A Perfect 10

Steve Rinella and his brothers often refer to a “purity
scale” regarding their hunting experiences. The scale incorporates many factors
others have attempted to quantify, but this is ultimately impossible because
the factors are so individual to each person and situation.

My buck this fall, a nice little forky, was the first time I
achieved a “ten” on my own personal purity scale.

It was mid-season, and I had yet to fill a tag of any type.
My frustration ran high due to a missed rushed shot on a nice 4×4 and another
nice buck that slipped by me because he would not clear his companions. The
winds around my area refused to lie down, gusting to 30-35 mph every day,
making any time outdoors annoying as hell.

My weather app told me conditions in Eastern Montana would
be slightly more favorable, so I made the early morning two-hour drive east to
one of my favorite spots. It receives only light hunting pressure, most other
hunters overlooking its rolling ridges and small canyons filled with secret
springs. I parked my truck and proceeded to walk and glass, walk and glass. By three
miles in it was noon and the first time I had ever gone so long without seeing a
deer in this location. The old frustration began to set in, and I considered
turning back to take a nap in my warm truck.

I couldn’t do it though. Remi Warren’s instruction to “become
comfortable with being uncomfortable,” repeated in my brain as I climbed a few
hundred feet to glass from the nearest ridge. It was a good decision as the
ridge provided a unique few of both the surrounding forested mountainside and
the rolling plains. Initially I saw no deer from my new vantage point, but my
attention kept falling back to a forested knob in front of a high ridge and a
deep canyon. It looked like a perfect place for deer to bed in the midday sun,
however I saw none. I continued to glass, even ate some jerky, but I refused to
give up on the knob. I walked several yards up and down my ridge to gain new
angles on the knob and finally, just as I had suspected, I saw a deer.

But it was “just a forky,” my ego said. Now there is nothing
wrong with targeting mature deer if that is your hunting style, there are even numerous
herd management benefits to this approach, but I am primarily a meat hunter.
Still, it is hard let go of the judgements that some hunters have towards
others taking small deer.

I looked past his size to instead evaluate his location. He
was stalkable, but it would be difficult. The knob afforded him a 360-degree
view of his surroundings, and deep narrow canyons protected his back and his
flank. The ridge on the other side of one of the canyons provided the only shot
opportunity. I decided then that if I could reach that ridge in time and undetected
– that would make the hunt and the memory, not his age or his size.

So off I went, carefully down off my ridge to then backtrack
and circle around to the shooting ridge. In order to stay out of sight I had to
cross several other smaller ridges, so that while I was initially only 1,000 yards
away from the buck as the crow flies, it took me over and hour to get in
position. During that time, the sun passed behind some cloud cover. I had to
hurry, as I knew the dropping air temperature would prompt the buck to rise
from his bed and start feeding away from me.

I dropped to my knees and peaked over the ridge. I was not
too late; the buck stood there feeding still on the top of the knob. The shooting
position on the ridge turned out to be closer than I had expected as only 100 yards
separated us. I shifted to a kneeling position, controlled my breathing, and
made the shot. He dropped where he stood.

I dressed and quartered him there on the knob as the coyotes
howled waiting for their chance at what I left them. He was a beautiful buck in
good condition and I found no parasites on him save a few ear ticks.  By the time I finished it was dark, and I
faced a 3.5-mile packout, entirely alone. This was the most difficult part of
the hunt, but the part I had prepared the most for physically and mentally this
past year. As I crested the last ridge before the road I sat down for a rest
and almost cried at the beauty of my moonlit surroundings. Purity scale: 10.

How do you determine what draw weight is right…


How do you determine what draw weight is right for you?

I don’t have to many archery shops close to me or they aren’t easily accessible. Is there a decent way to discover how much you can draw? I’m mainly looking to use a recurve bow. Thanks in advance for any help you can provide.

Submitted November 21, 2019 at 01:10AM by KoiOf_Madness
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Connecticut 2019 Firearms Deer Hunting Seaso…

Connecticut 2019 Firearms Deer Hunting Season Opens Nov 20
Posted on: 11/20/19

Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) recently issued a reminder that a variety of hunting seasons are currently underway or about to begin, most notably the opening of the fall firearms deer season on Wednesday, November 20.  Hunting is allowed on private lands and on most state forests and wildlife management areas, and some state parks. Specific deer hunting season information is… READ MORE

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