Countdown...

Ellsworth

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10 days till the bow opener in WA.

Just thought i'd start my own countdown thread cause i'm the only guy on here from the inland northwest.
 

Ellsworth

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8 days.

Going out scouting some new spots on the hunting area. Just remembered this unit isn't open for late archery. So I might have to start concentrating my efforts in some other areas throughout the east side of the state.

Late season does start in late November though, during the rut, so even when early archery stops at the end of Sept, i'll be able to scout October.
 

Ellsworth

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7 days.

Got my bow back from UltraTec today in the mail, shooting great and getting back into the swing of things, hitting the target each time really well. I gotta take her out to some public lands and get some range on her, most of my mulie encounters thus far have been + 20 yards or so, and from the scouting so far, i'm thinking i'll be stalking for most of the september hunt.

7 Days and i'm itching bad to get out sept 1st morning.

Over and out.
 

Ellsworth

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6 days.

The confidence has subsided, now i'm driven by a feeling of incertainity, did I scout enough? Did I prepare enough? How will I pack my pack...will I get enough water, for field dressing..what if I see a shooter buck when I walk the first hillside?...what will I do? Approach with or without the wind? Will my homemade scent killer work enough to approach upwind? Will the wal-mart camo, work enough in the sagebrush? Will my homemade camo job on my quiver be so different from the bow, to draw attention? Do I sit the first couple days on the ridge top, hoping for a downward shot that I can't practice? Do I have the constitution to shoot a 30 yard plus shot, which will inevitably be certain. Do I push a deer after a hit...due to no cover so I can watch him drop to be certain? Do I wait a night to retrieve him, even though there are most certainly cougar, and yotes...

Am I ready to field dress and butcher...with the tarp hold enough to not coat my whole car in blood...How many days will I really be able to convince the GF to let me roll out of bed and miss work... How much more should I invest in a low % hunt. How regular are the deer movements...Will I sit in the area where I saw the biggest buck...or the most bucks. Will I be the only one out there for archery. How do I move without being seen.. Will my 8X40 binocs be enough in the sagebrush.

And the most important, will the WDFW give me a hassle on my resident tags!? Probably, and if so will I have to wait a week into the season.

My whole head is reeling back with questions, if anything making the experience that much more worth it. As I grow more into hunting and the lifestyle, I relish this part of the hunt. Nothing is certain, except that it won't be easy. And if I do walk the first hill and see a shooter, do I shoot or not, that is a question I can only hope tests me in the coming week.

Getting everything done around hunting, is becoming an issue, I stay up late at nights, reading countless issues of bowhunting, deer and deer hunting, eastman's etc... I need the first to come, at least to have some peace on the uncertainty.

Soon,

Ellsworth
 

Ellsworth

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5 Days.

Trying to get everything in order, workin out the kinks.

Everything looks to be golden for the 2nd of september now, the GF signed me up for an early afternoon BBQ on the first...so i'll be shooting grouse on the first, I figure I can do that without the worry of cleaning the game before I need to go.

Only a few days left, amazing how fast it's going.

To fast.
 

Ellsworth

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4 Days.

Yeah I know opening day is in 3. But I have an obligation on the first...yep.

So I think for the second i'm going to try an evening hunt, and sit atop a cliff top that is about 25 feet up in a canyon with the only greenery in about 500 yards. Hopefully it will act like a natural siphon and the deer will channel through...

And hopefully the position will allow me to get a shot off quick enough to not be seen.

We'll see.
 

Ellsworth

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well, I don't know if the countdown is going to keep going in the same fashion. Went to try and get some tags today. Didn't allow me for some reason i'm suppose to go into the WDFW office...except the opening day is labor day...

And I can't go into the office until earliest tuesday. This season has been shrouded in hassle.
 

Ellsworth

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Tomorrow!!

So I finally found a vendor that was willing to help me with licensing. He worked everything out for me, so I am now licensed for Archery deer, small game, and migratory waterfowl!

Going out for grouse early in the morning tomorrow, forest grouse, blue grouse and ruffed grouse, hopefully get the bag limit with one of each!

