I cannot begin to explain the revolting hatred my legs had for me the following morning. Although my dreams are to kill a bull in spectacular country, just getting myself out of the bottom of the canyon from the day put reality back into the forefront of my imagination. I have no regrets from hunting through that canyon and always feel like I need to attempt the hunt at least once each year to reset my body. Dad and I were very tired. Regardless of the running and lifting in the months leading up to the hunt, the mountains are still always better.
Our morning consisted of hunting flat timber. We hunted out along the rim above a deep canyon where we have had success in the past and ended at a series of wallows during the midday hour. At one point two other hunters walked by us but did not see where we were sitting. Moments later, two cows walked out from behind them, but with no bulls. Our bodies needed sleep. Constructing a small blind in a dead pine tree about 30 yards from the wallows I leaned my back against the backpack and drifted off into a semi-conscious state where my ears could still be aware of any approaching animals. As peaceful as this sounds it is actually sometimes painful when you just want to slip into deep unconscious sleep. My water hose was pinched between me and my back and I got soaked during my recovery slumber. This glorious break saved my week.
Our only bull encounter on day 3 came a the last hour when we were deep in the canyon. Still hunting our way through the dark timber we walked to within 35 yards of a giant bull which was alone away from his cows walking back up the hill towards his cows after getting a drink of water. The burly size of his body was an indication of his status of herd bull. We froze looking at each other with no real chance at a shot. He busted up the hill and chuckled a few times rounding up his cows. The hike out of the canyon was not nearly as much fun knowing we blew a great chance.