S: 2010 Hunting Season
BC: View out the door of Marcus' and my N.Dakota cabin. Marcus' buck hanging.
1: 2010 was a memorable year. I harvested many quality animals, hunted in 3 different states and had a blast doing it. My grandpa Clarke passed away this season on August 8th, and I think of him often. I regret not doing more hunting and having him tell me more of his stories when I was with him. I miss you grandpa. I continue to have my goal of the 200 inch mule deer and hoping next season is the one. Drew, your great grandpa Clarke thought the world of you. I hope / wish you could remember your few days with him.
2: Oregon, Snake River, Spring Bear
3: Oregon spring bear hunt in early May. One of the few moments it was not raining or snowing on us. Along on the hunt was Marcus Flesher, Dusty Bourasa, Mario Guisto, Benny and myself. | Morgan Ridge
4: This was our glassing point on Morgan Ridge. There was very little glassing going on. About 1 hour after this photo was taken multiple snow storms blew through! We just sat down to have lunch in this photo.
5: Dusty, Mario, Benny and myself packed in on top of Morgan Ridge and planned to do an over-nighter. This storm blew in shortly after we got up on top and stayed until we called 'uncle' and headed back down to stay warm and dry in the wall tent. We ended up with a couple inches of snow.
6: Dusty's Oregon Bear
7: We decided to go early on this trip (May 1st) so that we could catch the bears when they had the best coats. We were also videoing for the new and upcoming TV show, BCTV. The weather did not cooperate and rained and snowed basically the whole time. | We never saw a bear in the first 3 days of hunting. Finally the sun broke out for a little while on the 4th day and Dusty shot a cinnamon bear. The footage turned out great and will make a nice show for BCTV. I have an Idaho bear tag that I will go home and try to fill, then possibly come back to Oregon to give it another shot.
8: Idaho Spring Bear, unit 32,32a | Middle Fork Weiser Rd.
10: I hunted 4 days, well, actually 1 evening and 3 mornings on this hunt. The bears seemed to head into the timber early and the hunting was so slow in the middle of the day I could hardly stand it and would head home. On the first day, it was an evening hunt and we headed up the Middle fork of the Weiser River. Aaron Wood, Adam Hiaring and Tony Fallow came along on the hunt. We headed out at noon and planned on hunting until dark. Shortly after jumping on the 4 wheelers I spotted a cinnamon bear about a mile away. It looked small but I was archery hunting on this day and decided it warranted a better and closer look. Aaron and I took off after it and Tony and Adam stayed behind to give hand signals if we needed them.
11: Aaron and I made a perfect stock and got to within 47 yards of the bear. He never knew that we were there. Aaron videoed the whole thing and it turned out great. The wind was blowing too hard and the bear just wasn't big enough for that shot. No more bears were seen that day. Day 2. Brian Drake came along with me this morning. We headed up Fall Creek. While on the 4 wheeler Brian spotted a bear. It was a nice chocolate bear but it just didn't give us enough time to judge him and get video. At least quality video since we were videoing for a TV show. We spent the rest of the day figuring out what roads we could get up due to all the snow. No more bears were seen this day. Day 3, I was alone on this day. This was also a
12: a morning hunt. First thing in the morning off the 4 wheeler on the same open ridge as we saw the bear yesterday is a black bear, a young one, standing 80 yards below the road. I stopped and videoed as he ran down into the timber below. Right after that bear ran off, I started to glass the hills and there was that same brown bear that I had seen the day before, but about a mile away. Today I was prepared and eager to shoot him, especially since I was catching slack from Kari for wimping out on a half marathon I was supposed to run with her today. I took a road that would cut my distance and I was off with a video camera in one hand and rifle in the other. The bear was quickly heading towards the timber so I needed to hurry. I got as close as I thought I could without spooking the bear or running out of time before he made it to the timber.
13: I got to a good shooting point and guessed my distance at 300 yards. I was shooting Marcus' gun and it was dialed in at 300. I got the video set up perfectly, steadied myself and shot. I didn't know right away but I shot about 20 inches low. I reviewed the footage and clearly missed. I then took out my range finder and actually figured out how to use it and ranged the bush it stood in front of at 420 yards! No wonder I missed... I spotted a 3rd bear from where I had shot, but at that time I wasn't quite sure if I had hit the brown bear I shot at or not so I let that one go. I went to check for blood and there was none. After that it was warming up, so I just drove some roads and made a plan for the next days hunt.
