2C

TerynItUp

Active Member
Messages
544
Good on you being able to stick with it, even better that your wife allows it. I have a hard time getting 7 days gone from the family! Since you have been gone, I caught covid, recovered, and returned to work for a full week…I like your last 16 days way better than mine lol.

As overkill said, things can change in a second, so stick with it. I was pretty much checked out and eating a candy bar when I caught a glimpse of my buck this year. Then he was dead 20 seconds later.

Tag filled or not, you won’t forget this hunt!
 

Sierra

Very Active Member
Messages
1,027
I’ve been on the 2C archery hunt and it’s a mentally tough hunt. Based on your positive attitude, I would say that you have the mental part mastered. Hope you kill tomorrow.
 

yotebuster17

Member
Messages
65
Something I will say that I need to get better at and let this be a lesson for someone new to mule deer hunting or still newish to hunting.

Set a trip standard and stick to it. Almost make it realistic and not something built off unicorns and cotton candy.

I didn’t really set a good standard for this hunt and that had me passing good bucks opening day (which I do not regret because it forced me to hunt hard this whole trip and learn a bunch) and also had me passing plenty of other good-ish bucks, to include the one that came into 40 yards this evening (probably 140”)

I’ve met people who had never killed an elk before tell me they were going to go out to 16D and hold out for a 360”.

I was also told to come out here and shoot nothing unless it’s over 180”.

So again, make your standard, make it realistic, and stick to it.

One thing I can tell you for certain is I’m gonna put some different units in this year. Better draw odds and units I can master.

I also plan to start burning some of my numerous Montana, Wyoming, and Colorado points for mule deer. If I’m gonna get good at killing them with a bow I need to do it more.


Random thoughts from the top of the mountain, next to my fire, and eating ramen noodles… again haha.

First thing I eat when I get back into town is a big ol burger or steak!

View attachment 64990

View attachment 64991
Good luck on your last day. I would say if you put the same effort into any other Jan archery hunt in western NM you’ll be rewarded the same or better in the future. May not see as many deer but you’ll be into good and likely even better bucks then it sounds like you’ve seen on this hunt. Make sure to provide a play by play again next year!
 

iccyman001

Active Member
Messages
697
Pardon my French, but oh my f’ing LANTA.

I just had a buck coming into my glassing point. I could hear him grunting. I see him 30 yards away behind a tree coming straight into me.

Next thing I know a doe pops out 12 yards away and has me pegged. 3 minute stare off and some mock feeding plays, and they are gone……. Bow was in hand ready to drill


She was a young doe. I’m not sure if she her a late late late breed or if he was just young.
I got a quick look at G2s and main beam and it was enough for me to pick up my bow.
 

roadrunner

Long Time Member
Messages
3,454
Im right above to bedded bucks.
I need the wind to calm down now so they shift. Or them do a mid day bed swap then see exactly where they are. One is big

Wind isn't supposed to shift and lay down until this evening, should stay sustained at 15 mph out of the NW the rest of today.
 

iccyman001

Active Member
Messages
697
I will tell you I am worried a bit. A domestic cow walked into some of the trees I thought they bedded. I got prepared just in case something stood and nothing did.

They were bigger buck fed until about 9:20. Once the win picked up I snuck in.
ACB3FFFE-88DF-4038-8EC8-C4858FD03CFA.jpeg
 

iccyman001

Active Member
Messages
697
The big guy is the right circle
7DA66072-58DE-4311-9330-57AC58C829D7.jpeg



It’s where I saw him last feeding and busting up a tree.

My issue I’m cliffed out. I hope he stands and has in range. Otherwise my concern is he walks north into the wind and feeds into the sage.

Let’s see how this plays out. I layered down from sneaking in this morning and freezing me aaa off with this eject north wind.

3936B220-2A6A-4F7D-8366-C814E2637EE9.jpeg
 

iccyman001

Active Member
Messages
697
Kind of option 3……

So where I last saw the biggest buck feeding, once the wind picked up I snuck over to the cliff edge where I had the aerial advantage and wind in my favor. I had mentioned it, but I layered way down to get over there because I didn’t want to be loud sneaking up or scratchy when I hit certain dead trees as I got close to the ledge. Well that worked, but I was also now perfectly exposed to that wonderful N wind with nothing to break it down.

