Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Our neighbor bless his heart, knocks on the door occasionally with offerings from the sea. Dungeness crab usually, but recently he delivered a bowl of shrimp. What a treat! Autumn seeing all the legs and antennae declared "Spiders!" and just had to hold them. "I want to eat the tails" she told us. Me too sweetie.
Isaac called me Friday mid-day. He had a hot tip that reds were available at a small creek on the north end of the island. So we took a chance and quickly loaded gear for the 2.5 hour drive. When we got there we didn't find tons of fish, but enough to make the drive worth it. We've had quite the week of subsistence, Isaac and I. Three loads of firewood, thirteen sockeye salmon and two bucks.
Isaac and I headed up the mountain Saturday afternoon in anticipation of opening day Sunday morning. Skies were overcast but visibility was good when we started. After about an hour of hiking the clouds began descending and we ended up pitching the tent in a light rain. We camped about 300 feet in elevation below the summit. We had hoped to get some good glassing in Saturday evening and get a bead on where the bucks would be in the morning but as we hiked the fog got thicker and thicker and we realized we better get back to camp because there was no chance for glassing and we didn’t want to spook deer out of the area. The rain came down hard off and on all night and we woke to thick pea fog enshrouding everything. Not what we had hoped for, but we were here and both needed venison in the freezer. We knew there would be no shopping for the biggest buck and spot and stalk was out of the question. We lowered our expectations and began a slow walk, rifles at the ready because we knew action was likely to be close and fast. We bumped a couple spikes five minutes out of camp, but our expectations weren’t that low. We went on high alert knowing up here in the alpine if you see one buck there are likely more. A couple minutes later Isaac spotted a shooter but couldn’t get on him. It wasn’t spooked so we continued creeping it’s last direction. Ahead in the fog we made out a ghost buck with a rack of unknown dimensions but much larger than a spike. Distance was about 100 yards. Isaac had first shot and dropped him. At the report, multiple bucks erupted from the surrounding bushes, but it was too foggy to make out who was who or even think about another shot. Not even 5:00 am and one buck down. While Isaac boned out his buck I climbed a nearby knob and tried to glass. Occasionally I could see a faint deer in the distance but the fog really had us foiled. I helped Isaac finish up. We stashed the meat and continued creeping through the summit bowl. Another spike. We worked around him to not spook him, then 50 yards ahead a deer shape in the clouds. Binoculars showed some type of basket over his head. Nothing huge but definitely edible, so I fired one round off hand. The buck bolted downhill and we watched four legs go up in the air. Ya, two bucks down by 7:30.
Not quite the hunt we were hoping for. If it had been clear I’m sure we could have taken larger bucks, but under the conditions we felt good to get two in the freezer. Meat is back on the menu! Got some kinks in the gear worked out prior to sheep season and still have more tags and plenty of time left for big bucks. And note the countdown...sheep season is nearly here.
Saturday, July 16, 2011
I've uploaded a whole new batch of pics to flickr, including our recent first family camping trip which was a big hit. Check it out. And if you are getting bored of family pics, be encouraged because deer hunting season is a week away. Hopefully there will be some big bucks up here soon.