Ghosts of alpine past

Hunting has been described as a disease with no cure. Not many people who go into the field armed will refute that, though there’s not a lot of resistance either. It splices hiking, camping and eventual eating into unforgettable experiences.
Last season, my buddy Stephen showed me a route to some secluded, low-pressure alpine, and we both took nice blacktails in velvet.
A few days later I decided to make a solo trip.
The plan was sound. I’d have two big bucks in the August alpine then still have two tags left for the rut. There would be meat for the winter and spring. I’d have venison breakfast sausage, venison pepperoni sticks for snacks, ground venison for burgers and of course, medallions of back strap.
When I went up with Stephen, after two and a half hours of hiking up an old logging road, then clearcut, then old growth forest, we broke into an open area with waist-high vegetation that lasted three hundred diagonal yards, while gaining two hundred feet in elevation on the way to a saddle in the ridge line. It was a great spot to see a deer, but less than ideal for shooting.
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