14: On the 4th day I was up early and ready to get it done. The day before was Drew's 3rd birthday so I stayed home. I was at the same spot before shooting light this morning. I did the same thing as the previous 2 trips and stopped on the road in the exact same spot as before. I glassed around and didn't see any bears at first but with a little closer look, there was that same brown bear again. This time only about 400 yards from the road. I quickly grabbed the video camera and rifle and started sneaking down the hill towards the bear. I set up ready to shoot, got the camera on the bear, ranged the bear at 190 yards, took my time and shot. Down went the bear! The legs just folded; it never knew what happened! The video turned out great too, I couldn't believe it. I had it quartered and on the 4 wheeler before the sun came up. It was great!
18: Wright, Wyoming Antelope, Travis and Dusty.
20: Dusty showed up at my house at about 2 o'clock in the afternoon. We loaded up his stuff and hit the road. Tegan was nice enough to let us use here car (Honda CRV) so that we could save gas money on the trip. We headed towards SLC, and would make our way through Rock Springs, Rawlings and then north to Casper. We stopped and ate, shot video of the trip and just took our time on the drive over. We ended up camping on the side of the highway just south of Casper at about 1:30 in the morning. We got back on the road about 5:30 and estimated we had about 3 hours left of driving. This trip was set up through Blacks Creek for their TV show. It was a guided hunt with Tangle Ridge Outfitters. We were supposed to meet Brent of TRO at Hank's Bar at 10:00 am. We showed up early and Brent was a little late so we went in and drank a few Coors Light until he got there.
22: Dusty and Travis sitting in the blind. One of the few moments that Dusty was not on the phone.
23: This is camp. Dusty and I stayed in the Alaknak tent on the left and the other tent seen in the photo was the cook tent.
24: We finally met up with Brent and his family and we followed him to camp. We unloaded all of our stuff for the week and then Brent drove us around to show the property and we set up a few blinds. The next, or first, morning Dusty was hunting. The day was uneventful. No antelope came in to water at our waterhole. Those are long days in August from sun up to sun down. The next morning I was hunting and Dusty was behind the video camera. At noon, Brent drove up in his truck and moved us to a different water hole. He had watched several antelope drink in an area that he did now know held water. We quickly broke down the blind and moved up the hill to our new waterhole. Only an hour or two later a few does came in and drank. The buck hung up and did not come in initially. About a half hour later he finally came in. The shot was right at about 30 yards. He was not drinking when I shot. He was looking at the blind and jumped the string. I hit him right behind the right shoulder and exited the opposite hind quarter.
25: The buck ran about 100 yards and lied down. We waited for about an hour and decided I would sneak up and try to put another arrow in him. He was hurting pretty bad which made the stalk easy. I put two more in him and it was all over. We took photos and did a quick interview on camera. Brent was in a hurry to get us back in the blind because more antelope were coming, so he drove up, loaded the antelope and back in the blind we went. No other bucks watered that evening. The next day we sat on the same waterhole. We had several antelope around us but would come close to watering and then just walk around the blind and disappear. Finally we realized that there was even more water below us! At that time Dusty decided it was spot and stalk time. We had a couple close calls but no more dead antelope at the end of the day.
26: Where I killed my antelope. There is a little water in the green grass below.
28: The next, and last morning, Dusty and I decided to try a different area all together. We knew there was only 1 water source on this other piece of property that they could drink and it was crunch time. We were only in the blind an hour and Dusty spots an antelope drinking. We never even saw him come in. We got the camera on him and Dusty made a perfect shot. The buck only went 10 yards and expired. It was perfect timing. We got the buck taken care of, went back and loaded up all of our gear and hit the highway. It was a long drive home but Dusty is always good company. We stopped by Reggie's house to say hello in Rock Springs and stretch the legs, it was good to see him again. After the short visit we were back on the road headed home.
29: Dusty's waterhole and blind. Later in Idaho, I had a few days to hunt and decoyed my first antelope in. Worked like the textbook says but I rushed my shot and hit the buck a little high and a little back. He ran for miles and never did find him.
