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

2016 Giant Washington Muley!

 
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TeamHughes2007
(2 posts)
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Oct-24-16, 
12:47 PM (MST)
"2016 Giant Washington Muley!"

LAST EDITED ON Oct-24-16 AT 01:07 PM (MST)

LAST EDITED ON Oct-24-16 AT 01:03 PM (MST)

I apologize for the length of this post but a buck of this caliber deserves a good write-up.

My typical “hunting season” consists of the highbuck hunt with my Dad and Brother, skipping the general season (I work for my Father-in-Law in Illinois harvesting corn and soybeans during that time) and then heading over to Montana for a late November hunt. Through hard work and putting a lot of time in the woods, miles from roads and trails, we have all had great success harvesting quality deer over the last several years. This year would produce similar results.

The season started off with the highbuck hunt. I put in 17.5 miles with 7,000’ of elevation gain that opening day. I spotted one large 4x4 I got on twice but couldn’t get a shot at, a small 3 pointer with some does that I let walk, a coyote I spotted just as he went out of sight and a moose hoof print. The next morning I found that moose in a nearby drainage and was able to seek in to get some photos. That morning also produced several does and three small 3 pointers I let walk. We decided to cut the trip short because of weather; which was okay because harvest came early this year in Illinois and I would be able to hunt the general season.

I told my friend Erik, who has been patiently waiting several years, that if I didn’t fill my tag on the highbuck hunt I would take him with me during general season to hopefully get his first buck. It wouldn’t surprise if he was praying I’d come back from the highbuck hunt with an unfilled tag. Now, I haven’t hunted general season on the east side for about 5 years. Fortunately my Dad and Brother have and provided scouting information that turned out to be spot on and priceless. My Dad, Erik and I hit the woods before daylight opening morning. I had decided that I would let Erik take first shots until he was able to get his first buck down. Erik quickly spotted a buck but got set up too late to take a shot. Less than 10 minutes later Erik was on another buck; but again could not get a shot off before it walked off the ridge. Another 10 minutes go by and we spot another buck feeding over an adjacent ridgeline. We spend about 25 minutes and about a 1,000 calories dropping in and out of two drainages and up the ridge above where we saw the buck go over. Erik worked his way to the edge of a small rise to overlook the backside of the ridge. He spotted two 3 pointers sparring with their antlers locked up. I got over there just as Erik was setting up to take a shot. The two bucks separated revealing one being much larger than the other. Erik takes a shot and connects low on the larger buck who takes off. Watching through my binoculars I know it’s a gut shot. I also know that this deer could run himself to the next county if we push him. We wait several minutes and then go investigate the location where he was standing when he was shot. It took about 20 minutes to finally find a chunk of bloody fat and some hair with prints leading away. We tracked the blood trail, losing it several times, for about an hour and a half. We finally caught up to him and Erik was able to put a kill shot in his first buck. We spent the rest of the day boning and packing him out.

Now it’s my turn. I had planned on hunting a lot deeper into the area that Erik shot his buck but plans change when bucks are spotted. I still wanted to get in there but decided to give it a day to let the pressure calm back down. We went out the next day to a new area and didn’t see a thing. We did a scouting trip that evening in the truck with my Dad which only produced does until we got back to my Dad’s cabin where we discovered a small 4x3 on the property. We don’t shoot pets and this one wasn’t spooked so we let him walk.

The next morning put us back in the area we had hunted the first morning. With light rain, thick fog and wind, I wasn’t expecting much. We hunted into the area I wanted to get to without seeing or hearing anything. After we took a break for a snack, Erik hiked over to the edge of the ridge to find a buck staring at him through the fog. I quickly came over to get my binoculars on him. He was a small 3 pointer so I decide not to take the shot. Erik lost his mind; all he sees is “a steak with legs” and doesn’t understand why I wouldn’t take the shot.

