I have a beautiful black lab named Tanker from Tiger Mountain Pointing Labs in Washington. He is not very happy with me. I have been trying to fill a deer tag since October 10th. The job isn't done yet, and it is eating into his bird hunting season.
I have become frustrated and a bit obsessed. In fairness, I hadn't hunted big game in Idaho in about 15 years. Some things are different, primarily the people and the pressure during the rifle season. So rifle season came and went. Some days we saw deer, some days we saw elk. Most days I was pissed that we hadn't done enough preseason scouting. I spent 13 days in the field during the rifle season. Hiked a lot. Didn't fill my tag. Neither did anyone I was hunting with.
So in the last week before the season closed I started scanning the regulations in Idaho for ANY option that would allow me to keep hunting. And there it was, an antlerless season in Unit 38 for short-range weapons only. If you read any of my articles on sidearms for hunting, you know I have a 1911 in .460 Rowland. I have heard that it is being used to hunt elk and moose, and obviously people carry it for bear defense. On top of having an adequate firearm to get the job done, it's an antlerless hunt. Well, that should be easy, right? Of course I have seen more bucks than I saw in the rifle season, and the does are the ones who are hard to find thus far.
I have 11 days left in that season. I have a really good spot, that has a lot of animals in the area. I am seeing them on most of my trips out. However, I have not managed to get a shot. There have been a few shots I might have tried with a shotgun with a slug or a muzzleloader. But I got it in my mind that I would do this with my 1911... So here I am, leaving the shotgun at home for better or worse, ignoring the cardinal rule of blogging: be consistent and write all the damn time, and to top it all off I'm leaving poor Tanker at home. Maybe it'll be worth it. I'm certainly putting in the time. I keep getting close, but getting a clear shot has been a real challenge.
I said in my last post that I was going to give it all I had until November, but that was before I learned about this short range weapon hunt. I feel like I owe it to myself to keep going. So I am giving it all I can until Thanksgiving.