2009 Kenndy Meadows D6 Pack in Archery Hunt

Fernando was one of our two packers.

Packer Fernando resized

Randy was the other. They work for Kennedy Meadows Pack Station. The owner, Matt Bloom, is very accommodating.Packer Randy cropped and resized

This was a very large bear and we saw him two days in a row. We observed about six bears in all.black bear best cropped

One bruin left his track near camp, but we didn’t have any trouble with our food.bear track cropped and resized

This Cooper’s hawk landed about fifty yards away while Wes and I alternated glassing and nodding. Shortly thereafter, a cinnamon colored bear walked up to within 20 yards of us before attempting to leap out of his hide.Coopers Hawk 2 cropped and resized

On the second day of hunting, this three point buck appeared in the willows below us. We’d seen him on day one as well.


three point buck in sun cropped and enlarged

Then we saw him again on day three, but at about 150 yards. Apparently he’d seen us as well.


three point or four point cropped

His partner was a four-point buck (in the lead), but was more camera shy. Like many bucks, he was better at keeping his head down. As you can see fairly well, this buck has blacktail characteristics.

We have noted that some deer in this area look like blacktails and others more like mule deer. There is  a species called the California mule deer and these deer would most likely fall into that taxonomy.

According to biologists I’ve discussed this with, the California mule deer is not a cross between blacktails and mule deer, it is a species that evolved in this habitat. Could be.

three point following four point cropped resized

We saw these bucks every day of the hunt.

Chipmunks were plentiful, as were many other ground squirrels including marmots, pica and Townsend ground squirrels.sierra chipmonk cropped and resized

The most prevalent creature on the ridge was the Clark’s nutcracker. While watching one of these birds from about 20 feet away through his binoculars, Rob observed one of them regurgitating pine nuts and storing them in a slot in a pine tree.Clarks nutcracker cropped and resized

After a few hours of watching deer in the morning, a three-point buck with a nice spread bedded in these willows. Wes decided to sit on him and see if he’d make a mistake.

Where’s Wes? Wes stalking buck in willows cropped

Wes stalking buck enlarged

There his is. Wes sat next to that large rock for several hours waiting for the buck to show himself, but he didn’t.

One exciting moment occurred on the last hunt day when Wes jumped a mountain lion that took off at full speed until reaching a place to hide behind a large rock.

Never a Good Day – Never a Bad Day Either

When you’re in your office trying to get things done or when you’re explaining to your wife why you must spend the night at the ranch in order to hunt deer it sometimes seems like there’s never a good day to go hunting.

On the other hand, once your on stand or setting up your spotting scope and you’ve left your troubles behind, there’s never a bad day to go hunting.

Such was the case yesterday.  But, I left my office at 1:30 PM and made it to my tree stand by about 3:00PM. Not a deer appeared. It seemed as though they had left, but that’s hunting.

Opening Weekend Success

The first weekend of rifle season produced quite a few bucks and cousin Wes connected on a mid-size three point buck. He found some deer on Friday night while glassing and returned on Saturday morning. The buck he shot spooked over the ridge, but came back a while later and bedded where Wes was able to make a down-hill approach to within 70 yards.

Here’s the result.Wes 2009 - 2 ranch buck by Joe cropped and resized

The photo is completements of Joe DiDonato who acted as Wes’ guide for the day.

Looks Like 2009 Produced a Good Hatch

turkey poults cropped and resized

For some time I’ve been thinking that the wet spring of 2009 should have been a good one for quail, turkey and maybe even pheasants. Now we’re seeing signs that it was. On my way to the ranch last week I took a route through our turkey territory and came upon a flock of about twenty turkeys drinking and loafing at a shaded spring.

Shortly after that I jumped three different coveys of quail. While glassing for blacktails I saw the flock of turkeys again and it had a high percentage of birds of the year. Looks like last spring was productive.

Rob also reported that he found a few pheasant broods during his last trip to the duck club – more signs of a successful hatch.