---Side Note---
I’ve been hunting for about 10 years now. In 2012 while in Montana I talked myself into shooting a buck I didn’t want to because of pride. I decided from then on that my goal for hunting was not to fill a tag but to shoot mature deer and let my gut make call. Nowadays, I know whether or not I’m going to take a shot the instant I’m able to get that first good look at a buck through my binoculars. This buck did not make the cut.
-------------------

We let him walk and continued to work down the top of the ridge. We spotted that buck again over the next rise. Again, Erik loses his mind and wants to shoot it with his pistol to force me into tagging it (jokingly of course). We let him walk and continued on. I peek down over the next rise and through the thick fog spotted that buck again at about 75 yards. What happens next takes less than 5 seconds. I turn to tell Erik that I found that buck again but upon looking back realize it’s not the same buck. I pull my binoculars up and because of the fog could only make out two big points sticking up and a kicker out to the side…my gut says shoot! I shoulder my rifle, find antlers through the scope, put the cross hairs low behind the shoulder and fire a shot. The buck takes off crashing down into some brush and out of sight...no chance for a follow-up shot.

The fact my gun hit the ground hard twice prior to taking that shot quickly turned my stomach over. Was my rifle shooting true anymore? Would we have to track this thing? Did I even hit it? We walk down to the spot he was standing and I can’t find blood; only large hoof prints bounding down into the brush. I start walking slowly in that direction and realize the brush opened up into a flat grassy area. I start scanning the grass and there he is…Buck Down! I call to Erik to come over. As I get closer I start to discover what exactly I shot. The left side of his antlers is sticking up above the grass and I’m seeing trash everywhere. I walk over to discover that I have just shot the buck of a lifetime. I pick his antlers up and just admire the sheer awesomeness of this buck and realize how blessed I am.

After saying a quick pray thanking God for this harvest and for a quick, ethical kill I get to work. I was able to contact my Dad who hiked in over 3 miles to bring an extra pack. He is 72 years old and put in a lot of hunting already that morning; but he forgot all about that when he saw the buck. I boned him out, packed the meat and the head in three packs and we all headed for the truck knowing we had just experienced something special.

Thank you Dad for being so generous with your cabin and helping me pack out. Thank you Erik for being an extra set of eyes and helping me pack out. Thank you Brian (brother) for putting in all those hours of hard hunting to discover areas like this. And most of all thank you Susan (wife) for holding down the fort with 3 kids and one on the way to provide me with this opportunity.

-Kevin

Alright, enough story already…here are some measurement and pics:

Buck Measurements – 10 points on right (includes 3 eye guards), the large kicker on the right busted off just over an inch off the beam, 12 points on left (includes 1 eye guard), 22.5” main beam spread, 26.5” largest inside spread, 36.5” largest outside spread.




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  Table of Contents  

 Subject   Author   Message Date   ID 
 RE: 2016 Giant...  huntin50      Oct-24-16   1 
 RE: 2016 Giant...  Sherlock      Oct-24-16   2 
 RE: 2016 Giant...  Sherlock      Oct-24-16   3 
 RE: 2016 Giant...  TeamHughes2...      Oct-24-16   4 
  RE: 2016 Giant...  nripepi      Oct-24-16   5 
   RE: 2016 Giant...  Wapitiwilly      Oct-24-16   6 
 RE: 2016 Giant...  BuglesNGrun...      Oct-24-16   7 
 RE: 2016 Giant...  Sherlock      Oct-24-16   8 
  RE: 2016 Giant...  BLooDTRaCKeR      Oct-24-16   9 
 RE: 2016 Giant...  WestNDMuleys      Oct-24-16   10 
 RE: 2016 Giant...  SlinginLead      Oct-24-16   11 
 RE: 2016 Giant...  kickerbuck      Oct-25-16   12 
  RE: 2016 Giant...  Snoopdogg      Oct-25-16   13 
   RE: 2016 Giant...  BIGJOHNT      Oct-25-16   14 
    RE: 2016 Giant...  Trevor      Oct-25-16   15 
     RE: 2016 Giant...  nontypical      Oct-25-16   16 
 RE: 2016 Giant...  trophyhunter      Oct-25-16   17 
 RE: 2016 Giant...  DeerHunter53      Oct-26-16   18 
  RE: 2016 Giant...  RioHuntNutt      Oct-26-16   19 
   RE: 2016 Giant...  Outdoordan      Oct-26-16   20 
    RE: 2016 Giant...  sambo3006      Oct-27-16   21 
 RE: 2016 Giant...  eldorado      Nov-25-16   22 
  RE: 2016 Giant...  DeadEyeDick      Nov-26-16   23 
 RE: 2016 Giant...  tailchasers      Nov-26-16   24 
  RE: 2016 Giant...  Camper_A1      Nov-26-16   25 
   RE: 2016 Giant...  AspenAdvent...      Nov-27-16   26 
 RE: 2016 Giant...  rmanwill      Nov-27-16   27 
 RE: 2016 Giant...  DeerMadness      Nov-28-16   28 
  RE: 2016 Giant...  COLOhunter      Nov-28-16   29 

