The best is yet to come

The best is yet to come

I literally just got in from tracking a deer for Brandon Schmucker. It’s the first day of gun season, but I worked at the shop today anyway. I will go out tomorrow to see what I can see.

Anyway, on my way home tonight, I got a text from Brandon: ”Bob, I need help!”

So I called him, and he said he had shot a buck and was losing the blood trail. I told him to back out rather than “bump” him.

I threw on my muck boots and headlamp and headed over to meet him.

By the way, one of the most overlooked hunting paraphernalia is the flashlight. Headlamp, coon light, I don’t care if you can carry a lighthouse beacon, the brighter, the better.

His father Brad met us there, and we did a nice bit of teamwork tracking him about 250 yards through a swampy area and across a creek. Nice eight-point, jugular shot at about 80 yards with a muzzleloader, Congrats Brandon.

So where were we? Oh yeah, we were starin’ down this nice 320-inch bull but decided to pass. It helps to know your limits as far as what quality of animals are in your hunting area, and as it was the first morning, we quietly hiked back down the mountain. The old saying “what goes up, must come down” applies to hiking, especially at these elevations. Too rapid of a decent can cause shin splints as well as respiration issues.

Back in the truck, Tom (our guide) took us to another area near a special rock formation they call “Monument Mountain.” There were literally hundreds of unique formations in this area. As we came through an opening in the ridge line known as South Creek Ridge, Tom slowed the truck to a crawl to reveal the valley below. It literally took my breath away.

There before us were hundreds of elk, scattered in different size groups spread across the canyon floor. As Tom said, this was good and bad: good that we found a lot of elk but bad because there were so many and getting close enough to get a good shot, if we found a good bull, would be difficult. After glassing for awhile, we did spot a really good bull fairly close to the dirt road.

One true thing that amazed us were the condition of the roads on the ranch. We met Phil, a retired county worker whose sole job was to maintain the roads and ditches on the whole ranch with his road grader and dump truck.

Anyway, Tom said the only possible way to even get close to this bull would be to drive right toward them as if we were just passin’ through. They are used to the ranch’s vehicles, so we hoped it wouldn’t spook them. We called it the “truck stalk.” It really almost worked as we got within about 700 yards, more or less. We dropped down behind a mound almost out of their sight, and they kinda sensed something was wrong and exited stage rear, up and over the mountain.

Just the sight of that valley and all of those elk in one area will forever be ingrained in my memory. Just imagine what awaits us when God reveals heaven’s glorious wonders to us. Its beauty can be described in the words of Revelation, but its splendor cannot be fathomed by the human mind.

As with this story, the best is yet to come. Be safe out there everyone and treat your fellow hunters and landowners with respect.

God bless.

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