost me more. I never realized that the feral water buffalo could have such a temperament. As I see farmers riding and plowing with the domesticated buffalos from time to time.

This did not deter me from planning for my second and third hunts. Even though I am not allowed to posses a firearm in my home in Thailand, I was able to purchase an older model 375 H&H through a connection. To remain in the limits of the law, I must leave it at his home and can not depart the country with it.

As operations have had me bouncing from Thailand, Burma, Singapore, Malaysia and Sumatra, I have only had two more limited 1 day hunts in the same area. Since my first trip to the area, the herds have been rounded up and the buffaloes have been scattered through the jungles, with the bigger bulls moving into the deep marsh areas. I saw about 11 buffalos scattered about, but they were all small and really not the class that I am after. On the third hunt a week ago, the monsoon rains have made the hunting area impossible to enter.

With the recent outbreaks of dengue fever and malaria, I have decided to await the dry season to return. I have learned a lot about this species and grown to respect them. They are not the cow like creatures I once thought them to be . I have read many articles about the Asian water buffalo and have found that they are temperamental and very protective. As with cape buffalo, they tend to protect themselves when they feel they are in danger.

Later when Komson's brother in law was told the story, he was not surprised. He had had the same event happen to him on more than one occasion. I guess that is why he considered me off my rocker when I told him I was using my bow.

In closing this story, I want to end were I started . Regarding nicknames. In Thailand as in the world over. Stories tend to spread. I honestly believe that they seem to grow faster here as the majority of our operations employee many locals from small townships and villages. After the first hunt , the story spread throughout the village of Songkhla like the plague. As the initial humor started with the Thai's trying to pronounce Bubulis Bubalas, and now believed thatthe Americans call the water buffalo, Bubba Bubba.

I soon became bubba. This became evident on the next offshore visit two weeks after the hunt. I was amused when the Thai National employees greeted me with "Hello Bubba", I guess the name is now permanent and many of the Thai Nationals could not tell you or would not know who Mark Boykin is, but they sure as hell know me as Bubba.

Looks like I have done it again , earned a new name. Hopefully we can earn that trophy Bubba Bubba to truly earn my given name after the end of the monsoons, when the big boys return to the flatlands. I promise to keep you updated on the situation.





Alberta bears with the "Outlaws"

This was my first spring bear hunt in Alberta and I really did not know what to expect. I followed the same protocol as I have with previous outfitted hunts. Multiple phone calls to references, background checks on the outfitter ect, but as you can relate. I always feel that I may have missed something.

Since I live in Bangkok Thailand for 10 months of each year and thus am precluded from owning a firearm in Asia, I am usually at the mercy at what the outfitter provides. This is risky, but after making arrangements for "loaner rifles" on other occasions with reputable outfitters, I have yet to be let down.
I do however miss using my own firearms, but it is definitely more economical on flights to arrange a loaner. Usually my northern hunts require me to fly directly to the hunting area from Thailand and return to Thailand after the hunt.

Doing this saves me two trips to Georgia to pick up a rifle that I have not fired in at least a year, so I guess the odds are about the same. The thought of having it sent via courier scares me, as I have heard too many horror stories to trust this method. And with the ever changing gun laws, who knows what could happen.

After 5 months of planning and anticipation, I was on my way. I arrived in Edmonton, Alberta from Bangkok on a Friday to pick up some additional gear. I was fortune enough to meet the group that had returned from camp the previous week. Of the 7 hunter in camp that week, a total of 9 bears were taken and 4 others passed over. The group seemed more than happy with the hunt, but made comments about the abnormally warm weather for this time of the year. Later that night I met the two other hunter that I would share camp with for that week. I was impressed with the success of the last group of hunters but more impressed with the knowledge that there would only be 3 hunters in camp for that week.

I met my guide Frank Raymond at the precise planned time the following morning. After exchanging a few introductions we loaded the van and headed out for a 7 hour drive north to a remote area some 150 miles north of Red Earth Alberta. After parking in a staging spot off the dirt road in the middle of God's country, I was sure that we were at camp. Wrong assumption as we proceeded to load our gear into an eight wheeled tracked ATV called an ARGO for a 3 hour trip into camp. I must confess after a 19 hour flight, very few hours of sleep and a10 hour trip to camp, I was never so happy to see the foam mattress on the spring coils of the bunk house. I knew that I would be able to have plenty of rest the next day and decided to help out in any way I could.

