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I didn't start hunting until I was 34 years old. I started hunting in upstate New York, around Fort Drum. It is heavy woods and the whitetail deer can get very big. I both rifle and bow hunt, I love the closeness you get when setting up a tree stand and waiting for the deer. You get a real sense of achievement when you see a deer coming down the trail right by your stand.
This deer was taken by Paul Dombrowski in the fall of 1996. He took it with a .300 Winchester Magnum from about 80 yards. The shot went right through the deer's spine above the shoulders, the deer never knew what hit it. It weighed in at 193 lbs field dressed with an estimated 240 lbs live weight. He had 10 points with the tip of the right main tine starting to split to another point.
I have only harvested one deer, it was a doe taken with my Bear Archery bow, 85 grain Rocket expanding broadhead. She was taken on a rainy day just after legal shooting light on Fort Drum, NY. She was feeding and walking with her head down as she approached me. I was behind a tree and my heart was beating a mile a minute. I waited until she crossed in front of me and shot her at about 22 yards.
I missed the hunting season for 1997 because of being stationed in Korea. 1998 brought me to Colorado and a different kind of hunting. Colorado is pretty much open range with the exception of the mountains. You can see the animals along way away but they can see you too. There are lots of ravines that they will use for travel lanes and cover. The deer here are mostly Mule deer but Fort Carson has imported White Tails and now they have hybrids too.
This elk cow was harvested the day after Christmas 1999. My son and I were hunting on the southern end of Fort Carson, Co. It was just after 7am and I had seen 4 other cows moving my way from the west. We had set up in a small bowl that we knew the elk were using for a bedding area. I had moved up the draw about 100 yards from where my son was sitting to get a better view of the elk as they crested the small ridge to the west and entered the bowl. After about 8 minutes, I didn't see the elk but I heard rocks falling down the ridge to the east, my left. At first I thought it was my son throwing rocks down into the bowl to jump any animals that might have bedded down. That thought lasted about 5 seconds when I realized that the rocks were way too big. I looked up to my left and about 300 yards away, just below the crest of the ridge was this cow walking, looking for a way up the cliff face. I turned around and got set up for the shot and the first shot was way low. I took the second shot and didn't see where it hit. She kept walking, not afraid of anything. I took my 3rd shot and saw the rock next to her head explode. I had to reload and with my last bullet, I shot, I aimed about 24 inches above her shoulders, she was quartering away from me by now, and fired. She dropped like a rock. The shot was between 400-500 yards when I finally got her. I hiked up the ridge and when I got to where she was, she had fallen against a bush. The round entered her neck and took out her spine and cut her jugular. She died instantly. We field dressed her and I had to drag her down the ridge. Thank God another hunter and his daughter came by and helped me or I'd still be up there. At the check station they estimated her to be between 400-450 lbs.
Thanks Rich, Sara and my son Chris, for helping me get her out of there.
During the 2003 season I was rewarded with another big cow. Opening day I had a 5 X 5 bull come within 12 yards of me and I think he was as scared as I was. I couldn't shoot him as it was only cow season and not bull. a few weeks later, I took this cow in the same area on Fort Carson, Co. The other cow was taken by my freind Dean. That is his son Zane in the pictures with me. The pictures were taken with my camera phone.
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