It was Saturday, September 16th, and I looked at this as a normal hunting day on a nice, wonderful hunting trip. That was at 4:00 in the morning and I didn’t know what was going to happen. We left our house at around 4:25 a.m. and got up to Pohakuloa Training Area at 5:10 a.m. However, check-in time wasn’t until 5:45. Little did I know that this was just the beginning of the most fun and stressful hunt I’ve ever been on.
As we hiked in, we spotted some other hunters on this ridge in front of a huge herd of monster rams. We watched them and the herd spooked, so we went to cut them off about 60 yards away on the side of a hill. As we sat on the hill, waiting for them to come around the side, my dad and I ranged different places so we would know how far the shot would be. Luckily, it was only me shooting because it was a youth hunt. I say luckily because it's harder to shoot with someone else trying to shoot too. The herd finally decided to pop up, and a big ram gave me a perfect shot at 30 yards. I drew back, put my pin on his lungs, and shot. It looked like a perfect shot, but it hit left of his lungs and the ribs blocked it from being a liver shot. He ran off about 80 yards, ran in a circle, dropped his back legs, and acted like he was going down, but then he took off again. Sadly, even with our best effort in tracking him, he was nowhere to be found.
After about an hour of trying to track him, we had another herd spooked by other hunters running our way. I met back up with my dad and got ready for them to come to us. Of course, they stopped in an open field to feed, making it impossible to stalk them. There were some monster rams in this herd, so we decided to just be patient and sat behind a tree, waiting for them. After no results ,we decided to move to another spot. Then I saw something out of the corner of my eye. I looked over and there were two monster rams right next to where we had just been. If we had stayed there, I could have taken a shot. We watched them but didn’t get a shot on any of them.
My brother and my mom met up with us, and we split up again. I split off and went one way, and my dad and my brother went off another. I got to the lava rocks and tried to cut the herd off while my brother missed a ram. I got to the herd and had a big ram come in front of me. Sadly, he knew I was there and the lead ewes didn’t feel safe, so they took off. We saw them in another open field but just couldn't put a stalk on them, so we decided it was time to go to a new spot. As I started walking down the road towards the truck, knowing it was probably time to go, I got a call from my dad. He said there was a ram bedded under a tree and I should go check him out. I walked around the ram and got to about 20 yards. I drew back, but my arrows in my quiver were hitting a rock, so I got up on it. He saw me as I took the shot. I double lunged him, and he took off running. I saw my arrow sticking out of him on the other side. He went 20 yards and dropped. I was so happy since it was my biggest ram. It was a long and tiring day but very much worth it. I usually put in about six miles of hiking each day and hunt Saturday and Sunday. It felt so good to walk away after such a long day feeling very accomplished and honored to have the opportunity to harvest such a great animal.