Friday, October 10, 2008

Buck Season

Saturday, October 4th was opening day of buck deer rifle season and my wife and I were fortunate enough to draw tags. My wife was not interested in getting up early Saturday and the weather was ugly; so I went by myself. I worked over my usual places and found sign of does with yearlings and nothing more. I've hunted that area for over ten years and never found so little. Archers had been telling me this for a month. By late morning I moved to another area all together.

About 11:30 I spotted a doe with 2 yearlings and an outlier forked horn. Because it had been raining most of the morning with mixed fog I had left the M98 Fabrique Nationale 30-06 covered and locked in the truck and was carrying the Vaquero Colt .45 in a shoulder holster under rain gear. The forked horn was at 60 yards uphill in scattered second growth. The doe was getting nervous so rather than close the distance I took the shot. The buck went down immediately though it took a finishing shot. He had a decent sized body with a small rack, but racks aren't really edible. By 2:30 he was in the double sinks in sections and covered with ice and my wife and I left to see if we couldn't find her one.

Nothing was happening where I'd been earlier but there was an area I hadn't looked. Part way there, lo and behold, a tree was down across the road. The area had been thinned at some point and there were stumps every where which were serious obstacles to going around. Oddly enough, the '78 K20 had lifting rope aboard and its ability to be very mean to a gallon of gasoline also means it can deal with things like a tree down. In the lower picture you see my wife standing across from the tree looking to see if the branches are clear of the road.

That is what we bagged for the rest of
the day. You can't eat one, but a camera will make a trophy of it.

This is a great old truck even if it is over thirty years old. It is on its third transmission and third engine and lord only knows how many windshields. For the informed she's running a 400 small block with a stage II turbohydro 400 and to my endless irritation a full time 4x4 transfer case and automatic hubs. My irritation is due to the fact that the transfer case constantly turns the front axles sucking gasoline pointlessly. Folks this thing's ordinary running weight is in excess of 7000 pounds and that takes gasoline without any extra draws, like 8 miles per gallon. If you're thinking that a smaller engine or such would be helpful, you're neglecting that anywhere I go that is out of town I have to cross mountains and it is not unusual for the truck to then weigh in excess of 8000 pounds.

I stay away from mud bogs, this is the wrong truck for that and neither is it any good for side hill running, if it is slippery at all that heavy back end will end up down hill - an awkward situation. I like to leave as light a footprint as I can and tearing up the woods or the roads isn't responsible behavior.

The buck generated quite a bit of jerky and around twenty pound of sausage as well as steaks. Due to his young age I didn't hang him and so far the results are fine. The sausage and jerky are quite nice, the liver went to a concrete contractor pal and the heart was tonight's dinner. He was a fine animal who will provide many fine dinners for the expense of 5 gallons of gasoline and two hot 365 grain .45 Colt rounds. Another reason I live where I do.

No comments: