Shortly after the end of the 1989 season things took a bad turn for the family. My dad who had his own small business fell off of a roof when the ladder collapsed and his back was broken in several places. Although there was no permanent spinal injury it took nearly a year right up until the next hunting season before he was even able to walk very well again. I had originally tried to make plans for a far back hunting adventure in my quest to bag a bigger buck than I had gotten so far but instead decided to hunt very close to the road so my dad would be able to join me. Even now other than one other person my dad and my son are my only true friends and I feel we must always be willing to give up any plans we have made to help out and be able to spend more time with the ones closest to us. I bought an elk tag as ususal but so far had never even seen one while hunting to try and get a shot at. This year was no different but I figured it always pays to be ready.
Since our ability to move around much was limited I decided to go back and hunt the same area of public land we had hunted when we first moved to Colorado. I knew we would be able to in a pretty good spot within a couple of hundred yards from the road. The opening day we set up just out of sight from each other and only a short distance from the truck as I wasn't sure how mobile my dad would be. It didn't matter much that day though as it passed without a single deer being seen. At least we were both out hunting together though and enjoyed every minute of it. The second day passed exactley the same as the first and I knew my dad was getting frustrated and blaming himself for our lack of success. He swore he was feeling great and would be ready to go again when the next weekend arrived with some good rest in between.
The next Saturday we set up as usual and of course as usual we once again saw nothing at all. When it was time to head out for the evening hunt my dad surprised be by insisting he wanted to hike a little bit. I was worried some about this but kept my mouth shut when he headed off in front of me on a trail up the side of the hill we had been watching the last few days we had hunted. It took about an hour but we finally made it to the top of the rise and had a whole new vantage point to watch for deer in some widely spaced pinion trees. I went slightly down the ridgeline until out of sight and got ready to set up for the evening. I had only been sitting for about ten minutes when I was rewarded by a shot from the direction I had left my father. I quickly made my way back to where I had left him and was greeted by a huge smile and the sight of a huge 2 pint buck on the ground only 75 yards out in front of him. I drug the deer back to near his position and where he would be able to back down the hill and almost to the truck. I decided to leave him to gut out the buck and go for a short hike as I had actually seen some elk tracks back where I had been sitting. I knew he would get upset if I tried to gut the deer for him as his pride would accept no more help than he had been getting already.
I headed back to my previous position and started taking a short hike around the edge of the ridgline we were sitting on and then down throught the bottom and back to where I had left my dad to wait for me. I didn't plan to be gone too long as I was afraid he would try to start dragging it away alone. In about 30 minutes I was just about back to where I had left him when I spotted movement through the trees ahead. I worked my way over to the nearest tree and rested my rifle on a limb and waited for the dee to move out into the clear. As luck would have it I was watching another 2 point but only a normal sized one. It was not what I was hoping for but it would still be the biggest buck I had taken at that time, and considering the situation I decided it was best to take the opportunity I was being given. As usual in my younger days I missed the first shot but made up fo it when I fired the second time and watche dhim fall after a short run of about ten steps. I dressed him out as quickly as I could and was able to drag him back to where my dad was just as it was starting to get dark. I knew he would have been able to hear the shots and would patiently wait to see what had transpired. It's a good thing it was all down hill from where we were as I woudl drag mine quickly about fifty yards and then run back and take his away from him and pull it up to mine. It took over an hour to get them down to the truck and loaded up. It was well after dark by the time we got it all done and on the road for home.
Although these are not very large bucks I consider this one of my most memorable hunts as it was the first time in my life that I was the one doing the most of the work and taking charge of what was going on. I would learn a lot more of what that was all about when my kids grew up and were able to start hunting as well but it was a very good feeling of growing up back then.