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October 12, 2008

The "Big" Deer - Day 11

I don't know why I do it. I really don't. But when I go out to shoot in the evening, I always go hop on my four wheeler and take off down the road and I always forget to look out back first. Or I never remember to look out back. Is there a difference? I dunno.

But, in any event, it's freezing cold out there. It really is. So cold that I'm wearing gloves and a helmet because last night I got so cold I had to stay at the Grundy's all night drinking wine and playing 13's. So tonight, I remembered how cold it was and I wore my gloves and my helmet and a jacket and I swear it just made no difference at all.

I can't tell you how what the weather is like except to say that it's as misty as Portland, Oregon and as cold as Detroit, Michigan. So maybe that gives you an idea of the weather here. The weather seems to be crashing along with the stock market.

So I go rolling up the hill to where George is fattening up the deer into enormous hoofed sausages with Narwhal sized antlers but I don't see anything and by the time I get to the top of the hill I feel hypothermia setting in and I wonder what made me think it was OK to still wear jeans in October. Note to self - those days are over.

So I come rolling back down the hill and turn off the paved road onto the little dirt road that leads to my compound and nearly run into a buck. This always happens. I swear it does.

And he's standing there with another buck and they're vacuuming the last of the acorns off of the scrub oaks because winter is right around the corner. You can feel it in your bones. So I stop and snap some shots and as I'm shooting the buck sucking down acorns like there's no tomorrow, I glimpse a little movement behind him. And sure enough, there's another buck on the other side of the little copse of Gambel oaks.

So now, I'm shooting these two bucks eating acorns from the scrub oaks and then I see something move behind them but it's something BIG. And my heart beats faster and I think...finally....this is it. This is the "Big" deer that Bud has been talking about. But as my eyes adjust through the misty fading evening, I see that it's just a large bull elk, standing in Bud's yard.

I haven't seen the elk in a while. They've been gone for several weeks and I'm glad to see them back. I knew the changing weather would get them down out of the mountains. When it gets cold, they come down to my house where it's warmer and then they drive the deer off. I don't know where the deer go but they leave when the elk get here and that's just the way it goes.

I see some more movement behind the bull elk in Bud's yard and now I see that he's pushing about 20 cows with him. His antlers are all messed up. Looks like he lost a fight with a freight train or something. I snap some shots and walk down toward the cows because there's just no light and if I get closer to them, I don't have to zoom in as much and I can get my aperture open to 5.0 instead of 5.6 and I wish I had a different lens. Like a 200mm f/2.8 because I can't use this lens when it gets this dark outside. I just can't. And as I approach the cows, they all stampede into the woods and the bull looks at me like, "Thanks a lot, j@ck@ss. Thanks for that."

And he trots off after his cows into the woods behind my house and I come inside to see if any of my shots came out.

Posted by Rob Kiser on October 12, 2008 at 6:53 PM


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