The uncanny ability of my father to be successful in the great outdoors knows no end. When stories like this year's 2018 general deer opener in Eastern Washington comes about, I just smile and laugh. It's happened so many times like this it's no fluke.
So onward with the story
Hunting mule deer in the channeled scablands of Eastern Washington is a unique experience. It's rugged basalt channels mixed with rich wheat country. It's farms and CRP, bunchgrass and tractors, deer and pheasants all coming together in a unique beauty that I absolutely love. I've hunted farms in this area since I was 12 and each time I step on these pieces of property it's like a well worn book that you know well, but still can and will surprise you to no end.
Opening morning had us in our respective usual spots just before shooting light. I climbed a dramatic rise up from the wheat fields to cover the cuts and draws that the deer return to bed down in each morning, Dad covering the outlets from down below.
Like clockwork, 3 does came back to their beds immediately after sunrise but from there the action stopped. A half hour or so after, the crunching of cut wheat to my left wasnt a deer as a I hoped, but another hunter.
A member of the family who owns the land had a similar plan as me and I backed off to dad's position to to reassess. Dejected, I sat down with OMR to find a new plan and hopefully find a deer with the requisite 3 points needed to make it legal
"Why dont you hike down the property about a half mile and watch the other big draws on the property and see if that other hunter jumps a buck out that could run to you"
Leaving dad, slowly make my way to the destination, carefully watching for other deer that may be escaping the gaze of the other hunter. Getting to my spot, I sat down and began glassing.
No more than 5 minutes later, as they say on the t.v. show Meateater....BLOUCHE!
The shot had come from right where I had left. OMR's juju just doesnt stop.
No more than 5 minutes I had left him, a nice big bodied buck came into view. Hanging up just under 300 yards, dad took the opportunity to fill his tag
Getting back to him, he was unsure of what had happened to the deer. Not seeing it run off, but still unable to see it gave us a bit of an uneasy feeling.
Finally as we got to within 75 yards, the buck materialized. Double lung with spine, the deer had died in an instant. I will always remember turning around to my father who was trailing me, raising my hands in success and watching him light up knowing he had done it. At 78, who knows how many more deer will fall to his well worn .270 Savage. I'll relish that happy moment forever.
The deer was unique. Massive body but very weird horns, the well worn teeth told the story of a buck on the downward trend of his life cycle.
I know what my role is in this situation. Brute force for animal extraction.
We laughed at the situation. We marveled at his luck and excellent shot. I thanked him for sending me away so I wouldn't get the deer (kidding)
Another opening day in the books. Always the bridesmaid, never the bride