Time to pack!

Over and out.
 

Ellsworth

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Well grouse was a bust.

Had good reports going into the Colville National forest, just didn't pan out for us. We had a plan to drive the forest roads up and down looking for any grouse movement, park and walk to see if we could get a shot...

Yep didn't even see any, on any of the forest roads, I don't know if it was the time of day or just the weather. Hopefully, i'll get a 4X4 soon and go ahead and give it another shot, later in the month.

Going out for mulies tomorrow, going to walk in to the hunting area for about a mile or so and hope that there isn't anyone out there shooting trap or anything else. Depending on the wind i'll try and set up in a draw for the last few hours of light to catch some of the movement from feed to bedding. Hopefully the cows are pend up as well.

I'll post again tomorrow.
 

Ellsworth

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Well last night's sit was, kind've encourging and frustrating all in one.

Went to a spot where I know there is deer walked through it slow trying to spot and stalk, got within 20 yards of a 2X1 he spooked and broke out. Not to far though, probably about 40 yards then looked back at me for a long time. If he was legal I might have tried for it, but my aim leaves something to be desired. I figured I blew that spot out pretty well so I walked down another game path and the wind changed and I hear a big huff and some grass moving.

It's a whitetail doe....first one i have seen on the property didn't even know they were there, she eye balled me for awhile then slowly walked into the nothingness.

So I kept walking to a cliff edge at a natural draw between two water sources, got set up and sat for about an hour. I here something walking towards the pond, I get set up and look to my left. I thought I heard some scraping as it walked through the woods so I put on my release. Sat quietly for another 10 minutes hearing this thing go through the woods.

It sounded huge, thought it could be a moose or better yet a nice buck....

Saw an ear, and confirmed that it wasn't a person romping through my spot. Then I saw it...big fat betsy walkin right in the game path.

I swear I wanted to shoot her right then and there. So my hunt got blown by good ole BLM cows. But it was a pretty good day saw a lot of deer.

Going out again early saturday morning, and sit in a different location where I saw a lot of deer before, we'll see what happens.

Over and out.
 

Ellsworth

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Yeah so not much to report, saw a yote at 3 oclock broad daylight, it was a little weird.

Gonna go to sit one of the ground blinds, this weekend i'm thinking sunday morning hopefully catch a buck moving through.

We'll see.

Tried for doves today...saw one on the road and that was about it. Getting frustrated with the move, just haven't been able to figure out where the game is.
 

iccyman001

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Where in WA are you im flying out on a TDY sept 26th till oct 10th and wanna be doing some hunting or fishing or anything and have no clue whats out there. I will be flying into MCChord AFB
 

Ellsworth

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MCChord is down by Seattle, clear across the state. I'm about 5 hours or so away, near Spokane, and Fairchild.

But, there is tons of NF land out there that is avaiblable to hunt.

Also if you are active, and or discharged, either way, talk to the base commander and you can hunt any of the DOD land that is out there.

I know there is about 30 square miles or so of DOD land out by Fairchild AFB that the military can freely hunt while stationed here.

I'm not so lucky.

But there are massive bucks in there that are just waitin to get slapped, I bet that MCChord has the same kind of thing.

If you get in on the 24th of sept there is 7 days left of early bow season, and then you will have a few days for california quail that starts on Oct 4th. And the forest grouse season is from Sept 1 - Dec 30th or something, so you could always just go and drive the forest roads till you see a grouse park bush wack for a second and blast em, that's always a good time.
 

iccyman001

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MCChord is down by Seattle, clear across the state. I'm about 5 hours or so away, near Spokane, and Fairchild.

But, there is tons of NF land out there that is avaiblable to hunt.

Also if you are active, and or discharged, either way, talk to the base commander and you can hunt any of the DOD land that is out there.

I know there is about 30 square miles or so of DOD land out by Fairchild AFB that the military can freely hunt while stationed here.

I'm not so lucky.

But there are massive bucks in there that are just waitin to get slapped, I bet that MCChord has the same kind of thing.

