mseanbrowne

Scarface Junior

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Back to Diamond C Outfitters for my second California tag. Lots of great bucks taken this year. I’m hoping for a big 3×3 but am ready for anything. I almost shoot a 4×3 with my bow the first night when an opportunity presents itself at 35 yards. I decide to pass on the young buck. Saturday morning comes and we find a great buck ‘Scarface Junior’ bedded on a grassy hill with a doe. Named for his dad, this buck has no scars and looks like an absolute monarch. He’s very close to where I shot my August buck. Dylan and I sneak up to a ranged 328 yards until he starts to appear a little concerned. I’m using the Browning .300 WSM again which I have complete faith in. Clayton manages to capture the shot from back in the truck. He is a great buck, the biggest body buck I have ever taken. 167 pounds field dressed. Beautiful cape and just a great old buck.

Colorado Archery Mule Deer

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Back to Twin Buttes Recreation again to hunt mule deer. I’m hunting with Scott Robertson. Had lots of great stalks on some huge bucks. On the fourth day we came on some deer just within the tree line. There was a good 4×4 in the bunch so we decided to try a stalk. We got to about 67 yards but there was a young buck in front of the 4×4. Eventually the separated and I moved up to see him broadside looking at me at 53 yards. I drew back and shot and saw my lighted knock leaving with him. We found my arrow with about five inches broken off and ten inches of good blood on it. After a couple hours we tracked him about 75 yards passing an old lion kill. A good 4×4 with just the skull left and horns eaten down by rodents. Then when we find my buck he’s actually a 5×4 with a branch on his right main beam. He’s also got fresh lion claw marks on his hind quarters and his tail has been bitten off.

Lion marks on buck

What a great hunt. We saw some huge bucks and had many exciting stalks before this one came through for me. So happy to have made a perfect shot at 53 yards. The Robertson’s are a wonderful family and the food, hospitality, and hunting are the best. Will definitely be back possibly trying the rifle. It’s hard to stop bow hunting though when you are two for two on archery mule deer. Still waiting to see if any of my friends connected after I left. Hoping one of them nailed the big non-typical we had been seeing.

Scott & Sean CO Mule Deer

Blacktail buck called ‘The Freak’

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One of the many bucks on the hit list was one with a deformed left front and three tines in back that was dubbed ‘The Freak’ I had him on my mind along with a big 3 called ‘Stickers’ Lots of great bucks on the ranch as always. The weather called for high nineties so was not looking forward to the heat and with all the fires the area was thick with smoke. We didn’t have a lot of luck Friday evening. Saturday we thought we had The Freak pinned down in a draw but after a couple hours realized he had slipped away.  Sunday morning the smoke was almost as thick as fog and Dylan suggested we tour around and try and ‘get lucky’. Well as usual we do, he spots a big rack just above the tall grass on a hill top near some grazing does. We make a stalk down the hills, we crawl up to a crest and he spots him at 271 yards. I can clearly see his ears and believe I can kill him right there. I’m using Dylan’s Browning A-Bolt custom gun which he has completely dialed in with a CDS turret. I hold just enough below his head to get a neck or body shot and at the shot his head just falls.

Three young bucks

Looks like the bucks are growing early and fast here in La Honda. I’ve seen one great 3×2 with tall eye guards. Hope to catch him on the trail cam soon.

 

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Before the fall when they wrote it on the wall

atlatl11aFinally got a chance to try out my prized Christmas gift from Kari. My hand made Atlatl. I discovered Robert Edwards of Alberta Atlatl through twitter. He actually makes Atlatls such as prehistoric man used to throw spears with enough velocity to kill a wooly mammoth.

I didn’t realize that even here in California there are records of Atlatl use. A Pinto culture site is located near Little Lake, California where there are petroglyphs depicting atlatl use from 4000-500o years ago. I think this rock may be an Atlatl instruction manual:

Atlatl Instruction Manual

I was impressed by Robert’s web site and the fact that he had actually taken a whitetail deer with one. I’ve been so busy with launching our web site at work today was my first opportunity to give it a try. The atlatl is hand made from purpleheart wood and the darts are hand fletched with turkey feathers. Robert even included an extra dart with a traditional knapped obsidian point. My yard isn’t big enough for this so I took my old deer target down to the elementary school thinking I would have some privacy. Of course the Sheriff showed up coincidentally as I was setting the deer up so I had a nice chat educating him on the hunting practice of prehistoric man. He was sufficiently convinced I wasn’t so insane to be danger to myself or others and finally leaves with a  ‘well I better get out of your way then’

 

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After about 45 minutes of near misses I finally put one in a leg. I managed only once to get 3 darts into the target, all a little too far back. And finally from 20 yards I managed to put one in the middle and declare success. I doubt I could get close enough to a deer and have him let me wind up and throw one his way.  Of course wooly mammoths probably weren’t that concerned with us getting close …at first. Glad my dinner doesn’t depend on my ability to use one of these. It’s fun though to try it out and know this is what our ancestors used to hunt even before the bow and arrow.

