The Valley Floor
With sunrise happening in the next 10 minutes, I had left my truck behind an hour back, and I was enjoying a good start to my morning out and about, having spotted a large Mule Deet buck that was sporting a rack that would have made a deer hunter drool.
Now to set the record straight, I have not hunted deer since I was in my 20's, and don't plan on starting up again any time soon.
Still, I enjoy seeing wildlife while I'm out and about, as its all about capturing them on the memory cards of my cameras. I do enjoy playing cat and mouse with a big Muley like I saw earlier, and funny thing was I had just got ready to leave my truck behind when I saw him dropping down into the river breaks, from feeding in a field bordering the valley.
He hadn't noticed me, or at least he didn't appear to, so once he was out of sight, I decided to see if I could surprise him for a closer look-see.
I made the 200 meter approach to the ridge where I saw him last as he dropped out of sight, and cautiously approaching I looked over the edge of the valley looking cautiously about to see where he had gone.
Now I know this area very well, and know of a well travelled game trail that I suspect the muley would pick up as he moved in to cover to bed down for the day. Considering he had been moving southeast when he dropped down out of sight, I felt he would still be moving in a easterly direction.
Not seeing him when I peered over the edge of the valley, I felt he probably was nearby, but out of sight in one of the coulee's that I couldn't see in to from my location. So while keeping just below the ridge of the valley, making sure that my profile was not visible against the sky, I cautiously headed off towards the east keeping an eye on the rolling coulee sides below me.
I only had covered about a 100 meters when the Muley appeared out of one of the coulees that I hadn't been able to see in to, and where I suspected he might be. I also was pleased to see he had done exactly what I though he might, and had picked up the main game trail that runs from east to west along the valley slopes.
I was also pleased that he was unaware of my presence at this point, and he was at most 150 meters from my location.
Now although I had my pocket camera with me, this camera is not what you reach for when your planning on doing some wildlife photography. Still, I though I would snap a pic for the record, and with my camera in hand, and as the Muley cresting the high side of the coulee, I gave a whistle which stopped him in his tracks, and he turned broadside to me as he looked in my direction, giving me the money shot. Well, with my wide angle lens equipped camera that is!
Still, I enjoyed stalking this Muley, and my memory of him putting some speed on as he headed off, thinking to himself "does this guy have no life" put a smile on my face as I dropped down on to the same game trail he had used in making his getaway, and I now followed to get to where I was headed.
Perfect morning all around, and I still smile when I think of getting the drop on the big muley.
Expand the photo for a closer look.....