Thanks Wyoming!

liecabucks

Very Active Member
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1,169
Another season has flown by and I’ll admit, it was a pretty rough transition from previous years. Scouting started early June, bouncing around with a bear tag and checking the deer numbers as they filtered back to summer ranges. I for one was skeptical of the projected winter losses and wanted to know for myself what kind of work I would be in for locating something quality this year.
Early on, numbers seemed to be low but after about July 1st, it was apparent the numbers of mature bucks that had made it back were in very short supply and antler growth seemed to be at least 2 weeks behind an average summer.

I wasn’t able to give an honest opinion about deer mortality until about the end of july. At that point I decided the dear herd in my area were 60% gone. I noted multiple new fawns most scouting trips and more yearling and 2 year old bucks than I had anticipated seeing. One very notable observation was the almost non existents of older, mature bucks. I believe I counted 4 notable in the 25 days scouting and 16 days I spent actually hunting. My buck number this year sat around 100. Normal years I’d commonly locate 200++.

I located a handful of nice bucks scouting and during the hunt but nothing I was itching to kill. I had a great time like always with my son and the occasional trip with my hunting partners.

I did locate one of my shooter list bucks(only 2
Made it) after 12 days in the mountains. I spotted him while hiking into a new vantage point at 3:00 in the afternoon. I thought it was just a silly doe doing silly doe things in the wide open but I setup the spotter anyway. It didn’t take long before I realized I had located a ghost that nobody had seen for 2 years beside a couple trail cam images. At 1.5 miles away and heavy timber, I did what I could to find an avenue into his kitchen before the sun slid over the mountain peaks behind me. 3 hours later, I had made it close enough for a shot if he would feed through the only sliver of clearing available to me. Caught off guard by the lay of the land and the last minute push, I was flustered when he stepped into the opening. I had lazered a quick range just before and knew he would be approximately 330 yards if he showed. What I didn’t pay enough attention to was my ballistics and simply holding high on his shoulder, In retrospect wasn’t going to pay the bills.
The shot felt good but I didn’t feel good after the shot. I should have taken the time to dope and be clean like I normally do. I backed out and came back two more days hunting/looking for a dead buck. I even came back a week after the hunt for a third look. It’s been a long time since I let one walk like that.

All In all, our party filled one for five tags and let a handful of 160-175 bucks walk. Seems pretty grim but spending time when given the opportunity in Gods country is never a waste.
I’m actually pretty optimistic we will have a fair winter and the deer can start to rebuild. I feel like the stress of fighting for life last winter took its toll on antler growth to the extreme.
Bottom line, Mother Nature decides many things that we as sportsmen and land stewards cannot fix or remedy…..
Successful or not, as always, thanks for the opportunity Wyoming.

I’ll post a few pics when I can.
 
Another season has flown by and I’ll admit, it was a pretty rough transition from previous years. Scouting started early June, bouncing around with a bear tag and checking the deer numbers as they filtered back to summer ranges. I for one was skeptical of the projected winter losses and wanted to know for myself what kind of work I would be in for locating something quality this year.
Early on, numbers seemed to be low but after about July 1st, it was apparent the numbers of mature bucks that had made it back were in very short supply and antler growth seemed to be at least 2 weeks behind an average summer.

I wasn’t able to give an honest opinion about deer mortality until about the end of july. At that point I decided the dear herd in my area were 60% gone. I noted multiple new fawns most scouting trips and more yearling and 2 year old bucks than I had anticipated seeing. One very notable observation was the almost non existents of older, mature bucks. I believe I counted 4 notable in the 25 days scouting and 16 days I spent actually hunting. My buck number this year sat around 100. Normal years I’d commonly locate 200++.

I located a handful of nice bucks scouting and during the hunt but nothing I was itching to kill. I had a great time like always with my son and the occasional trip with my hunting partners.

I did locate one of my shooter list bucks(only 2
Made it) after 12 days in the mountains. I spotted him while hiking into a new vantage point at 3:00 in the afternoon. I thought it was just a silly doe doing silly doe things in the wide open but I setup the spotter anyway. It didn’t take long before I realized I had located a ghost that nobody had seen for 2 years beside a couple trail cam images. At 1.5 miles away and heavy timber, I did what I could to find an avenue into his kitchen before the sun slid over the mountain peaks behind me. 3 hours later, I had made it close enough for a shot if he would feed through the only sliver of clearing available to me. Caught off guard by the lay of the land and the last minute push, I was flustered when he stepped into the opening. I had lazered a quick range just before and knew he would be approximately 330 yards if he showed. What I didn’t pay enough attention to was my ballistics and simply holding high on his shoulder, In retrospect wasn’t going to pay the bills.
The shot felt good but I didn’t feel good after the shot. I should have taken the time to dope and be clean like I normally do. I backed out and came back two more days hunting/looking for a dead buck. I even came back a week after the hunt for a third look. It’s been a long time since I let one walk like that.