30: General Idaho Rifle Deer
32: Brian Drake and I packed in to the Atlanta area near Leggit Lake for the general season opener. We planned on staying for up to 3 nights. We got to camp and set it up just before dark, no pre-opener scouting was done! We went to bed anxiously awaiting what was in store for us on opening morning. Opening morning we decided to split up. Brian headed towards Leggit Lake and I headed the opposite direction which was west toward the town of Atlanta. First thing in the morning I spotted 2 bucks together just feeding. They had no idea I was there. This was only 200 yards from camp. The bigger of the two was a 3x4 about ear wide. I decided to pass on this buck since it was only 20 minutes into the season, so I pressed on. I saw elk and even a mountain goat that morning. A couple hours later and about 3/4 of a mile further I came over a ridge and there was a buck sprinting down hill. I quick looked at him with my scope and thought he was a 4x4. He never looked at me so I had no idea how wide he might be. I saw good front forks and decided I was going to shoot. This all happened in about 6 seconds. One shot...BANG! and he disappeared over the ridge. I had no idea if I had hit him or not. I made my way over to where I had shot at him. I found his tracks but no blood. I continued to follow them and only about 40 yards from where I
33: shot him he had piled up against a fallen burned tree. When I walked up to him I hate to say that I was sadly disappointed that it was the 3x4 that I had already passed up earlier in the morning. Anyway, I tried to set him up for some photos but it was too steep. The buck kept wanting to roll down the hill. I dug out a ledge with my boot, just enough to hold him while I set up the camera. After the first photo, I tried to get up and check the photo and bumped my pack that was in the photo with me. When I looked back it was rolling down the hill with my 2k dollar spotting scope in it! It rolled for 300 yards to the bottom with everything except my gun and binos. That was a hopeless feeling for sure. I drug the deer down the hill to my pack, quartered and boned him. It took two trips but I packed him down to the trail in the bottom and hung the meat in the tree before heading back to camp. When Brian got back to camp after dark he was disappointed with what he had seen for the day and we decided that in the morning we would just hunt our way out and head back to town. First we packed our camps out then came back in empty to get the meat. It was nice to be back to the truck for the final time!
34: Camp for 2 nights
35: From camp looking towards Bald Mtn.
38: A couple lakes Brian took photos of near Leggit Lk.
39: Travis and Brian on the way out.
40: Since I had ended my season so quickly, I had to go and buy a second tag at the non-resident price. I ended up spending several days that last week up hunting near the confluence of the N.F and M.F. of the Boise River, passing on several young bucks and one that I wish I could have back. I believe it was a Thursday. I had been hunting by myself and staying in my trailer by myself as well. It's hard for me to keep motivated when I'm hunting along for days at a time. This particular Thursday morning I knew that I would probably be running into a friend, Todd Huck, on the mountain. Shortly after sun up I saw him walking the trail in almost the exact spot that I first met him. We talked for about 15 minutes and he pushed on further toward the confluence. Minutes after Todd had left me, I spotted a big mature buck about a mile away. I could not count points but could tell by the girth and the antler frame on the buck that he was a high probability shooter! I quickly picked up by gear and started running down the spine where I thought he would be funneling through. There was a lot of shooting going on but nothing that I thought could have been at the buck I had seen. I sat there for about an hour waiting for him to come over the saddle that I sat above. Nothing came through.
41: I finally decided that I needed to walk over to where I had seen him last. This would require walking all the way into the bottom and back up the other side. I knew it had to be done so I started down the hill. Maybe a half hour later, I had reached the cut that I had last seen the buck walk into. It was a small cut, mostly sage brush with a few scattered willow patches. I didn't see the buck anywhere but thought I had better just walk through it anyway just to make sure he isn't holding tight on me. I made it just about all the way through and up he jumped about 15 yards from me. I quick pulled up my rifle and looked him over. He only ran about 10 yards and stopped broadside! He was a 4x3! Nearly identical to the one I shot opening day, so I decided to pass on him. As he turned and stared to run off, a million things went through my head.... wow, he's a little better than the one I already shot, he's right above the road and easy to get out, I've only got a few days left and haven't seen much else, Oregon plays USC Saturday and I'd like to be home to watch it, I'm tired of hunting by myself.... just shoot it... By this time the buck had run about 150 yards and stopped. I was in an awkward position with the butt of the gun over my shoulder, laying on my back with the steep terrain. I touched off and thought I had broken my nose. That scope smacked me right on the bridge of the nose!
