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3 hunts will always stand out for me , the first take , the frozen pudding , and the eye juggle . Only the first one this time around .
I was about 14 , 3rd season .
It was a cool November morning and Dad and I had driven up into the head of a canyon at about 8500′ and hiked another half mile as it was getting good and light . The hike took us out the top of the tree line on the shady side of the ridge . We spotted the canyon and the big bowl we had skirtted getting to the top . I don’t remember it being especially cold but it was the first time I had warm boots and they were noisy on the bare granite . Pacs are like that , I did tie up the zipper so no jingle .
After the zero contacts in 2 canyons we worked the knob an got caught between any cover by a pre or very post rut herd of a dozen or so 5 bucks 7-8 does ….. We we’re probably about 9200′ and there’s just nothing but white weathered granite oval flag stone and boulders . This herd broke the ridge in the saddle about 550 yd so we waited them out to cross a feature to give us a break . We hoofed it back 100 yd behind a boulder line just under the knob . That let us keep the ridge between us and them and the wind favored us . So we booked it down to about where the big boulders ran out on the saddle . The herd was settling down in the afternoon sun looking for the the swirl in the wind about 50 yd over the saddle . We gained about 250 yd and worked into the lower boulder pile . We were out of cover and fortunately still out of the wind . Dad put on his 700 BDL bull barreled 25-06′ and the big boulder . The focus range finder was useless because of sun and angle and wouldn’t have done me any good anyway not knowing what I was looking at anyway . Dad coached me through the shot 340-65 yd and the wind . “Pick one . Tell me which one” , ok the the guy out on the upper left side , he’s alone but not the biggest . ” Ok he’s a good one . Put the horizontal on top of his shoulder . Hold the thin part of the wire about a width in front of his shoulder.”
The boulder was a 10,000 lb rest with about an 8′ radius on top . I remember being really fixed on getting the sling under the stock so the granite didn’t shread the walnut or rock around on the sling stud . Once on him and set up the squeeze lasted forever on the 3# target shoed trigger . Safe off and squeeze again . Boom back on him before his head hit the ground ……
After a few very tense minutes while the herd scattered , we discovered that there was a shear in the saddle ….. 350 yd neck shot and 3″ below the point of hold . It was a beautiful day early in the day about 2:30 and only about 1.7 miles back to the truck .