Mule Deer, Elk and Western Big Game Hunting - MonsterMuleys.com

LAST STAND

 
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Forums 2010 Hunt Adventure Challenge
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YELUM
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Oct-14-10, 
07:37 PM (MST)
"LAST STAND"

LAST EDITED ON Oct-14-10 AT 07:40 PM (MST) by Founder (admin)

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I have been involved in hunting for as long as I can remember. At 5-8 years of age, I was bird dog for my mom and dad on Nov pheasant hunts. Blasting away at pop cans at deer and elk camp, and enjoying incredible rabbit hunts in the late 60ís and early 70ís, when we would shoot 50-100 rabbits in a day. I loved hunting, and mule deer were my favorite.

You never really see the time when it will end and you plan that final outing. At 15, I was there on my grand fatherís last stand, and it left me with a deep sad feeling. At 22, my hunting life nearly ended with a freak motorcycle accident that left me paralized from the neck down with limited use of my arms. Iím not even 50 years old, but 27 years as a quadriplegic in a wheel chair has taken its toll and left my body well used up. In those 27 years, I've had about 10 difficult but rewarding hunting trips. Iíve known the day was fast approaching when Iíd have to take my last stand, and when the DWR called to tell me I was an alternate for a great deer tag, I decided to burn my 7 points and burn up some powder. This would be my Last Stand.

Yelum

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  Table of Contents  

 Subject   Author   Message Date   ID 
 RE: LAST STAND  YELUM      Oct-16-10   1 
 RE: LAST STAND  YELUM      Oct-16-10   2 
 RE: LAST STAND  YELUM      Oct-16-10   3 
  RE: LAST STAND  YELUM      Oct-17-10   4 
   RE: LAST STAND  YELUM      Oct-20-10   5 
    RE: LAST STAND  YELUM      Oct-20-10   6 
     RE: LAST STAND  YELUM      Oct-21-10   7 

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YELUM
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Oct-16-10, 
05:28 AM (MST)
1. "RE: LAST STAND"

I hadnít shot my guns in 2 years, and needed to do some practicing. My rifles are 25.06 and .280 caliber, and after shooting a few times, I settled on the .280. On the last practice run at the range, the results varied, but as the day ended, I was dialed in fairly good. These targets are 6x6 inches, with the center orange a 2 inch square.



I use a home made rest that mounts to my wheel chairs, which my friends and I have modified over the years, but works fairly well, allowing my gun to tilt and swivel while holding steady.


Yelum

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YELUM
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Oct-16-10, 
05:28 AM (MST)
2. "RE: LAST STAND"

There is a lot involved in getting me in position for a shot. It goes something like this. While driving down a road (yes, Iím a road hunter) looking for deer, we glass for a buck. If we find one, we do a mad dash. One friend jumps out and unloads my chair while another lifts me out of the truck and places me in the chair. This works best if my door is unlocked. After friend #1 drops of the chair he goes for the gun, while friend #2 gets me in position. The rifle is placed in the rest and we get me lined up on him. This takes some good effort. Someone ranges the buck (if heís still there). If itís a shooter then heís in the scope, safety off, steady, steady, steady, BOOM. That process can take from 1-4 minutes, if all goes good. That hasnít happened since 2001, when I killed my last buck.

As you can tell, it takes good friends and a patient buck. And a ton of luck.

Another option is me sitting in my chair, in the bed of a truck, while driving down the roads. It shortens the process a bit, because all we have to do when the buck is spotted is line up and shoot.

A third option is finding a buck, then unloading my big atv like wheel chair and attempting a semi stealth stalk. Lets get ready for the hunt.

Yelum

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YELUM
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Oct-16-10, 
05:28 AM (MST)
3. "RE: LAST STAND"

With one day to pack and prepare, I wonít bore you with packing details, just tell you Iíll be commuting daily from home to the hunt, each of the 5 days. This will be shortened only by kill shot. I wonít be lap topping it, so you wonít hear back from me until Iím done. WISH ME LUCK.
Yelum

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YELUM
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Oct-17-10, 
08:28 AM (MST)
4. "RE: LAST STAND"

We started packing up the truck at 5:45 this morning annd were on the road at 6. It took us 45 minutes to get to the ranch house, where we met my guide and another state hunter. After a brief intro and plan, my guide Shawn jumped in my truck and off we went. I planned this day as just a scouting day, and getting familiar with the area and seeing terrain and habitat, so I would know how to plan my attack. We saw approx 50 bucks and a couple hundred does through out the day, but nothing of any size. We also saw a lot of elk and a dozen or more bulls.

We decided not to use the big chair but instead do the mad dash, if and when we see a shooter buck.

Tagging along on my hunt is my friend ReSirHuntsAlot), and Ryan. Rex and I met in 1997 and started hunting, scouting and wildlife watching shortly after. He was with me when I killed my biggest buck back in 1999, and when my wife killed her moose.

Ryan and I met in 2001, and quickly learned we are both Muley Nuts. He also joined us on the moose hunt, and I joined him on an elk hunt when he killed his first bull. This is the fist time he's joined me hunting deer. Tommorrow we'll get serious.

