2013 Muzzy Deer

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derekp1999
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2013 Muzzy Deer

Postby derekp1999 » Sat Sep 28, 2013 8:49 pm

This has to be the year… doesn’t it? The last time I cut notches out of a tag was 2010, so perhaps I’m due, right? After coming oh, so close last year… maybe? Definitely, maybe…
I hit the range one week prior to opening day and made a rookie mistake by adjusting my iron sights the wrong direction. I got frustrated as I burned through my stock of bullets. Ultimately, I just gave up. I had long been considering stepping up to a 300 grain bullet since I have aspirations of drawing a muzzleloader elk tag… so since I was going to have to start over & re-sight my gun in anyway, I guess you could say I took advantage of the situation and made a change from the 250gr Hornady SST to the 300gr Hornady HP-XTP Mag. I was excited to see how they may perform.
Cody & I got to the cabin at about 4pm and ran to a nearby canyon to do some shooting. I was able to get my gun sighted in again but still had some reservations at longer distances. My dad, Darren, and his 6 year old son arrived right about 7pm & my uncle arrived about 30 minutes after that. We settled in and made plans for the morning talking the whole time about the weather forecast (windy, cold, and snow). Six hunters with six tags to try and fill.
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Cody & I jumped in my truck opening morning and headed for the bowl I hunted last year (“Plan A”). There was a truck parked at the mouth of the bowl, so we continued up the road to hike into the bowl Cody & I had hunted during the muzzleloader elk hunt last Nov. As we drove through a meadow near a small lake I spotted a couple does… then a couple more… six total. Then a small 2 point buck. I stopped the truck and we looked him over and chuckled that it’d be about a 20 yard shot. It felt like we were stopped for a couple minutes (probably just a couple seconds) but the buck fed, head down, leisurely the whole time. I finally decided he was just begging to be shot… everything was so ideal that I couldn’t pass it up. I jumped out, threw a primer in, took a quick rest, and pulled the trigger. He dropped where he stood. I’ll praise my new choice of bullets! Cody & I ran over and grabbed him… still kicking… and threw him in the back of the truck. Since we were right on the road, we took him to a more secluded area to get him cleaned up. From the time I got out of the truck to when we were moving again with the buck in the back probably only took three minutes. We had him hanging in the basement of the cabin (a.k.a. ‘The Meatlocker”) and back out hiking by 8:30am. I’d spent the last 2 years hiking my guts out, and I was hoping to do the same this year… but something inside me told me to shoot this buck. I’m pleased, he’ll be tasty… and I guess it was my year after all! As you can see I still had sleep on my face:
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In the afternoon, Grandpa, Dad, Darren, and my uncle were watching a nice 4 point but couldn’t get a clear shot because he was with a bunch of does. Darren said, “They went zebra on us!” They just could never tell which one he was… they’d pick him out then the little herd would shift around and they’d have to relocate him. My uncle had a clear shot at a little 2 point hanging back from the group and my dad applied a healthy dose a peer pressure to get him to pull the trigger. They took the little buck back to “The Meatlocker.”
Cody and I spent the afternoon sitting in the bowl I call “Plan A” and sat through several waves of pretty intense snow and wind. When the weather would clear, we were able to spot a couple bucks, but nothing that we would want to drag out of there. We were cold & wet, so we decided to drive around and warm up for the last hour or so. ImageImage
Cody shot his buck right at last light as we were heading back to the cabin for the night. We saw four other small bucks and about 30 does in the areas too close to the cabins to be shot legally before we finally found one in an area we could shoot. He was hoping to fill his tag quickly so that he could return home to be with his father who had just undergone reconstructive plastic surgery following melanoma cancer removal just above his eye. I could tell he was relieved to have filled his tag, and I was happy that he would be able to return home a day or two early to be with his family. Since it was nearly dark, we threw the little buck in the back of the truck & cleaned him up at the lot we own now known as “The Cleaning Station.”
Opening day closed with 3 bucks hanging in “The Meatlocker.”
Thursday morning Cody & I butchered the three bucks taken the day before. He was ready to head for home, so I took him out through the gates and sent him on his way. When I returned to the cabin I found that Grandpa had shot another little 2 point and Darren had taken a shot at a bigger buck in nearly the exact spot where he shot his 3x4 last year. Grandpa made an amazing shot, the two bucks were together & Darren shot first. The smaller buck took off running to the edge of the clearing but for some unknown reason it turned and ran full tilt back across the clearing. Gramps piled up the little buck with a clean shot to the neck. They looked for any indication of Darren hitting the bigger buck but didn’t turn up any sign. Darren was pretty upset about the whole thing, he was insistent that he’d hit it but lack of evidence said otherwise... sounded like a case of good ol' Buck Fever to me. I had an idea how he was feeling because of hitting & losing a buck last year. I also knew exactly what he didn’t want me to say… so I didn’t say anything at all & we watched Taladega Nights with Will Farrell for a little comedic relief.
Day two ended with another buck hanging… 4 of 6!
Because of Darren’s persistence, we had designs of going and giving it one more try to turn up any evidence of a hit on that buck but overnight snow made it difficult to find any sign. We walked around looking for a body for a couple hours before we got too wet & cold to continue on. We piled back in the truck and did our best to convincedhim that it was a miss. Heading back to the cabin we crossed paths with a group of three small bucks. Darren made a very tough shot on a buck that was quartering away and steeply uphill. The buck actually turned and ran downhill towards us before piling up. I could tell that redemption was sweet for him. One of the first things I do on a buck is look for an entry & exit wound… I love finding bullets, and Darren’s bullet just happened to be a small bump under the skin of the opposite shoulder. I performed a quick "deer-topsy," dug the bullet out, and cleaned the bullet off. I showed it to my nephew and he was fascinated with the little pieces of bone lodged within the lead core (I'll admit... I was too!).Image
Day three ended with our fifth buck hanging, bringing us to 83% success for my group... check out "the meatlocker":Image
My dad was the only one left with a tag, and he was bound and determined to NOT pull the trigger. My uncle was chomping at the bit to return the favor and throw some peer pressure his direction… but to no avail and to my dad’s pleasure his hunt ended with an unfilled tag and without firing a shot.
I guess five out of six isn’t bad (left to right: mine, my uncle's, Cody's, Darren's, Grandpa's).Image
I can't wait to see how we try & top this next year!
Last edited by derekp1999 on Mon Nov 25, 2013 2:03 pm, edited 2 times in total.
“The consequences of our actions are always so complicated, so diverse, that predicting the future is a very difficult business indeed.”
-Albus Dumbledore

archerycrazy
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Re: 2013 Muzzy Deer

Postby archerycrazy » Sat Sep 28, 2013 10:03 pm

That sounds like a great time had by all. Congrats!

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Springville Shooter
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Re: 2013 Muzzy Deer

Postby Springville Shooter » Sat Sep 28, 2013 10:10 pm

Great post and obviously a great time!!! I enjoyed the parts where you mentioned peer pressure.....I know exactly what you're talking about. It's easy to get caught up in inches and trophies, but hunting is supposed to be just what you had FUN!!! Congrats.------SS
"Only accurate rifles are interesting"-----Col. Townsend Whelen

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derekp1999
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Re: 2013 Muzzy Deer

Postby derekp1999 » Fri Oct 04, 2013 1:05 pm

I had the "privilege" of butchering four of the five deer. Interesting how 4 deer, although small anyway, could be reduced to three grocery bags in my freezer! 25 packages of steaks, 16 roasts, and a bunch of "scraps" that are destined for jerky, sausage, and burger.
“The consequences of our actions are always so complicated, so diverse, that predicting the future is a very difficult business indeed.”
-Albus Dumbledore


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