home.htm catalog.htm tractors.htm smparts.htm industrial.htm museum.htm history.htm contacts.htm links.htm

Contact us


Hunting in Oregon 1994

I hadn't hunted with BlairDeshong since the Red barn experience in 1985. The year is 1994 and I called him to see if maybe the party, I am now hunting with, might come to Oregon and do another hunt with him. He said that would be a good idea, for he knew of a herd in the Beulah range, that had promise, and he needed a few more in his party to make it a good hunt. I called the rest of our party and asked them if they were game, in which they seemed excited about it. The first thing they asked was ! Is there elk there? My reply was ! Blair said that if you didn't get one it would be your fault. Meaning; they were there and it's up to you to hit them.

We had already planned a hunt in Colorado, for that season, but the Oregon season just happened to come in a couple days after the close of the Colorado season, which I had already discovered. So, what we did was plan to hunt both states in the same year. We would pack up as quick a possible, from the Colorado hunt, and beat it up to Oregon, which is about a 12 hour drive, if we hot foot it. We go through another time change, which gives us another hour, and we are now three hours behind the eastern time we left in West Virginia. The time difference is not noticable because the daylight runs concurrent with the time, as it does in the east.

We were traveling from the Colorado hunt to Oregon, that trip, when talk started about if there were any elk there, and so forth. We were in the vicinity of Rock Springs Wyoming, at the time of this conversation. Since I was the one that had made contact with Blair, the questions seemed to be directed toward me. Questions like: Do you really think we will find any elk there? What will be the lay of the land? How many will be in the whole party? etc. You can imagine what other questions were asked. Now bare in mind that this is the first time for two of our group to go to Oregon. Herb and I were there on the Red Barn Hunt in 1995. This is the first that Don Sharp, A. C. Bohrer, Herb Bohrer, and myself, Dale Truax had made this trip together to Oregon. I responded to their questions with what I knew and that was only what Blair had told me. A. C. said that everything that was being said sounded to good to be true. We never had much luck in Colorado. I had been there probably fifteen times and never got but two shots and they were imposible ones.

We arrived at Blairs house at about 5:30 AM on Wednesday morning and slept in the truck until some house lights came on later. We were greeted and welcomed into their house where we talked, drank coffee and played with the dog for awhile. We then all went out for breakfast and fellowshiped for a couple of hours. The rest of the day was filled with getting our licenses, food , filling gas cans and propane tanks and other supplies that were needed for the hunt. After a good rest, in comfortable beds, at their house that night, we headed up to the hunting grounds where we would set up camp, as it is called. Putting up tents and getting everything inside out of the weather is not an easy job. I didn't have the cooking trailer then. By dark we had enough accomplished to get supper and get ready for bed. I always take along some homemade vegetable soup, to have a quick heat up meal for that night, knowing that sometimes there isn't time to make a complete supper.

The next day, Friday, we finish choirs around camp and do some scouting, not getting into the places where we actually hunt, but looking for sign etc. Friday evening and night is time for Blair to go over the next day's hunt and to talk and tell stories.

Before 6:00 AM on Saturday morning, first day of Oregon elk season, we start up the mountian. We camped at about 4200 feet and will be hunting at about 7500 to 8000 feet. Where we camp seems almost like summer time compared to what the weather is on top of that mountian. Blair has in mind where he wants each person as a stander for the drive that will take place as soon as daylight comes. He drops off standers all along one side of the portion in quest and takes the drivers on to the top and around to the other side. I am the last stander dropped off before he takes the drivers on to the top. It is dark as pitch and I don't see anything more then 20 feet away. I ask, as I jump out of the rig; where am I supposed to be watching, because I have never seen this territory before in my life. I don't know the lay of the land or where they are driving from, or too.. He says: "Just watch around your stand" . Like - Yea.- OK.

