Day 1 and done


Jan 29, 2022
Well decided to post this up. I am a die hard elk hunter with a soft spot for all rut hunts. Especially mule deer. I’ve connected with a few little bucks in the past, but nothing mature. This year I was fortunate to take a great bull and have a freezer full of meat so I was determined to not take a meat buck. My criteria was a mature buck.

Having a baby at home meant I would only get to hunt 3.5 day this year, which was not optimal but I’m thankful for being able to get out into God’s creation and just kind of sit and relax while glassing with friends, very low expectations. Mule deer hunting is pretty peaceful when compared to the hustle and insanity of chasing bugles in September.

So we have great glassing knob and started the day off there, quickly picking out a few does and 3 little bucks about 1000 yards away. Watched the little bucks spar. It was great. The midday lull hit and we went looking for some different vantage points but were not rewarded with anymore deer.

Afternoon started wearing on and we were in a different spot glassing. We picked out another buck and doe about 1800 yards out. At this point I’m feeling like hiking so I suggest maybe we get closer and see what this buck is like. I only had my 16-48 spotter… since most glassing is 1200 and in, while we are discussing, my buddy tells me he sees a new buck on the 1000 yard face and he can see antlers with his binos. This is a great sign considering we could not see the smaller bucks antlers without a spotter at that range. I throw my binos up and know immediately it is a shooter.

To get to the buck we must drop 1000 ft and then gain that in some loose rock dirt, it is steep but I’m all in. We make quick work getting down, I’m heading up to get to the edge of the drainage and peer in. I get there and see the big buck for a second but he disappears out of my sight below the IV line. At this point I’m pinned down by two smaller bucks who are very curious. I really don’t want them to blow the stalk. I was able to eventually ease back out of sight and drop down lower to hopefully cut the buck off. I lose elevation and then ease back to the IV line… no buck… now I’m wondering where he could have gone, there is probably 40 yards of space that I can’t see in the bottom of the drainage, and I’m wondering if the big buck gave me the slip.

Then all of a sudden I see a does head down below me about 70 yards and antler tips behind her, it’s him! And they are headed towards me, the Doe spooks some and turns and starts trotting off. I know the buck will follow so I have my scope on the lowest power and I’m waiting. The buck is walking quickly after her and I send one (120ish) yards… I miss, I jack another shell in and connect through the shoulders on the second shot. The tough sob keeps climbing so I put another shell in this time score double lungs… he tips and rolls down the mountain. I can’t believe it all just came together so quickly and on the first day! Lots of smiles and some pictures and then the real work of packing this beast out in the dark up some super steep stuff!


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