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Thread: A year to remember.

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    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    Default A year to remember.

    Just got home from a few days in the hospital and had time to reflect on this past year I got to share with my Son Zach. I’m glad there is no such thing as Gulf War Syndrome, because if there was I HAVE IT!! So, since it does not exist it must be something else that makes me vomit for days at a time. Anyway…..feeling better and back at home.

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    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    This story started with a phone call from my Son Zach,, “Dad, I’m in jail”, not what a father wants to hear. Long story short, unpaid tickets led to his license being suspended and one night he tried to run from the cops to avoid another driving while suspended and ended up in jail for 6 months for evading arrest. He serves six months and gets all his fines taken care of.

    Now, he has a year driving suspension, hard to keep a job when you can’t get there. I ask him to come and stay with me and help me out until he got his license back.

    For over 20 years I mentored and reformed dozens of young men and women, why could I not do the same for my own Son? It seemed like the harder I tried the more he would do the opposite. We had an Orange County Choppers JR/Senior type relationship. Add to this, him being a teenager and me deploying all over the world or getting ready to deploy again, we just stopping communicating.

    When Zach got here it was dark and cold, moving to Alaska in December is a shock for a southern boy I’m sure. Zach was at an all time low when he got here. I decided that I was going to do everything possible to help him get back on track and to make the best of the year. My wife was deployed, so it would be Zach and I for a year.

    When life gives you lemons, make lemonade!!!
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    Member broncoformudv's Avatar
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    Its good to know there is no such thing as "Gulf War Syndrome" and that your are no longer in the hospital Steve! Next time let us know you are in there so we can tell you to get better.

    Kinda funny how some people go to so much trouble to convince you something doesn't exist isn't it? Almost makes one think that maybe it does exist or "they" wouldn't try so hard to convince you that it doesn't.

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    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    We got out and chased the northern lights...









    Played in the snow.





    We tried ice fishing, but did not do too well.

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    I was in and out of the ICU at FMH last week visiting my wife's grandfather. He has been in there for nearly two weeks at critical condition but is finally coming around. There's some post Korian war syndrom going on there, but his multitude of other issues don't help much either.

    Glad you are better and back to your day to day. Look forward to chatting more this winter.

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    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    We traveled the Taylor Hwy,, the excuse was to look for a bear, but we were happy to be out after a long winter.





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    Sorry to hear about your illness, glad your feeling better. Nothing helps a father son relationship more then what you have given him this past season.

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    As June neared it was time for my annual pilgrimage to PWS. Not sure if I like PWS better or the sheep mountains, both are slices of heaven.

    Zach proved to be quite the angler.







    Got his first bear.

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    Member AK Ray's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stid2677 View Post
    Just got home from a few days in the hospital and had time to reflect on this past year I got to share with my Son Zach. I’m glad there is no such thing as Gulf War Syndrome, because if there was I HAVE IT!! So, since it does not exist it must be something else that makes me vomit for days at a time. Anyway…..feeling better and back at home.
    My ex-bro-in-law also has some issues from the not real Gulf War Syndrome. Nothing as bad as yours though, but it shuts him down for a few days sporadically throughout the year. He says he just needs more Wild Turkey.

    Get better.

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    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    I was blessed to be selected as MOTY and Zach and I got to go Pike fishing with Marina Air. Awesome trip as always and we both thank everyone for the opportunity.







    "I refuse to let the things I can't do stop me from doing the things I can"
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    By now the summer was almost gone. We did make a trip to the Russian River and Homer, but we could not catch even a single fish. I had spent enough time with Zach to know that he had what it takes to try a sheep hunt. But I could also tell that he was more into fishing than hunting. I told him that I take sheep hunting serious and he was welcome to come if he wanted, but I also told him that it was going to be hard, uncomfortable and once there we were there to stay. He said he was in, but would rather just help me than to hunt himself.

    I have never been more out of shape for a sheep hunt than I was this year. Only decided to go for sure a couple weeks before the opener. But, one thing I have learned hunting with younger hunters and that is they make me hunt harder. Even when I can't take another step, I will keep going just to try to prove that I'm not getting old I guess.

