|When I was about 14 years old; my Granddad gave me an old Mossberg .22 Rifle. I shot quite a few cottontails with it.
In 1961; I subscribed to Outdoor Life at the ripe old age of 12. I loved those hunting stories, reading everything between the covers, especially, the articles
about guns and hunting. At the time Jack O'Connor was in his hay day. I started reading everything he wrote in Outdoor Life, and joined the book club so I
could get every book he wrote. He became my "hero" and I thought so much of him, I believed everything he wrote. I also started to think of him as being
By the time I got out of high school, I wanted a .270 so badly; I thought I could actually taste it. But! When I graduated high school my Dad gave me a J.C.
Higgins 12ga. pump shotgun, as a graduation gift. He wanted to buy me a Browning A-5, but just couldn't afford it.
Within in a few days of graduating high school, I left home, on my way to Oregon to start working on a 40,000 acre ranch as an irrigator and ranch hand. I took
my 12 ga. and my .22 with me. The ranch was about 50 miles north of John Day, OR. The ranch was absolutely teaming with game. There was Mule deer,
pheasants, chukar, quail, doves, ducks, geese, and elk high in the mountains. There were also a lot of jackrabbits and porcupines that we practiced on every
chance we got.
I was working for the huge sum of $200.00 a month. I was paid every two weeks.
After my first two checks; I called my Dad, asking him if I could buy a .270. He said it was my money, buy whatever I want. So I went to there general store in
Kimberly, OR. There I ordered a Rem. 00, in .270 Win.
At that time, Redfield scopes were all the rage, but I didn't have enough money for a Redfield. So, I wound up buying a Weaver 2-7variable power. After 45
years I've still got that .same .270 and Weaver scope. I've lost count of the number of deer that I've shot with it, two elk, one mountain goat, three pronghorns,
lots of jackrabbits.
During the fall of 1967, while still in Oregon, I shot my first mule deer, a two point forked horn. I couldn't have felt better if I'd shot the new Boone & Crockett
Not long after that I returned to Southern Nevada, where I continued to bird hunting. But it didn’t take me long to make the decision to head to Northern
Nevada to hunt deer. I shot quite a few mule deer in the Ely, Nevada area, a couple were really big 4 pointers.
Then in 1983, I moved to the Boise Idaho area, before moving to the Orofino area. There was a lot of deer in the area, mostly whitetails. I shot a deer, every
year I was there, along with two elk.
One elk took me 12 hours to pack to camp. I'd cut off a piece, carry it to camp and go back for more. It was after dark by the time I made the last trip back to
camp, man was I tired by that time, but I was so jazzed up I just couldn't sleep, pretty much all I could do was sit and stare into the campfire.
When I was elk hunting in the Isabella Creek area, on the North Fork of the Clearwater River, I had seen a lot of goats. So I decided to try for a Mountain Goat
tag. I drew a tag on my first try.
The local game warden, Bill Snow, couldn't believe that I drew a tag on my first try. That goat hunt turned out to be quite an experience for me. I went up a
couple times scouting and had got into goats both times. It was in the Mallard-Larkin primitive area and the only way you could get into it was by foot or horse
back. The closest I could drive was within 5 miles. So, on opening day, I drove up to the location, I was all alone, walked in 5 miles to the top of some really
high cliffs. As soon as I got there, immediately started seeing goats, but they all ran as soon as they saw me.
I walked a few more yards, seeing a big 'ol billy standing broadside looking at me from around 100 yards away. I instantly sat down, put my elbows on my
knees, so that I would have a steady hold on him. I really didn't pay any attention to the terrain right there. I put a 130 gr. Nosler Partition bullet, right behind
his shoulder. He humped his back up and stood there weaving a little. I figured as long as he kept standing I was going to keep putting lead into him. I fired
another shot into the same place. At that shot he jumped forward out of site. That area was so rough and rugged it took me almost an hour to get to where he
was standing when I shot him. This area was straight up and down, looking down at Isabella Creek on the bottom it looked like a piece of thread down there. I
started searching the area for the goat. I found some blood where he had been standing; but no goat. Finally I looked way down the ravine, I could see
something sticking up, looking through my binoculars, and I see my goat lying on its back with all four feet in the air.
I started walking around looking for a way to get down to Mr. Goat, that’s when I stepped on some loose rocks and down I went. I started sliding straight down
to Isabella Creek; my gun came off my shoulder and slid ahead of me. All I could think of was to stay flat on my back so I wouldn't start rolling end over end.
