Thursday, October 9, 2008

Colorado Trip - Day 3, Continued

Monday, September 15, 2008

(google seems to think I’m a spammer so you might not be seeing this blog as soon as I hoped…an actual person has to verify my account…)

Well, I’ve taken a mental break just in time for our story to continue with our driving break…we’ve arrived at camp! Bill tells us to get unloaded and ready to go in 30 minutes, he’ll be back to take us around the property and show us were we’ll be able to hunt. So, while Bill heads up to the house, Mike and I unload some of our gear, stretch and take a look around.

Bill’s hunters camp is a small (12 x 24) converted pole barn that now has a finished floor, a small kitchen, bathroom with a shower (very important), a small couch area and a separate bunk bed sleeping room. Very nice for roughing it… Ton’s of flies and Wasps inside though…good thing the fly swatter is handy. We unload most of the cooler into the refrigerator and get some of our hunting gear sorted out.

By the time we change into our hiking boots Bill is back and is ready to give us the “tour”. …Did I mention before that Bill is driving a rental truck… Bill starts out by driving us down a two track towards the southern mountain range on his property. We see some muley does in the brush and brambles on the way…good sign! Having already relayed Bills love of driving (like he stole it!), it comes as no surprise that he drives the same way no matter what the terrain… we soon come to the river, slowing only so that Bill can line it up in the right path to miss the boulders that are just too big…. Oops, silly me, he wasn’t aiming to miss any boulders, just checking out the views… Wham, bounce and slam …no problem, it’s a rental… We park just on the other side of the water and start hiking up the “hill” to the first higher elevation location. Did I mention that Bill may be old but he could kick our butts….guy’s hardly breathing and Mike and I sound like freight trains… It’s only a hundred yards up (up being the important word)…

What a view and we jump another Muley doe while we’re standing in the blind. Then it’s down the “hill” by another path and back to the truck… next stop, the highest elevation blind. Through the field by the river and onto another narrow two track, up… hey, a tree has fallen across the trail…no problem, we go around…the rental company must have some excellent insurance and really love this guy… About a mile (so it seems) of driving and we get within a couple hundred yards of the blind. We skip the actual walk to the blind at this time because we’re on a short time table to get everything checked out and into the hunt this afternoon… Back down the trail and we end up getting a little hung up on that tree we drove around before… just a few scratches (you can’t see in the mud later) and we’re back where we started from. Bill takes us over to the house to pick up some fish food for his stocked pond and then we’re off to check out the lower field tree stand and feed the fishes. We stop at the pond and Bill shows us how he wants his fish fed (it’s part of our agreement for staying the week – we feed the fish)… man are those Rainbow Trout huge! And they’re like piranhas with the fish food! He also feeds a section of the creek so we head that way which happens to pass right by the tree stand one of us will be using. We see another Muley doe standing directly under the blind as we drive by….excitement is starting to pump…. We stop at the creek to feed the fish and watch as two Bald Eagles fly down the creek! WOW! What a paradise to be enjoying!

Ok, we’ve seen and been instructed; now it’s time to get ready! Since I just got some new arrows and they’re heavier than my old ones, I need to re-tune my bow for them. Mike and I get our bows and set up the target 20 yards out. A few shots for Mike…right on target, he’s ready. I’ll be using the new Carbon Express Aramid KV’s with G5 Montec 100 grain heads. A few shots for me and some adjustments then a few more at 30 yards. I take a couple 40 yard shots but I’m not quite tuned in yet. I don’t have time to fine tune the 40 yard shots but since I’ll be starting out in the lower field tree stand I don’t think I’ll have anything farther away than 30 yards anyways. Mike is going to be using a tree stand that is just below the house that Bill said should be the best place to see deer. It’s Camo Time! We pack our backpacks with the necessities, get into our base camo (its 80 degrees out!) strap on our bows and hop on the quads. Mike and I look at each other and realize that our dream hunt is about to begin. I couldn’t even begin to describe the grins that spread across our faces and the excitement we both felt. With a quick “good luck buddy” we start our engines and drive in separate directions… it’s begun!

Both of our drives are fairly short but having the quads helps tremendously as we’re not yet acclimated to the altitude and it saves a hot sweaty hike. I parked my quad inside a small stand of trees (cut open specifically to hide a quad in) and start hiking towards my tree stand. Before I even get to my spot, I jump a nice doe. She stands broadside to me at about 30 yards but I decide to let her go. It’s the first hunt and I’d like a chance to take a nice buck if I can… I get into the tree stand and realize it’s more designed for gun hunters than bow hunters. It’s about 4’ x 8’ and you can’t move around because it squeaks a lot. I position myself so that I can get a shot either behind me or into the open field. There’s a metal chair but it’s a “metal” chair and not a quiet one either so I stand instead.
What a beautiful area. I stand there looking at the mountains and can hear the river. I watch the Bald Eagles flying down the middle of the field looking for dinner…just incredible. I got into the tree stand around 5:30, it’s been quiet and I’ve not seen anything at all except the Eagles. It’s now around 7:00 and dusk is starting to set in. I see movement across the field, directly in front of me… It’s a coyote! It’s a very large Coyote and its coloring is more towards a golden color as compared to the ones we see in Michigan. I watch him (or her) slowly make a bee line across in front of me. It looks like 40 yards is going to have to be the closest shot….and I’m not tuned in to 40 yards yet… I get set and adjust my aim to where I was hitting on the block, breath and release…. A hairs breathe in front of his chest! I little hop and he briskly jogs back the way he came and stops, turns and looks at me. I think the message was… this is my field, you missed and I’m now a ghost… good bye. Back into the tree line and he’s gone.

It’s time to head in. Back at camp, Mike lets me know that he’s seen 8 deer. Including a nice 3 point and a big buck that stayed too far out to count. He too let the does and the little one walk for opportunities down the line… We clean up and head to the house. Bill has steaks on the grill for us and we sit down to watch the Monday night football game, eat and chat about our first hunt. The moons well into the night sky when we make it back to the cabin and settle in for the night.

The first day’s hunt has come to the twilight of the crisp clean air in the Rockies. I’ve seen a deer, had an opportunity at a beautiful coyote, watch the Eagles soar and experienced a solitude that is hard to come by in Michigan.

Next - Day 4

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