    We loaded up and headed north, 70 North was great as always and we cooked them up a few deer burgers before we headed off into the hills.





    Got camp setup and Zach did some glassing.



    Love the Zach filter,, sure made water making easy for me anyway.

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    We enjoyed being together in the mountains and had a look around.





    The extra room in the Sawtooth was nice on our snow day.

    "I refuse to let the things I can't do stop me from doing the things I can"
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    We had a few bears around camp.









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    We had a look around. There were some really nice Caribou bulls in the area and we practiced stalking up on them. It was good practice and they were much lighter to pack out since we never actually shot one of them.




    Our only spat was over water crossings.



    We saw a few, but tomorrow we spike out further.

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    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    Time to spike, we hike a couple days until we spot WHITE.



    That is what we are looking for.



    Time to rest and enjoy the show.



    A room with a view.

    "I refuse to let the things I can't do stop me from doing the things I can"
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    Enjoyed your yr of adventure

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    Best of luck with the health my friend, we all seem to get some time it the "this really sucks chair"from tme to time, but there is always some brighter days ahead to look forward to!
    I hope this was a new beginning for you and your son. Trying to figure life out can be very frustrating at times...
    Great post as always sir...Thx.
    When asked what state I live in I say "The State of Confusion", better known as IL....

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    The next few day are the stuff sheep dreams are made from. Perfect weather, rams to watch and great company to share it all with. I was able to watch the rams from our spike camp and pattern their movements and routes. Zach and I chatted about this and that and I would like to think he may have picked up a trick or two from ole Dad.

    So, as the evening of the opener approached. I watched the rams, 4 total with only one legal. My style is what has been called the Joe Want method, spot and approach them from below. Where these rams were there was no way to get to them from below. I was apprehensive about trying to get above them and have the weather come in and it get too dark to shoot after the season opened. This might be a Tony Russ, get them from above type hunt.

    So,, how to close that last few hundred yards.. We tried to get across from them and the closest we could get was 700 yards.

    We are 700 yards across valley from them and it is 9pm. What to do?? I really want to wait until tomorrow and be in place to ambush them moving to the feeding area like they have done the last 3 days. I can see the excitement in Zach's eyes and I know he wants us to go after him.

    The wind is right, the sky is clear and the rams have bedded down. I told him I think we can get up and on top of them before it gets dark. We made our move..

    11:30pm finds us topping out. Have a peek over and ..... NOTHING, get my land marks and figure they are a couple hundred yards down the ridge and under a rise. We work our way around a big rock and look over and there they are!!!

    All 4 bedded and looking out, get the Swaro on them and find the shooter, I had already memorized every stain on him so I knew him by his color before I even looked at his horns.

    I settled back behind the ridge and put on my jacket to stay warm and to just enjoy the experience. For me it is a powerfully spiritual feeling to be in a position in which you can take an animal and have them totally unaware of your presence. Long time to think about pulling that trigger. The 20 or so minutes were gone in a blink of the eye.

    After waiting a few extra minutes to make sure it has well into the 10th, I took one last look in the spotting scope and looked at all 4 rams and made sure I had selected the correct ram. I tilted the spotting scope down and rested my 30-06 Model 70 onto the tiled scope and adjusted the dial on my CDS to 140 yards. Asked Zach if he was ready to video and and I fired. He tried to get up, but only rolled a few feet down hill from his bed. His buddies took off and we headed down to see him after a big hug and possibly wet eyes for me.

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    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    Zach, did well breaking him down. We both used our white suits to keep blood off us.

    Zach packed it all but the horns, making it easy for ole Pops.





    Nice to be able to move into the floor-less shelter when it started raining and still work on my cape.



    Time for meat and fire!!!

    "I refuse to let the things I can't do stop me from doing the things I can"
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    Excellent hunts with a Son are the stuff that got Mankind on track with winning the World as Top Predators!

    Cool thread through and through.
    If you can't Kill it with a 30-06, you should Hide.

    "Dam it all", The Beaver told me.....

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