"Big Red" - My Heavy WY Typical

Coyotebrowntrouthunter

Active Member
Messages
107
For years I've been building points to realize my dream of hunting big Wyoming Muleys in the high altitude country. A few years ago with the family, I stopped in Afton and met a super nice young kid named Jake at a local sporting goods shop. We hit it off immediately and have kept in touch every since. He said he would be happy to point me in the right direction if I ever draw a tag. This year I decided to cash in my points and I was thrilled when I got notified I had drawn a coveted rifle tag!

Being from OR and being 47 years old, I knew I needed to get my legs in the best shape possible prior to the hunt. I worked out hard all summer long carrying an 80 pound pack around my local hills for an hour or so. I couldn't simulate the high altitude but was hoping to get "sort of" acclimated a few days prior to the hunt once I got there. Early Sept. rolled around and it was time to go!

Met my best buddy, Mike Beer (yup that is really his last name...hahaha), at a local establishment in Western WY on Sunday 9/11. We had dinner and drinks then headed to the trailhead to sleep in the back of our trucks. Monday morning, we loaded up our packs and headed up the trail. Jake would not be able to join us but he shared some valuable info with me for a place to camp and possible places to look for bucks. Took us a few hours, but we finally found a nice camp on a bench next to an avalanche chute about 3.5 miles in. Felt good to get that 65-70 pound packs off our backs! After setting up my Seek Outside tipi and stove, we were good to go for the week. Only problem was water!!! Turns out the closest water was only a half mile from our trucks. The next day we hiked back down the hill and filled up every filtered water bag and bottle we had to prepare for the week. In the process of doing so, we met a couple different teams of horses and hunters coming in that Tuesday. We also spotted a group of 11 bucks on top of a really large peak from camp on Tuesday morning. Couple of shooters within that group! Only problem was they were miles from camp and thousands of straight up elevation gain away! Quickly realizing how unforgiving this WY mountain country really is!!!

Wednesday morning we got lots of rain on the tipi. We rested up and later that evening headed further up the trail to do some scouting. Mike and I found a really nice glassing spot for the evening. After hours of glassing, something caught my eye in the binos and a big bodied buck over 700 yards away slipped out of an Aspen patch. I got the spotting scope on him and got this video:



Excited after finding this buck we nicknamed "Big Red" from the glow of the sun shining on his nice rack of antlers, we hiked back down to camp with high hopes for opening morning!

Up at 5AM on the Opener, Mike and I left camp a half hour later with headlamps on knowing it took an hour or so to get to where we spotted "Big Red". As daylight slowly approached, it became clear that we wouldn't see a damn thing. LOL. The entire draw was fogged in and we couldn't see 50 yards. Finally around 11AM, the fog slowly lifted and we could glass our hillside. We watched for 3 hours or so, but no deer and no movement. Decided to head back to camp and hunt from there that evening.

Friday morning felt like I was hunting Roosevelt ELK back home in OR in November! LOL! It just rained and poured on the tipi all damn morning. We chickened out and slept in and stayed dry vs. braving the conditions. Finally around 2:30 PM, it slowed and cleared off. It was go time! Mike and I hustled up the trail to get in position to watch the hillside "Big Red" lived on. It worked out well because we were able to get in position while the draw was still foggy. As the evening worn on, the fog started to dissipate and we could see thru patches while glassing.

Mike soon spotted 3 does and then I spotted a little forky buck. The weather really cleared up and now we had the sun at our backs and conditions were excellent. Around 6:45 PM, Mike spotted a different little forky come out of an Aspen patch. After watching him for a few minutes, it kept going in the back of my mind that often big bucks will keep little ones in their vicinity to use as Guinea Pigs! So I started glassing in a 100 yard circle around this small buck. A few minutes later of doing this, I spotted a white patch and zeroed in on it. Finally it moved and I could see a head and then those "Big Red" horns glow in the sun! It was him!!! I quickly ranged him at 580 yards. Too far to shoot for me! He was literally in that small opening for less than 3 minutes then disappeared back into the Alpine timber! He was gone, but I was thrilled to have spotted him. We knew he was there and it felt like an advantage.

Evening was quickly setting in and we were running out of time. As the shadows consumed the hillside, I was hopeful that "Big Red" would show himself. Sure enough around 6:20 PM, Mike spotted him sneaking thru an Aspen patch. 500 yards. We watched him walk over and kick his little forky friends ass. Running him off. 475 yards. But still hidden behind Aspen brush. It was now 6:35PM or so, and he finally steps into an opening. Mike hollers at me, he is Broadside! 440 yards! This is my do or die moment! I wasn't thrilled at the distance that late at night, but I know these big bucks don't give you many opportunities. I know my rifle well and am confident in it. I dialed my Leupold scope to 450 yards then a click down on the CDS dial. Get steady on my pack and hunker down for the shot. Scope at 10 power. Calm my breathing the best I can and hold steady on him..........BOOOOOOOM! The .270 husky kicks and before I get bucked out of the scope I can see the Nosler bullet found its mark!!! He just dropped immediately in his tracks! I quickly chambered another round and I hear Mike holler you just smoked him! We watch carefully and closely for another 5 minutes and absolutely no movement. As the little forky just stands over there next to him like a lost puppy dog!

Mike and I know we are quickly losing daylight! I stay put while he hustles down across a nasty draw and sidehills over to "Big Red". In the binos, I watch Mike approach and confirm he is dead. I grab my gear and hustle my butt over to him as quick as possible. Just as I'm approaching him, I have to turn on my headlamp as daylight has run out. Walking up to "Big Red" I'm just absolutely blown away by the MASS of his antlers!!! I had no idea he was that Heavy. What a beautiful specimen of a mountain WY muley! I was just so ecstatic!!! Mike and I whoop and holler, hug, and high-five! Before starting in all the work, we stopped and thanked the Lord and then started taking pics. This is by far my biggest buck of my life, muley or blacktail. I felt blessed and soaked in the moment.

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We took our time to be careful. Caping him out and quartering him up. 2.5 mile pack back to camp. We arrived 15 minutes or so after midnight. But the night was cool and we were riding high on alpine adrenaline! I was and still am just super stoked with this stud of a buck (at least for me!). We took everything but the hind quarters. Hung them in a tree.

Next morning we went back in to collect the hind quarters. Once back at camp, we loaded up all the meat, head and horns and took off for the trucks at the trailhead.
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Once again the packs were heavy but it never hurt so good! Once at the truck, we went to town to get ice so we could get the meat taken care of in the cooler. The next morning we hiked back in to get camp and then head for home.
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In closing I would just like to dedicate this one to my old man. He's still alive and with us Thank God! He has taught me everything hunting wise and has helped shape the man I am today. Love ya Dad! Hope I made ya PROUD.

My best buddy, Mike Beer, thank you SO much man!!! Taking time off of work to help me on my hunt of a Lifetime. Definitely could not have done this without you!!!

Jake I can't thank you enough for yer friendship and WY hospitality! You are a great kid and I owe you one.

Founder thank you for the inspiration and words of advice over email along the way. I have learned a lot from you and have appreciated the replies and helpful knowledge along my journey in pursuit of a trophy class mature Muley buck!

Finally, thank you Monster Muleys members! I have learned a lot on this website and it feels great to be able to contribute in a big way with my best Muley buck to date!

Lastly, feel free to guess his Gross Score! Years ago my FIL gave me a B&C measuring kit and I was finally able to use it. I was conservative in my measurements and was pleasantly shocked and surprised at his final score.

Happy Huntin',
CBTH
 

kickerbuck

Active Member
Messages
514
Great story and buck for sure! Way to be respectful to that buck and know your comfort zone for the long shot!!! There would be nothing worse then to wound that buck and lose him.

As for score 175 to 180 lots of mass and good time length.
 

Coyotebrowntrouthunter

Active Member
Messages
107
WOW blown away by all the generous comments guys! Thanks so much! I'm super excited with him for sure.

My Seek Outside Redcliff tipi performed excellent in the rain. I seam sealed it myself. Purchased it back in 2018. Just make sure you buy the liners that hang inside the tipi to block the condensation from dripping on you.

Thanks to those you guessed the score. You guys are SPOT ON!!! Makes me feel solid about the numbers I came up with. Of course it will shrink some with 60 days of dry time. HELL I don't even care. Just pleasantly surprised he scored so well (for myself). Just goes to show you how much MASS can add!

Thanks again everyone! Best of luck to you this Fall.
CBTH

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BrowningRage

Long Time Member
Messages
3,968
Hard to not be happy with a dark, heavy-horned buck like that... Congratulations buddy!

As a possible learning moment- I think your G2 measurements are incorrect. The measurement should be taken from where the G2 branches up, off of the main beam. If your G3 measurements are accurate, your G2s look to be about double those...
 

Coyotebrowntrouthunter

Active Member
Messages
107
Thanks BrowningRage! You are correct Sir! UGH yeah I messed up that measurement. Def idiot learning moment. I will remeasure and post back. Knew it was too good to be true. LOL

Appreciate you pointing that out!

Keystone - Def took a few days to acclimate. I got there Monday before the hunt started. Coming from 230 feet elevation where I live it helped.
 

Coyotebrowntrouthunter

Active Member
Messages
107
Here is his final score. I apologize to the MM Community for my mistake on the G2 measurement. Lesson learned (the hard way). Dramatically changes his score but I'm still happy with him! Thanks all for the kind comments. It was def the hunt of a Lifetime and one Mike and I will remember forever!
CBTH
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