by Gary Adkins
The buck on the right was taken by Scott Hueth on monday morning of our hunt. The buck is a 25″x24″ six by four that grosses 188 typical. The buck on the left was taken by Ron Adkins on wednsday morning of our hunt. The buck is a 30″x26″ seven by seven that grosses 203 typical, but with 16″ in deductions will keep him from B&C book.
Scott and Ron had seen the larger buck late Sunday evening just after legal hours, so the next morning they were up the hill early trying to catch him going to a bedding area. Just as the sun peeked over a ridge to the east on a clear but cold morning, they spotted the big fella on the opposite hillside working his way up to a cedar bench. The rangefinder showed him to be about 425, so they just watched him goofing around with a few does and smaller bucks. It seemed the rut was starting to take the edge off the bigger bucks, so they decided to be patient and just watch him.
Just a few minutes later, movement and noise caught their attention on the same hillside they were glassing from, and they immediately spotted a good buck working his way uphill through cedars and boulders towards a different bench. After a few moments of looking at the buck, Scott decided he would take him as he appeared to be a dandy. Scotts Remington 700, .270 caliber put the buck down at 244 yards, the Hornady 140 grain boatail doing it’s job.
Scott and Ron made their way uphill to the deer, the entire time watching the big fella across the canyon. The larger buck seemed concerned with the noise but did not leave his favorite cedar bench and the does that hung there. As the rut approaches, the only real chink in a monster public land muley’s armor is exposed, but they are still far from stupid.
After photos and dressing Scott’s buck, we were back at camp skinning and caping and reliving the morning’s adventure with high hopes of seeing the bigger buck that evening. Ron had watched where the muley had made his way up a steep, rough draw and he would be waiting for the buck that evening as he followed the does down to a feeding area in the creekbottoms.
That evening, the does, several smaller bucks and the big guy made there way down the draw, but as usually happens the big buck hung back just enough to not offer a solid shot. Ron had him once at 305 yards broadside, but just did not feel comfortable enough with the shot and passed as light faded.
The next day was uneventful as the buck was not spotted, however the does and smaller bucks were in the same area and since we did not feel Ron had spooked the buck, they planned to glass the next morning from Mondays vantage point.
As often happens when patience and perseverance is showed, they found the big buck the next morning at daybreak as he started to follow several does up the same hill where Scott had shot his thumper buck two days earlier. Ron worked his way closer to where he thought the buck would show, then just like that he appeared on a rocky covered hogback at 263 yards. Ron quickly found a solid prone rest and anchored the monster with one 140 grain Hornady from his Winchester 270. As Ron got closer, he knew ground shrinkage would not be an issue as he was bigger than the 195″ we had guessed earlier.
Ron and Scott worked for and did everything right to take these bucks and earned them in every respect. To take a pair of bucks as these two on public land within 500 yards of each other is something we will never forget.
Even though I had ruptered my achilles tendon 3 weeks earlier and was in a cast, I had a great time and managed to hobble and crutch my way to a decent 4×3. Scott’s dad took a buck the first morning that filled four of five tags, But my brothers buck stands as the best we have taken to date and we can only dream of what is still out there in that rough but beautiful country.