Once Spring finally arrived here, so did the hectic pace of life that it brings. Summer in the high country means all living things get very busy. Bucks and bulls are growing racks, mountain slopes are growing feed and a hunter is doing hunting stuff. We managed to, in no particular order:
Shed Hunt. We didn’t find great numbers or record size horns but we did enjoy great hikes and picked up a few. It feels so good to stretch the legs and enjoy the time with family.
Attended the Elk Fest Jackson Hole. We have made an annual family tradition of attending the antler auction in the Jackson Square and the RMEF banquet that evening. It is a great time to look at piles of antler and get an early pump for Fall season. Is that too soon? We enjoy supporting the RMEF and somehow someone in our group usually picks up a nice new gun or two. This year my Dad, who has never hit the winner’s bracket until now, picked up a Savage in 6.5 Creed! Needless to say he was pumped.
We also found time to attend a Muley Fanatic banquet and a Bowhunters of Wyoming banquet weekend this Spring. I enjoy supporting big game conservation groups and know that it will bring Good Karma in the Fall.
Attended local 3-d archery shoots. Great practice and more family fun. Youngest son Sam was debuting his spanking new Bowtech Carbon Icon. All who know me can attest I bleed HOYT! However I know that about every major bow company puts out a quality bow these days. And, who doesn’t enjoy a lot of good natured heckling especially between father and sons and brothers against brothers? I shoot Hoyt, 2 sons shot BowTech, 1 son shots PSE and my Dad shoots a Matthews because he thinks he needs a handicap. I’m proud to say Hoyt came out on top. I didn’t even need to cheat either. This time.
Prepping for Hunting Season. I have a huge list of things I wanted to get done before this Fall in preparation, like many of you I’m sure. Physical fitness has been a big challenge and is the most important to me for all aspects of life. The chemo treatment left me with residual issues of immune system that the doctors are still sorting out. Recently my lungs showed new growths that appeared in every way to be the return of big “C”. Needle biopsy were inconclusive so finally they arthroscopically removed 2 good pieces of my right lung for thorough labs. Results were NOT “C”, but an odd inflammation that can be treated with steroids. Though early in treatment I already feel more energy, my ribs are healing and I have made exercise hikes the past 3 mornings. I have mountains to climb so these legs have to get toughened up. We have owned 2 horses for a while now but mostly for my wife’s trail rides. I want to use them more in future hunts and this year managed to attend a great horse packing class. It was cool to unravel the mystery of the double diamond, single diamond and squaw hitch. I’ve resigned myself to the fact I may get old and feeble one day and will need horse help to get meat out of the hills. I need desperately to upgrade my spotting scope and will before very long. I’m just seeing how my available gear dollars will add up so I can buy the best possible.
I have made progress on “Carlos” the rifle project. For those newer readers, this is a Remington 700 in 300 WSM with factory action and 26” barrel set in a McMillan HTG stock. Dressed in old school woodland camo. The nick name Carlos comes from Carlos Hathcock, a Marine Sniper in Vietnam. He was a great shot and even better stalker. In one action he crawled for 2 days across a grass field, killed an enemy General with one long shot, then escaped by crawling back across the same grass field. I find it amazing they couldn’t track him by furrows left by the big iron pair he must have had dragging along behind. Anyway, I decided on and purchased the scope. A Huskemaw 4-16×42 will fit the bill for me and my style of hunting. I also decided on a pair of Talley mounts. I’m not sure if this build will be complete and ready to hunt with this fall. But I don’t care as this is for me to learn about what it takes to make a better shooting rifle. I will enjoy the process as I go. My learning curve is steep!