This past week I went with Don and Bret Dixon on a Deer hunt. In the Ruby Mountains. I have always wanted to explore the Rudys and I enjoy Don and Bret's company. So it was an outing. We left Sunday afternoon and drove as far as Winnemucca ( That's where the gas almost ran out so we stopped so as to not make purchases on the Sabbath) We camped in a truck stop in the Airstream. Monday we made it to our camp in the Rubys. We spent the next Three days looking for deer. The deer tags that Don and Bret drew were for Black Powder. We needed to be within a range of around 100 yards to be effective with the cap lock rifles we were carrying and we needed a buck. We saw about 40 deer over the course of the week. We usually saw them 2 or 3 at a time. If we were close enough to shoot them they were does. If we found a buck ( and we only saw about 5 ) they were too far away. So we didn't kill bambi. ( I actually was not that excited about shooting a deer. I was more interested in the chase.) We saw lots of country in the Rubys. We hunted the ridge tops, and aspen groves, the valley's and meadows. We found beaver dams and saw the mess beavers can make of the forest. We saw some antelope and golden eagles. At one point Bret had a mountain lion stocking him. His saw the lion and we saw his tracks circling around behind him. We suspected the lion scared the deer away so we left also.
We cooked up some good dutch oven meals. Chicken and Rice, Corned beef and Cabbage, Rib Eye steak and dutch oven potatoes.
Hunting is an interesting experience. There are two approaches and we tried them both. One way is to have one person walk through a thicket of aspen or pine nuts and try to flush out the deer. The other two hunters wait on the outside of the thicket to shoot the deer as they come out. The other way is to hide in a area where deer will pass through and shoot them as the pass by. We would split up to do this to increase our odds and success. This would entail waiting for hours by one's self and trying to be still and quite. In this setting it is amazing what can to seen and heard. It was so quiet that just breathing seemed to be a major racket. In this quite I could hear the cows in the valley miles below us. I could hear trucks on the road miles away. I would usually hear the deer's hoof steps before I would see them. In all of my time in the mountains I don't think I have ever spent hours just listening and watching.
Hunting won't be first on my list of things to do with free time. ( and it takes a lot of time) But, I enjoyed the company and exploring the mountains and living in the wild ( in an airstream) for a few days.