This hunting season was kind of special in several ways. A friend and hunting buddy died of lung cancer in 2019. He was sort of the patriarch of our hunting group. I served with his son in the Navy and his son invited me to hunt with them in the Sierras back in 2007 I think it was. I have been hunting on and off over the years in the same spot and every time I went there I never shot anything. I always saw lots of does but never something I could shoot. The place was so beautiful and so much fun that I kept going back even though I wasn’t successful. I just had such a great time over the years with my son that we kept going back. To get deer we went to Idaho which of course cost a lot more. This area in the southern sierra just became sort of nostalgic for me and my son and a sort of puzzle to be cracked. Our buddy Sam SR found out he had cancer last fall when he coughed up some blood. We got to go camping with him last winter one last time but will never go hunting with him again until we meet again on the other side.
This year his son who is serving as a warrant officer in the navy flew out from Virginia to do a memorial hunt for his dad. The hunt was dedicated to Sam Sr and we placed a memorial plaque high up in a lodge pool pine tree near an area that Sam Sr. shot several of his deer over the years. I feel like Sam put in a good word for me on the other side because this year I finally shot a deer in the southern sierras. I have shot deer before but never there the place that I actually love and love to hunt the most. The most valuable things we bring home are not the venison it’s the memories and the bonds we form with friends and family.
Over the years I have hunting the area with my son his first year was at age 6. This year hes a man and 18 now. Hunting with a child as many of you know is challenging especially when its done as spot and stalk hunting and not just hunting from a blind. It was all worth it this year though.
I shot the deer at about 100 yards just below in between his eyes. He went down immediately a clean kill with the exit hole out his neck. I used a Hornady 120gr GMX over 31gr of CFE223 in my 22in 6.5 Grendel that I put together with one of our barrels buys on here. I didn’t have my phone on me as I left it at camp. I was with a work buddy and he also left his phone at camp. It was a forky and no i wasn't going to wait for it to grow more horns. I gutted it and we loaded it on my deer sled and drug it back to the truck.
We headed back to camp raising them on the radio and insured my son was there but didn’t tell them we got anything. My son was in the camp trailer. I went in and asked him if he knew where the gambrel was he said he didn’t so I told him we need to find it. He was like what for and I raised by bloody hands. He didn’t believe it and headed to look in the back of the truck. He started shouting and gave me a big hug. I know Sam Sr was behind it so thanks Sam!! It was a special year and even though Sam Sr was not there he was still there.
A tour of our camp click to play.