Category Archives: hunting

They Know, Somehow

I poked my head above the sagebrush and cursed under my breath. Forty head or more of antelope had just vanished somewhere on the rolling range. Where the hell could they have gone?

The valley wasn’t wide, maybe a little more than a mile from where I was at the root of the snowcapped Sawtooths, which climbed several thousand feet from where Highway 28 cut through the lonely Lemhi Valley.

I got up on my knees, thankful for the kneepads and leather gloves I had almost neglected to bring. About ten of those “speed goats” were grazing far down toward the highway, but there was no sign at all of the large herd I’d been stalking for more than an hour, belly-crawling through what slight cover was available. This was my first antelope hunt, and it was a lot harder than I had planned on it being. It was the second day of my hunt, and the umpteenth failed stalk. Get within five hundred yards, and the critters would just take off.

It was easy to locate them. I just drove along the lonesome highway south of Leadore until I spotted my quarry. But then I tried, and repeatedly failed, to put a stalk on them. It wasn’t working at all like they did it on the hunting shows. Continue reading

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Bipolar Season

I climbed over one last deadfall on the long-neglected trail and pushed myself up the final step to the saddle on a commanding mountain ridge.

It was cold, the temperature dropping as the sun began to break over the Cabinet Mountains in late September and let out a puff of breath to test the wind direction. I’d hiked an hour in the dark to get to this spot overreaching a remote mountain meadow where I was certain elk would be bunched up like cattle with at least a dozen bruiser bulls competing for dominance of the airwaves with their primordial screams. Just then, a bull confirmed my thoughts with a mighty bugle from somewhere across the forest. Ah, it was going to be a good day. Continue reading

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