desert wapiti

On the second day of season, my hunting partner Steph and I headed out around 5am; we were driving out towards a glassing point, where we would try and locate a buck to stalk. We hadn’t even made it half-way to where we planned to glass from, when I looked past Steph out the window and saw a tall 3×2 thirty yards off the road. We continued on down the road and over the hill, so we could circle around with a stalk.
Steph grabbed his bow, and binos, and I readied the camera and rangefinder; the buck was positioned right in the middle of a sage and bitterbrush bowl, with a doe and the best route to him was down an old Jeep trail. Slowly, we walked in the soft desert sand; the normally dusty walking was suppressed by the cold, wet air.
We snuck closer and closer, trying to stay low and slip in, undetected; we alternated peeking over the sage to range the buck, and take bits of video. The slowly rising sun wasn’t exactly helping me get a range on the bucks horns, or let a get a good perception of how far (close) he actually was. The last time I pulled up the rangefinder, I finally got a range of 31 yards. Before I could stop him, Steph was beginning to creep closer, and the buck jerked his head up and bounded down the sage draw, and stopping before and taking one last look at 120 yards.
We watched as he moved down into the pines, and swapped a couple words about how we goofed that one; I turned around and my eyes were drawn to two spike bulls watching us, watch the buck. I have no idea how long they were there; or whether or not they watched us stalk that buck, but I quickly got on them with the camera, and ranged the closer one at 83 yards. Steph drew, and aimed…and aimed, as I mouth called twice to keep the curious bulls broadside. I heard the the shot to my right, and watched through the LCD screen as the arrow arced into the bulls lungs and passed right through him…both of the spikes took off up the hill. The short burst only lasted 50 yards, and the spike expired in less than ten seconds.
With a new baby, Steph couldn’t have been more happy with being able to punch his tag with a beautiful spike, and I couldn’t have been luckier to share and video the experience!
First tag punched, for Mountain Made Media!

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