Nebraska Public Land Success

Joe2Kool

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My season had been a bust, until this morning.
The small TN farm I can only hunt in archery season is always a gimme for a doe. Nope.
The same small farm is usually good for a decent whitetail. Nope.
I thought my WY mule deer General tag was a good chance as I'd seen lots of deer last time I was there. Nope.
The quota hunt on DOE land is usually very kind to me. NOPE.
And my one day I was able to hunt the TN ML season, well, usually tough hunting anyway, but NOPE.
So, since I've never hunted SW NE before, and my private land access fell thru, my expectations were low.

Got here Monday afternoon and started checking out several WIHAs. Found a couple that were promising, maybe more for whitetails, but I kept checking them out. I was on one yesterday afternoon, and just didn't feel right. More of an antelope grassland than mule deer habitat. So I decided to leave and check out a couple of other WIHAs towards the motel.

I missed the turn to one and saw another a couple miles ahead and decided to turn around there. Got out and looked and there was a mule deer doe and fawn. I watched them, followed them, and saw 4-5 more. Shooting light was almost gone, but I knew where I was going this morning. Walked in while it was still dark and picked a spot. Before sunrise, I spotted a few does. As the morning went on, 2 became 4 which then grew to about 8. Watched them for several hours. No bucks with them, and they were about 1000 yards away.

As I was studying the terrain, fencelines, and OnX trying to figure out whose door to knock on to get permission, I caught a glimpse of this guy 100 yards away and looking straight at me. I would have loved to been able to watch the next 30 seconds as my gun was behind me, binocs on my chest, leaning back on my pack like it was a recliner, phone in my hand, shooting sticks beside me. And he started running uphill and away from me. The fumbling really picked up the pace as I knew he would stop and look back. And at about 225 yards he did. And the 300 went BOOM! And down he went. But I didn't know it because I never saw him run, or legs flopping, or anything. Shot went in high and behind the left shoulder and came out his neck.

Regarding the gun pic, it was my BIL's. He loaned it to me in 2011 for my only outfitted elk hunt. And he passed away before I gave it back to him. His dad and brother told me to keep it because I was the only person he ever let touch his gun, much less borrow it. I've hunted with it several times since then, but this is the first time it has killed anything since 2011.

Thanks to the MMers who gave me advice.

I'm gonna post this, then add the pics. And I'm sleeping in tomorrow!

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Nice work and nice buck. My taxidermist is in S/W Nebraska and he says it's been tough this year. To find him on public is great.
 
Your season sounds about like mine thus far, lots of hunts that should be slam dunks and haven’t been, unfortunately I’m out of new opportunities this year.
 
Dang good buck congratulations the season can always turn around in the blink of an eye.
 
Congrats on a cool buck. Special with that gun too. I hunt turkeys with my Dad's Browning Gold Hunter. It was retirement present from long time employer. He died one year later = super bummer. I love thinking about him holding that gun.
 
Real nice deer.

But that last paragraph, that's man respect to its fullest. Both from the bil, and then from his family. Love that!!
 
I'm happy for you, fortitude when hunting is tough is a good attribute and it certainly paid off for you. I'm in the central part of the state Southern Sandhills and it's been a tough year with numbers down so congrats on a job well done and a great buck.
 

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