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.