First priority was to check out the rifle. I set up a 5 gallon bucket at about 50 yards and was able to group two shots 1 inch apart on the bulls eye. Better than I expected. The gun, not me.

During that night, we had the traditional first night feast, and a few adult ****tails in the cook house. I was amazed at some of the stories that each had to share. The other two hunters in camp, Mr. Marvin Oliver is a lawyer from California and Mr Ron Saundsburg is a Company Executive from Michigan. Both had hunted with Frank before on one or more hunts. I felt slightly like the outsider as I was new to the group, but soon found out that Frank and his guides had once worked in the offshore drilling industry. We closed our night by pairing up guides with hunters. I would be with Frank's son Shane.

Call me crazy, but sometimes you get a positive feeling about the hunt before you set foot in the woods. Indeed this feeling was with me as I explained this to Shane on the ride to the stand the next evening. I even made a joke about hating to tag out the first night, but I really felt positive about this hunt.
The first night out Shane and I arrived at my stand at around 18:00, we were a bit surprised to see that the bait station had been hit since Shane had checked it earlier in the day. Shane told me that several huge black bears had been taken from this stand in previous years and from the destruction and print site around the bait, a big one was definitely around. The weather in Northern Alberta was rather hot and dry for this time of the year and with the many fires within 100 miles of us we were hoping that this would not have an effect on the hunt. I was forewarned about the bugs and tried to prepare myself , but ended up putting on heavy hunting clothing dispute the heat. Within 2 hours on the stand, the wind started to pick up and to my misfortune it was blowing directly to the bait pile. With this in mind, I started to worry and looked at my watch to see what time it was. As I looked back up, a black shadow out of the thicket slowly appeared. I watched the bear and conducted a mental inventory of everything I had been told about black bears. As the bear slowly approached the back of the bait drum, I could clearly see that he was almost 3/4 the size of the barrels height. I remembered being told any bear better that 1/2 the height of the drum was a shooter. Upon watching the bear to ensure that no cubs were around, I could clearly see that this one had no intentions of staying around. As I moved into position to take the 40 yard shot, the bear had winded something in my direction.( Me or the sardines I had opened and spread around)

Indeed this was a shooter and it was now or never. I slowly eased the 35 whelen rifle placing the cross hairs on the tip of the shoulder and squeezed the trigger. With the roar of the shot, the bear hunched up and ran at record speed to the thicket 15 yards from where he stood before I could get a second round racked into the chamber. I knew the shot was good from the way the bear hunched up like a heart shot deer. But figured the 200 grain hand loads should have dropped him in his tracks. As the wind continued to blow, I could slightly hear the bear crashing through the thicket, but never heard it fall or what other hunters call the "Death Cry"

Then the shakes started in. Trust me, I have taken some nice whitetail and other big game, but never before has the buck fever set in as hard as it did when this black ghost appeared out of nowhere. I waited 1 hour before calming down enough to leave the stand to look for sign of a well placed shot. Knowing that the guide would not return until after dark, I decided to walk over to the place where the bear was standing and look for blood. Without hardly looking, I saw a saucer size puddle of dark and pink blood that indicated a good heart/lung shot. It was early in the day and I did not want to start tracking a big bear into a thicket alone. Especially wit the guide and camp being 2 hours away and if in the event I was injured, it would at least 5 hours to a location to receive medical treatment. With this in mind, I decided to return to the tree stand and wait for the guide to come and help me track it. I was happy with my first nights success and felt the follow up would be an easy one. I started to rethink the shot and looked at my watch to see that it would be at least 4 more hours until Shane returned. I guess I was a little too relaxed and leaned the gun across the rifle rest, propped my feet up and leaned back against the tree to wait for my guide. I again looked at my watch to see that it was 20:10. In my rethinking the shot the day dream was interrupted by a small crunch and the sound of sniffing. As I looked over my right shoulder to the ground below the tree, I almost jumped out of the stand with the sight of the second bear looking at me eye to eye. I froze and let him make his decision. I knew that there was no chance for me to get out of my relaxed position and get a shot off before the bear bolted or otherwise decided he wanted to see what was in the tree. I decided to stay motionless, (Mainly out of shock) and sighed a relief as the bear walked on towards the bait past my stand.

