Running Out of Luck
by Grady Nelson
With little hope and not a lot of luck in the archery or muzzle loader hunts, my dad approached the rifle hunt as his last
chance at a buck as a dedicated hunter in the harvest season. We simply didn’t have many days to get out and hunt, but
we were going to do with what we had.
It was opening day, and we wanted to get to our “spot” before light, so we could catch any big bucks feeding or
preparing to bed down. Our first choice “spot” was surrounded by elk, so we changed our game plan. We hoped we
would have better luck.
When we reached our next “spot,” we started glassing. The deer were so hard to see, but luckily we spotted three deer at about 900 yards.
We moved into nearly 850 yards to get a better look. We could only see for certain that one of the deer was a buck. We moved to where we
could get a better shot, but when they were at about 700 yards, all the deer disappeared
The frigid weather made it difficult to glass because our hands were freezing. We glassed in that same spot for about 45 minutes before leaving. We headed toward a nearby ridge which was a burn area. There were only fifteen small pine trees. As we walked up and down the ridge looking everywhere, we looked under those pine trees several times. About two hours later, wespotted some deer.
We figured they must have been bedded down, so that we couldn’t see them. It was getting later in the day, so we decided that we should walk up the side of the ridge to see if we could jump them out of their beds. I was about 20 yards into the push directly across the canyon from the pine trees when my dad got on the radio and told that he had found the deer and that all three of them were
still bedded down under those same pine trees.
He told me to sit down and stay as still as I could. My dad had to move three times in order to get to the right spot in hopes of taking a shot. Ten minutes later, the deer stood up from their beds and looked around. They were spooked. Although my dad didn’t have a very good shot, he decided to take it anyways. When he shot, I looked up and saw the buck drop. The deer rolled down the hill, and we couldn’t see it anymore. We waited about fifteen more minutes and then we found him. My dad’sluck had definitely changed.