Saturday, March 2, 2013

Horn Hunting

Last Thursday, I took a vacation day and although Clint originally thought he would have court, that got cancelled.  So, we took a look at the fact that it was supposed to be windy and we decided to go hike around and look for shed antlers (horns).  It didn't look too promising when we pulled up to the South Fork of No Talkin' Creek and spotted a large herd of mule deer.  Why isn't that promising?  Because there were bucks in the herd, and they still had their antlers!  
Well, nobody ever said we were smart, so we piled out of the truck, bundled up the kids, and started hiking.  It was a windy day so it was kind of cold...  but it was beautiful!  
 These hikes are a grand adventure for Dane and everything is a treasure.  He promptly found a deer leg that he wanted to pack around.  Bones thought it was pretty cool too and thought he might get to carry it for a while!  But, the kid just wouldn't let go!

Bones finally found his chance when Dane got distracted by something!  
 Bones is an incredible family dog!  It's hard to imagine that almost exactly 6 years ago we were horn hunting with him like this...  This picture was taken when we were out horn hunting on exactly the same piece of land  in 2007.  He got tired of walking, so we put him in the daypack and he was sound asleep in no time at all.  

 Fast forward to 2013 and things look very similar.  Guess the pup was just practice for life ahead!  
Here is Kimber catching a snooze in the Kelty.  Riding all day was truly exhausting for her! :)

When we stopped for our first break, Kimber was cold.  Since she isn't moving she tends to get chilled, even when the rest of us are ok.  We have gotten smart and I realized that if she wasn't happy, pretty soon she would start crying, then I would feel stressed, and the fun times would be over.  So, I gave her my coat.  We put her legs through the arms of my coat and then stuck her in the back-pack.  As you can see it worked perfectly and she was happy and warm the rest of the day.  (I was pretty chilly...  but I learned another important lesson about being prepared!)
 We hiked several hours and didn't find any horns so we stopped for our lunch and some silliness!
Dane is posing next to a deer rub.
 Just when I was pretty convinced that there weren't any horns to be found, Clint and Dane pull through and find this beauty!  Woo hoo!  Success!
 They were definitely considered the "A" team!  All I had found was this old horn that was several years old and had been chewed on. That's okay.  I'm honestly never very good at horn hunting anyway.  I tend to get distracted and then realize that I haven't been paying enough attention.  
Clint suspected that a particular spot would be good, so he let Kimber and I check.  Holy cow, we found 3 additional horns in that area, including one pretty big 3 point.  
This one was so fresh that was still red on the base!  It was quite a beautiful horn!  It's good to see those big boys make it to pass on their genes!

 Here's our little stud packing out the big one!  

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