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Rockin' the Hawken, snow track buck.

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Rockin' the Hawken, snow track buck.

Old 11-18-2015, 12:04 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2015
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Default Rockin' the Hawken, snow track buck.

The Fourth morning of my hunt started out a bit of a gong show. Driving into the spot I had intended to hunt I noticed a nice buck track crossing the road. It was the best track I'd seen so far so I stopped to look at it. There was a dusting of snow in the bottom of the track which meant it had been made early the previous morning... too old. Still it was a nice track, maybe it would be possible to catch up, I hemmed and hawed it over, followed the track a little, and eventually decided to move on. The delay meant I got to my starting point a bit late... only to find the logging road I was intending to use to get into some ridges had been completely rototilled by the logging company!! I don't mind when they shred the road, keeps a lot of hunters out, but I now had about a mile of shredded road and slash to walk over! If I shot something back there the drag out was going to be brutal. Then I realised I had forgotten my hunting jacket, no biggie, I had a warm sweater in my pack, but not being able to tuck my bino's down the front of my jacket was going to be pretty annoying. I hadn't used them once the previous day so I decided to leave them behind. I buckled on my belt pack, shoved a micky bottle of water and a can of sardines in my pocket, and stuck a primer on my Hawken... about halfway in I realised I had left my touque at the truck. Efff it, I could put up with a whole day in freezing weather with only a baseball cap, hopefully!

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I hadn't intended to use the Hawken, but two days prior I had slipped on some ice and fallen on my .270 hard. A couple test shots confirmed that it would not hit the broadside of the barn. My spare rifle was in the middle of a stock swap ( I know, great timing on my part) and now that we finally had snow I would have to go to the range and mess around with my gun. Halfway to the range I remembered the Hawken, it was sighted in for round balls which should be good enough if I kept hunting the thick bush I had been tramping around so far. The next day I had hunted an area with lots of thick, overgrown cut blocks. I had tracked a buck and jumped him in some thick willows twice, but never got a shot at him. Every track you follow teaches you something, that buck taught me that the deer in that area were holed up in the thick willows that had grown over the cutblocks, and in there they were darn near invincible. They had food, cover, and it was so thick I would almost need to poke them with the barrel of the Hawken to get a roundball in one. I buggered about in that stuff all day without any luck.

It was slow going over that tore up road. I finally reached the trail that lead up to my ridge, on my way through a cutblock I found a decent track, it wasn't huge but the side to side offset was pretty good, and its maker dragged his toes pretty regularly in the couple inches of snow... better yet it was smokin' fresh! The track lead up onto the ridge and down what had been a heavily used scrape line the year before, with this year's late snow though any rut sign was depressingly absent. I was moving pretty slow, almost still hunting, the track was super fresh and it wasn't big enough that I was overly concerned with whether I caught up with its owner or not. I was standing by a scraggly pine looking through the timber when I heard something to my left... and there he was! About 30 yards away, he somehow had no idea I was there so I had some time to work with. I counted ten points on his somewhat un-inspiring rack, cocked the Hawken and raised it to my shoulder. I had turned down bucks better than this early in the season, what was different now? With over 20 miles of hiking in the last few days, leaving the truck before daylight and returning after dark, stopping just long enough to much on a meager lunch... now I had earned him. Now I had a great hunt under my belt that deserved to be consummated, and as far as I'm concerned any half decent timber buck tracked to within 30 yards and killed with a traditional muzzle loader is a trophy. I settled the bead behind his shoulder and pulled the trigger.

Exophysical is offline  
Old 11-18-2015, 12:37 PM
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: idaho
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well done and congrats. nice write up.
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Old 11-18-2015, 02:54 PM
Nontypical Buck
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Location: Virginia / West Virginia
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Awesome job! Congrats, and great write up!
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Old 11-18-2015, 06:03 PM
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Location: WI
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Congrats Exo, nice buck, awesome story!
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Old 11-19-2015, 01:17 PM
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Location: Trumbull County, Ohio
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thanks for sharing!
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Old 11-19-2015, 03:25 PM
Join Date: Oct 2006
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Awesome scenery!
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Old 11-20-2015, 07:20 AM
Nontypical Buck
Join Date: Apr 2004
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Good job, i'm jealous
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