I hiked many miles each day which I thought would be easy, but with the rough, rocky, cactus filled terrain and the heavy backpack/Rifle I was wiped out at the end of each day.
The first morning was pure fog and drizzle.
Spot the hunter:
It was funny. For the sunset hunt I hiked up to the saddle of a bowl not too far from camp. Low and hehold I was staring right back at my parents house where D was. Just the night before I stood in town looking up and the Santa Rita's telling here I'd be right up there.
Back in camp we ate like kings! Elk Chili the first night. Eggs with sausage and peppers for breakfast. Then steaks with grilled veggies and pie afterward. Then the final night Bryon cooked up some awesome hot soup mostly from items he had grown.
Each day we saw lots of Does running around. These Coues Whitetail are spooked so easily that it's hard to see one closer than 400 yards unless you hunker down, site quietly and wait.
Some great spots to stop and glass.
Believe it or not you can see two other hunters from our group of 4 in this shot.
On the final day we were feeling like we may get skunked this trip. Then I heard a shot and Jeremy had gotten one! I offered to field dress it since I never had so I hiked over to him to do the dirty work. It was tough to do for the first time mentally, but what a learning experience!! Very glad I did it.
My Helle Eggen knife did great. It was so sharp that I never really had to cut. It was more as if I pointed at items and they were instantly cut. Very happy with it. Also, my Garman made sheath was great for getting at my knife quickly and easily!
Not long after J started hoofing the deer back to camp did I hear another shot ring out. Bryon had gotten one as well. A big Whitetail. He field dressed it and then we skinned them back at camp. I was so excited to have it all work out that I didn't even mind not seeing any Bucks for myself to take a shot at. Next time.
All in all it was a great trip with great people. As tough as it is to kill something and then start the work of harvesting it for use I think everyone should do it at least one. We all are responsible for killing animals, but most of us pay others to do it. Essentially, there is no way we can appreciate the animal that gave it's life for our leather seats, shoes, bag, steak, sea food etc if we are so detached from the process that the idea of doing it ourselves is repulsive.
It's not an easy or settling thing to do the first time, but it puts you back in touch with the life-cycle and how things work here on Earth. I highly recommend it, at least once.