Local girl bags second buck of the season
Beanka Scott harvested her second buck during the 2020 hunting season. Scott is an avid hunter who looks forward to hunting season every year with her father Michael Scott. Photo courtesy of Michael Scott.
Brothers of the Wood’ give thanks
By Brian Baxter
Cabinet Mountain hunting scene. Photo by Brian Baxter, The Montanian.
On the day before the official Holiday of Thanksgiving, two friends met halfway between their respective homes. One headed northwest, the other southwest. The guys had decided to do an early morning Whitetail buck and potential Rocky Mountain Bull elk hunt together. Rain pelted down during the drives in the dark morning hours, tentatively framing a challenging wet hunting day trip. This season up until this point, had not been optimum hunting weather with warmer than usual temperatures, lower elevation rain, and not enough snow up high to help drive game down closer to mid-elevation and their refuge of hiding holes.
But the Covid-19 pandemic has put a hurting on all of our human interactions. Even loners feel this occasionally. So, being that hunting can be a good physical workout, a refreshing outdoor experience, and to some a spiritual tune-up, the boys decided to rendezvous. They sat in the rig and caught up a bit, as they waited for morning light. Then it was time to gear up and hit the trail. By then it was snowing a bit. Quietly and cautiously they made their way into the mixed coniferous forest. They followed a major game trail, then split off and skirted the edge of the timber, where they checked every view through the trees into a fairly large opening.
Six feet apart, they walked in unison modeling the sound and stride of an elk. They spotted buck rubs, scat, and stopped to whisper strategy behind the cover of fir trees. It was a stalk and sit plan. For this reason, and so that each hunter could absorb this nature fix on their own for a bit, they separated for an hour. One sitting below a large canopy evergreen where a large whitetail buck had bedded, and the other kneeling behind a stump rifle rest scanning every alley of shooting lanes for game. The quiet was so peaceful. Our world has transitioned into tumultuous turmoil in just a few short months. But this world of forest began to open us up anew as the sky began to show patches of blue. Rocky cliffs were spotlighted, highlighting pureness of white snow draping them. It was all assisted by the chortle of ravens, singing sounds of eagles, drumming of woodpeckers, and the whistling murmuration’s of small flocks of tiny songbirds.
The men rejoined and continued the hunt. Having forgotten the estrus bleat call, the guys made due with an ungulate call after spotting a White-tailed doe. Shortly after beginning to call, a three by two antlered buck showed up to investigate. He saw the hunters and split. That was fine, he was young. He deserved time to grow out of his foolish stage and mature into a wary old buck. The gray bearded hunters began a slow arc through thicker timber. They walked, stalked, called, and contemplatively took it all in. As they got closer to the rigs, they would stop and talk about how they missed and cared so much for their loved ones. They shared personal goals and the mutual support for one another was obvious. So was the love of their country. As the days interlude came to a close, they conversed about how thankful they were for so many things. Then, the brothers of the wood again went their separate ways. “The thankful heart will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings.” Written by Henry Ward Beecher.