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Stories of the Week

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  • 570
  • Gibbs boys bring down three bucks in an hour and half.

    This is a special memory that all came together on November 8th, 2017. The boys and I had been hunting diligently since the first day of the season some 12 days before. We had trail cameras all over this 59 acres parcel. The boys had worked hard managing the property with a couple food plots and we had picture proof that the bucks were there but you know how it goes we just hadn't been seeing them in the daylight. The night before we all had text each other deciding where we each were going to spend the morning sitting. Brody chose the lower side and was planning to get there very early and settle in. I planned to sit the top of the mountain as I had shot deer up there before but hadn't set there yet this season. Andrew was still undecided but would make that decision in the morning he said. We all knew we wanted to be sitting at least an hour before legal shooting time which in Maine is 1/2 before sunrise. I live in Belfast, Andrew in Waldo and Brody in Monroe, only walking distance from his choice place to sit. I picked up Andrew, with a bit of late start, and headed to Monroe. Upon our arrival Brody was already settled in but we were plenty early enough to do the same. Andrew decided he was going to sit the back side of the mountain coming in from another 55 acre lot we own about a mile up the road. I dropped him off, wished him luck, then quickly drove back so I could make the trek up the mountain. Climbing the mountain is not something you ever want to rush for sit because you'll get sweaty and then about 45 minutes in to the set you’ll begin to freeze up. I took my time stopping frequently and shedding layers of clothing as I made my way through the darkness. I made my spot about 30 minutes before legal shooting time and got settled in. This spot is a place I sat off and on for 25 years. It is a large oak tree on the steep mountain side that has root branching off that makes a perfect seat. I have shot a couple of bucks from this spot and watched many a deer, as well as coon, squirrels, turkeys, porcupines, grouse and field mice scatter about. I have sat in blizzards, rain, subzero temps, and days too warm to hunt. From this spot I can see the valley below for miles the sunrise before any other place around. On many a cold mornings I recall sitting up straight closing my eyes with the sun on my face trying absorb even the tiniest amount of heat from its' rays when it finally appears. I had planned to spread some ashes of my infant unborn son that we lost the year before at five months, at the base of this tree. His name was Grayson Loblein Gibbs and I had already purchased him a youth shotgun. This particular spot is on family land handed down to me by my father, Derol Gibbs, about 32 years prior. My father purchased the land in the late 1960’s and it is my wish for it to always remain in the family. As I sat in the dark I slowly put back on layers of clothing and was fully dressed and comfortable and good 10 minutes before legal shooting time. It was only 5 minute past legal time when I heard the crack of rifle below me. I was optimistic, but not sure, that it was Brody. He hunts with a Marlin 336 30-30. The shot sounded like maybe it was further away than he was sitting but with a quick text, and short wait for a response, I learn it was him. He stated that he thought it was the big one we had been seeking and stated that it had run out of sight. I told him to wait 30 minutes and then go look for it. Well he waited about 5 minutes and sure enough with enthusiasm only a sibling or a father could read in to a text he that had the “Big 8 down”. His brother, Andrew’s text of, “Nice”, clearly had some undertone words calling Brody names. I text Brody that I worked too hard to get to the top of the mountain and I was staying put. I told Brody that I would see his deer later and he began sending some pictures to me and Andrew of his deer. As the texting slowed between me and the boys, and the day got lighter, I began the process of dropping and tagging a pin on my Garmin inReach Explorer. This was toy I was forced to buy earlier in the year for a remote moose hunt the boys and I had in Zone 4 near Baker Lake, in the North Maine Woods. The reason I was “forced” to purchase the inReach was because the kids had a new baby sister, Olivia Grayson Gibbs, due to arrive very close to the September hunt that we were lucky enough to be drawn for. There is no service at or anywhere near Baker Lake and the inReach was a near $500.00 necessity I was lucky enough to “need” for that hunt. That’s another story. I wanted to mark this special spot, Grayson’s Stand, in memory of him. The one I did not get to hunt with but was with me on this day. I dropped the pin and got GRAY… typed in when I heard footsteps coming up the mountain. I looked up and there was decent rack buck coming my way up the steep mounting side. I slowly set down the inReach and picked up my rifle, a Marlin 336 .35 Cal, that I bought with trapping a fiddlehead money I saved when I 14 years old. Thirty minutes exactly after Brody got his buck I dropped this one. The deer rolled back down the hill side and was still insight not moving. I picked up my inReach and finished typing “Grayson’s Stand” and saved it. Another reason this spot will remain special and the land will remain in the family forever. I started making my way to the deer with boys firing text at me asking if I shot. I told them I did. When I reached the deer and saw that it was decent 8 point I told the boys. Brody typed “Awesome” and Andrew text “WTF”. I had to laugh as I knew what he was thinking. Family competition is great when you get the upper hand but this year he wasn’t getting it. (Andrew’s deer the year before an 8 point 221 lbs from the same piece of woods) I gutted my deer and started down the mountain with it. It was an easy drag being so steep that sometimes the deer would go by me. I left my deer at the corner of our field and began my walk back to my truck a short distance up the Jackson Road. As I was walking the paved road back I heard two shots that seemed way up and over the mountain. This was one hour after I shot my buck and one and a half hours after Brody shot his. Andrew hunts with a Remington 7mm Mag and I felt like the sound wasn’t loud enough to be him but I text anyway to see if he shot. Sure he enough he text back with “YUP”. I chuckled knowing he either missed or wasn’t happy with his harvest. It was another 8 point but Andrew wasn’t happy with its size. I called him and said this is a day we will never forget. I have always said and repeated over and over again, “A hunt is best measured by its quality rather than the size of the quarry”. This day has a quality not likely to be repeated. I got to my truck and first went to Brody’s location to see his deer and help him get it out. Brody and I shot two bears in one afternoon back in 2014. (That’s another story) I assumed Brody and Andrew had been communicating but when I approached Brody he said that is so cool that we tagged out the same day again. I said, “Your brother’s got one down up top too”. Brody said, “You’re shitten’ me”! Brody and I loaded up our two deer and luckily there is a woods road off Rt #139 that got us and my truck close to Andrew. We headed to Freedom General to tag them and get official weights. Brody's was 217lbs, Andrew’s 141lbs, and mine 150lbs. We don’t like to hunt apart from one another and we don’t like to leave our land. Hunting is so much more than taking an animal, it’s sentimental and these memories need to be saved for our future generations to appreciate. When I was a young boy, my grandfather, Gordon Seekins, would tell me stories and I would stare into his gun cabinet imagining if all the old guns in there could talk what stories they would tell. When “Gramp Seekins” passed many years ago so did his stories. Although I remember bit and pieces he took most of his stories with him. I have four children, Andrew 24, Brody 22, McKenna 19 and Olivia 13 Months. I have a granddaughter, Emmaline, she is 7 months. I want them all to have my stories and know my passion. I want them to know me after I am gone. We have created; right here in Belfast Maine, a website for you to protect and pass down these memories like I shared with you above and it’s free. It is called Gametiks.com. You can get it from your app store or google it. Your future generations will be grateful. Respectfully, John Gibbs, hunter, father, grandfather, and Gametiks cofounder

