We parted at the airport in Edmonton and as we shook hands I said, "Bill, the pressure is on for next year, we HAVE to go three for three with 160 class bucks!" He just smiled and nodded as if to say, "No problem". However, we both know how hard it is to take one 160 buck, much less three in three years. Before I met Bill, I had hunted three years in Alberta, and although I never went home skunked, I never had a chance at anything bigger than 140 class bucks.

We kept in touch all summer and Bill said that he had picked up a couple of horses and maybe I should practice my riding skills.

Finally, November arrived and I once again headed west for Alberta. Bill picked me up at the airport and by noon we were at the Machura's homestead. It is always good to see Bill's wife Karen and the family again. They sure know how to make you feel at home, and to top it off, the food is great!

Monday morning Bill and I were on stand at dawn. We saw a few deer but no shooters. We headed back to the homestead about 10 A.M. and saddled the horses. We had to trailer them about ten miles. We rode all afternoon and covered about fifteen miles. There were deer everywhere and the rut was really getting started. We would stop every couple of miles and Bill would rattle for half an hour, then we would move on. On one of these stops, a small 130 class 4X4 walked past me at about fifteen yards. He was so intent on sneaking up on the two bucks that he thought were fighting that he never knew I was there! He approached the small patch of willows where Bill had been rattling and in plain view of him, made a scrape! It wasn't until the buck had completely circled down wind of Bill that he reluctantly ran off. We had a great first day, but, we didn't see any big bucks.

The next day we were both a bit sore, but, we were back on horseback. It was harder than we thought. The footing was poor in the snow and at one steep spot, Bill's horse fell and they both slid about ten feet down the hill. They