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.
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.
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!
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.
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