Dave has a funny kind of luck. Like where he can draw a tag that takes 13-15 years of applying in just one year. This year he drew an Antelope tag in central Oregon and asked me if I would come hunt with him. I agreed almost instantly and got my plane tickets the next week and I was flying to Portland just two weeks after that.
The hunt started on Saturday and I flew out of PHX late Thursday night; this gave us Friday to pack, drive 5 hours, pitch camp and find our opening morning target buck.
Dave had made a few quick trips to learn the lay of the unit and try to scout as much as he could in the weeks before the hunt. He pointed out right away that there were plenty of antelope to look at, but most were on private land. I was excited to try out the On X Hunt maps to help us stay on the public land find the honey holes.
Our opening morning plans were fouled by shifty winds and about 40 other hunters that had a similar plan to ours. We shifted gears and headed south to some country that looked promising. Being from AZ, we thought the dirt roads were decent enough, but some Oregonians apparently are deterred by slightly rocky roads. Just like we wanted, we had almost the whole area to our selves. We made a really good stalk on a bedded buck that night but didn't get him killed. Dave says it was the guy with the range finder's fault... After a very long walk back to the truck that night we figured our our plan for the morning to come back to the same area and try again from a different angle.
First light on day 2 we spotted our group of goats and we took off trying to make good time across the open sage flats before the sun showed us off. We only made it half way across the flat when I spotted a buck running, full-tilt right at us. We sat down and realized it was a mature buck chasing a renegade youngster out of the country. They ran at about 45MPH right by us without even flinching. Once they past us I whistled and the bigger buck circled around us out of curiosity. In this case, curiosity killed the antelope. 20 minutes after day break and we were taking pictures and ready to pack meat back to the truck! Then, Dave says, "lets go fishing tomorrow!"
We drove back the 5 hours to Portland and had a feast of a dinner with Dave's wife, Stef and some of their friends. We unpacked the camp gear and loaded the fishing gear and left at 3am the next morning to drive to Astoria to meet Travis at the boat ramp by 5:30. We were on the water for about an hour before we caught the first salmon, then it was ON! We proceeded to catch more salmon than I could have dreamed of. We fish with Travis because he is a nice guy with a nice boat, but mostly because he helps us understand all the rules and regulations that are constantly changing. He also knows how to get tons of fish on the boat! We each got to catch and release at least 5 fish a piece and then we got to keep and bring home one King and one Chinook each. What a day! What a weekend!
Four days in OR, we drove an 800 mile loop around Oregon, shot a great Antelope and had the best day of fishing I have ever had.