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The most fun morning I think I ever had hunting was one when I didn't even fire a shot. I had gone to a spot along the Idaho Wyoming border with a friend where he said his family often went. Tracy and I separated and wandered through the sage brush for a ways and then I picked out a high point to sit with my back against a rock and glass the area.
I picked out Tracy's uncle up on a ridge, and then, just a bit below him, out of sight because of the way the ground fell away, I spotted a buck and 5 does. They were a good 500 yards away from me, far longer than I wanted to shoot, and it was still early in the day. I watched them work their way slowly around the middle of the hill. A couple other figures joined the one on the ridge and none of them could see the deer just out of sight, not 50 yards below.
The deer traveled on three sides of the hill before disapearing into a thicket of Aspen trees on the other side.
Someone must have seen them go into the trees because soon there were 6 or 8 hunters on the ridge that wrapped around the 4 acre thicket.
I got up and started that direction and before long, I was watching the remaining side of the trees. Someone may have seen something, or he ay have just fired to see if he could scare something, but several shots rang out. Nothing moved.
I sat and watched for a half hour or so, but all was quiet. I finally decided the deer had slipped out the far side under everyone's noses. I started to walk back the way I came.
About the time I got out of range again, I stopped and looked back.
I could see a hunter dressed in orange still up on the ridge watching for deer, and there was that buck, this time without his does, slipping out of the Aspens and sneaking away. This time he crossed the saddle behind Tracy's uncle; within 2 hours time, I watched this sneaky old buck pass on all four sides of Tracy's uncle and never be seen by him.
I got quite a chuckle out of it and learned quite a bit about about patience and watching and waiting. You remember the old adage about "He who turns and walks away, lives to fight another day"? This buck's motto seemed to be, "He who quietly slips away lives to eat another day."
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