Too Hot to Hunt

hi friends and welcome to the program

hey we're headed out west today headed

for the rocky mountains and shelton

ranch outfitters out maker colorado our

good friends Pete and Judy and Paul and

Susan everybody out there treats us are

good every time we come there I can't

wait to get out there and try to fill my

archery elk and archery mule deer tag

now I should mention just in case you

don't have the weather channel where you

live or perhaps you haven't seen the

evening news in the last say three

months the West has experienced the

hottest driest summer they've had in

record number of years in fact it hasn't

been this bad since the Dust Bowl era

the 1930s so I have adjusted my

expectations a little anyway I figure

the hunting's going to be a little

tougher and I got to tell you my

expectations were right on the money

save one little thing it wasn't a little

tougher it was tremendously hot

afternoon temperatures in the 80s and

90s had suppressed the elk movement

totally and the deer movement was

confined to the first hour or so of

daylight so you know me I decided we'll

fish for what's bitin will try to get on

a good mule deer back and hope for some

cooler weather a little more elk

activity by the end of our week hey I'm

your host Kyle Randall this is my

wilderness journal and we're headed out

to the mountains for some real hot

hunting right now just as the shadows of

that first afternoon began to stretch

dan and I came across a dandy buck we

actually bounced him up out of his bed

down in a draw all we could do was stand

there and watch him slowly walk away but

I'm here to tell you friends this was a

deer worth hunting and it certainly gave

me hope that maybe you know maybe we

could get this done even in this

terrible heat long before Sun up the

next morning we were set up in the side

of that very same draw when I looked up

on the hill and there was my buck all

the way at the top of the next ridge

standing at a fence crossing I don't

know why he was up there why he wasn't

down working his way along this side

Hill but as I watched him clear the

fence and then slowly make his way

around the bowl

and as we SAT there watch and it

suddenly occurred to me you know if he

stays up there and we're down here there

is no way we can move on him he was no

more than a hundred yards away but the

simple truth was he was above us and as

such if we to move just a little bit he

depict us in a heartbeat all I could do

was just sit there and hope somehow he'd

make a mistake he'd go buy something

he'd go over a small Ridge something

that would give us a little bit of cover

so we could close the distance

unfortunately he didn't he worked all

the way around the rim of that bowl as

if he knew we were there all the way out

to the road so he could cross the fence

and go up and a bed and the whole of the

time he was making that big old circle I

was sitting there motionless making sure

I didn't spook him and thinking to

myself you may have won this time but

trust me dear I'm paying attention that

friends was a smoker of a mule Ibaka he

was a gorgeous four by four with decent

brow tines certainly a trophy in

anybody's book certainly in mine anyway

and even though he had me pinned that

first morning I couldn't get up and take

a run at him I did go to school a little

bit of learn something from it I knew

where he was feeding I knew which way he

had taken to go to bed and you could bet

come the morning I'd be putting what I'd

learned to use as the nearly full moon

was now rising the following afternoon i

was still remembering the other thing i

learned a long time ago while deer

huntin and never count your chickens

before he got him blocked it in the Bata

i was at least seeing a few deer it was

late in the afternoon just before sunset

when a few doze and fawns started

feeding down off the mountain and out

into the alfalfa field in front of where

we were set up it took another half hour

before more deer started working their

way down the shadows were almost all the

way across the valley floor when another

group started working out including a

couple of smaller box followed by

at least two older more mature obviously

shooter bucks were working their way

down the problem with them they were

almost a half a mile away they'd really

have to hustle if they were going to get

out here in time for me to get his shot

before the light faded I watched these

boxes they leisurely walk down across

the valley headed down toward the horse

pasture and probably a drink out of the

pond and I thought to myself how amazing

is it that every time I hunt the West

I'm out there cooking in the Sun

especially in the early season praying

for that Sun to go down so it'll cool

off and then when it finally does it

never fails I need to reach back over my

shoulder and prop it up for 15 more

minutes in order to get a shot it just

seems to always work that way

some of the deer did in fact work their

way into the horse pasture and down to

the pond for a drink some stayed up on

the flat just feeding but the whole

bunch of them didn't seem to be in any

hurry to work their way down to the

alfalfa where we were set up at a fence

crossing we only had 20 maybe 30 minutes

a usable light left I needed these bucks

to work their way down and get out in

front of us in order to get a shot

before I couldn't see the shoot

then finally the deer started moving in

our direction that is some of them two

of the biggest bucks for whatever reason

took a left turn and started feeding

back up into the fire Valley some of the