Well ! I waited till it was light enought to see all around and picked a spot back off the trail (road) next to an old broken off snag of a large tree. I kicked the snow away and set my gun against it and done my thing. "I watched around me". Now, I'm watching 360 for whatever and off to the south, of where I am standing, which is back over across the trail where I just came from, there is a backbone ridge that comes down off the mountian to where the small growth trees are. Above that is big timber and below are small trees and brush where a forest fire had burned a few years earlier. As I am looking at this particular place, I am thinking if I were a West Virginia White Tail Deer, that is where I would come down because it is a natural sneak away place for an escape. I turned my head to look around and right back to that place and there, right where I thought would be the right place for them to make a get away, were three mule deer making there way down off the top. The drivers had pushed them out and that was the first I knew where and what was happening. Just a couple minutes later and here come the elk. The first was the old lead cow, followed by a small bull and some more cows. That was at about 320 yards away, by range finder. I looked to the right of them and there stood mister big. A nice 6x6 and he had done spotted me. I had already readied the 700 BDL - 7mm and was on him in an instant. I was intending to use the old snag for a rest but had to pull away from it for a clear shot which now I was completely off hand at 425 yards. The shot was not a perfect shooting angle but was good enough. He was standing looking at me at a quarter angle with his left side showing. I held just above the point of his shoulder blade and tripped her. At least that was my intention. At that distance and off hand requires a lot of luck. After the shot he reversed himself and went back up the mountian with several cows. That made me wonder if I even hit him because a shot in the place I was aiming should have dropped him. The bullett would have taken out the spinal cord.

I didn't go after him but stood my guard spot until the drive was over. While standing there I could tell where the progress in the drive was by the shots that I heard. There were shots from the drivers, and the headers. I must have stood there most of two hours before anybody came around with a pickup. Finally; Blair showed up, rolling down the window and said. Where's he at? I shrugged my shoulders and said, "I don't know". "He went that-a-way". He told his brother-in-law, "Jack", to jump out and help find him. We went to where he was when I shot and there was no doubt that I hit him.There was plenty of evidence and a heavy blood trail in the snow to follow. We climbed to the top, about 600 to 700 yards, and found where he had stopped. There was a pool of blood there the size of ten gallon hat. I said, to Jack, "He won't be far now". We only went about another 150 yards and found him. It was the biggest elk by far, that gang had ever taken. When Jack saw that big rack, he yelled and spewed language no one should ever hear. He was "almost" as happy as I was. I discovered that my bullet had almost missed because from the time I pulled the trigger and the time the bullet got there he decided to get out of there. He had just started to turn his head, to whirl away, when the bullet hit him right in the throat, taken out his windpipe and all the main arteries.

Of the four of us that made the trip there to hunt with them, three made a kill on the very first drive and one was A.C., the one that wondered, on the way there, if it could be possible if there were elk in Oregon. I harvested a real nice 6x6. A.C got a 5x5 and Don got a cow. Herb got another cow the next day. Four for four. A lot of meat.

The cow that Herb got was a story in itself that started quite a stir within the gang. We were beyond the moonscape, that's a place about a mile above where I shot the 6x6 the day before. All the guys were on a hunt and concealed inside the woods. The moonscape is bare ground, from a forest fire, and a clear round knob about a mile across. Blair was coming back to join the rest of us, after dropping off the drivers, when he was just about 50 yards from the woods, there came 2, 6x6 bulls across the top of that moonscape. Now, Blair is a pretty good shot but somehow he missed both of them. Herb was the top header, hearing the shooting, stepped out to see what was a going on out on the moonscape. Blair was telling him all about the happening when a cow came following in their tracks. Herb, kneeling on one knee, started calling out ranges on his rangefinder scope to Blair. 800 yards --700 yards--600yards--500yards--450yards. It was about that time that Herb had a brain wave that said to him. Hey ! Your on him. Why don't you shoot. With that, he tightened up on the trigger of that old wartime, 270 Winchester and watched that old cow go tumbling end over end in the snow and sliding right up to the tailgate of Blairs rig, that sat down along the road below.When the rest of the gang finally got the drive over and heard about the happening, it was heard of one of the Oregon gang members. Where the H_____ are these guys from, anyway. Tennessee? We thought they would be bringing us out some more tags to fill and here they are using ours. It seems that some had plans of their own that we didn't know about.

Although we have naver had that kind of luck since that hunt, we have brought home several tons of elk meat to put in the freezers back here in West Virginia, from later hunts. And I can tell you this. Not a scrap goes to waste. Because we all love the taste of good elk.

Some pictures-- pic #1 - pic #2 - pic #3