/    /  November

I felt a sense of relief as I peeked over the edge of the rim rock cliff and saw the lone buck was still lying comfortably in his bed. The buck was perched on a long, narrow bench at 12,000’ where he was very contently overlooking the large alpine basin below him. His velvet covered antlers protruded well above the stunted willows as he laid there next to a lone rock on this cold and wet September day. Thankfully, the rain and snow mix that had been falling all morning, had kept the buck bedded during our entire 3 hour stalk.

SNAAAP! The first thing that went through my mind was my rifle stock had just snapped in half! Thankfully, after I slowly rolled over, spit the dirt out of my mouth, and cleared my eyes, a quick visual inspection revealed that my rifle was still in one piece. The large crack that I had just heard was in fact a downed dead tree that I had just body slammed on my way to the ground after my boot became wedged under a dead branch that was hidden underneath the tall overgrowth vegetation. With over 100 lbs of meat on my back, I simply laid there, trying to figure out how I was going to get back on my feet.