All In all, our party filled one for five tags and let a handful of 160-175 bucks walk. Seems pretty grim but spending time when given the opportunity in Gods country is never a waste.
I’m actually pretty optimistic we will have a fair winter and the deer can start to rebuild. I feel like the stress of fighting for life last winter took its toll on antler growth to the extreme.
Bottom line, Mother Nature decides many things that we as sportsmen and land stewards cannot fix or remedy…..
Successful or not, as always, thanks for the opportunity Wyoming.

I’ll post a few pics when I can.
My observations this year mirrors what you experienced. I guessed 70ish% reduction in the area that seemed hit the hardest. Way to keep a positive attitude through the tough timed. Looking forward to better seasons!
 
Another season has flown by and I’ll admit, it was a pretty rough transition from previous years. Scouting started early June, bouncing around with a bear tag and checking the deer numbers as they filtered back to summer ranges. I for one was skeptical of the projected winter losses and wanted to know for myself what kind of work I would be in for locating something quality this year.
Early on, numbers seemed to be low but after about July 1st, it was apparent the numbers of mature bucks that had made it back were in very short supply and antler growth seemed to be at least 2 weeks behind an average summer.

I wasn’t able to give an honest opinion about deer mortality until about the end of july. At that point I decided the dear herd in my area were 60% gone. I noted multiple new fawns most scouting trips and more yearling and 2 year old bucks than I had anticipated seeing. One very notable observation was the almost non existents of older, mature bucks. I believe I counted 4 notable in the 25 days scouting and 16 days I spent actually hunting. My buck number this year sat around 100. Normal years I’d commonly locate 200++.

I located a handful of nice bucks scouting and during the hunt but nothing I was itching to kill. I had a great time like always with my son and the occasional trip with my hunting partners.

I did locate one of my shooter list bucks(only 2
Made it) after 12 days in the mountains. I spotted him while hiking into a new vantage point at 3:00 in the afternoon. I thought it was just a silly doe doing silly doe things in the wide open but I setup the spotter anyway. It didn’t take long before I realized I had located a ghost that nobody had seen for 2 years beside a couple trail cam images. At 1.5 miles away and heavy timber, I did what I could to find an avenue into his kitchen before the sun slid over the mountain peaks behind me. 3 hours later, I had made it close enough for a shot if he would feed through the only sliver of clearing available to me. Caught off guard by the lay of the land and the last minute push, I was flustered when he stepped into the opening. I had lazered a quick range just before and knew he would be approximately 330 yards if he showed. What I didn’t pay enough attention to was my ballistics and simply holding high on his shoulder, In retrospect wasn’t going to pay the bills.
The shot felt good but I didn’t feel good after the shot. I should have taken the time to dope and be clean like I normally do. I backed out and came back two more days hunting/looking for a dead buck. I even came back a week after the hunt for a third look. It’s been a long time since I let one walk like that.

All In all, our party filled one for five tags and let a handful of 160-175 bucks walk. Seems pretty grim but spending time when given the opportunity in Gods country is never a waste.
I’m actually pretty optimistic we will have a fair winter and the deer can start to rebuild. I feel like the stress of fighting for life last winter took its toll on antler growth to the extreme.
Bottom line, Mother Nature decides many things that we as sportsmen and land stewards cannot fix or remedy…..
Successful or not, as always, thanks for the opportunity Wyoming.

I’ll post a few pics when I can.
agree 100%.
 
You're the man no doubt about it!!! Good for you and your buddies letting some of those bucks live another day, you will be rewarded for that I'm sure. The deer just flat out got hammered all over the west last year 😞
 
Another season has flown by and I’ll admit, it was a pretty rough transition from previous years. Scouting started early June, bouncing around with a bear tag and checking the deer numbers as they filtered back to summer ranges. I for one was skeptical of the projected winter losses and wanted to know for myself what kind of work I would be in for locating something quality this year.
Early on, numbers seemed to be low but after about July 1st, it was apparent the numbers of mature bucks that had made it back were in very short supply and antler growth seemed to be at least 2 weeks behind an average summer.

