Backstraps For Dinner (Just Not For Me)

Well, apparently my lack of any blog posts after the second and final weekend of Washington muley season has left some of you in suspense about the results from Deer Camp Walgamott.

And when I say “some,” I mean you, Jason Brooks.

I guess all those lead-up blogs on my hunting beard, buying new boots, the ton of hunting clothes I laundered twice, the cold I caught and the bee sting I got over the first weekend, and my incessant posting about the stupid weather — not to mention my big story in the October issue of the magazine (yes, we do do a magazine, this isn’t just the clavvering of some nitwit who got himself a blog) — were supposed to lead up to me shooting a freakin’ blue whale of a buck this past weekend.

Yeah, well, sometimes things just don’t work out.

The short version of this post is that there really aren’t any deer in the Okanogan.

Wolves et them all. Heard ’em cracking the bones myself.

Oh, sure, the newest guy at our hunting camp — the guy carrying on street-decibel conversations in the woods, hopping around with his camera taking timer shots of himself and his son, wearing absolutely zero camo, and busily taking doodads in and out of velcro carrying cases — shot a 30 1/2-inch-wide mule deer, his FIRST FREAKIN’ DEER EVER.

The other 10 of us saw exactly squat.

RICHARD BELL'S FIRST BUCK. (ERIC BELL)

And, yes, George Schildt of Illinois also bagged his FIRST FREAKIN’ DEER EVER, a 3×3 near Omak, thanks to guiding from his son Devin.

DEVIN & GEORGE SCHILDT AND GEORGE'S FIRST DEER. LOOKS LIKE SOMEONE'S GOT A HUNTING BEARD GOING ON! (HI-VIZ PHOTO CONTEST)

And, OK, Ron Mootar too got his FIRST FREAKIN’ DEER EVER on his FIRST FREAKIN’ HUNT EVER, over in the Sinlahekin.

RON MOOTAR'S FIRST EVER HUNT WAS A SUCCESSFUL ONE. (GREG JAMES)

So, I guess there WERE some deer in the Okanogan, but apparently only if you have never killed anything in the genus Odocoileus before.

Stinking deer anyway. I blew all of my hall passes — and THEN some — to hunt a migratory herd that apparently didn’t decide to do the whole migration thing.

At least during the rifle season.

Of course today there’s like 7 inches of snow predicted for elevations above 4,500 feet.

May your little toes get frostbitten on the way down the mountain, you slackers!

Yeah, I’m a little bitter.

And I’ve already come up with some new rules for 2011: We don’t pull out of camp on the last day of the nine-day season. That’s like leaving more than a half of a day of hunting on the table — like a white flag from the hunters, a free pass for the deer. We leave on the Monday from here on out.

Crappy thing is after hunting this area since approximately the Pleistocene, on Saturday of the second weekend I discovered where the deer hang out. Whole new spot I’d never been to before. Lots of tracks, trails, with an overgrown road down below for carting them out. Would have spent all day there Sunday if we hadn’t had to pack up by 10 a.m.

Woulda, coulda, shoulda.

So now — grounded at home until approximately 2015 — I’m left with a hunting beard that’s soon to be a Halloween prop: Amy’s dressing me up as a hippie, man.

Fortunately, not everyone in the Northwest is as bummed out as this dude. Here are some more hunters who will be feasting on backstraps this winter:

JOSH FITZHUGH, BLUE MOUNTAINS BUCK. (HI-VIZ PHOTO CONTEST)

BRODY BURROW, REPUBLIC, WASH., WHITETAIL. (HI-VIZ PHOTO CONTEST)

MAURY KINCANNON, PALOUSE WHITETAIL. (HI-VIZ PHOTO CONTEST)

DAVID ERICKSON, SNAKE RIVER BREAKS MULEY. (HI-VIZ PHOTO CONTEST)

NAOMI SMITH, GRIZZLY UNIT MULEY. (HI-VIZ PHOTO CONTEST)

JERRY HAN, PRINEVILLE MULEY. (HI-VIZ PHOTO CONTEST)

JEREMY ALLEN, OCHOCO UNIT BULL. (HI-VIZ PHOTO CONTEST)

bu

CHAD HURST, DOUGLAS COUNTY MULE DEER DOE. (JASON BROOKS)

KADEEN PEER, BLUE MOUNTAINS BUCK. (KELLY COLLITON)

CHAYSE BROOKS (LEFT), DOUGLAS COUNTY MULEY. (JASON BROOKS)

Did you get yourself a deer? Wanna rub the editor’s face in it? Email him a shot (awalgamott@media-inc.com) and he’ll add it to the honor roll here.

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