Monday, January 12, 2009

Archery Hunting

It is only reasonable that I take the bow for a walk since I did not get a deer during the rifle season. I saw a very nice buck the day after Christmas. It was raining, cold and in general a miserable day. My better half asked the usual rhetorical question as I was getting dressed at o-dark thirty, "Are you going out in this weather?".

It was at about 7,000 feet in elevation in the Santa Rita Mountains. No, I won't say exactly where. I saw a doe walking away but she had not seen me and here comes another deer down the hill. Dang! No wondering if it was a buck. You could tell what this bad boy was at 30 yards in the rain and cover. His motion downhill kept him at about the same range. I had to move to place my feet for a shot as he moved behind a tree that obscured his view. Naturally, he heard me but still could not place me. I had that mantra going in my head, "I am just a funny looking bush, keep walking into the next spot". I thought I had him as I got away with drawing on him. Don't you know that there was one twig between us that I missed in my tunnel vision watching the buck. I was saddening when the arrow clipped the twig and sent the arrow awry. Clean miss! He bounded away as I stood there with a little tremble. Buck fever always seems to come to me after the shot. I waited a while and started to follow after him. I gave it up as the weather front continued in and the rain went to snow. The wind kicked up and it was snow blowing sideways. I would say that visibility was about 20 feet and time to head down off the mountain. What a great day!
I know what you are thinking about now. Why is there a picture of a mountain lion? I will get there. I have been going out taking that bow for a walk every time I get a chance to see if I can pattern this buck. So far no luck. He is in the area but not when I am. I imagine that is how he got to mature status. Saturday was another trip to field. I was getting a little bored and went for still walk. There was one area about a half mile away that had a small flat spot about 20 feet across that is near water. Not much grows in that flat spot as it is mostly clay right there. Perfect for checking tracks after a rain. There were a lot deer tracks, some coyote, and a lot of lion. I started to cast around looking to see if the lion was a one time visitor. I found other tracks that were only a day or so old. That lion is there regularly. I always carry a lion tag just in case I get lucky but really hadn't thought about taking one with a bow. Would you find yourself looking over your shoulder and getting creepy feelings? Me too and I like the thrill. I was thinking that I would need to carry a more substantial sidearm if I were to try a lion with a bow. The 9mm just doesn't seem adequate for an angry lion. I would expect that you will get one shot with the bow. The lion will either run or charge. I haven't made up my mind if I should try with a bow or just wait until the end of archery deer and take the rifle for a walk. You never know, I could have my mind made up for me as I will continue to hunt that area but take the 44mag.
What would you do with a lion? I have always told my wife that I would like to take a lion once. She says, "Could we get a full body mount on one of those limbs and put it over the fireplace in the living room? There's room". Bless her heart. I like her!

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