So this might hone in on where I was, but it’s ok. If you know the unit this well then you know it way better than me already. If not then you can figure it out and try it out when you get the tag.

I had mentioned that I saw a cow go into the woods and come out. It didn’t spook anything, but after that I saw a herd of about 8 cattle feed out into the sage and move north. After about 30 minutes I saw them go to a dead sprint to the east.

I glassed for people, predators, just about anything… nothing. I thought it was very odd, but went on my way.

3 1/2 hours into being wind blasted and mighty chilly because I wasn’t layered appropriately, I see some does working their way up to where the bucks are bedded. I figured as they got closer maybe they’d get the bucks on their feet. I also glassed like a madman to find those dang bucks because I knew they had to be close. (Interestingly enough I saw what looked like to be a shed, we will come back to that).

Anyways, next thing I know these does are full sprint into the trees where the bucks are. Next thing I know two bucks stand up. To my 11 I’ve got a buck at 37 yards quartering away and to my 2 I’ve got another at 42 yards quartering away.
By the time I had ranged both and figured out who they were they took off in a dang sprint!!!!!!

When I saw the does running I at least grabbed my range finder and bow, but I had seconds to piece it all together before they split.

WHAT IN THE WORLD!

So I get down to where they were and to where I saw the possible shed. Saying words that you can imagine were not very pleasant. I was just so confused on why the does blew them out and why the bucks just hammered out if there too.
Well not a few seconds after I confirmed it was a shed and took pictures, I hear a truck driving off a couple hundred yards away from me. I glassed it and I don’t believe it was an oil worker.

My only thought is that it was a rancher. That explains maybe why the cattle went sprinting down towards that direction and also why the deer were like “NOPE, OUT OF HERE!”

I am sick! 37 yards and 42 yards. I just needed them to change beds or get up for their evening feed……

SO FRICKEN CLOSE TODAY.
It was like all of my time fine tuning this certain area finally was paying off. I had those bucks numbers and then due to uncontrollable circumstances that just wasn’t meant to be today.

The larger of the two was the buck I glassed and videoed the day before opener….

I am physically and mentally drained at this point after the wind and cold.

It’s absolutely amazing how animals can be bedded so close to you without you evening knowing it or Seeing them.
 

Cahunter805

Long Time Member
Messages
3,067
Kind of option 3……

So where I last saw the biggest buck feeding, once the wind picked up I snuck over to the cliff edge where I had the aerial advantage and wind in my favor. I had mentioned it, but I layered way down to get over there because I didn’t want to be loud sneaking up or scratchy when I hit certain dead trees as I got close to the ledge. Well that worked, but I was also now perfectly exposed to that wonderful N wind with nothing to break it down.

So this might hone in on where I was, but it’s ok. If you know the unit this well then you know it way better than me already. If not then you can figure it out and try it out when you get the tag.

I had mentioned that I saw a cow go into the woods and come out. It didn’t spook anything, but after that I saw a herd of about 8 cattle feed out into the sage and move north. After about 30 minutes I saw them go to a dead sprint to the east.

I glassed for people, predators, just about anything… nothing. I thought it was very odd, but went on my way.

3 1/2 hours into being wind blasted and mighty chilly because I wasn’t layered appropriately, I see some does working their way up to where the bucks are bedded. I figured as they got closer maybe they’d get the bucks on their feet. I also glassed like a madman to find those dang bucks because I knew they had to be close. (Interestingly enough I saw what looked like to be a shed, we will come back to that).

Anyways, next thing I know these does are full sprint into the trees where the bucks are. Next thing I know two bucks stand up. To my 11 I’ve got a buck at 37 yards quartering away and to my 2 I’ve got another at 42 yards quartering away.
By the time I had ranged both and figured out who they were they took off in a dang sprint!!!!!!

When I saw the does running I at least grabbed my range finder and bow, but I had seconds to piece it all together before they split.

