We crossed the Idaho/Montana border last night without a white-tailed deer in our possession. The beautiful and complicated high mountain prairie canyons were reluctant to give up their elusive whitetails. Tristan had an opportunity at a smaller 4×5 early on in the weekend but decided to pass on him in hopes of seeing a larger buck.
See a larger buck we did. We went glassing the following evening and a nice 5×5 came out of the woodwork, following one of the many does across the steep hillside, over 600 yards away. Tristan got ready with his gun and we watched and waited for him to stop. The buck was so intent on what he was doing that he would stop for only a second. It was long enough for us to range him again but not long enough for a shot. Finally, he went into the timber and never came back out. The darkness settled around us and shooting light faded to night. Sadly, the vision of the buck would be forever a memory. We planned to go out again the next morning hoping to get eyes on the buck once more. We awoke to a torrential downpour. Determination pulled on our boots and walked us back out onto the hillside. We watched until the view of the canyon was concealed behind a thick blanket of fog.
We finally succumbed to the rain. Soggy and cold we trudged back to the rig and went to get warmed up and dried off. The remaining two hunts proved unproductive. Not one white-tailed deer was spotted although a few mule deer decided to show themselves. Eventually, we had to head back home. Even when a tag gets burned, the time spent burning it is never wasted. Chances were had and we enjoyed the process.
Tomorrow we head out to the fourteen freshly fallen inches of snow on the Mountain to try to fill my cow tag one last time. As I look back on Thanksgiving weekend I am simply thankful. Thankful for family, thankful for outdoor opportunities and privileges and mostly thankful for life. It has its ups and downs but I have been blessed with so many ups that I love having the chance to relive some of them in my mind each year. I hope your Thanksgiving took you back to all your ups as well.