Awaking on a lazy Saturday morning, my phone blares at 7am. Slightly jostled, I rush to answer to call. It's Dad, "OMR" for the folks that read this blog. The first words of the conversation tells me enough.
Saturday was the modern firearm opener for Deer in Eastern Washington.
This sets in motion a funny couple of hours. I, unable to join him for the day, had mentioned to him that if he downed a buck, I would come and help him ferry it out.
Through poor cell phone connection, I doubly assured him that we'd be there. I jostled my wife awake and give her the plan. She lovingly looked it me like I had 100 snakes growing out of my head, but being the understanding lady she rushes in her best ability to get on the road with me. We had a commitment with her family in Central Washington and according to my calculations, we could make this pit stop "near Sprague" to go help OMR get his deer out.
We make it down to the land we have access on and met up with dad. The barren channeled scablands of Eastern Washington look like the last place there should be good numbers of Mule Deer. We've hunted this area for over years for upland birds, and more recently for deer. These deer exist in a land devoid of standard cover, but give them a crease in the land, a cut, a ridge and they are amazing at making themselves disappear.
I knew where this deer was laying. I knew why I was there. I was fulfilling on one of the reasons why my father had me so late in life...or so he says.
"Why do you think we had you so late, I knew I'd need a game packer when I got older"
I've heard this line for as long as I can remember.
You have to hand it to OMR. The dude has so much fishing and hunting karma it's ridiculous. He jumped this big buck 10 minutes after shooting light and dropped it at over 200 yards on a moving shot. He handles a rifle just as well as he handles a spey rod.
The deer was down in the bottom of a gully, of which I was to drag this beast up to the top, across a flat on a fairly dramatic plateau and down a siginificant ridge, and back to the truck.
Rope around the horns and around my waist....
I fulfilled on my birth rite. I am your deer Sherpa