. . . To him who has once tasted the reckless independence, the haughty self-reliance, the sense of irresponsible freedom, which the forest life engenders, civilization thenceforth seems flat and stale. Its pleasures are insipid, its pursuits wearisome, its conventionalities, duties, and mutual dependence alike tedious and disgusting. The entrapped wanderer grows fierce and restless, and pants for breathing-room. His path, it is true, was choked with difficulties, but his body and soul were hardened to meet them; it was beset with dangers, but these were the very spice of his life, gladdening his heart with exulting self-confidence, and sending the blood through his veins with a livelier current. The wilderness, rough, harsh, and inexorable, has charms more potent in their seductive influence than all the lures of luxury and sloth. And often he on whom it has cast its magic finds no heart to dissolve the spell, and remains a wanderer and an Ishmaelite to the hour of his death.
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
My first Muzzleloader Buck, 10 degree buck....
Well, I hunted hard, as usual, this year for whitetail. I passed on plenty of decent bucks (such as the one I shot with the camera below) and had missed opportunities on some trophy bucks...was beginning to think I had a Wolf curse, especially after having snow fall out of a tree and into my scope while a huge mountain buck ran off......
I ended rifle season without punching my tag, so I thought I would give a late muzzle loader season a try. I've never taken a game animal with a muzzle loader, so thought it would be a fun and challenging experience. I hunted a day on the Selway, with little luck, and being down to the last day and a half of the season, I set out with my good friend Donny to hunt some areas he has access to.
It has been bitter cold the last few days, and figured the deer would be needing to move to eat and stay warm in the sub-zero overnight temps. The temperature had however warmed up to ten degrees when we set out on an afternoon hunt.
We saw some deer, out of range of the muzzle loaders, and the cold temps were causing all sorts of havoc with the camera and other optics...as you can see in the frosty deer pic above. We were walking a canyon rim when two bucks came running out into the field about 75 yards in front of us. I pulled up the muzzle loader and put the open sights on the largest of the two, and as he slowed his run to a trot at about 125 yards, I held at the top of his front shoulder and fired. He immediately folded with the impact of the 295 grain lead slug, then spun and ran about 30 yards crashing into a fence and brush, where he piled up.
He wasn't the biggest buck I'd seen this fall, I passed on quite a few larger than him earlier in the season, but for my first muzzle loader buck I was excited, and definitely will have to do more muzzle loader hunting in the future......he turned out to be about a 15 inch 4x5, not bad for only one day of season left, and he will make some fine eating for the winter months ahead....
Posted by Robert Millage at 8:51 AM