Sitka Blacktail Hunt: The Hunt Winds Down

By: Roy K. Keefer

Each of these days we followed pretty much the same routine we had for the prior days.  Explore new country, glass mountainsides and look for bucks.

On day seven, we decided to go for it.   Fred and I decided to climb the mountain we had glassed so many times.  Shelby would remain low glassing for bucks.  If she saw any she would use hand signals to guide us to them.

If our luck wasn’t bad enough, it got worse.  Fog rolled in from the ocean.  At times we couldn’t see a hundred yards.  So we roamed the mountainside and only periodically saw Shelby down below.  Later we learned that she saw a buck but before she could give us any assistance the fog returned and then the deer was gone.

Shelby glassing the mountainside for bucks. The fog rolling in didn’t help.

On the last day of our hunt we returned to the creek we had walked the week before.  It had rained hard for several days and the creek was a raging torrent.  No way could we walk up the creek bed that day.  Instead we followed the creek bank walking past partially eaten salmon carcasses everywhere.

 

The flooded stream proved too difficult to cross after the rains.

Ahead of us we saw some movement – deer.  We inched forward and saw four deer.  One was a fawn buck with tiny antlers trying to break through its skin.  He was only 15 yards from us.  Although I wanted to complete the deer slam, no way was I shooting this little guy.

And that was the end of our hunt.  We tried hard and gave it our best, to no avail.  Completing the slam will have to wait another year.

 

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