I wasn’t able to give an honest opinion about deer mortality until about the end of july. At that point I decided the dear herd in my area were 60% gone. I noted multiple new fawns most scouting trips and more yearling and 2 year old bucks than I had anticipated seeing. One very notable observation was the almost non existents of older, mature bucks. I believe I counted 4 notable in the 25 days scouting and 16 days I spent actually hunting. My buck number this year sat around 100. Normal years I’d commonly locate 200++.

I located a handful of nice bucks scouting and during the hunt but nothing I was itching to kill. I had a great time like always with my son and the occasional trip with my hunting partners.

I did locate one of my shooter list bucks(only 2
Made it) after 12 days in the mountains. I spotted him while hiking into a new vantage point at 3:00 in the afternoon. I thought it was just a silly doe doing silly doe things in the wide open but I setup the spotter anyway. It didn’t take long before I realized I had located a ghost that nobody had seen for 2 years beside a couple trail cam images. At 1.5 miles away and heavy timber, I did what I could to find an avenue into his kitchen before the sun slid over the mountain peaks behind me. 3 hours later, I had made it close enough for a shot if he would feed through the only sliver of clearing available to me. Caught off guard by the lay of the land and the last minute push, I was flustered when he stepped into the opening. I had lazered a quick range just before and knew he would be approximately 330 yards if he showed. What I didn’t pay enough attention to was my ballistics and simply holding high on his shoulder, In retrospect wasn’t going to pay the bills.
The shot felt good but I didn’t feel good after the shot. I should have taken the time to dope and be clean like I normally do. I backed out and came back two more days hunting/looking for a dead buck. I even came back a week after the hunt for a third look. It’s been a long time since I let one walk like that.

All In all, our party filled one for five tags and let a handful of 160-175 bucks walk. Seems pretty grim but spending time when given the opportunity in Gods country is never a waste.
I’m actually pretty optimistic we will have a fair winter and the deer can start to rebuild. I feel like the stress of fighting for life last winter took its toll on antler growth to the extreme.
Bottom line, Mother Nature decides many things that we as sportsmen and land stewards cannot fix or remedy…..
Successful or not, as always, thanks for the opportunity Wyoming.

I’ll post a few pics when I can.
Another season has flown by and I’ll admit, it was a pretty rough transition from previous years. Scouting started early June, bouncing around with a bear tag and checking the deer numbers as they filtered back to summer ranges. I for one was skeptical of the projected winter losses and wanted to know for myself what kind of work I would be in for locating something quality this year.
Early on, numbers seemed to be low but after about July 1st, it was apparent the numbers of mature bucks that had made it back were in very short supply and antler growth seemed to be at least 2 weeks behind an average summer.

I wasn’t able to give an honest opinion about deer mortality until about the end of july. At that point I decided the dear herd in my area were 60% gone. I noted multiple new fawns most scouting trips and more yearling and 2 year old bucks than I had anticipated seeing. One very notable observation was the almost non existents of older, mature bucks. I believe I counted 4 notable in the 25 days scouting and 16 days I spent actually hunting. My buck number this year sat around 100. Normal years I’d commonly locate 200++.

I located a handful of nice bucks scouting and during the hunt but nothing I was itching to kill. I had a great time like always with my son and the occasional trip with my hunting partners.

I did locate one of my shooter list bucks(only 2
Made it) after 12 days in the mountains. I spotted him while hiking into a new vantage point at 3:00 in the afternoon. I thought it was just a silly doe doing silly doe things in the wide open but I setup the spotter anyway. It didn’t take long before I realized I had located a ghost that nobody had seen for 2 years beside a couple trail cam images. At 1.5 miles away and heavy timber, I did what I could to find an avenue into his kitchen before the sun slid over the mountain peaks behind me. 3 hours later, I had made it close enough for a shot if he would feed through the only sliver of clearing available to me. Caught off guard by the lay of the land and the last minute push, I was flustered when he stepped into the opening. I had lazered a quick range just before and knew he would be approximately 330 yards if he showed. What I didn’t pay enough attention to was my ballistics and simply holding high on his shoulder, In retrospect wasn’t going to pay the bills.
The shot felt good but I didn’t feel good after the shot. I should have taken the time to dope and be clean like I normally do. I backed out and came back two more days hunting/looking for a dead buck. I even came back a week after the hunt for a third look. It’s been a long time since I let one walk like that.

All In all, our party filled one for five tags and let a handful of 160-175 bucks walk. Seems pretty grim but spending time when given the opportunity in Gods country is never a waste.
I’m actually pretty optimistic we will have a fair winter and the deer can start to rebuild. I feel like the stress of fighting for life last winter took its toll on antler growth to the extreme.
Bottom line, Mother Nature decides many things that we as sportsmen and land stewards cannot fix or remedy…..
Successful or not, as always, thanks for the opportunity Wyoming.

