Sunday, November 11, 2018

Mountain Palace

We float by these places nearly everyday in the summer. They are landmarks that were first noted by European Americans with the Lewis and Clark Expedition but know by Native Americans for thousands of years. They create wonderment and questions of what it was like 'back then'. Sometimes, we as guides, take these landmarks for granted until an angler we are guiding looks up from his or her bobber and says, "Wow! Look at that!"

Hiking around the hills, exploring and looking for mule deer, definitely lends a different kind of perspective for these places and again, brings up the questions of what it was like hundreds of years ago out here. It's what gets me through a fair bit of doubt that comes from a long season of not being successful at killing stuff, knowing I'm into another long and potentially unfruitful hike. But that comes down to perspective really. I mean, how could you look at this site and think it's anything but inspiring even if, unfruitful? 

Yes, we took the boat to some BLM land yesterday as we did last year for the first time. Along the way, we did take time to admire Mountain Palace from a vantage high above it. I don't like giving away secrets but this was too cool of a view to not share. I hope you enjoy and I hope you respect what goes into bringing this to you. 

The hunt wasn't quite as productive as last year's Meat Wagon run but we did see a few deer with one good buck that John LaRue decided to take out of the gene pool. This was a nice heavy 3-point that wasn't going to get to the level I am looking for. It's a good buck to shoot. 

Check this out. This is why I say mule deer are dumb. We were looking at this deer as it was chasing a doe. It was a smaller 3-point we spotted before the one above. Both the doe and the buck spotted us from the bottom of this little drainage as we were totally exposed and in the open. They spooked a little but then just went on with their business. His was to get a little sumthin-sumthin. Her's was to not give it up to just any little buck. 

They literally walked right up to us. You can see in the photo below that the buck is only 50 yards away and just kept coming. 

It was just after watching these deer walk away that the bigger buck made his way over the ridge. John spotted him as he was cresting the opposite side of the drainage. He did hold up behind a few trees but again, we were totally exposed and actually had just started making our way down the draw when John spotted him. After spending some time hidden behind a tree at about 100 yards, he stepped out and gave Johnny LaRue a shot. Johnny passed so his dad smoked it. 

I've said it before and I'll say it again. A trophy to one is not necessarily a trophy to someone else. Some of us are meat eaters. Some of us look for horns. Some require both. John passed on the first 3-point because it wasn't big enough. Two minutes later, he had made the decision to shoot this one if his son didn't want to. It's a nice deer. It's going to make some great sausage and John can be proud to have shot a good buck. Perfect. 

Keep 'em where they live...

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