The fact is, I wanted to go to 100 miles house because I like the town. I'd passed through it quite a few times and always liked the people I met there. There's a great hunting store there, Exeter Sporting Goods Ltd. I last bought my Bushnell Fusion Rangefinder binoculars there.
My friend Laura had liked the boutiques and pharmacy when we'd stopped there together.
My friend Jackie had lived there and liked the Red Coach Inn.
I'd hunted there a couple of times years past and always liked that the A&W was open early so I could get a coffee, and sausage and egger for the ride out to the logging trails and woods.
It really is spectacular hunting terrain. Very moosy too. It's a good thing though I had the iHunter app on my iphone and we had coverage. When I looked at what was legal I was surprised to find we were 30 miles north of where spike fork moose were legal. So we drove on the logging roads south, all the while watching for bucks.
We didn't see any moose even after we passed the magic line where they were legal to shoot. I did see one buck. It was 240 yards away when I checked it later with my Bushnell range finder binocs. There it was, standing in a clearing up on a hill. I stopped the truck and took the "Cannon", my new 300 WSM Winchester Coyote Light long range rifle.
My Ruger 30:06 was called the 'sexcalibre" because as my first stainless steel it looked like the 'Excalibur" when it came out of it's box. My friend said it was 'sexy' so the name 'Sexcalibur" stuck. TheWinchester is heavier and made for business. There's just something about a rifle that shoots a mile, twice the distance of my 30:06 and packs twice the whallop . The "Cannon" got it's name the first time my friend heard me shoot it.
"That thing sounds like a cannon!" he said admiringly. The recoil isn't that bad either. The Winchester 70 Coyote Light is also lightweight for the power it packs. Heavier and more weildy than my Ruger it's still not too much weight for an old guy like me to pack about over the woods and fields.
We did a bit of that this weekend. Parking the truck a couple of times and hiking about for miles, stalking about. We didn't sit still at dawn like we normally would because I didn't know the terrain. Next time I hunt there I've got a couple of likely places I 'd be glad to wait in ambush. Road hunting in the rain that day in my comfortable Ford F350 Harley Davidson Edition diesel 4x4 truck with air conditioning and heated seats was just fine by me. I had the Kodiac 450 ATV in the back of the truck. With the rain turning to sleet then snow then back to rain I found myself thinking that the Kodiac by comparison only had heated handles. The three of us just enjoyed driving about in the cowboy truck jawing and watching the incredible autumn terrain slip by.
The one big buck I saw looked every bit masculine but for the life of me I couldn't confirm horns. I was sure it was a really big spike but I was looking up and the head was in front of grey clouds. I moved to adjust the Zeiss scope from 10 power to 25 and just as I saw what I thought was horn the deer spooked and I didn't get off a shot.
We saw 4 doe the next day but no moose and no deer that we could shoot.
Twice we came across ptarmigan that flew as a flock of 20 or 30 a half mile or so. Tom followed them once with a very keen Gilbert but they just flew off again when he got a few hundred yards nearer. The same happened the next day with me and Gilbert.
"Do you think we should call in an emergency air strike by the world hunter associations? I asked Tom
"Well, those are awfully smart birds. We certainly don't want wild chickens to get a smart gene that spreads. It's bad enough that the moose are outsmarting us but if word gets out that the chickens have more brain power than hunters it's not going to look good for the sport. I really think that a thousand hunters should be flown in to ensure that none of that flock's genes spread. They're just too damn smart."
Gilbert was disgusted with us for not shooting anything but cans. We did that in a gravel pit. Tom got bullseyes with his Mossberg Lever Action 30:30. I shot up an A&W cup with the Cannon then wasted a few of those orange skeet disks with the Sexcalibur. All the while Gilbert waited in the truck.
It was a great weekend notwithstanding the obvious lack of killing and gutting and fresh meat for the winter. The country fresh air spiced by the north was better than any city air freshner. The beautiful colourful fall scenery was spectacular. Comraderie. Tom threw the ball for Gilbert in lieu of shooting the Ptarmigan. Gilbert was happy with fetching the tennis ball. The Red Coach Inn at 100 Mile House was a great motel with a great restaurant and really friendly staff. Gilbert ran his little cockapoo legs off. I got some exercise. Tom shot a few more bullseyes with his new Mossberg 30:30 Lever Action.
"I'm really liking this rifle, Bill. It's what the Rifeman used." he said.
"I know," I answered thinking next thing he'll be getting it customized with an expanded lever on it. The Rifleman had done that to his rifle to improve for rapid firing.
On the way back we enjoyed listening to the Ian Rankin, Saints of the Shadow Bible, audio book. The Scottish detectives Rebus and Clark were in the thick of murder and mystery made all that much better by the brogue accent of the reader.
The sun came out as we passed through the Frazer Canyon. I snapped pictures with my iphone.
When I dropped Tom off at the Chilliwack Airport his diesel VW car wouldn't turn over. We hooked up the cables between our batteries but even with Tom loosening nuts to bleed it, it still wouldn't turn over. It finally took me towing Tom around the parking lot.
This was Tom's bright idea. After a couple of loops of the parking lot the car still hadn't started. I stopped when he waved to me, remembering Tom's idiosyncratic hand signals are more confusing than a drunk deaf mute signing. What's funnier is that he thinks his gestures are some sort of universal Esperanto. It turned out he wasn't signalling me to stop but rather to go faster.
Given the Chilliwack police department was right next store I was glad that I 'd stopped. With clear instructions and a glance in the direction of the police station I picked up the speed a notch. This was the airport. Who would notice if a VW was suddenly flying like a kite. Amazingly enough the car fired up. I stopped and retrieved the tow rope, shook hands with Tom and headed into Vancouver.
By Sunday evening the guns and ammo were back in storage. I left the ATV on the truck because I'm planning another weekend.
As much as I'd like getting dressed as a bearded lady in a gown and wig for Halloween, going to the Rocky Horror Picture cult flick to chuck toilet paper and such, I may just dress again in cammo hoping to surprise a deer or moose before the hunting season closes. Samhain, here we come!