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Last Updated: Feb 5, 2010 – 5:39:39 PM
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Ram It Home

By Art Champoux

Jun 22, 2005 – 6:26:00 AM

Ram It Home, By Art Champoux

Wild Hill Preserve, located in the green mountains of Vermont is
a 4000 acre preserve with various species of game. The area has Texas
Dall ram, wild boar that attack both dogs and humans, large red stag,
various goats, Corsican, Hawaiian Ram, Fallow deer and other exotic
game. The avid gun or bowhunter has a choice as to what he wants to
hunt depending on the price. I chose the elusive Texas Dall ram which
go from $750.00- 1500.00 depending on the size. This place is a
hunter?s haven.
Included in the price is meals and lodging. The owner Bill sees to the
lodge and hunters while wife Bobbi does all the cooking and the only
word to describe her meals are ?spectacular?. The Red Stag meat is a
typically great meal with fresh vegetables and home made rolls. The
morning coffee has an aroma that stimulates you to get up and get ready
for the day of hunting. And the hunting grounds are also in the range
of spectacular with the forests of red, gold and green over the rolling
hills of upper New England. The decor of the lodge has the rustic charm
of an old mountain cabin with decorated with mounts of every animal
that habitats these hills. Fire places are in every living room and
power is supplied by car batteries in the rooms to give you light.

Art Champoux with Ram


Across from the main camp is a large field with two ponds. One is a
catch and release trout pond and the other for a view people would die
for. Next to this pond is an authentic Indian teepee surrounded by
horses in the adjacent field at the base of a hill where the sunlight
radiates dramatic hues of yellow, green, orange, red topped off by the
deepest blue sky.

This view greets you when you wake up at 6 am and is constant until the sun goes down at about 6:30 pm in the October sky.

Each day of the hunt, the guides ask you what you wish to hunt
that day, then drop you off in an area that you might find the game you
want to pursue. No guarantees but you can stalk, sit or still hunt
depending on your preference. Rams like high country. Hogs like bogs.

The stags and fallow deer can be any where.

The first morning I put my bow on the front of the ATV, threw on
my pack and headed up the winding slopes of trails that some times rose
up at 45 degrees. This morning I wound up sitting a log pile that over
looked a draw where sheep some times travel through to get to the top
of the hills to sun themselves. After 5 hours of sitting there and
seeing nothing my guide came and picked me up for lunch.

After a hearty meal they decided to take me up to another
popular spot ram travel through. While the view of the green Mountains
was worth the price of admission, the wind came up and instantly
dropped the temperature into the uncomfortable range. I had to hunker
down in the trees to break the wind and stay warm and alert. For
another 3 hours I saw nothing.

Leaving the log pile I still hunted for about half an hour,
mainly to keep warm. Having no luck with that I went back to my
hide-away blind as the first day drew to a close. An uneventful close.

That night after a meal fit for a king, we all shared stories
of the day. Shots hit and missed, animals seen and let go for various
reasons, weather, the view and hopes resting on tomorrow. Many of the
gun hunters had tagged out on Red Stag and were all pretty satisfied
with these magnificent animals with their massive racks. That is the
magic of hunting camps.

The hunt is the goal but the enjoyment that comes from
listening to the talks of old hunts, the meeting of new friends,
reacquainting with old friends and the feeling of belonging to a group
of people who were concerned about the land and the conservation of our
natural environment.

It was interesting to hear Bills stories about the Eskimos,
the Amazon and the Nile. Interesting too were his beliefs on the spirit
of the animals and the ethics of the harvest. He also has a deep
respect for the earth and the Great Spirit that created the Heaven and
Earth, us and the animals and the awesome responsibility of man to care
for and preserve our natural heritage. It was the most moving of all
the stories heard that night.

The next morning found me on a grassy knoll overlooking a slope
and road that the Rams might be using. I did not see a Ram but within
20 yards of me was a massive red stag. His fur literally glowed in the
first light, sporting a massive rack tipping out 3? to 4? above his
head. Unfortunately for me, fortunately for him, he was not my target.

Another morning slipped by as I sipped a hot bowl of soup filling my
stomach and warming me. I wondered about what was to come.

After lunch they took me in another spot near a road that that
Ram often cross. But after 5 hours I had only one sighting and that was
much too far for a bow shot through thick trees. About 5:30 the guide
came after me and said they had spotted a nice Dall headed for a field
to eat.

The guide grabbed my bow and quiver on which I had attached my
finger tab and arm guard. Up the 45 angle winding hills and down the
winding slopes we went, some times tilting right or left. I often felt
I might fall over but the expertise of the guide kept me on the ATV.

When we got to the edge of the field, he pointed out a
buckskin Dall sheep that was grazing about 1/4 down the field, not far
from the edge. He encouraged me to get to the inside of the field edge
and try to get as close to the animal as I could.

He handed me my bow, but to my horror and his, all my fiber
optic sight pins were broken and both my glove and arm guard were gone.
So without a finger tab or glove I grabbed my quiver and Proline ACE
bow and headed to the edge of the woods. Settling in I estimated a 20
yard shot to the Ram that was still grazing. The bow came up, the arrow
came back and there I was trying to sight down the arrow, no tab, no
sight, and no Ram. I MISSED!

My arrow went right under the massive ram. I quickly nocked
another arrow as he started out a quick pace. At 15 years I sighted
down the shaft, led him slightly, picked my spot and released. The 3
blade Muzzy slammed into him in the front shoulder. The Ram, hobbled by
the shot, was moving toward the woods about 70 yards away. At that time
Bill arrived and said if he got to the woods it would be hard to
retrieve him in the quickly approaching evening and the coyotes would
get him. I was sight now so quickly nocked another arrow. The guide
whistled, the Ram stopped and turned broadside, I drew back, picked a
spot. This time the Muzzy broadhead arched across the field and slammed
into the exact spot I had targeted, right through one lung and out the
other side. He tilted one way took about five steps and went down. He
was dead before we got to him.

As I approached the animal Bill said ?That was an incredible
shot.? I paced off exactly 45 yards. No tab, no sight just my
concentration on picking a spot, thinking it in and good follow
through. As I approached the animal I knelt down, raised my hands to
the heavens and thanked God for the day, the earth HE created and the
animal he allowed for me to harvest.. Believe it or not…….The
spirit answered me and said in my soul that I have done what GOD
intended me to do……..harvest one of his creatures that he put here
for our food. Read LEVITICUS 11 verse 1-8

 

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