Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Colorado Trip - Part 4

Day 4 – Tuesday September 16, 2008

Morning comes early in the Rockies… But the Michigan Hunters are up and ready to GO! (Ok, 5am in Colorado is 7am in Michigan…means I got to sleep in). We loaded up our packs, hopped on the quads and headed out. After I parked my quad and hiked over to my tree it was wait and watch…and watch…and watch…and watch…I watched a beautiful morning in the Rockies with the sun coming up and the temperature rising. I saw some birds. Birds, but not much else. It’s really hard to complain about not seeing anything (it’s only my first full day) when I’m not in the office, I’m in the Rockies hunting and the weather is perfect… there’s still time to see deer. Before I head into camp, I head over to the river and walk its edge looking for tracks and crossings.

Lots of tracks in the slashings along the river. I even found an elk skeleton (minus the skull) along the banks. Hiking and scouting is as much part of hunting as it is getting in a stand and waiting. It certainly helped give me an idea of what was behind the row of Aspens the runs between me and the river. Anyways, I end up following the water to where I parked the quad, so I load up and drive back to camp.

Mike’s had a good morning; he’s seen a bunch of does and little ones. We set up the block for some target shooting because Roscoby Risercams has been generous and loaned both of us a cam to put on our bows to tryout. We replaced our stabilizers and turn the video on (after reading the instructions – surprise!). Re-tuning is important as the risercam is a little heavier than my stabilizer and longer. Our 20 yard shots are quickly adjusted and we move the block to 30 yards. Again, on target now without further adjustments. Since I missed the coyote at 40 yards because I wasn’t tuned yet for 40, I move the block out again and it only takes a couple shots to get it in the money. I look at Mike and decide that we need to take a few practice shots at 50 yards, so once again I move the target out. One note, we’re both using G5 Montec 100’s but I’m shooting the pre-season practice blades and Mike is shooting the actual live blades… and there is no difference! At 50 yards I take my first shot… down and left a couple inches, but that was me … next shot….dead and I mean dead center! I’m set. Mike starts out with his first shot being a couple inches off. His second shot….nothing. No target, no sound of hitting rocks…nothing…! We look and look and look and look… (don’t forget about the rattle snakes…) and look……nothing. So we decide to take a break. Mike is not feeling to well, he is still trying to get acclimated to the altitude. So he lays down and is asleep so fast it’s scary. While he’s sleeping, I continue to look for his arrow, without luck. However, my brain catches up with me and I remember that we’ve been using the risercams while we’ve been shooting… I load the video up and start looking at it frame by frame. You can see the arrow leaving the bow and another frame shows it halfway to the target. I mentally visualize the trajectory based on the frame shots and walk out to the block and find the focal point of my imaginary line…and walk up, look down and there it is, just lying in a bush. I turn around and realize that it is about 80 yards past the block and half way up the road! Between the CE Maxima arrow and the G5 Montec broadhead, there is about $23 I just found, loosing arrows is never cheap. I remember that we’ve got a rattler in the back of the truck. I was going to cook it up but forgot it was there from yesterday. So, I decide that I’ll just skin it out for Mikey (jr). since he couldn’t come with us this time. I get it skinned out and salted. It’s time to get moving so I wake Mike up to give him back his lost arrow and get some lunch… Lunch today is Venison steaks on the grill, rice and apples…yum (somehow I think I’ve ended up the chef this week). We’re now rested and fed so it’s time to hunt!

We’re feeling positive as we load up our gear and head to our stands. “Positive” slowly turns into a quiet afternoon in the stand watching the sun go down, the moon rise and the deer decided to stay home… I did see the bald eagles flying along the creek again, Cool! Just about the late prime time for hunting I watch Bill drive his truck down the middle of the field and stop in front of me….???!?? It turns out that Bill thought I would be in a different location and decided to drive the river and feed some fish…. Oh well. Let’s go back to camp and wait and see what Mike’s done. Mike shows up with a look of distain… Seems he had an opportunity at a nice little 3 pointer and it didn’t turn out the way he wanted… His first shot went just under its belly, behind its front leg. He got another chance and his 40 yard estimate turned into a deer standing at 52 yards. Darn, he’ll be back. (at least he’s seeing some deer and some action!) Well, Bill says good night and Mike and I grab some leftovers and relax for a little while. Mike had his video camera going as well as his Risercam so we review the footage. The video camera was at the wrong angle and the Risercam doesn’t show up as clearly as we’d hoped. It’s been another day of memories so we turn off the lights and head towards sleep thinking of what we’re going to see in the morning.

Next – hunting the side of the mountain.

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