by Michael Colton
The people present for this years hunt were my Dad (Doug) a long time family friend Chris, our cousin Jim, my brother Doug and myself. On opening morning Jim my brother Doug and myself decided to hunt an area where my brother, during the summer had found a buck that would push the elusive 30″ mark with double drop tines, my dream buck. We split up and went in three different directions hoping one of us would find the big boy. I had been walking for about 10 minutes when I saw something that looked out of place standing in some mahogany, while I was trying to get a better view it decided it didn’t want to hang around any longer and took off. I never saw what it was, but the sound of it taking off I knew it was big and I couldn’t help but feel like I may have just missed my opportunity at the buck of my dreams, I guess I will never know since I never found that deer again. Later in the morning while sneaking across the top of the mountain I saw 4 bucks bedded down there were 3 3×3’s about 18-20 inches wide and one 4×4 around 24-26 inches wide, heavy with nice height. I debated long and hard as to whether I was going to shoot him but that double drop tine buck stuck hard in my mind. I finally put my gun in my lap and watched through my binoculars as they looked nervously at me about 40 yards away, they finally got up and took off down the hill.
Later in the day we all decided to make a drive through a small area that always, without fail produces a buck, Jim connected on a nice 3×3 and I passed on another 3×3. That evening I passed on another 3 pt and saw the antler tips of a buck that appeared to be very large, unfortunately he was going at about mach 3 and I never got a clear look.
The next day my brother went to a different area not far from where we were opening morning, while Jim and I went back to the area I saw the 4 bucks. It was very uneventful for me but my brother had jumped a 4×4 that he said would go 30 inches but he couldn’t get off a shot.
Jim had to leave that night so the next morning Doug asked me if I wanted to go with him back to the area he had jumped the big buck, I said sure so away we went. I was feeling some serious anxiety for passing on that buck opening morning, but I kept saying I will know the buck I want when I see it and I won’t hesitate. We walked down into some fingers and Doug pointed out where he was and where the buck went, he said he would go to the right in the direction the buck ran when it was jumped and I would go in the direction he had jumped it so if the same thing occurred he would be there. I had been walking for about 20 min when I came to a small knob as I walked to edge I saw a deer sneaking along with it’s head down. It was only about 20 yards in front of me and it had no idea I was there, it’s head was behind some brush so I didn’t know what it was, I calmly brought my gun to my shoulder and waited for it to step out, when it did I saw how tall he was and knew he was good enough. At the shot he stumbled and went down the hill a bit (I still didn’t know how wide he was) I waited for a minute then went down to where I saw him go, as I came around some buck brush I saw him laying there looking at me and that’s when I saw how wide he was and I was calm no longer. I put a finish shot in him and then just looked up and thanked God. He measured 31 1/2 inches wide and 19 1/2 inches high.
The next day in almost the same spot while Dad, Chris and myself were pushing for Doug he saw what he thought to be the double drop tine. It was just a little far out for a shot, while he was figuring out a way to get closer another buck which was bigger than mine came running up saw him and took off, he got a shot off but unfortunately missed.
To make a long story short (too late, I know) Doug ended up getting a nice 3×3, Dad got a nice 3×3 and Chris got a 3 x fork with amazing height. We all tagged out and had an incredible time, what a hunt, can’t wait till we draw tags again! I would like to thank my brother for taking me to his spot and my Dad for taking my brother and me hunting since we were able to walk. Hunting is a huge part of our families lives and next year I get to take my daughter on her first mule deer hunt, hopefully you will get to read about it next year.