If you get in on the 24th of sept there is 7 days left of early bow season, and then you will have a few days for california quail that starts on Oct 4th. And the forest grouse season is from Sept 1 - Dec 30th or something, so you could always just go and drive the forest roads till you see a grouse park bush wack for a second and blast em, that's always a good time.
Thx i appriciate this alot!!!
 

Ellsworth

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well woulda had a doe for the meat poll today...

But I was walking to my spot and a loner white tail busts out about 30 yards in front of me and heads right down the draw wood line where I was gonna sit.

She lets out a big "WHIFFFFFFFFFF" then runs into the brush.

Next thing I hear right where I was gonna sit...

"WHIFFFFFFFF" "WHIFFFFFFFF" "WHIFFFFF" "WEZZZZZZZZZZ" "WHIFFFFF"

wait for it....

2 minutes later....

"WHIFFFFFF" "WHIFFFFFFFFFF"

must of been at least ten does in that brush. Needless to say, i'm pissed I didn't shoot that doe straight off.
 

Ellsworth

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previous posts:

9/23/08-
Well folks it's official, I hate myself.

Heading back to the truck at around 10 o'clock this morning from stalking this morning, without seeing anything...

Look to my left, 8 bucks in the field, on public land. So I put a stalk on the bachelor group, get within 40 yards and a massive 8 pointer (3 point restriction grows small antlers on huge deer). Twack!!! 2 feet high (lost the friggin arrow). They scattered, but regroup 20 yards away..."what was that? I dunno.."

So the stalk is on again, restalk now 12 noon, I had no cover so I just walked slow, they actually walk towards me, two shooter bucks 6 point or higher. The largest 8 point, breaks away from the heard and actually comes toward me....i know right...

40 yards about, two more steps he turns broadside to bolt.

1.5' short, he was standing on a rock pile, if anyone wants to know what a stinger 4 blade looks like after it hits basalt....i'm your guy.

These deer are handing me opportunity after opportunity during this cold weather...

I need to capitalize pretty soon, only 3 days left to hunt.

Did get to release on a target though, pretty happy about that.


09/20/2008-
So far i've gathered that there are two main groups of hunters. Ones that live for the outdoors and are just happy to be there, the hunt comes second. Then there are the hunters that live for the hunt, live to release their arrow and connect on their quarry.

For about 3 months now as I have prepared for this deer season, I believed firmly I was the first type. I didn't really care if I connected on anything I just wanted to get out and see the world. Today proved me whole heartedly wrong.

I went to my go to spot, where i've had deer on the trial cam, i've spoked deer before, and with the fast depleting water sources the only spot with water. I got in to a little break in the cover of a natural quaking aspen draw. The spot was nice but it is only about 40 yards wide and about 200 yards long. It is also frequented by cattle who like to ruin my day.

At any rate I got in to the spot found a place to sit that allowed me about three shooting lanes out to 40 yards and a log to my back. I got in at about 5:20 PST with an hour till shooting hours. Before 6 a doe popped out on top of the opposite cliff, with a little skipper following, even if I was fred bear the shot would've been undeliverable, but it got me pumped for the rest of the hunt. So I sit till about 7ish and pass out, I wake up to every little noise, hoping and thinking it's a deer to no avail. So 9:30 roles around, and I know that the most active deer hour out here has long since past and i'm getting anxious, so I decide to go spot and stalk the rest of the area. Plus I hear awhole bunch of movement in the woods, and bank on it being another POS cow pushing through the brush.

FYI: NEVER ASSUME ANYTHING!

I get up pack my gear, stand up on the log, make a lot of noise cause I was thinking that the spot was blown. I look to the origin of the noise, and you guessed it, a forked buck decided to come in 20 yards behind me and rub to his hearts content....

Wait it gets better.

So I start freaking out, didn't know what to do, there I am standing in the wide open, with a buck at 20 yards, and I don't know how big he is (at least I wasn't blown). So I dip behind a little red dagwood, and try to collect myself. For some reason, I decided to go to the left a little to see if he'll step out of the cover and make his way towards the water source. I progress a little bit, one step at a minute, making sure I don't hit any of the noisiest pine cones in north America.

