Just got back (on Saturday) from 7 glorious days of ML hunting. Every year the shock to my system that comes from forcing myself into the grind of working life gets harder....but enough of that. On to the fun stuff. Packed in the day before the opener about 2 miles. Holy shit, it was crowded. Never seen it like that before. I got kind of bummed, but then decided I better make the best of it, try to figure out the best way to hunt pressured animals, and get after it. I had to make a new game plan based on the pressure, but thats was keeps in ineresting I guess. Fast forward a couple days, I have not seen shit. Nobody I talked to has seen anything. I mean nothing. I'm sure that the 50 guys tramping around in there didn't help, ha! I decide I better start getting up earlier, walking farther, and get myself back into the nastiest, most secure stuff I could find. Hunt slow, stay quiet, and keep moving. Now I'm no trophy hunter, and I'm limited in range with my flintlock, so I don't hesitate at all to shoot stuff. Given that I'm in CO, I would probably not shoot a fork ( though it would be tough for me to hold off, ha!) but anything better than that is going down - especially given how much pressure there was, and how few deer were moving. So early morning of day 4, I hear that dreaded THUMP-THUMP-Thump of a deer stotting off. I got a quick look, saw antlers, and was off. Wet ground, soft shoes, and I was in there like a ghost. I followed for about 100 yards, getting glimpses of a white rump, or some ears looking back at me. I was surprised, but I was closing the distance. The wind was coming across me, and he finally decided to try and swing around to cut my wind. I knew that was my all-or-nothing moment. There was a lot of junk btween us to my right, so I made a fast move about 20 yards, got on one knee, and put my gun up in an opening. He trotted by - damn! I took three big steps right, and just as I was kneeling, he came through, my movement stopped him, and Klatch-Bang, big belch of smoke. Man it felt like I missed. I mean I felt like I rushed it really bad. That is a sinking feeling. I told myself I would give it 15 minutes, then sneak up there and look for some sign with fingers crossed. I really didn't want to wound a deer, so that is what I was most worried about. After just a minute or so, I rolled onto both knees to get in a better position to wait. I scanned around and DAMN! right there through an opening is my buck, standing hunched up, blood running out of his mouth. He was about 30 feet from where he was when I shot him. Then he layed down right there as I was watching, sat for about 5 seconds, then layed his head down, and it was all over! Phew - emotional roller coaster. I could not be happier about this trip. Got him boned out and hung in a tree, then a long hike to geta pack, and off to the truck with one real heavy load. I think a boned out CO deer is about as heavy as a live CA deer! My hips paid the price on that one. So now that was done, so I spent the next morning with the smooth-bore looking for grouse, and managed a couple of those sneaky little buggers. A perfect topper to a perfect trip!