I’ll post a few pics when I can.

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Nice write up! Sounds like you put the work in. How did that buck with the extra trash finish out? Hopefully the bucks will have an easier winter this year and put some of that energy into growing to their full potential.
 
Another season has flown by and I’ll admit, it was a pretty rough transition from previous years. Scouting started early June, bouncing around with a bear tag and checking the deer numbers as they filtered back to summer ranges. I for one was skeptical of the projected winter losses and wanted to know for myself what kind of work I would be in for locating something quality this year.
Early on, numbers seemed to be low but after about July 1st, it was apparent the numbers of mature bucks that had made it back were in very short supply and antler growth seemed to be at least 2 weeks behind an average summer.

I wasn’t able to give an honest opinion about deer mortality until about the end of july. At that point I decided the dear herd in my area were 60% gone. I noted multiple new fawns most scouting trips and more yearling and 2 year old bucks than I had anticipated seeing. One very notable observation was the almost non existents of older, mature bucks. I believe I counted 4 notable in the 25 days scouting and 16 days I spent actually hunting. My buck number this year sat around 100. Normal years I’d commonly locate 200++.

I located a handful of nice bucks scouting and during the hunt but nothing I was itching to kill. I had a great time like always with my son and the occasional trip with my hunting partners.

I did locate one of my shooter list bucks(only 2
Made it) after 12 days in the mountains. I spotted him while hiking into a new vantage point at 3:00 in the afternoon. I thought it was just a silly doe doing silly doe things in the wide open but I setup the spotter anyway. It didn’t take long before I realized I had located a ghost that nobody had seen for 2 years beside a couple trail cam images. At 1.5 miles away and heavy timber, I did what I could to find an avenue into his kitchen before the sun slid over the mountain peaks behind me. 3 hours later, I had made it close enough for a shot if he would feed through the only sliver of clearing available to me. Caught off guard by the lay of the land and the last minute push, I was flustered when he stepped into the opening. I had lazered a quick range just before and knew he would be approximately 330 yards if he showed. What I didn’t pay enough attention to was my ballistics and simply holding high on his shoulder, In retrospect wasn’t going to pay the bills.
The shot felt good but I didn’t feel good after the shot. I should have taken the time to dope and be clean like I normally do. I backed out and came back two more days hunting/looking for a dead buck. I even came back a week after the hunt for a third look. It’s been a long time since I let one walk like that.

All In all, our party filled one for five tags and let a handful of 160-175 bucks walk. Seems pretty grim but spending time when given the opportunity in Gods country is never a waste.
I’m actually pretty optimistic we will have a fair winter and the deer can start to rebuild. I feel like the stress of fighting for life last winter took its toll on antler growth to the extreme.
Bottom line, Mother Nature decides many things that we as sportsmen and land stewards cannot fix or remedy…..
Successful or not, as always, thanks for the opportunity Wyoming.

I’ll post a few pics when I can.
Not many humans get to witness how hard @liecabucks hunts. I broke bread a couple nights with him. Good times!
I’d like to add the personal touch of the deer numbers.. personally I was WAY to optimistic about surviving deer.. this guy named Slightly eluded to it, but I didn’t believe it per winter range shed hunting. I thought mature deer ln the 2.5-6.5 would pull through…. No bueno.
SW is a fragile ecosystem when you’re talking about carryover deer.
So much respect for the mule deer in this region. They are the athletes of the mule herds . Hopefully stars align and put more of these great creatures back on the landscape in the future.
 
Ya!

If lieca Didn't See More Than What He Seen It Wasn't From Not Trying Hard!

He's Not A Guy That's Gonna Shoot A PISSCUTTER Just To Say He Filled His Tag Or Freezer!

We Need More hunters Like Him!

The Buck/Bucks He Saved Will Be Bigger Next Year!

Thanks For The Story lieca!
 
Nice tattoo on the buck in the first pic's forehead. Almost looks like a buck from behind feeding! I'm a little blind, though. Or maybe a bull elk? Interesting forehead design.
Very unique, yes! That’s the buck I wiffed on actually. He made it back to the winter range a few weeks ago and looks healthy.
 
The amount of people who watched that kicker buck this summer is quite high haha. I always make a quick trip to that basin just to break in the legs, surprised he made it considering how many people hit that spot on opener
 
The amount of people who watched that kicker buck this summer is quite high haha. I always make a quick trip to that basin just to break in the legs, surprised he made it considering how many people hit that spot on opener
Really shows how smart those bucks can be!
 

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