Days 3 & 4:
The weather held out for most of day 3. We searched in an out of spots that looked very good for bedding areas, feeding areas, and such. Realistically, there just wasn't much for us to work with.
Most of the area is private land. Acres and acres of land with signs stating "POSTED - No Trespassing or Hunting". Now if the signs only referred to trespassing, I would have been more than inclined to knock on a door, make my intentions known, and hope for the best. Lord knows I've never met a stranger in my life. The "Hunting" notation was like a knife in the heart of my plans.
During our trek around Vega State Park, we ran into a gentleman who knew the area very well, and was more than happy to provide us with more than a few hot spots to try. The downfall there was the location of the spots. Nothing less than Ford Ranger 4x4 could access these areas. Well... that screwed us.
We pushed as deep as we could into these areas, but both the van and Cheri we just not up to the terrain. We needed to go 14 miles, 12 to get out of the Private Land hell, and two more just to get into a sweet spot: we were only able to get 2.7 in the van before we couldn't go any further.
We were not about to attempt 10 miles of hiking, so we resolved to sit a natural ground blind at the spot Cheri took her first shot, and see what we could have wander in.
About 5:30, Cheri decided she'd had enough of the sitting since we had already devoted 3 hours to it, and she wanted to try and push deeper into the area. We loaded up the van, just as we had the day before, and moved out. 10 minutes and 1/4 of a mile into it, she changed her mind, and we turned around.
We were let down. The activity from the day before was gone. We never even saw the babies we had seen. It was dead except for the inane lowing of ranch cows, and the futile bugle of Elk hunters high on the Mesa. Our ground blind idea flat failed us. We were beat. As we came around the area of our groud blind, she spotted a doe feeding not more than 15 yards from where we were. Cheri again slipped from the passenger door, bow at full draw, and the doe ran off. I did manage to have time to range her... she was at 57 yards before she bolted.
Cheri got back in, and we were about to head out of the area completely, when she spotted the same doe flanking us, but heading to a funnel. I told her to move to a guarded area only on my signals, and get set up quickly as possible for a shot. Every time the doe's head dropped to nibble as she meandered her way into the area I wanted Cheri to set up, I signalled Cheri to move up. The doe was obviously not effected by the presence of the van, so it worked out very well as she neared me. Cheri was set within 25 seconds and I looked as if all she had to do was wait for the doe to quit staring at me and move to her.
On one knee, behind a bushy tree, Cheri clipped the release onto the D loop, and it appeared she couldn't see around the tree, but she never moved around it. The doe closed in on her position, pausing every now and then to stare at the van, which I was backing off slowly, hoping Cheri would take the queue to better her position. It was a wild chessgame for a moment, and the doe played the perfect pawn. The problem was, my queen had maneuvered herself into an unwinnable situation, and eventually surrendered. Cheri just couldn't move into a shooting area, without compromising her stealth. The doe moved on, never knowing how close she came to losing the game.
I was tired, frustrated, and quite frankly, I was pissed at Cheri for not moving. As she walked back to the van, I lost my temper. "Are you here for a F*%^ing nature walk or are you here to hunt!?" I shouldn't have said it. I didn't know she was blocked on either side of the tree, but I shouldn't have said it.
The rest of the night was spent in silence.
Day 4 -
This is just a repeat of Day 3, minus the 1 doe we saw, and my bluster. About the only change was the fact that we finally purchased a video camera. I spent most of the day filimg from the ground blind area. It was a wasted day. I really don't need to explain the mood... suffice it to say... it wasn't good.
I got a shot of Cheri drawing back, because I knew that on the odd chance a deer came in, there was no way I was going to be able to pan back and forth. Ah... the editing room would a busy place. I tried to conduct the filming and the pre-post interview with her just as one would see on Archer's Choice, but our hearts just weren't in it. Cheri did a great job on day 4... I just wish there were deer to witness it.
Last edited by Colorado Rick; 09-29-2008 at 12:11 PM.