Finally my right foot came up against a good sized rock that held but my leg was really hurting, I figured I had broke it. I laid there for a while trying to catch my
breath and shaking like a dog *$&#^(@% peach seeds. When I looked down the slide, I saw my rifle a couple feet below me, I managed to hook the sling with
my left foot and get it up to where I could get it in my hand. When I looked to my left, about 50 yards away, I could see a flat place where I could stand up. I
slowly rolled over on my belly, and began to crawl, pulling myself along, till I got to the flat ledge. I got to my feet by using my rifle as a support, but I couldn't
put a lot of weight on my right leg. I realized then that my back felt like it was on fire. I looked my gun over and it was scratched and scarred up pretty bad, all
the glass was broke out of the scope. After I pulled myself together, I began to clamber & climbed my way back up hill, stopping several times. Exhausted,
with my back and leg hurting badly, I finally made it up to where it was easier walking, but it was still a 5 mile hike back to my rig.
Part of the way back to my vehicle, I found a huge huckleberry patch and started gorging myself.
I had not had anything to eat or drink since early that morning. The berries tasted so good, they were juicy and sweet, and I was famished. That is when I
happened to stop stuffing my face, to look at the ground around me, it was covered with bear sign. I got out of there fast!
At the trail head there had been a sign saying to watch for grizzlies and wolves. By the way, they claim that wolves were extinct in Idaho then but we hunted
the same area in 1979, we heard wolves howling at night and all the trail heads had signs warning to watch for them. Anyway, by the time I got back to my rig it
was the middle of the night, and man, was it dark out there, and wouldn’t you know, I didn't have a flashlight with me. I wasn't afraid of the dark, but I
wondered what could have been out there in the dark. I talked, whistled and sang all the way back to my rig. If anybody had happened on to me they'd have
thought a crazy man was loose in the mountains. But, I made it to my rig, although I was very, very tired. By then my leg wasn't hurting quite as bad. I drove 60
miles home, and got there about daylight. When I got home the first thing I did was to jump into a hot shower. I looked in the mirror at my back and it was
almost solid scratches. When I got in bed I thought about how lucky I was; as I had been by myself and hadn't told anyone where I was. I was blessed that night
with a good nights sleep. The next day, I went to my bone cracker Doc, both bones in my lower leg, tibia and fibia, were out of place.
When I got home, I called F&G to see if I could get some help getting my goat out, due to injury. After I told them my hunt story, and about my accident, right
away IDF&G wanted to cite me for leaving game in the field.
After about 6 months of phone calls, filling out several reports and a letter from my doctor; they decided they wouldn't cite me. So that's my goat hunting story.
I shot several more deer in the Orofino area and the next elk I shot was about 5 miles from my house in a farmer’s field at about 80 yards. I was able to back
my pickup right up to it. Both elk were killed with my .270, 130 gr. bullet, one shot.
I once got a shot at a black bear once up on the North Fork Clearwater but, missed him. Then I had a bad accident that had nothing to do with hunting, long
story, and I wound up back in Southern Nevada. I hunted birds a little around there and went on a couple deer hunts. Then I retired and moved back to Idaho
in 2004. I started hunting here again, shot a few deer, hunted whistle pigs (ground squirrels) all I could, shot 3 or four badgers, a few rockchuks and a couple
coyotes I happened on to.
I had got a computer several years before and had found some hunting and shooting sites on the internet. I was looking at them constantly trying to figure
out how and where to get into varmint shooting. Then one day in 2010 I ran across a link on Predator Masters forum for Idaho Varmint Hunters, so I checked it
out, looked at the forum and a few days later, contacted Gary Mathews, he invited me to meet with them, and have lunch with him and Loren. They told me all
about the club, invited me to join and gave me an application. I joined the next month and have been to almost every meeting since. I consider joining Idaho
Varmint Hunters one of the best things I've ever done. I've meet and made some great friends.
I enjoy the club and want to do everything I can to help make it a success. Since joining I've been able to shoot whistlepigs, badgers, rockchucks, we have
even called up some coyotes while with some of my new found friends and club members. Hope to go on many more future hunts with them.
Last week I called in and shot a coyote, the very first I've called all by my lonesome. So that's the story of my hunting life so far. Recently someone asked me if
I'd been hunting all my life, I told them: No, not yet! I plan on hunting many more years, ecspecially varmints.