Setting for the last scene: So now i'm 15 yards from deer...how many deer...what size....and if they're legal...I have know idea.

So I hook on my release, standing in between two bushes, praying that the deer just walk into the prairie and leave me broadside. So the buck is still going to town, just hammerin this young aspen, and who pops out, but this massive doe, just huge, almost twice the mass of the buck. She's at about 15 yards, and by her point of view i'm just standing in the open, bow out release on binocs on my neck...just standing.

I look down....this is when the oh Sh! Happens, I glance with my eyes, and i'm standing in the trail.... not on it....literally in it. She doesn't know what to make of me, can't really tell what I am, knows there's something there but can't really tell if it's a bush or something else. I keep absolutely still.

1min...2min....3min.... 10minutes she eyes me up. Glancing from the trail to me to the trail to me.

At this point i'm freaking out, i'm stuck. I don't know what to do, then the buck comes out he's a 2X2 no kickers no ear spikes, nothin...not legal.

So my concentration goes to the doe, I have every intention of laying her down. But I can't move. Let alone draw, she moves back to feeding, but her eyes stay forward. She takes a step, then another, then another... She's walking her usual path I just happen to be there. She's at (no lie) 5 yards in front of me, staring right into my glasses.

POOF! Game over.

I tried to stop em at 10 yards but they broke out.

I feel like crap, 20 days of hard work, probably 10 shot opportunities when I was trying to see if the buck was legal.

Just hope I didn't blow my one and only chance, at my first archery deer (mule deer no less).

Don't get me wrong with this next part, I love the sagebrush, I love the prairies, i'll be the first one to just walk in the woods to be there but...The one good thing about today, is that I realized, i'm in it for the hunt and the shot, i'm there for the deer.
 

Ellsworth

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It's now the 30th, the season comes to a close today at 19:15 PST. I have had a great season with all things considered, I moved to a new area, didn't know anyone, had to fight to get resident status for tags, got a new bow off of ebay...had it tuned by UT which did a great job. Learned so much about bow hunting, got new arrows that work properly with the bow, tuned it as much as I could after I got it back from UT, had it shooting great. First year ever deer hunting period, didn't know what I was doing, but scouted enough on a budget to find the deer and get three shot opportunities. Most people would called that one heck of a season, but to me I have a hole in my soul, I wanted, almost needed to shoot a deer.

I've always been that kind of person that gets something in their head, then runs for the fences with it. I picked up hunting just 6 short months ago, hopped in a hunter ed class in WI, got my certification, got a turkey tag, got a landowners permission, and by middle may had two 20+ lbs toms on the ground. In all comparisons that hunt was much easier than this one, I knew the area, I watched countless shows about turkey's I learned and practice the calls repeatedly...I lived it.

This deer season was one of up and downs, I lived it, every beautiful minute of it. From day one, I wanted to set up my house for internet just to scout and find public land, I worked less hours to get out in the field, I sacrificed a lot of time with my family (The GF the only person I have out here) to fulfill a crazy dream that I almost saw happen twice.

The early bow season ends tonight, but the late season opens in middle november in a separate area, which I have to re scout and figure out. I don't know what will happen but i'm more confident now in what I can accomplish than I was starting out this summer. I almost had a 4X4 mulie monster on the ground, DIY public land, first deer season, first time hunting with a bow. I can take pride in my sacrifices, because for me I learned more in 6 short months then many people learn in a lifetime.

I don't think i'll ever stop trying to learn and evolve, it's part of the game, it's what drives everyone (to a certain degree) everytime we lace em up and step into the woods we take something more than an animal home with us. We take an experience, that was ONLY experienced by us, no one can take that away from us.

Will this seasons downfalls stop me from chasing deer in November? Not by a long shot. Will it give me a better understanding of how to be successful? Yep. Will it give me more satisfaction later when I look at how I successfully moved across the country, getting paid for graduate school, learning about the environment and getting closer to nature? You bet.

I look forward to november and busting out the doe estrus, along with the grunt call, they tell me the rut is a whole new game, and I have every intention of winning it.

Plus, quail opens up Saturday. :D
 


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