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  • 1260
  • I had some buddies of mine that drew a bear tag here in Colorado and I was just gonna go with them as a pack mule.

    Fortunately there was some leftover tags that people turned in. We went down a day early to look around and found some elk and 1 bear. Opening morning we went out and saw about 5 bears that morning. That evening was a little slow until we were on our way to another location to glass and we came around a corner and this bear was on his way up the mountain. We stopped and I took off running after he made it over a little ridge. I topped the ridge and there he was walking away from me. I stopped and shot. Missed right over him crap!!!! He disappeared for a minute and then he reappeared heading straight up the mountain. I sat down got a solid rest and hollered at him he stopped and boom. Down he went and the rolling down started. Couldn’t be more happy with this brute. We had a great 4 days hunting tagging 4 bears out of 5. Can’t wait to go back.

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  • 1140
  • DIY public land hunt in Colorado.

    Had an amazing time on this hunt with my father and good friends. Hard hunting due to warm season thus far. The bull elk were hiding in the dark timber in high elevations during post rut. Lots of firsts on this hunting trip, and a true hunting education. Learned a lot while experiencing a different kind of hunt. I was lucky; it was the only night my dad and I did an evening sit watching same area. He saw the kill. Not sure on weight. Guessing around 600 (never got weight having to skin and quarter to pack out) Took a full day to pack out via frame packs. 4x4 on the 5th out of 6 day at 10000+ ft altitude. Ruger #1 .300 win mag.

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