WHAT IN THE WORLD!

So I get down to where they were and to where I saw the possible shed. Saying words that you can imagine were not very pleasant. I was just so confused on why the does blew them out and why the bucks just hammered out if there too.
Well not a few seconds after I confirmed it was a shed and took pictures, I hear a truck driving off a couple hundred yards away from me. I glassed it and I don’t believe it was an oil worker.

My only thought is that it was a rancher. That explains maybe why the cattle went sprinting down towards that direction and also why the deer were like “NOPE, OUT OF HERE!”

I am sick! 37 yards and 42 yards. I just needed them to change beds or get up for their evening feed……

SO FRICKEN CLOSE TODAY.
It was like all of my time fine tuning this certain area finally was paying off. I had those bucks numbers and then due to uncontrollable circumstances that just wasn’t meant to be today.

The larger of the two was the buck I glassed and videoed the day before opener….

I am physically and mentally drained at this point after the wind and cold.

It’s absolutely amazing how animals can be bedded so close to you without you evening knowing it or Seeing them.
Stay positive! You got tomorrow and it’s going to happen!
 

iccyman001

Active Member
Messages
697
I could have easily made up a story about not seeing anything today, but I’m a straight shooter.

After getting destroyed on the cliff face yesterday while being super lacking in clothes for 3 1/2 hours I hit my wall.

15-16 days in a tent solo wears you down and after yesterday’s hunt I was content with my trip.

Packed up camp and started my 25 hour drive home.

I did however reward my body.
A776FBE5-C388-4BAE-BD94-8D35015EAAD7.jpeg

Ask me in a couple weeks if I’d hunt this tag again.
It was a grind and I found some great deer.
After talking with lots of the hunters and guides out there I think I actually saw more deer hunting the way I did verse the ones who just drove around.


I can’t be upset with tag soup because I chose to pass some of the deer. I don’t regret it one bit.
I learned a ton about late season mule deer hunting and about my capabilities in the field.

Sorry I wasn’t able to close it out strong for you all, but I appreciate you all following along.
 

iccyman001

Active Member
Messages
697
If you are at peace with it then that’s all that matters
I am for sure.
This was a great trip on so many levels.
I got my teeth punched in, learned a bunch about late season mule deer, was able to stay find and stay in mature deer a good portion of the trip, plan and execute stalks successfully (then mess up the shot hahah), pass on bucks that I’d have shot elsewhere, and was able to last a good hit of time in the mountains solo in some less than desirable conditions. So I leave this trio super excited.

I’ve been on a hot streak lately and this trip humbled me like I knew it would.

Now is where it gets fun as well. I’ve got a sick vengeance against mule deer. So I’m already picking units in NM, CO, WY, and MT to apply for so I can go kill my first MD buck.
 

Jgill19

Member
Messages
18
Great thread. I love getting to go on the late season chair hunt. I know I speak for other who are locked down in January living vicariously. Was rooting for you. Solo hunting is tough doing so in January I'd imagine even more so. Good on ya for sticking out. When you cut your first mule deer tag, you will get to enjoy and remember this hunt again in a different light. Good luck on the future hunt's and thanks for the write up/up dates.
 

iccyman001

Active Member
Messages
697
Thank you all for the words of encouragement and for following along.

I’m back safe, unpacked, and throwing time at family so I can get ready to do my trips again here in a few months.

I’m already nerding out on applications so I can get back out there and get my first MD.
 

gburk

Member
Messages
68
I know the feeling... I too am owed MD vengeance.
One of the more realistic and complete threads I’ve read in awhile! Thanks for bringing us along.
25 hours away?! Where’s that?
 

DoeNob

Active Member
Messages
899
Thanks for letting us follow along, most exciting thing to happen around these parts in a while!

Archery mule deer is an exercise in frustration. You have to do everything right and then get a little lucky too.
 

smarba

Active Member
Messages
454
Best of luck in your home state redemption! Love your description of FL Coues! But be careful or they'll classify them as a separate threatened subspecies and you won't be able to hunt them anymore...
 

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