42: The buck took off running and I did manage to take one more crack shot but I missed the buck both shots. Not sure how but there was no blood and no dead deer. I really kicked myself over that deer for a while. It was a good quality general season buck, but still not the giant I was looking for. Either way, I was ready to call it a season and that was my ticket home! I'm still today wondering how I missed the first shot. A day or two earlier I killed a small coyote at about 230 yards walking! I can't blame it on buck fever, I already let the buck walk after I could have killed him by throwing a rock at him. Oh well, maybe I'll catch up with him in a year or two when he is 30 inches bigger. I never did fill my second tag. I did a little late archery hunting but no good shots presented themselves.
43: My coyote at 230 yards. Looking down on the M.F. Boise behind me.
44: N. Dakota trip, Travis & Marcus.
46: This was a trip for Blacks Creek for their TV show. It was a hunt that Marcus and I had done before and made some great memories. Lots of deer, you could kill either a Whitetail or Mule deer, it was during the rut and it was on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation. What I remember most about this hunt was the cold and the terrible roads on the drive there and especially back home. Thankfully we were in a Rav4 rental car. I don't think that the temperature got above 12 degrees the whole time we were there and that didn't consider the wind chill factor. Marcus had found us a small cabin that was right on the breaks to the Missouri River. It was a nice little place and we didn't have to drive far to hunt.
47: Right when we got there we unloaded our stuff and went out for an evening hunt. Almost immediately I spotted a Whitetail buck that I was comfortable shooting. Somehow that buck got a lot smaller in the 10 minutes it took to make the stalk or it snuck out and another little buck was still in the same area. Still not sure but I wasn't going to shoot this smaller buck. The next couple of days were pretty miserable with the snowy conditions along with the wind. There was too much snow to get around in our rental car and was tough covering country by walking in that weather. I took a slop shot at the small 4x4 at about 600 yards running, Marcus missed a coyote and we had a few missed opportunities because we couldn't get the camera set up in time.
48: Finally we had gotten a break in the weather and it was our second to last day of the hunt. First thing in the morning as it was getting light, right off the main gravel road we spotted a 2 four point mulies, 1 much larger than the other. Marcus was the shooter this morning but I had already made up my mind that if he didn't want him, I did! He made the right decision and after looking at the map to see if we were in an area we could hunt we quick made a plan and headed out after them. The deer were in a big field but had laid down in a wash. We walked right up on them and they jumped up about 30 yards in front of Marcus. One quick shot and he was down and it was all on video for the TV show. After the interview I ended up falling through the ice in the frozen creek that ran in the cutout and soaked my boot and sock in the water below. Marcus quartered his buck while I walked back to get my pack and drop off the camera and rifle. The buck was only about 500 yards off the main road so we made quick work of that buck and we were headed back to the cabin so I could dry out my boot and get new socks. We took a nap and I think even went into town for lunch before we headed out for the last few hours for another buck. We hadn't even left the pavement and I had already spotted a nice Whitetail buck about 150 yards off the pavement. We weren't sure if we could hunt this area by looking at the map so Marcus made a quick phone call to John Arman who made another phone call to a tribal member. The text came over the phone shortly after "KILL HIM!"
50: We quickly made a plan to parallel the highway and shoot the buck. It almost seemed too easy at first. We walked about a quarter mile and I spotted him in some thick brush. The video was bad as well as the shot through the brush so we thought we would wait just a minute or two and he would walk out for a clear shot.... NOPE! He decided to lay down instead. We waited for nearly an hour and may I remind you it was cold. Marcus noticed the doe that was with the buck was looking at us in her bed. I told Marcus, lets move out of her site and she will get nervous and try to sneek out and the buck will follow. The plan could not have worked more perfectly. The doe got up about a minute after she could no longer see us, and the buck just seconds later. He walked into an opening and BANG! it was over. So much work and then one day, two pretty easy bucks bagged.
51: I quartered my buck as Marcus walked to the highway and up the highway to get the car. The pack to the highway was about 150 yards. We did have to cross a fence tho! We went into town that night and over to Shauna's parents house, Steve and Cindy. We told them that we tagged out today and told them goodbye and thanks for everything. The drive back took us 2 full days. The highway was closed at the MT/ID line so we stayed in Belgrade with Joe Jacks from Tight Spot Quivers. It was definitely nice to finally be home. There were countless slide-offs and accidents and we dodged them all. Another great trip and memories in the books. Thanks Marcus.
52: Pictures from the trip back home from N.Dakota.