Yelum

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YELUM
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Oct-20-10, 
11:47 AM (MST)
5. "RE: LAST STAND"

LAST EDITED ON Oct-20-10 AT 03:40 PM (MST)

Oct 18, 2010

This morning, Ryan was at my house at 5:30, and we loaded the truck with gun, optics and backpacks, and headed over to pick up Rex, who was all too happy Ryan would be driving today. Ryan and I were happy that we didnít have gate duty.

My hunting rig.

We arrived at 7:00 and after picking up Shawn, we quickly headed to the first glassing spot. Itís a huge guessing game deciding where to be at what time, hoping you can catch the bucks out feeding. Although we always found bucks, we had no luck finding the ones we were looking for, or ones we were interested in. We hit several glassing spots through out the morning, seeing 20-25 bucks, including a couple big heavy 3 points with extras, but nothing I wanted to pull the trigger on.

A few small bucks.



After lunch and a nap, we hit a couple more glassing spots, we still had no luck turning up a good buck. With a couple hours of light left, we were about to leave for another spot when Ryan glassed up a big shed. We didnít have time to let him go pick it up, which is difficult for a shed hunter. But he sucked it up and off we went.

Our next stop was an area where a good wide buck had been seen. We spent 45 minutes glassing, and found our best buck so far. He was nice 4x4 with great backs and good mass, maybe 26-28 wide, but what looked like a weak left G4. Sitting in the truck, I could not see him, but Ryan filmed him and showed me the video. From what I could tell he looked good but for the weak fork.



We headed for our final spot of the evening and set up. A couple bucks feeding behind us were immediately spotted. I heard Ryan say shooter buck, and the previously mentioned ďMad DashĒ was under way. It went off well and in less than a minute I had a buck in my scope at 253 yards. The situation was perfect. I had a buck standing broadside feeding. With BIG back forks, and an inline on one side, and a 2 inch point on the inside of the fork on the other, he looked great. Except he had almost no front forks. Still, with the mass he showed when he gave us a quick back view, he was tempting, until he looked at us and showed a 21 inch spread. That spread saved his life.



We turned to face the big sage flat in front of us and started glassing. Almost immediately my guide located 11 bucks feeding, and one of them was a buck he told me about on the first morning. He was a cool buck with big extras on each side, and still in velvet. I had told him then, that I wasnít interested in a velvet buck because I like hard horned brown antlers. He then showed me this buck, and after looking at him for a few minutes, and thinking to myself that with the situation the way it was, and the difficulty in getting a guy in a wheelchair a shot at a good buck, that I would be nuts to pass on the chance at a buck like this. So we set the gun up for the shot and waited for the right look. It took nearly 5 minutes, but when he cleared brush and went broadside, I pulled the trigger. Deer scattered and I lost sight of the buck. My guide stayed on him as he struggled across the flat for 60 yards before going down in some brush.

He was in an area that I could not see him, and we had no way to get me to him, and with light nearly gone, so we elected to have Ryan take my rifle and go dispatch him. The DWR gives disabled hunters a Companion Hunter Certificate for this purpose. Ryan did a quick sprint down to the buck and finished him off. I was a bit disappointed that my shot didnít do the job, but glad the buck didnít suffer long.

Rex and Shawn met Ryan at the buck and cleaned him by flashlight. To dark for good pictures, the buck was taken to the camp, and at nearly 10:00pm, we headed for home.

Yelum

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YELUM
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Oct-20-10, 
08:32 PM (MST)
6. "RE: LAST STAND"

Oct 18, 2010
We got to sleep in and at 7:30, Ryan and I headed up to the ranch. True to his nature, Rex avoided the trip to keep out of the photos, which makes me wonder if heís wanted by the law. I'll put him in anyway.

Shawn had the buck in the Ranger when we got there, so we drove it to a nice spot for a photo session.

My guide Shawn and I.

Me with the gun rest.

Me and Ryan


It was a great two days with great guys to share it with. My guide Shawn, worked his tail off for me, as well as Ryan and Rex. We saw a lot of wildlife, had beautiful days, and awesome country to look over. For a $35 tag, and spending less than $300 for all expenses both preparing for, and during the guided hunt on private property, Iíd say I got my moneys worth.

I want to end my Great Adventure story by saying thanks to my good friends that joined me on this hunt, and for all their help and friendship over the years. Spending these times and the memories we gain are priceless. I also want to thank the member here at MM for all the knowledge, photos and stories that have been shared. I have learned a ton while reading the threads.


Yelum

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YELUM
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Oct-21-10, 
08:38 AM (MST)
7. "RE: LAST STAND"

After the photo session, we hung the buck up to skin and cape. As you would think, the buck had a small problem. He was packing one small nut, which is why he is in velvet. We never put a tape on him, but his width measured at the taxidermist was 27 1/2 inches from cheater to cheater. He has a 4x4 frame with 2 extras on the right, and one on the left. He had good eye guards and a small bur point on the left. His right eye guard hooked foreward and down, earning him the nickname Candycane.

To bring this Adventure to a close, I'll give a HUGE THANK YOU to my wife of 20 years. She has not only put up with my outdoor passions, she has been very supportive to me. Thanks for the lunches you prepared for us each morning, and every thing else you do to help me out.


Yelum

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