Successful Hunting Tales
With hunting season underway in most of Wyoming, it’s time to pass along a couple tales of successful outings.
First, just to brag a little, on Friday Oct. 1, the first day of mule deer season in the Saratoga area, a younger hunting partner and I were in the field by daybreak and by noon I had bagged a nice four-point buck, uphill, close to the vehicle and with only one shot. Plus, a younger hunter to help drag it out.
Good thing I still have an elk tag to fill, Blue Grouse to stock and fishing to do, or the whole season could have been ruined right off.
Just a side note: I hunt in an antelope area where there are way too many bucks for the amount of does, so I hoped to help out the Wyoming Game and Fish Department (WGFD) by harvesting one of those bucks. However, I wasn’t able to draw a buck tag because WGFD contends that the antelope population is way down and instead sent me a doe/fawn license. Now that really makes sense – kill a doe or fawn but not a buck!
Now for a successful hunt in the 1880s as related in a 1904 book, “My Sporting Holidays” by Henry Seaton-Karr. It reads in part:
September had just begun. Elk and deer were in good condition, and fairly plentiful in the neighborhood. The climate and weather were perfect. There was nothing whatever to mar our happiness as we turned into our blankets, thinking only of sport for the morrow.
Next day I hunted alone, on a steep and thickly-wooded mountain south of camp. I was fortunate enough to kill a good bull elk that day in rather a curious way.
I had ridden horseback nearly round and over the mountain in question without seeing anything but a few cow elk and was making for camp late in the afternoon, when I suddenly came in sight of a good bull with a small band of cows. The elk saw me and disappeared down a steep gully before I had the chance of a shot.
I galloped round the head of the gully, intending to cut off the elk in case they went up the other side through some thick timber and rocks, as seemed likely. But, I overshot the mark.
The leading cow appeared for a moment, emerging from cover on the far brink, saw me and led the band at full gallop back down the gully and round the shoulder of a steep hill to an open valley below.
I heard the elk crashing through the timber, and at length they emerged in the open ground far below me, and at least 400 yards away. I sat down on the crest of the hill and opened fire in desperation on the bull as he followed his harem – a bad last – across the open valley not half a mile from our camp.
I must have fired at least six shots at him from my double express, and had begun to look upon it as a lost opportunity when he suddenly stopped, walked round in a circle and then fell stone-dead at least 600 yards away, and some 200 yards below me.
One lucky shot, as I afterwards found, had entered behind the ribs and raked forward into his vitals. He turned out to be a very good bull, with a 58-inch, 12-point head.