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Quilomene tag filled (w/ pics and story)

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Quilomene tag filled (w/ pics and story)

Old 11-10-2008, 04:46 PM
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Location: Wenatchee, Wa (The Dry Side!)
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Default Quilomene tag filled (w/ pics and story)

We hiked the hills for weeks in the rain, fog, mud, and snow until Nissa was able to fill her late Quilomene buck tag. We covered miles and miles of sage-covered hills and steep-sided mountains covered in dense timber. And when the moment of truth unfolded, she made an amazing shot. 450 yards away in a 30 mph crosswind, blinding snow, and he was running through the timber. It was the shot of legends….

Well...that's not actually how it happened... that’s only partially true, and not quite how this hunt played out. We actually found a buck uphill from the road about 300 yards away. It was clear and calm and we got a late start but let me tell you the story.

We had been pretty lazy. Her tag started a week ago but we hadn't been out yet. Busy school schedule for her, 18 weeks pregnant with our second child, and we had just finished 9 hard days of elk hunting with no luck, preceded by 9 hard days of deer hunting before that. I guess you could say we were a little burned out on hunting, or as close as you can be when you've hunted hard, put in the miles of boot-leather, and had no luck. So, the weekend approached and we both decided to take Saturday off. I know, I know, we should have been out there in the fog and rain hunting, but we just didn't care. We both really needed to take a day to catch up on some sleep and just lounge around the house in our 'jammies. To be honest, we were thinking of doing the same thing on Sunday as well, but logic prevailed and we managed to drag ourselves from the warmth of our bed and head to the hills.

We still hadn't made arrangements for anyone to care for our 4-year-old daughter Jayme so, being a hunting family, we decided to include her in the hunt. Figuring there may be some birds out-and-about, along came the dog and shotgun too. Pretty soon we found ourselves pulling out of the driveway, with the sun already cresting the horizon while we made the hour-long drive to the Tarpiscan.

Driving to a saddle between canyons we stopped to glass. We spotted a deer about 800-1000 yards away alone at the head of a brushy draw but we just couldn't ID it very well. At first I called it a buck, 2 pt our better, and watched it work around the hillside until it bedded down. After watching it for a while it started to look more like a doe so we lost our enthusiasm to hurry after it. We all loaded back up in the Jeep and motored around the canyon, where we spotted a couple more deer working down the bottom of Big Springs’ canyon toward us. Watching them for a while they eventually spooked back up the way they came, a doe and a spike. We kept driving until we were below the bottom of the draw where that first deer was bedded. Stopping and looking up the road Nissa spotted a small 2-pt (so small we called it a spike until she got closer later to ID it). Watching him and looking for other deer, we spotted this buck standing behind the brush and could see he was a good one.

"Nissa, there's a big one!" I said in an excited voice. Later she would tell me when I said that her heart skipped a beat. We watched as the smaller buck danced around, playing almost with his big brother. The two walked out on a knoll, presenting a perfect broadside shot but Nissa just wasn't quite ready to shoot. Then, just as suddenly as they were there, they were gone over the knoll. I hurried up the road, expecting to see them cresting the ridge heading for the next county but I didn't see them. Our hearts fell as we realized a missed opportunity and contemplated our next move. Should Nissa hike up after them? Should we keep driving? We mulled it over and over for 5-10 minutes until glancing up we saw that the smaller buck was back, standing beside the brush looking behind him.

“They’re still there.” I hissed at Nissa after throwing my binos to my face and spotting the bigger buck. The smaller one moved out from behind the brush and we waited for the big one to follow but he stayed behind the cover instead. We watched as he bedded, got up, moved into a small window where Nissa could have shot, but there was still some brush in the way so she paused. Then he bedded and stayed there safe in his overlook of us and the valley below.

Waiting, watching, hoping, the buck didn’t budge, watching and listening to us, mostly paying attention to Jayme’s singing inside the vehicle as she played by herself. Struggling to decide what to do for those long minutes, then hour, I could tell the daughter and dog were getting restless so I let them out to play and walk around in hopes the buck would stand or move for a shot. Another hour passed with no change from the buck when he finally moved enough that Nissa had a clear shot. Range 280 yards.

“Jayme, plug you ears!” Nissa barked and fired at the deer. Missing her first shot we watched as the buck got up and ran to the side of the brush where he stopped to see what all the noise was about. Presenting a quartering-on shot Nissa followed up with a good hit, hair flying off his side. He started running down the draw toward us and stopped again broadside, where my wife put him down for good.

She hiked up after him to make sure he was done. When word came over the radio that he was finished Jayme, Deke, and I followed to celebrate. To finish the hunt she took it upon herself (insisted in fact) to drag the buck all the way down the draw to the truck. She then did all gutting and skinning as well.

Who says women are the weaker sex? Not in my book.

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Old 11-10-2008, 04:47 PM
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Default RE: Quilomene tag filled (w/ pics and story)

Nice buck. Congrats.
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Old 11-10-2008, 04:47 PM
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Default RE: Quilomene tag filled (w/ pics and story)

All I can say is WOW. That is one huge deer, and the family time is great too!
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Old 11-10-2008, 04:48 PM
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Old 11-10-2008, 05:25 PM
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Default RE: Quilomene tag filled (w/ pics and story)

great deer

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Old 11-10-2008, 05:31 PM
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Default RE: Quilomene tag filled (w/ pics and story)

great job
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Old 11-10-2008, 05:34 PM
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Default RE: Quilomene tag filled (w/ pics and story)

Nice Muley!
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Old 11-10-2008, 05:58 PM
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Default RE: Quilomene tag filled (w/ pics and story)

congrats. nice job. its muley but looks like a whitetail rack. its a great buck none the less
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Old 11-11-2008, 07:49 PM
Nontypical Buck
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Default RE: Quilomene tag filled (w/ pics and story)

it was fun and pretty easy, good thing considering our daughter was with us. Great hunt all around I figure. Not a book buck by any means but some great venison for the freezer.
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