younger bucks had made it to the first

of two fence crossings they'd have to

use in order to get to us but

unfortunately those bigger bucks the

shooters yeah they weren't coming

anywheres near here at least not yet all

i could do now is just sit there and

hope listen into my watch tick like

thunder in my ears it truly seemed to be

getting darker faster than normal and

then I realized you know that isn't my

watch ticking like thunder in my ears

it's actually Thunder a weather front

was blowing in over the mountain behind

us obviously was going to get dark

really fast now if there was going to be

any hope for a shot these bucks needed

to get over here in the next 10 minutes

yes I know what you're thinking it's the

same thing I was thinking no not too

likely I figured it had truly take a

miracle to get a shooter from the other

side of that Creek over into the alfalfa

field in front us so we had even a

chance to get a shot before we took a

shot of lightning friends pretty quick

we were going to need to get off of this

mountain I do remember thinking as I SAT

there Just My Luck to show up in

Colorado the one day it's going to rain

in the last two months still you

couldn't begrudge these folks the rain

they needed it so bad

we'd have another day all I can think of

now really was well i hope that

lightning doesn't start any more fires

the weather closing us out that

afternoon wasn't nearly as troubling as

seeing all that lightening popping

around in the mountains the state of

Colorado already had far more forest

fires than they could deal with you know

we could go to bed that night and get up

and tomorrow would be just another day a

huntin that is unless hours or some one

of the neighbors mountains were on fire

you don't know how scary this is friends

unless you live in the West especially

in a year like this was we could just

say our prayers and try to sleep in

hopes that nobody was ringing the alarm

bell when we got up unfortunately there

were no calls to fight fire that next

morning we were watching a group of

spike balls working their way to bed it

was warm and pretty windy but it was

clear and we couldn't see smoke in any

direction what we could see was yeah a

whole bunch of elk unfortunately they

were already well above us on their way

up the mountain and headed to bed for

the day it was about then I spotted a

group of bachelor bucks working their

way around the hill below us and I

suddenly realized you know if we grab

our stuff and run right now we might be

able to get out ahead of them they're

gonna cross where that big buck did the

other morning we might get there ahead

of them friends I could show you how far

we had to go how hot and miserable it

was trying to get down and around and

back out in front of those bucks before

they cross the road and went up to bed

that morning I could show you that or

you could just look at the sweat running

down the back of my neck as we got

skidded into that last spot saw him

coming up the field we actually made it

now all we needed was just a little bit

out from the deer with literally seconds

to spare we've made it into position the

deer were already headed up the hill

more or less toward us

there was one shooter buck in this group

and if he would come just a little bit

out in the open he was only 56 yards

kind of fire but not too far what I

needed for him to do was stop in an

opening where I had a shot before they

got to the road

yeah that's what I needed and I went

right on need Nick that buck never

uncovered he passed by at less than 40

yards but there was so much brush there

was no way we could take a shot all dan

and I could do would just sit there

watch him walk across the road hop the

fence and wander right on out of my life

we hunted hard all the following day but

it was until sunset when we actually saw

some critters I decided to try calling

at these three spike balls a little bit

they obviously weren't legal it takes

four points on a side to be legal in

this part of Colorado but you never know

when there's an elk traveling with a

group that you can't see and besides

this was one of the only times we saw

any elk movement during the daylight

unfortunately I didn't see any mature

bulls responding to my calls what we did

see was a whole bunch of cows and calves

and a couple other bulls working their

way out into one of those hay fields and

before long our three fellows decided

they were going to wander over and join

the party no legal bulls ever answered

my call and I didn't see any with this

group of spikes still at least we were

seeing some out and you know I can't say

that nothing responded to my Colin we

did have a cow with two cabs come to

within about forty yards and check us

out ambiens how it's legal to take a cow

elk on an archery tag in Colorado I

certainly could have taken a shot had I

wanted to believe me when I tell your

friends trying to archery elk hung in 90

+ degree heat well let's just say it's a

real tough ticket

with temperatures that afternoon in the

90s I wasn't really surprised we weren't

seeing much still our week was beginning

to wear on and we had to make a decision

the elk weren't moving at all at least

not in the daylight there were plenty of

cows and calves we could see them at

first light at last light and if you

know anything about ELQ you know where

cows and calves are Bulls will soon be

the problem was there wasn't hardly any

movement in the daylight in the camera

hours at least the deer were moving some

in that first hour two hours of each day

