Jesse harvested his beautiful color phase bear on September 3rd around 9:30am. He was nestled into a natural ground blind of pine saplings looking over one of the few secluded ponds on the mountain he was hunting. Shortly after 9am, Jesse and his camera man began hearing twigs break and leaves rustling up the mountain from them. One half hour later, the 384lb cinnamon bear pushed through a thicket and headed straight for the pond.
As soon as they could see the bear, Jesse began making sure it was a mature boar: no cubs, pumpkin head, stocky shoulders, small ears, short nose, ect. As each identifier was checked off the list, he could feel his heartbeat rise and the adrenaline elevate his senses.
Once the bear reached the pond, it jumped in and swam within 12 yards of Jesse and his camera man! After getting drink and cooling off, the bear began heading out the same way he came in. Jesse knew this was his shot. Once the bear reached the bank, he quartered away from the blind, and as Jesse squeezed his release, he could not have walked up and put the arrow in a better spot. The bear ran less than 50 yards and preceded to freak out like a kid on Christmas morning!
Garrett's hunt came down to the last day. He used every trick in the book to fill his tag. He hunted out of a tree stand, and a ground blind over water the first three days. After several close encounters with bucks just out of range, he turned to spot and stalk on his last day in Colorado.
With Jesse wielding the decoy and Garrett his bow, these two used every advantage they could. They used drainage ditches, and rolling hills to move quickly and unseen, and made sure the sun was at their backs so the antelope would have it in their eyes. They belly crawled through cactus filled flats inches at a time to attempt the close the distance.
After 7 stalks, they spotted two lone bucks bedded down in heavy cactus brush. It was the perfect set up. Both bucks were looking down hill, and best of all, there were only two pair of eyes to evade.
They began the stalk from about 400 yards away. With the hill blocking the antelopes view, they cut that distance in half quickly. Now within 200 yards of the bucks, they used a life size 3D molded decoy to close the next 145 yards. Jumping from cactus to cactus, they moved 10-15 yards a time creeping towards to bucks.
The bucks didn't realize they were there until Garrett and Jesse were roughly 90 yards away. Both bucks stood up from their beds and the stare down began. After waiting 10 minutes to see if the bucks would move closer to investigate, Garret decided to push forward. They moved up another 15 yards and the bucks did not move. Sitting at 75 yards away, Garrett and Jesse discussed their next move behind the decoy. There was a large cactus bush 10 yards up; the plan was to reach the cactus and take the shot. Crouched behind the decoy, they never looked up until they reached their mark. From their Jesse ranged the bigger buck at 55 yards. From his knees Garrett drew his bow behind the decoy, pushed around the cactus and shot. The buck went less than 10 yards and piled up.
All in all the Colorado trip for the Jesse and Garrett was amazing. A special thank you goes out to C Bar Z Outfitters for their guidance and hospitality, to Bolder Productions for amazing film work, and to Colorado's Division of Natural resources for maintaining healthy populations and implementing stout management practices. For more information on the hunt, outfitter, or production company, see links listed below.