Personal Best Buck: 3rd Season Colorado

Talk anything related to Mule Deer
Sponsored by: http://www.muledeermania.com
User avatar
TexasHunter83
2 point
2 point
Posts: 177
Joined: Sat Apr 06, 2013 12:30 pm
Location: Texas

Personal Best Buck: 3rd Season Colorado

Postby TexasHunter83 » Fri Nov 18, 2016 12:50 pm

We had a BLAST in Colorado and I had some success. The weather wasn't very favorable for hunting up there and many people had told me stories of having bad luck in the first two seasons. It was in the high 50s--low 60s during the day, and was down in the 30s at night; but there was NO SNOW anywhere in the vicinity of the area we hunted. There were 9 of us camping in the same spot, 4 guys had elk tags and I had the only mule deer tag. There were some other friends of ours (from the same town) camping a few hundred yards down the road and I've heard that only 1 of them killed a deer; there were somewhere between 6-10 of them.

As far as my hunt, in the mornings I hunted an area I was accustomed to from my last trip. We'd gotten in late Friday and it started raining, so I wasn't able to scout for a new location until midday on Saturday. The first morning yielded nothing more than a doe being chased by 3 coyotes. Though I was disappointed I hadn't seen more deer, the experience was exciting. She ran by us at about 15 yards, followed by 3 coyotes hot on her tail. I considered firing a shot at them, but it was still early in the morning and I didn't want to ruin the chance at seeing another deer. In hindsight, and after speaking with several locals, I probably should have shot all 3 of them.

My first evening hunt, I decided to hunt a spot I'd heard some of the other (more seasoned guys) talk about in the past. It sounded like a really good spot to hunt, but was a ***** to drag a deer out of, should you happen to shoot one. I decided to go-for-broke and hunted it. It turned out to be a great evening spot because the sun was at my back and I could see down into the valley without being blinded; morning hunts at this location were a different story (we only did that once). On my first two evening hunts I saw between 15-20 does each sit, but no bucks. My morning hunts at the other location yielded only a few does and good conversation with my sister's boyfriend (who was on his first ever hunting trip).

Monday was the day. I'd hunted my morning spot, to no avail, and went back to camp a little early to rest up before the evening hunt. Everyone you talked to, including the locals, hadn't seen many deer and had seen NO elk anywhere; it's pretty bad when the locals don't know where the animals are. Due to the slow hunting, my dad, brother, and sister's boyfriend decided they wanted to take a truck and go up the road (higher up) just to go look around and sight-see. I ALMOST went with them, but it was already 12:30PM and I knew they wouldn't be back for a few hours. Due to the time change, it was getting dark at about 10 minutes until 5:00PM. I figured if I went with them, I'd likely miss the evening hunt. I decided to stay back and at about 2:30 I headed for the evening spot by myself. Sitting for a couple of hours, I hadn't seen any movement at all; no does, no bucks, no coyotes, or even rabbits and squirrels. Sunset was closing in and I was beginning to, in my mind at least, wrap up the hunt for the evening. Sunset was at 4:51P.M. and it was now about 5:05P.M. All of a sudden, out of the corner of my eye, I saw movement in an area I hadn't really been watching much. I turned my head in time to see a mule deer walk under a tree and into some bushes. I didn't see whether it was a buck or doe, so I turned sideways and watched the area and waited for it to come out. After a minute or so, I became worried that the deer had continued on down the bottom towards some private land, so I grabbed my gun and shooting sticks and shimmied around the ridge point I was sitting at, and hopped up on a large bolder that could give me a good view of the bottom that wasn't visible from my previous position. It did, however, still gave me a good view of what I'd been watching before. I watched this clump of trees and bushes and kept checking my watch; 5:10P.M.--only 11 minutes left. About this time, I looked over to the right and noticed a single, solitary doe feeding about 15 yards from where I'd seen the previous deer walk into the brush. While keeping my eye on her, I started hearing limbs and twigs thrashing around in the same spot I saw the first deer walk into the bushes. At this point I thought, there definitely has to be a buck in there. At this point, it's about 5:13 and I've got my scope trained on this group of trees and waiting for this thing to step out. I checked the doe again, and right there circling her, was a buck! I turned just a little, saw him through the scope, knew he was a shooter, and pulled the trigger; "WHOP!" I heard the hit, and he walked about 10 yards and stopped, just standing there. I put the crosshairs on him a second time and pulled the trigger, "whop!" After the second shot, he stumbled a couple of more yards and I lost sight of him behind (under) a tree.

