We made it up this past weekend to do some scouting (Richelle had to work, so I had to pack along the kids). I know most of you would probably hate to be in my position; it’s really tough when you have to scout for three different big game hunts in the same unit. I am just devastated!
Now for the rest of the story…
We arrived in my unit at about 1300 hrs. This gave us some time to check out the feed, before we decided where we wanted to be for that evening. It looked as advertised, lots of older feed (a lot of weeds) and not much grass but some. Most of the bigger dirt tanks were 1/2 – 7/8 full, so water isn’t much of an issue. We watched as a huge storm drenched the units south of mine. We could only pray it would drift a few miles north but it never did. Meanwhile, we found a small 70-75″ pronghorn, but I didn’t stop to take photos. Okay, truthfully, I left my digital camera battery at home. I wasn’t happy but if this would have been my hunt, I would have been reaching for my Outdoorsman’s Resource Guide.
We drove to a dirt tank that I haven’t been to and I found some BIG bull tracks. It was now 1700 hrs and both kids were passed out in the front of the truck, so I elected to keep traveling, hoping to find some better feed.
After several miles of traveling I started to see a little better feed. Eventually, I even found some mud. By now my kids had woken up and they were bugging me about roasting hot dogs. I then realized I was not sure if the State Land Department had any fire restrictions. Out came the Outdoorsman’s Resource Guide! After a few miles trekking along I found some cell phone service, so I called the number and of course the State Land Department didn’t have any updates (typical government work). If it would have been during the week, I am sure I would have gotten my question answered.
After seeing all of the sign in the area and with it getting dark, we put the truck in park. I tossed everything on and we began climbing. After about 30 minutes of glassing I swung my glasses to a small dirt tank and admired the fresh elk tracks heading down the draw. Just then is when I about fell over, it was a MONSTER! No, not really, but it was something I have never seen before; a white bodied 6×6 bull elk. He wasn’t just a touch of white, this bull was completely white! Immediately I ran up the hill to my pack and told my daughter, but she just gave me a weird look, so I swooped up my video camera and lumbered to my glasses. Of course, in just those few seconds he went behind some trees and for the rest of the afternoon all I could see was his rack. It was now dark, I saw a total of 4 bulls, a few cows, and a javelina. It wasn’t the greatest night of glassing but we enjoyed it.
When we got down to the truck, we were all hungry so we ate some dinner, which was an adventure in itself. At about 2145 hrs we loaded up and headed down the road to shine the spotlight. It was really slow, as we only saw 1 bull and my son faded fast. My daughter was a trooper and made it to 2300 hrs, before she laid her head down. So, now I was on my own, which was fine because I usually see the good stuff when I am by myself (it makes it interesting when you try to drive, video and shine a light).
Just after my daughter called it quits, I saw two sets of eyes; they weren’t elk. I drove closer and found it to be two nice mule deer bucks. They were just out of the strength of the light, but I could tell they weren’t dinks. I headed down the road knowing we had seen a BIG buck in this area before, when it happened. Just to the left of the road I saw several sets of bluish colored eyes. I immediately shut off the light and grabbed my video camera. Below is what I saw: