2020 WY buck down

elks96

Very Active Member
Messages
2,741
Well my deer hunt was exactly 3 days.
I love Wy because a person can hunt and kill mature bucks. This buck is big bodied and mature. I am guessing at 5 years old but will look at teeth for sure...

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hornkiller

Long Time Member
Messages
3,716
Way cool man congrats on a great one!
I killed that bucks twin about years ago - the little stickers.
Did you kill him in sw wy?
 

elks96

Very Active Member
Messages
2,741
You always do well, and that buck is no exception.

Rich
Thanks. I have been very lucky with WY general tags. Lots of hard work finding these bucks. Some take me months to find this one was luck as I stumbled into him just trying to avoid other hunters.
 

Lhedrick1

Active Member
Messages
636
Holy smokes congrats! We've put on probably 500 miles of driving and hiking in Wyoming and haven't seen anything with horns :ROFLMAO:
 

elks96

Very Active Member
Messages
2,741
I am really bummed I don’t have better pictures of this buck. So since I have some more time I will tell the story... And share what I have.
So after my wife got done chasing elk with no kills. I had 1 week to hunt for my buck. I head to my favorite deer unit looking for a buck I saw earlier in August 1 time. Literally figured I would kick every hole I can where he was and see if I can turn up the the skyline velvet buck from August.

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Now in most normal years I have 20 days of scouting and over 10
Of hunting into my mule deer. This year my wife and I drew limited archery elk tags together and all my focus went to elk. So the fact I found this buck on my only day of scouting was pretty cool.

However on the last the unit was open was my first day and only day to hunt in the unit. So I left my house at 3:30 am and drove all the way to the ridge where the buck was last seen. About 45 minutes into legal daylight I load up my pack and start to hunt. A desolate place that felt more like a distant planet than a mule deer hunt. In fact it flat a lot like Hells Half acre where they filmed the great movie Starship Troopers...

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So that day I covered 12 miles on foot and many more with the glass. With my OnX and time I kicked every little cut canyon, hole, I could find...

I found deer. In the pic below there were several doe/fawn. But never turned up a buck or the buck...

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After my 12 mile hike. I glasses a few other spots and sat on a known water hole that night. Only saw a doe.
Since the unit I was in was now closed after dark I drove over to a unit still open.

it was well after dark when I got into an area where I wanted hunt. So when I pulled up I threw out my bed and got some shut eye...

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Sleeping on the ground is risky due to the high snake populations, but with the cold nights I figured most were already in/at dens so I slept on the ground under and amazing set of stars...

The next morning, mind you my second day of deer hunting. I am still curled up in my bag when the first ATV approaches and passes me heading up to where I wanted to hunt. No big deal it was still and hour to light and I slept where I wanted to start hunting from...

well by the time I get up, dress, roll up my bed... Several more vehicles pass by. From my spot I am 4 miles down the ridge from where the road dead ends at Private. So as I wrap up and get loaded into the blazer more vehicles...

By the time it is light enough, 14 vehicles passed me on the way up. I ease up the ridge in the first light and see at least 2 more camps above me. So I was vehicle number 15 plus 2 camps.
Unreal and no way am I dealing with all that crap.

So I change my plans and head to worst looking area I can think of... The fewest deer, worst habitat, etc.

As I head that way you n the desert I find a group of elk. 16 cows and 3 bulls.


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not a great photo but this was the herd bull a decent 5x5... He was keeping a couple rag horns at bay. Just after seeing this bull I come up a little ridge and spot a doe with 2 fawns... Yes deer in the middle no where and not one else around. I watch them for a few minutes and am convinced they are all alone with no other deer around. So I drove past them up onto a ridge. By now the sun is getting up and the with the full moon and balmy weather the deer were gonna start bedding soon.

I drove up to one last ridge looking over a large cut back dry creek bottom. It has heavy sage 3 layers of cuts a bunch of ox bows and in a few places (very few this year) some water seeps.
As I crest out, I look down and see a group of deer feeding away from the hills and towards the sage bottom. They are well over a mile off, so a pull the spotter out.

just as I get the spotter up I catch a glimpse of a single buck dropping into the sage bottom. It was literally a split second look. The other 6 deer around him were all for and fawns. They were still up on the hill.
So I try to hustle to another vantage point to look into the bottom and see if I can figure out what I saw. I saw just enough to know I needed to see more, but no where near enough to think he was a shooter. So as I moved around to find another view the other 6 deer drop in the cut bottom as well. I end up seeing 4 other different deer but never see the buck again. It is now pushing 8am. The deer were in that bottom the sage was 6’ tall in some places the wind not constant yet and I literally had no idea how many deer were in there and where he was and they were etc.

What to do? Nothing better than to sit and watch. So at about 8:30am I set up my camp chair a little over 3/4 mile away from where he last was... I get out spotter my coolers etc. and I sit it out. I sit, I glass and I wait...
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Doesn’t look like much, but it holds deer...

Around 10 another pickup shows up above me. 2 guys get out and start working the ridges and hills above the creek hard. Almost like they knew there had to be deer. When they start to get close to the creek bottom I slip up and set up on the edge of the creek hoping he heads my way if bumped. The guys never made to under 700 yards from where the buck was bedded, but they were too close for comfort.

after they left I went back to the blazer, ate lunch, brushed my teeth, took a spit bath, and changed my clothes since I walked so much the day before. All of this done while watching and waiting. 1pm, 2pm, 3pm, 4pm, 5pm... Ok time to start thinking about hunting again.
At 5:30 I move in up creek from the buck about 1000 yards away. I sit on a little point until I can start to see deer feeding and moving. It does not take long and I spot a doe and fawn about 100 yards out in the bottom. Good they are up.

I keep glassing and the next deer I see is the buck. But distance and sun made it hard to tell for sure what I was seeing. So I hurry to close the distance as the buck was feeding.

I go about 600 yards before poking my head up again. I look and can’t really find the buck. He should have been 300 to 400 yards out.
Still looking and soon due west I see him at 80 yards.
I finally get a good clean look and know I better take this buck. Given the year, the lack of deer and the lack of hunting/scouting time...

So I try to lay down to quickly and make too much noise. The buck hears me and takes off. I Follow him in the scope. 100 yards, 200 yards in my head I count, 300 yards and he stops broad side. Looking into the sun I make a few last second adjustments, and settle in.

I find the mark and squeeze the trigger... Boom all hell breaks loose. As I squeezed the trigger my gun falls off my pack. Or my elbow or something... needless to say I literally have no idea where I shot, I hear the definite sound of a hit but by the time I recover I see nothing. Hell since I was following him in the scope not even a great idea where he was...
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Since I did not see him after the shot, I had figured I dropped him where he stood, Nita lot of doubt filled my mind since unusually can tell you exactly where my bullet hits...

So I make a circle out and find him laying about 15 yards from where I thought he was...
Finally able to get a good look, matching kickers, main frame 3 with split G2 each side, eye guards etc. A good tall buck and most important of all a mature buck which is really what I want more than antler size.
He was big bodied and I couldn’t be happy shooting the first buck I saw this year...

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It was dark by the time I had him dressed. 2 mile hike to the blazer and a 20 mile loop to get the vehicle to him.

I drove the 3 hours home that night with the windows down and back open to help him cool. I got to the house at 1 am... He really was a big bodied mature buck...
 

rmanwill

Long Time Member
Messages
5,525
Congrats. You always do well. You also always put in the work!!! Thanks for sharing story and photos. He is a big bodied buck.
 

Joe2Kool

Very Active Member
Messages
1,838
I can only repeat what has already been said. You put in the work, and were rewarded.

Kool deer and story. Thanks for sharing.
 

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