At this point, I knew he was down, but finding him down in that bottom was going to be a different story. It was almost completely dark by the time I got back to my ATV. I decided it would be smarter to just drive the 3 miles back to camp, gather up the guys (help) and head back out to find him; he had a huge body and I knew I couldn't get him out on my own.

So after driving Mach 3 back to camp and enlisting help, I got help from my dad, brother, sister's boyfriend, and a cousin of mine. After getting back into the area, and with it being dark already, we decided it would be smarter for me to head back to the top, shine a flashlight in the area I thought he was, and guide them to it. After a fairly serious 4 wheeler wreck and minor "superficial" injuries, they finally made their way up the bottom and walked right into the deer on the trail; dead. I really can't thank these guys enough for helping me drag this deer out of there. It was a long drag and it tested everyone's patience for sure. Here he is! A 26" wide Colorado Public land 4x4!
Attachments
IMG_2202.JPG
IMG_2202.JPG (28.9 KiB) Viewed 1157 times
IMG_2203.JPG
IMG_2211.JPG
IMG_2211.JPG (29.7 KiB) Viewed 1157 times

User avatar
ABert
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 1744
Joined: Sun Dec 19, 2004 4:45 pm
Location: Colorado

Re: Personal Best Buck: 3rd Season Colorado

Postby ABert » Fri Nov 18, 2016 7:48 pm

Congrats on the successful hunt!

I can attest to the weather not being conducive to hunting in both the 2nd and 3rd season. We did have a system move through yesterday that put down a little snow and dropped the temp quite a bit.
It ain't the size of the gun but the placement of the bullet.

User avatar
TexasHunter83
2 point
2 point
Posts: 177
Joined: Sat Apr 06, 2013 12:30 pm
Location: Texas

Re: Personal Best Buck: 3rd Season Colorado

Postby TexasHunter83 » Sat Nov 19, 2016 7:01 am

ABert wrote:Congrats on the successful hunt!

I can attest to the weather not being conducive to hunting in both the 2nd and 3rd season. We did have a system move through yesterday that put down a little snow and dropped the temp quite a bit.


Thank you sir! Yeah, this is the second time I've been to Colorado (two years apart), and both times the temps have been warmer than expected; last time was a little colder than this year. I think the only thing that helped, was that the deer started rutting in our area around (on) Nov. 7 regardless of the weather. All of the hunters and campers we talked to hadn't seen a set of antlers until Monday (Nov. 7) morning. I feel bad for my Dad and several of our friends who had elk tags; they never saw one elk--and not for lack of trying. I'll be putting in for points with hopes of returning in a couple of years. I made the mistake of thinking that once I got a nice 4x4 muley, I'd move past it and move on to find an elk, but I think harvesting this buck made it worse; I'll likely be back hunting mule deer in CO in a couple of years...lol

User avatar
MuleyMadness
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 9992
Joined: Thu Oct 10, 2002 9:34 pm
Location: St. George, UT
Contact:

Re: Personal Best Buck: 3rd Season Colorado

Postby MuleyMadness » Sun Nov 20, 2016 9:10 am

Cool story, congrats on the cool buck. Looks and sounds slow but you obviously beat the odds. 10sign:

huntingal
Spike
Spike
Posts: 110
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2005 5:00 pm
Location: sw colorado

Re: Personal Best Buck: 3rd Season Colorado

Postby huntingal » Tue Nov 22, 2016 7:12 pm

Glad you had some success!

User avatar
fishcarver
Fawn
Fawn
Posts: 15
Joined: Tue Aug 24, 2010 8:34 am

Re: Personal Best Buck: 3rd Season Colorado

Postby fishcarver » Tue Nov 22, 2016 10:19 pm

Super huge congratulations. Thanks for your story. I know all to well on how hard it can be to hunt there but the reward is so sweet when it comes together. I can only imagine that area when the weather cooperates. Generally it's hot and dry. I always liked talking with those guys from Texas. Hopefully I can run into you one of these years

User avatar
TexasHunter83
2 point
2 point
Posts: 177
Joined: Sat Apr 06, 2013 12:30 pm
Location: Texas

Re: Personal Best Buck: 3rd Season Colorado

Postby TexasHunter83 » Thu Nov 24, 2016 9:47 pm

(MuleyMadness, huntingal, and fishcarver) Thank you all for the congratulations! Colorado is a beautiful place and I've enjoyed my hunting experiences there. fishcarver, both years I've gone I've experienced warmer, drier weather there. It makes the camping nice, but the hunting is a little more difficult. What saved me this time, was them starting to rut. I agree, It's always fun visiting from the hunters from other states. I've noticed everyone (up there at least) tends to be helpful and friendly to one another. Keep in touch and maybe we'll be there during the same season one day.


Return to “Mule Deer - General”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests