Idaho Deer Hunter Magazine Spring/Summer 2013, Issue #4 - Page 21

The next day we went on a pretty long hike above Thorn Creek and although we saw some sign we never saw a deer that day. Our next trip out lead us up to a bench in 39 above Anderson Ranch Dam. Although we didn't see any deer we did see a bear. The bear ran into our drainage and then fed down towards us before disappearing from sight. The next weekend we headed further up the Boise Middle Fork and tried to find a place to hunt without other hunters. After a bust on the first two spots I had in mind, we tried the third place. I didn't have high hopes but figured we could glass a little and see what we could find. In fact I made one of the typical rookie mistakes. When we parked the truck and headed out I told my daughter that if she wanted to leave her pack in the truck she could, that we wouldn't be here too long. That would be her pack with snacks and more importantly the water bladder for both of us. We were part way to a good glassing point when we saw three does above us on the ridge. They knew we were there, but were intent on heading west down the ridge. We moved up and west as quickly as we could when ever the does were out of sight, either behind fingers or when the low hanging clouds would roll in. We worked our way up and along the main ridge as fast as our nine year old legs would allow for a little over a quarter mile. At this point we came to a main finger a hundred yards off the top that allowed us to see clearly down to the river and along the ridge. We had lost sight of the does a couple of fingers back and were expecting to see them from this vantage point. We sat down and took a break, I had one granola bar in my pack which went to the growling stomach walking behind me. I wish I could get that energized from a granola bar after a couple of minutes. After 15 to 20 minutes and no animals appeared, we decided to head up to the saddle, maybe they had moved to the other side of the ridge. If not we would head back to the truck. This is the part where the granola bar energy kicked in for one of us. My daughter took off like a hopped up hornet. Which in this case probably saved us; those three does were about twenty yards up the hill from us and blew out of there at a full run after the hornet went a couple yards down the trail towards the saddle. Unfortunately the hornet was ahead of me on the trail and to take a shot would have meant shooting along side her, not an option. By the time I was able to stop her and get alongside, the deer were just cresting the saddle and I wisely decided to pass on a “insert favorite/least favorite state name here” heart shot opportunity. I looked at my daughter and said let's go up to that saddle. We ran up to the saddle only to find the three deer out at 190 yards on the back side of the ridge. I asked my daughter what she wanted to do. I felt confident that we could get down the ridge ahead of them. She said let's do what ever we need to do to get a deer. We headed down the ridge and tried to get in front of the three does. At the next knoll, I glassed and couldn't find any deer ahead of us down the ridge. While talking to my daughter at the knoll I looked over her shoulder and noticed a couple more does coming down the ridge following the path of the original three. She was still intent on catching up to the original three but didn't know about the other two headed our way. I could tell she was tiring and mentioned to her I thought we should try for one of the two newcomers. It was at that time that Mother Nature decided to roll in a new set of low hanging clouds, as we headed back to the saddle. We picked a spot that hid us from view of the does but would allow us to see them as they came to us. There were two paths that they could take. One that would bring them to within 60 yards straight at us and the other would take them past us at about 90 yards downhill. After what seemed like an eternity one of the does appeared out of the clouds at 90 yards below us. I let my daughter know to cover her ears and took the shot. At this point I don't know who was more excited. After the shot there was the tell tale "thwop" that comes with a successful hit. The doe tipped over and began to roll down the hill. She stopped in some brush and we headed down to her. Since this was the first 21