Saturday, September 27, 2008

Colorado Adventure Day 3

Well it is day three of our trip, and we spent the night in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. It was at a hotel on the Yamba River called Rabbit Ears! No it wasn’t the bunny mansion with Hugh! That next morning we got our groceries from a local supermarket for the remainder of the week.
We got the call around noon from the property owner, Bill Kelly. We met him in Steamboat Springs and followed him to the property or at least we tried to follow him. He cut a trail that would have made Mario Andretti proud. Now remember we were pulling a trailer with all of our gear in it and we had to follow this speed demon down the little mountain roads. If that wasn’t bad enough, he made a turn down another road and all of a sudden the pavement ended. The road wasn’t just a normal dirt road, it was a one lane trail through the Arapaho National Forest in the mountains! Now Bill didn’t slow down any just because it was a one lane dirt road. He managed to do 60 mph down this pig trail and we had to try and follow him through the mountains.

Arapaho National Forest

At one point we lost sight of him as we headed down a step incline with a hairpin turn at the bottom. As we neared the bottom of the road we met a gravel train truck at the bend of the road. Kevin slammed on the brakes and we slid to a stop without smashing anything. As we finally got around him there was 4 more gravel trains behind him and the first one had dumped his load in the road. Kevin floored it and drug my trailer through the gravel pile. It wasn’t long before we had to stop and pull gravel out of the brakes.
Along the way through the forest and the mountains there was a lot to see and we did manage to take a few shots along the way, not to mention an encounter with a rattle snake that we eventually coaxed into the back of the truck bed.

Mr. Rattle Snake

We finally made it to the ranch and we had to pull our fingernails out of the steering wheel and dashboard, but we made it in one piece. The view from the ranch was awesome, I couldn’t believe we were actually in Colorado to spend a week bow hunting mule deer.
After we got unloaded we were taken around the property by Bill to see where everything was at. While we were out on the trip around the property we saw two bald eagles down by the creek. It looked as if they were waiting for a quick meal. We got our bows out and tuned up to make sure they were ok after the trip down, all was a ok. Then it was time to get our gear on and hit the woods for our first hunt even though it was getting late. The excitement was almost too much to contain, but we managed to hit the field. I got the 4 wheeler fired up and headed to my area I was going to hunt. I parked the ATV and worked my way down to Slater Creek.

My Colorado Transportation

I had to cross the creek to get to my spot. This was a first for me, I have never had to cross water to hunt. I carefully made my way into the water and found that it was almost too deep at one point to keep dry, but I managed to cross without getting wet. I sneaked up to the stand I was going to hunt and made my way up into it.
Most guys don’t hunt mulies from stands, but I was assured by the owner that I would see a lot of deer. I got set up and settled in to see what would happen and within 15 minutes I saw a deer coming in. It was a buck! I couldn’t believe this, I no more than get set up and here we go! It was a 3 point mulie buck that came in and caught me sitting down. I could have taken a 25 yard shot, but I would have had to rush the shot and I didn’t want to finish my hunt in just 15 minutes. Within the next hour and a half I saw 8 deer total. One of them was a nice buck way off in the distance, so I had high hopes for this spot. As the evening passed I also saw a bald eagle flying across the valley, it was probably one of the two we saw earlier.
As night fell, I got down and made my way back across the river and headed back to the cabin. Kevin came in and he saw one doe while he was out on stand and managed to take a shot at a coyote at about 40 yards with no luck. The land owner told us to come up to the big house and eat dinner with him. He fixed steak for us and afterwards we sat down and got to exchange hunting stories. It was a great beginning to our week, I hope the rest of it goes this well.

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