 

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CAVES OF ALTAMIRA

I recall when I was small
How I spent my days alone
The busy world was not for me
So I went and found my own
I would climb the garden wall
With a candle in my hand
I’d hide inside a hall of rock and sand
On the stone an ancient hand
In a faded yellow-green
Made alive a worldly wonder
Often told but never seen
Now and ever bound to labor
On the sea and in the sky
Every man and beast appeared
A friend as real as I

CHORUS:
Before the fall when they wrote it on the wall
When there wasn’t even any Hollywood
They heard the call
And they wrote it on the wall
For you and me we understood

Can it be this sad design
Could be the very same
A wooly man without a face
And a beast without a name
Nothin’ here but history
Can you see what has been done
Memory rush over me
Now I step into the sun

-Steely Dan, The Royal Scam album

One for the books

My big blacktail from August we called The Lightning Four is starting to get officially recognized by several of the record keeping organizations. He is officially the new number 2 typical Columbia Blacktail taken by bow for Safari Club International. They scored him at 154 3/8 ranking him 23rd overall.

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Here is the display from the SCI site showing his new ranking.

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The Boone & Crockett Club has also officially recognized Lightning Four as scoring 156″ which will crack their top 100 list in their all time record book. Should he still be in the top five at the end of this three year scoring period I’ll need to submit him for a panel judging. That would be exciting and he could receive an award for his species in that scoring period.

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And lastly, Pope & Young, the bowhunting organization has asked that I ship the horns for their panel judging in Arizona preceding their Convention in April. Unfortunately I can’t attend the convention however he may end up in their Top Ten all time list for Columbia Blacktail Deer. It will be interesting to see what the panel scores him as there was a big difference between SCI and B&C. So exciting to have taken such a great buck with my bow and to receive the distinction such a great animal deserves.

 

 

 

Archery for Roosevelt Elk Hunt in Southwest Washington

Willapa Hills

 

Five days on a late archery elk hunt in southwest Washington with Mike Jenkin’s Upfront Outfitters. This was a wet and challenging hunt. I didn’t end up taking one but had a great time trying. We alternated spot in stalk in lush mossy fern carpeted rain forest and then hiking and even mountain biking logging roads into timber land. Old growth, new reprod and clear cuts.  On Wednesday, in the middle of the hunt, while hiking through a dense forest I was thinking it would be crazy to find an elk in here.  An instant later Mike whispers to get down, there’s an elk across a stream in the distance. That was probably the most exciting  moment. We tried to move tree to tree and gain the edge of the stream for a 40 yard shot but the cow busted us at 60. We did see elk in the distance several times later days hunting the timber land, never able to get close. Several stands were sat that looked very promising and we were seldom hiking without seeing lots of sign, fresh droppings, rubs, and beds. The week proved a much needed workout and if I ever do take a Roosevelt elk with my bow it will be that much sweeter. The hunt has me considering the benefits of doing a little mountain biking in the off season.

Pics on flickr

Mountain Biking on Elk Hunt

First long shot with Custom ADL

After the mandatory 60 day drying period of my huge August bow blacktail buck we called ‘The Lightning Four’, I made the trip to Redding, CA to have Steve Boero score several bucks for both Pope & Young and Boone & Crockett. Steve is part owner of the local JS Ranch so we arranged a pig hunt the night before. My guide Eric Gould ( also my excellent taxidermist ) took me out in search of a pig that evening.

I was hunting with my Custom Remington rifle, created out of my first hunting rifle, a bargain basement ADL, now with fully customized pacnor barrel, jewel trigger, glass bedded in a bell & carlson stock, and Roguard and NP3 coatings, to make it my CA go to rifle. Topped with a Leupold VX3 4.5-14 scope and their excellent Compensation Drop System (CDS) it is tuned to my hand load of 140gr Nosler Accubonds in .270 Winchester.

As the sun set, pigs started to make their appearance. We settled on a group that was mingling with some cattle and I set up for a long shot with Eric as spotter. We picked a boar that finally settled broadside, Eric gave me the range as 376 yards. Adjusted my turret, settled in, safety off, and touched off the shot. The sound of the bullet whistles as it traces the distance and we hear it hit. Eric confirms the boar is down.

The CDS system has proved to be so accurate across several of my rifles and gives you the confidence that you can make longer shots both effectively and ethically.

376 yard shot on wild boar

376 yard shot on wild boar

Kayak and Free Diving Timber Cove with Ken Jan

Met Ken Jan at Timber Cove for some abalone diving and spearfishing off our kayaks. We launched just after 8am and paddled out of the cove to the one just north of the point. A little bit more swell in this less protected cove but as we moved in it was pretty calm. Not a lot of kelp to clip to so I just towed my boat around from the float line for a while. Finally found a stalk near enough to the surface to clip onto. Plenty of abalone over here. I pulled three pretty quickly wanting to try out my new speargun. I love my Riffe Euro but it’s usually too long for the viz and a little too long for checking out holes in the reef. My Riffe Competitor series I am thinking will be a good all arounder. Well I did a lot of poking in holes and there were no fish to be found. Of course in doing this I fine massive abs all over. I did finally shoot a couple greenlings that suffered from surface shrinkage. Probably won’t shoot any more greenlings. Was a great time. Beautiful day and got to really take the kayak on a longer adventure. Will look forward to more dives with Ken and probably learning to fish with a rod. All those folks were killing it out there, bringing in huge lings, cabs, and assorted rockfish.

 

Abs & Greenlings

 

 

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Blacktail fork horn at sunset

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