visibility out to 400 yards over old beaver ponds.

When we reached Brost’s stand, we had to laugh. Hunters from the
previous week had used a stick to write “Good Luck” in a snow drift
next to the trail the same guys that twisted an ankle and tore knee
ligaments on the walk out the first day.

Wind and later snows obscured the lettering just a bit.

“Hey Jerry, does that say Good Luck,’ or is it Goat Luck?’ “

“Goat Luck. No doubt,” Brost said. “If there’s a goat up here,
I’ll find it.”

He did, too.

At the end of the day, we compared notes on the trail before
walking out. I saw eight does, but Brost saw just one deer a
forkhorn at high noon that walked right under his stand.

We hung our packs filled with heavy clothes on a wooden frame
left behind by loggers, knowing we would be back in that area the
next morning.

Later that day, back at the cook tent, we learned that J.P.
Vicente and Proppe found a large buck, dead, about 90 yards out in
front of the stand Proppe wanted Vicente to use. They might have
scared the wolves off the kill when they walked in the buck was
still warm, the carcass loose and floppy. The wolves apparently
hamstrung the buck and started eating it alive, from the genitals
forward. There were no wounds or hide tears on the shoulders, neck
or head, so Proppe caped out the buck. By week’s end, Vicente had
not shot a buck, so he put his tag on the rack and took that home.
The buck, a heavy-horned 10-pointer, would have scored in the
150-range.

The next day, from the same stands, Brost saw one deer, a
medium-sized 8-pointer with perhaps a 15- or 16-inch spread. It
would have been his biggest buck ever, but he passed it up.
Sightings from the Heaven Stand dropped from eight does on day one
to two does on day two both crossed the stream about 300 yards
apart from one another at 11:55 a.m.

We changed stands on days three and four, but without much luck.
Brost saw a number of does on the third day. Other hunters reported
seeing does, small bucks, moose and even elk. Richardson saw six
elk through the early morning fog. Later he saw two smaller bucks
sparring in the deep snow. There were deer around, but the big boys
seemed to have gone into hiding.

On the fifth day, Friday, Dec. 1, Nealy moved Brost to a stand
that Rivetti used the first two days. Rivetti saw a number of small
bucks from that spot early on, but nothing big. Being it was our
last day and that stand was only about 400 meters from the road,
Brost told himself he would sit there until dark before walking
out.

His determination paid off. He watched does and fawns browse on
willows, spruce and dried grasses around the old beaver pond, but
he didn’t see any bucks. Then, about at about 3:45 p.m., he saw
movement under spruces on a ridge about 120 yards away. At about
the same time, Robblee was walking in to check on Brost. He didn’t
know Brost was eyeballing a pretty good buck, but he figured it out
in a hurry.

“Once I saw that it had a large rack and I knew I was going to
shoot it, I took my mind off the horns and concentrated on making
the shot,” Brost said.

One shot from his .30-06 did the job.

“I was walking in and I heard the bullet hit the deer before I
heard the shot,” said Robblee afterward. “Smack, ka-pow.”

I headed back in to our original stands on the last day and was
about halfway out to the road at 3:50 p.m. That’s when I heard a
muffled muzzle blast to the south. Nealy was waiting for me at the
road when I got out there at 5:30 p.m.

“Hey,” he said. “Jerry got a big one.”

I thought he was kidding and told him so. Nope, he said. He got
a nice 12-pointer.

Sure enough, Brost shot a 12-pointer with a 171/2-inch inside
spread his biggest buck ever. The next day, Robblee scored the rack
at a hair under 160 points (gross and green).

“No more Goat Luck, eh Jerry?”

Nope, not any more. Now he can say he has “Big Horn” luck.

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