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  Messages in this topic  

huntin50
(908 posts)
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Oct-24-16, 
12:50 PM (MST)
1. "RE: 2016 Giant Washington Muley!"

Congrats, buck of a lifetime.

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Sherlock
(142 posts)
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Oct-24-16, 
12:52 PM (MST)
2. "RE: 2016 Giant Washington Muley!"

Dang. Heck of a 1st post. Should count as a couple hundred posts, or more.

Oh yeah...nice buck!

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Sherlock
(142 posts)
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Oct-24-16, 
12:55 PM (MST)
3. "RE: 2016 Giant Washington Muley!"

LAST EDITED ON Oct-24-16 AT 04:38 PM (MST)

a

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TeamHughes2007
(2 posts)
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Oct-24-16, 
01:04 PM (MST)
4. "RE: 2016 Giant Washington Muley!"

Story and photos added

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nripepi
(879 posts)
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Oct-24-16, 
01:16 PM (MST)
5. "RE: 2016 Giant Washington Muley!"

What if he was the pet like the 3X4...what would have happened? Just joking! I loved the pet terminology and I agree with your philosophy on that as well as mature deer.

Amazing awesome hunt, you earned him, congrats big time!

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Wapitiwilly
(550 posts)
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Oct-24-16, 
01:32 PM (MST)
6. "RE: 2016 Giant Washington Muley!"

Wow what a buck!!!!....Congrats 👍

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BuglesNGrunts
(38 posts)
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Oct-24-16, 
02:52 PM (MST)
7. "RE: 2016 Giant Washington Muley!"

Great story! Congratulations on an absolute STUD of a muley! Share some pics after taxi!

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Sherlock
(142 posts)
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Oct-24-16, 
04:47 PM (MST)
8. "RE: 2016 Giant Washington Muley!"

Thanks. Great story. That would have been ridiculously amazing to walk up on this dead buck, not knowing what you had actually harvested, yet. Wow!

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BLooDTRaCKeR
(984 posts)
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Oct-24-16, 
04:55 PM (MST)
9. "RE: 2016 Giant Washington Muley!"

That buck is my dream buck! I have drooled over your buck for the last 20 minutes. His rack is engraved in my mind to the point when I close my eyes, all I see is that buck LOL!

Amazing buck and story! You truly are blessed to have experienced that hunt!

A heavy, wide, trashy buck like that would complete my hunting career.......Literally!

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WestNDMuleys
(157 posts)
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Oct-24-16, 
05:19 PM (MST)
10. "RE: 2016 Giant Washington Muley!"

What an awesome buck! Unbelievable! Did you say this was public land in Montana? No matter what kind of land or area it is unbelievable!

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SlinginLead
(322 posts)
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Oct-24-16, 
06:39 PM (MST)
11. "RE: 2016 Giant Washington Muley!"

What a STUD!!!!

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kickerbuck
(240 posts)
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Oct-25-16, 
07:30 AM (MST)
12. "RE: 2016 Giant Washington Muley!"

Absolutely unreal congratulations on the buck of the year in North America!!!!!