and where I'm from friends when it comes

to hunting at least some is always

better than none that next day we did

manage to get on some deer we'd seen a

couple of bucks including this hi ty

track three by three work and their way

down through an alfalfa peel and then

headed up to bed i SAT there thinking

for a couple of minutes you know maybe

this really isn't what I'd consider a

shooter but maybe we ought to try

working down and around and getting out

in front of this buck isn't it funny how

your opinion of a deer changes as the

days of a hunt go by in the beginning of

the week do you thinking man this is a

great place they have awesome dear no

way I'm shooting anything but a real

smoker and then with a day or two left

you're thinking you know yeah the truth

was first or last day he just wasn't the

shooter and then there was one just one

day left in my hunt in Colorado and when

Paul said you know what we're not seeing

much how about we try hiking up over

this hill and looking into a little Bowl

I know of that stays shadier later in

the day I thought what could it hurt we

could try it that's what you have to do

when it's tough you just have to keep


after a short climb to the top of the

ridge Paul and I worked ourselves along

into a place where we figured we could

glass and see most of that bowl without

being seen ourselves we got to looking

around and holy smokes there was the

monster four by four the very same buck

we'd seen the very first day the one we

tried to set up on and head loop around

us he was already three quarters of the

way up out of the bowl working his way

along with a couple of dozen fawns I

thought man there's probably no way I'm

ever gonna get close enough for a shot

but it's the last day I gotta try

Paul and I made a hasty plan he would

squat down and try to keep an eye on the

buck as I dropped below the rim so as

not to skyline myself and work my way

around in my head I knew that a lot of

things we're gonna have to break in my

favor in order for this to work but I

also knew that if you never try if you

never take the chance well you never

bump into a deer like this blocking your

path not only was there a forked horn

there was a doe right beside me they

were deer coming up out of this bowl we

hadn't seen and they were all around me

all I could do was just sit there wait

for him to go by and then creep ahead a

little bit I kept looking and it was

another big old buck a huge three by

three with a big sword up one side was

standing there looking back he'd seen

something but he hadn't spooked this

buck was only 50 60 yards out already

within the outside edge of my bow range

it was decision time in Colorado did I

take a run at this buck did I continue

on and try to find the other buck it was

the last day the Sun was coming up the

temperature was rising with it and and

yeah I tried to never look a gift dear

in the mouth especially on the last day

I started creeping forward to get into

position for a shot it immediately

bumped into a big old forked horn buck

this deer wasn't 30 yards away and

fortunately feedin I looked over and the

big three by three was actually coming

down the edge of the bowl he was getting


ever so carefully I eased forward to a

spot I figured I had an opening you know

a chance for his shot through the brush

and there he was he'd seen something he

was looking right at me but he didn't

spook in fact he took a couple of steps

closer and a gammy caught movement I

just froze we stood there in the mother

of all stare downs I couldn't believe it

I come this far all I needed was for

this buck to just turn his head to look

the other way

to them finally he started moving again

there was another opening I drew the bow

I lifted my body as high as I thought

I'd dare in order to get over the

Russian you see that hey you see that

Wow oh well been a great week we give it

a try last day that's how it goes

friends sometimes eat venison backstrap

and sometimes it's baloney sandwiches we

did our very best to beat the heat but

in the end all we left Colorado with was

a sunburn and some great memories

that was obviously the camera man's

fault friends I guess sometimes it

really is too hot to hunt and still we

had a great time we saw plenty of

critters despite the weather and I want

you to know that Pete and Judy and Paul

and Susan everybody out at the Shelton's

did everything in their power to put

that together and we could have

certainly filled both our tags I could

have shot a smaller buck I certainly

could have taken a cow elk that's legal

on an archery tag I was the one that

decided to wait for something special

and you know I got it I got a truly

special trip with some really wonderful

people and while I'm handing out thanks

I need to thank misty and certainly Dan

the cameraman for pounding up and down

the mountain sweating through that hunt

with me we really did have a good time

and if that's something that interests

you if you know archery elk or mule deer

or your thing you get a hold of pieten

Junie pulses and anybody out there at

Shelton's and they're going to show you

the very same great huntin and the very

same great effort that they always show

us hey I hope I see you out there hope

your stocking up on a big old bowl or a

nice buck or your own and if I do well

you know we're going to stop and share a

cup and a fire and if I don't see out

there friends well at the very least I

hope to see you right back here for

another adventure from my wilderness

journal thanks again Pete and Judy Paul

and Susan everybody out its Shelton's