A serious thought of tagging out the first night crossed my mind, but this bear was definitely larger than the first and the choice was made, I would take the shot. After all My goal was to take two large black bears. Later I would find that doing this was the right decision. I watched the bear cautiously ease towards the bait pile. He was now down wind of me and the thought of having two bears to track was not an idea either the guide or I would look forward to. I slowly moved to get into position, having to stop two times as with every little noise I made the bear return his attention to my stand. I waited and watched the bear as he turned to circle the bait. I placed the cross hairs on his shoulder, fired and watched him drop on the spot. When he stopped all movement, I climbed down and cautiously approached my 6'4" trophy bear. The thrill was too much and after looking over this trophy, I decided that I would cautiously attempt to find the first bear before light got low. I slowly entered into the thicket following the blood trail with one finger on the trigger and the other on the safety. To my surprise, the thicket opened up into a marsh at the bottom of a hill. I climbed on top of a large log and scanned the area. There he was motionless but facing the area from where he came. I watched the downed bear to ensure that he was dead. I was still wondering why he had ran off 20 yards and turned to face where he was shot. Who knows maybe his intentions was to have someone follow immediately after him and he could gain his revenge. Or maybe it was just the final position he ended up in. I slowly moved towards my downed trophy and cautiously prodded him with the rifle. This 5'11" trophy was definitely dead. I had to stop and pay respect to him and said a silent thank you to the higher being that allows us to live to see moments such as these. I then returned to my stand to wait for Shane to return.

I think Shane was just as happy as I was with the two bears as I was in taking them. I never realized bear guides have such a hard job during the season. These guys do it as a labor of love. It does indeed involve many hours of hard work. The way I see it, the guides are just as much as the ones who takes the bear as the one who pulls the trigger.

We were the last one in camp that evening and I figured I would play it off a little bit. I walked into the cook house to find that the two other hunters had an unsuccessful night. I threw my cap across the table and said to Frank, " I want my money back and a trip out of this place tomorrow!" I can't begin to describe the expression upon his face. I proceeded to say "If you have any bears around here they must be invisible" As he started to speak, I figure I better stop before things got ugly. I started to laugh and said no, My hunt with you is over. His slight expression of anger turned to one of confusion when I said "My two are up at the skinning rack"

This was a must see thing for all of us in camp as we walked up the hill to the skinning rack where my two bears awaited skinning. Congratulations were in order as these were indeed two nice bears. Other than the great fishing, the rest of the week went uneventful. The winds picked up and a haze of smoke from the forest fires drifted into our area. This combined with the high temperatures had the bears patterns unpredictable. Marvin Oliver was fortunate to take a nice bear on the last night of the hunt, but Ron ended up unsuccessful.

Then I spent the rest to the time fishing for some mighty fine pike!


For me, it was great to have some of the best fishing in Canada to look forward to while passing the mornings and afternoons in bear camp. Although my hunt was over in the first night the fishing in itself made up for the rest of the week in camp. This secluded lake is one of many in Canada that was unnamed As I looked around the lake, seeing old cabins built many years ago by the natives, I could only picture a family depending on what sustenance the land provided to meet the basic needs of life. With this thought I could only think how living in those times was pure, simple and a way not many people could survive today. I thought I would never say it but after a week of fishing I was tired of fish. My hands were cut up and shoulder sore from using the oar with one hand and casting with another. Thinking back some months later, the fishing trip alone was worth the price of the hunt. In closing this story, I would like to thank Frank and son Shane Raymond for allowing me to share a part of the outdoors that belonged to nature. I hope places like this last forever and look forward to my next trip with Frank Raymond's outlaws guide service.




[This message has been edited by Thumper (edited 02-14-2001).]

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