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Snoopdogg
(410 posts)
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Oct-25-16, 
08:09 AM (MST)
13. "RE: 2016 Giant Washington Muley!"

I'd pop him.... Great buck and nice write-up.

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BIGJOHNT
(3160 posts)
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Oct-25-16, 
10:37 AM (MST)
14. "RE: 2016 Giant Washington Muley!"

Wow great stud of a heavy buck !!!!!!!!

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Trevor
(49 posts)
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Oct-25-16, 
11:28 AM (MST)
15. "RE: 2016 Giant Washington Muley!"

Amazing! Congrats on a buck of a lifetime. Talk about being at the right spot at the right time. Well done and nice write up.

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nontypical
(2831 posts)
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Oct-25-16, 
02:38 PM (MST)
16. "RE: 2016 Giant Washington Muley!"

Awesome buck! Congrats.

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trophyhunter
(1775 posts)
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Oct-25-16, 
02:53 PM (MST)
17. "RE: 2016 Giant Washington Muley!"

Congrats.....nice story and pics.....beautiful rack so much character.....makes me drooooool...lol...
Going to make a really special mount....hope you repost after the taxi so we can see the finished mount.....

))))------->

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DeerHunter53
(205 posts)
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Oct-26-16, 
07:17 AM (MST)
18. "RE: 2016 Giant Washington Muley!"

you don't see bucks like that everyday what t toad yes sir that is the buck of a lifetime and your DAD there doesn't get much better.

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RioHuntNutt
(434 posts)
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Oct-26-16, 
12:37 PM (MST)
19. "RE: 2016 Giant Washington Muley!"

Dang thats a slug sonofagun.....

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Outdoordan
(848 posts)
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Oct-26-16, 
08:36 PM (MST)
20. "RE: 2016 Giant Washington Muley!"

One of the best stories I have read in a while. Congrats on a hard earned buck.


Free Draw Odds!
www.hunthardcore.com

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sambo3006
(251 posts)
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Oct-27-16, 
08:05 AM (MST)
21. "RE: 2016 Giant Washington Muley!"

Good grief! What an incredible buck! He has it all. Width, trash, mass. I'd probably start shaking like a leaf if I walked up on a monster like that. Congratulations!

NRA Life Member

www.swanspointoutfitters.com

The critters have to win every time. I only have to win once.

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eldorado
(8602 posts)
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Nov-25-16, 
10:28 PM (MST)
22. "RE: 2016 Giant Washington Muley!"

Beautiful buck. Love the mass and character on that rack.

Eldorado

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DeadEyeDick
(41 posts)
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Nov-26-16, 
11:12 AM (MST)
23. "RE: 2016 Giant Washington Muley!"

Wow!!! That's a buck of a lifetime there!

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tailchasers
(2728 posts)
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Nov-26-16, 
11:58 AM (MST)
24. "RE: 2016 Giant Washington Muley!"

Heck of a buck and the antler color is so rich. Very nice!!

"Courage is being scared to death but
saddling up anyway."

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Camper_A1
(631 posts)
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Nov-26-16, 
10:13 PM (MST)
25. "RE: 2016 Giant Washington Muley!"

+1 on all of the comments truelly a buck of a lifetime!

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AspenAdventures
(1891 posts)
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Nov-27-16, 
09:12 AM (MST)
26. "RE: 2016 Giant Washington Muley!"

Great writeup! Awesome pics! Congrats!

"The penalty good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men." - Plato

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rmanwill
(4009 posts)
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Nov-27-16, 
11:54 AM (MST)
27. "RE: 2016 Giant Washington Muley!"

Awesome buck there. Congrats. Thanks for sharing

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DeerMadness
(1701 posts)
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Nov-28-16, 
07:20 AM (MST)
28. "RE: 2016 Giant Washington Muley!"

That is a gorgeous Trophy ! Wow

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COLOhunter
(76 posts)
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Nov-28-16, 
04:32 PM (MST)
29. "RE: 2016 Giant Washington Muley!"

Wow! What a deer. Congrats!!!

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