#21  
Old 09-24-2008, 11:16 AM
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Rick, 2 words: Find Water!
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  #22  
Old 09-24-2008, 11:21 PM
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Day 2...

We slept like rocks. I'm sure at some point the alarm Cheri set went off, but I turned it off. The deer would have to come to us. Cheri seemed to be ok with the idea, and told me about a nightmare she had. It seems that she was in the middle of the area we sat the day before, and had no idea how to get back home. She was alone and scared to death. I asked her if she was afraid that would happen on this trip, and she sadly admitted she was.

I resolved to teach her what I learned a long time ago out here. We finally got out of bed and got our camo on, then drove for an hour and a half to the top of a huge mesa. We walked in for an hour or so, and sat on a log and listened to an Elk bugle.

I looked at her and said," Ok... get us out of here." I'm happy to report she did everything I taught her on the way up, and we came out of the thick aspen forest exactly where we entered. She felt empowered, and understood why I have all the things in my pack. We started back down the mesa, and she noticed three doe in a clearing. I hit the brakes, and she slipped to the back of the van to get her bow.

I estimated the largest doe to be about 40 yards out. I say estimated because the dang rangefinder was in my pack, which was also in the back of the van, but in the heat of the moment... we guessed.

I was bouncing back and forth from Cheri to the doe, with my heart in my throat. As I swept back to her she released, and my head tried to track the arrow, but all I saw was a grey and white butt in the air and kicking legs.

Oh my God she got the doe! "Did you hit her?" Of course she hit her! Deer don't jump like that unless an arrow blows through them you idiot!

Cheri looked worried as we watched the deer run off, then back at us again! As if realizing her mistake, the doe slammed on her brakes, turned a perfect 180... and bounded away again. Holy Crap!! She got her deer!!

Cheri looked sick, and she started to break a little. Let's just say she and Freddy have more in common that just
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Last edited by Colorado Rick; 09-24-2008 at 11:52 PM.
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  #23  
Old 09-24-2008, 11:43 PM
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archery. I asked her how she felt about the shot. With moist eyes she said she wasn't sure, but it looked like she missed.

Missed?? No way!! Not with the leap I saw just then. And the way that deer acted! Hell no! No!

"Are you sure?"

"Yeah... I saw the shaft go under her by about 6 inches . I just missed." she said dejectedly.

I couldn't believe it. There was no way! "Let's go find the shaft."

You'll see. It'll be like it was dipped in red paint. You always think the worst.

We found the shaft, and it was covered... in dirt. "Well the blood picked up a bunch of dirt." I thought. Cheri picked it up and aside from the dirt, it was clean. No blood... just dirt.

"Wow! You got so close!"

"Yeah... but not close enough." she sighed with a shaky voice.

I looked at her and her eyes were filling up again. "Cheri... you've done something only a handful of women in the world can say they've done. You spot and stalked a mule deer, and you took your shot. Yeah it missed, but oh my God! Not by much! You've achieved your goal. You did it with nobody holding the bow or your hand. You should be doing back flips right now!"

She thought about that for a while, and before she could find a way to argue, I asked her if she was shaking like she was in Texas.

"Oh my God 10 times worse!" and she laughed a bit. I slapped her on the back... it's just something we do... don't break out the nails and hammer yet please... and then she was fine.

We had 6 more encounters on the way down, with only one resulting in a drawn bow, but because of the earlier miss, she didn't take the shot. Too bad too because that doe was a monster. I cheated a bit for Cheri on that one. I hit the hazards on the van as a distraction. The doe turned as Cheri got to within 30 yards and it leapt up the hill. Or so Cheri thought. She stealthily moved toward the spot the doe entered the trees and as Cheri squated down, the doe bolted further into the cover. Cheri looked irritated and I asked why as she came to the van.
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Last edited by Colorado Rick; 09-24-2008 at 11:56 PM.
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  #24  
Old 09-24-2008, 11:48 PM
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She wasn't any more than 10 yards in front of me. Little jerk almost made me (soil) myself when she took off! I saw her eyes, she saw mine, and boom. Gone!" Man that doe really pissed Cheri off now! I've only ever seen that look in her eye a few times before, and it was always the result of the kids screwing up badly. I mean badly.

We got back to town exhausted and hungry. We hadn't eaten all day, so we stopped for a bite to eat. I knew she was replaying the first shot over and over again. "We have three more days hun." I told her.

We'll try again tomorrow.
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Last edited by Colorado Rick; 09-25-2008 at 12:01 AM.
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Old 09-25-2008, 07:33 AM
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Great story... You should really take up writing...

Tell her not to sweat it.... We all miss.... I shot under a doe last year and I've been doing this for (wow) almost 20 years....
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  #26  
Old 09-25-2008, 08:29 AM
Va Hunter Va Hunter is offline
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Ms Cheri,

Don't let it get ya down. The first deer I've shot at in years, with a bow, was standing broadside to me, last fall, at 20yds. He jumped like somebody'd goosed him when I hit that rock under him! If I'd not seen where the arrow was, I'da thought I'd stuck him.

Keep trying gal. It'll all come together. When it does, you'll look back and wonder what all the fuss was about.
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  #27  
Old 09-25-2008, 08:33 AM
Va Hunter Va Hunter is offline
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Oh...Cheri?

Don't forget the paper towels, wet naps and TP! Good things to have around when we... uh?... (soil) ourselves!


Now ya'll get back out there and have fun!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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  #28  
Old 09-29-2008, 11:24 AM
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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.
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Last edited by Colorado Rick; 09-29-2008 at 12:11 PM.
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  #29  
Old 09-30-2008, 02:10 PM
ladybowhntr ladybowhntr is offline
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Huntin', gotta love it. Sure can frustrate a person at times!!!!! Hope this story takes a positive twist!!!
Great story!!!
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  #30  
Old 09-30-2008, 05:08 PM
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Wow Rick!!!!! Great story!!!!!! Cheri keep at it you will get one.
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