Youngest boy does it again

Youngest boy does it again

This is a discussion on Youngest boy does it again within the Big Game forums, part of the Hunting, Fishing & Outdoors category; Yes, another long hunting story....learn to love them as I do lol. My youngest boy Austin's mule deer season kicked off on the 1st. We ...

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    Super Moderator Bullbuster's Avatar
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    Youngest boy does it again

    Yes, another long hunting story....learn to love them as I do lol.

    My youngest boy Austin's mule deer season kicked off on the 1st. We went Friday night to scout an area I'd seen good deer in last fall and really wanted to hunt. 5 minutes into getting to where we wanted to go we saw 12 doe and fawns and we watched them until dark.

    Went back Saturday and were set up before shooting light at the head of the canyon with a pond below us and aspens to our left and some across from us on the next ridge. About 20 min after sun rise I spotted the first deer, a forked horn buck, about 600y away atop the ridge. A few minutes later I spotted another buck, a spike just below him. We watched them for a bit and I spotted a crab claw 4x4 come from outta the aspens some 500y away. Feeling good about the days hunt my son said he wanted to wait and see if anything bigger would show so he passed on the 4x4. After an hour or so of watching the 3 bucks mill around and feed we spotted the same group of 12 does/ fawns from the night before several hundred yards further down the ridgeline.

    Public land being what it is and this area heavily hunted by out of state hunters I wasn't surprised to hear quads and UTV around. I heard a quad behind us and looked to see one pull up about 200y on the ridge behind us. I waved my orange hat to show we were sitting down blow him and he waved back. He then stands on top of his quad for 20 minutes glassing the hillside completely skylined as well, I was just a tad ticked but again its public land. The deer had all moved on now and we were just relaxing when I see 2 guys atop the ridge across from us. I assumed they saw us but that wasn't the case. They split up and each sat atop a different point on the ridge. Assuming our hunting was a bust we packed up and decided to hike out the end of the canyon and scout out the upper flats and neighboring canyon. On our way out we saw another doe and fawn run out of the canyon, I assumed spooked by another hunter.

    We went to another area later on that evening where I'd seen lots of deer in the past during the evening and the biggest mule deer I'd ever seen in WY. We only saw a single doe, yet again other hunters all over the place. Having a full moon and clear skies day in and day out plus the mass amounts of hunters has most game moving at night right now I'm assuming unless pushed.

    Went back yesterday morning and set up in the same spot. Yet again, just after sunrise, had another UTV pull up on the ridge behind us and 2 hunters started glassing the ridge, gotta love public land. I flashed my headlamp at them and they waved at us indicating they saw it and moved on, finally a courteous group of hunters. Not long after here comes the same guy on the quad from Saturday and yet again he stands on his quad and glasses totally skylined knowing full well we were right below him. About that time I turn my attention back across the ridge and saw 4 bucks had come out of the aspens into a secluded clearing. Through the spotter I see 2 spikes, a forked horn and a crab claw 3x3. I ranged them at 465y. My son said he wanted to make a stalk and get a closer look and maybe try for the 3x3. I looked back and saw the guy on the quad looking at them and I was praying to God he wasn't going to shoot at them from over our heads. My son said that it was too far of a shot and wanted to get closer so we left everything behind except the video camera and tri-pod and took off down the hill. At 300y out we couldn't get a good set up and shot angle so we tried to get closer. At 200y the view was blocked by the aspens. I told my son we'd have to get even closer so we moved across the flat and started up the other side towards the aspens and clearing. I looked back at the opposite ridge to see where they guy was at and the quad was gone but saw another rig sitting further over and 2 hunters were running down the ridge and I assumed in our direction towards the same bucks. I told my son we needed to hurry as I thought those other hunters were coming and gonna blow the stalk. We continued to work our way up the hill and along the aspens to get a better shooting position. The sage brush and grasses were so tall that the bipod on the gun was useless. I had to take the video camera off the tripod and my son had to use it as a rest just to get up an over the sage brush. We got to about 100y before we could even see the deer again but every time we set up the deer would move and we lost the shot so we slowing worked our way closer and closer up the hill. Finally we got onto semi level ground as them but couldn't get any closer and now only 3 bucks were visible. Not knowing where the 4th, a spike, was I was afraid he'd see us and bolt taking the others with him. Who would have thought sage brush could be so tall and hide deer so well. Using my bino's I could see that the 3x3 was clearly the biggest racked and by far the biggest bodied of the 3. The forked horned wasn't too shabby in mass and fork size. Wouldn't you know it the 3x3 stayed in between the other 2 and while we were left standing next to a dead tree at 48y with no shot. The wind was in our face, we were slightly down hill, in the shade and the sun at our back so we had a good setup to wait them out. For several minutes one of the smaller bucks would feed away while the other stayed either in front or behind the bigger one, a leap frog effect. My son and I are shaking like leaves in the wind thinking at any moment they will see us and take off running. We heard a crash from the trees to our left and down the hill. I was thinking I was those other hunters and they'd be somewhat upwind as well if they came in on us. I told my son that if this was the buck he wanted then shoot when he had the chance. He said he wanted to take him so the green light was on. About then all 3 bucks looked right at us as if they heard us whispering. They couldn't figure out what we were but new we didn't belong that close. The 2 smaller bucks moved a few yards uphill leaving the bigger one alone but looking head on at us. Finally he's clear for a shot but my sons not taking a chest or neck shot even at 48y. It's something he's never practiced but something we certainly talked about later on in the day and will practice. The 3x3 then turned perfectly broadside and stepped forward however it was behind some sage with his vitals covered. By now I'm at my whit's end in adrenaline, fatigue from being partly bent over and semi squatted down behind my son and those almost shot opportunities. My sons shaking the ground at this point as well. For nearly 10 minutes we've been hunched over still as statues waiting for that one moment to come. FINALY the buck steps forward and my son fires. The buck jerks and bounds up the hill with the other 2. My son drops to the ground with gun in hand and starts to cry. I figured it was out of excitement but no, I asked what's wrong and he says his legs were so cramped and numb he couldn't feel them anymore and that he did everything he could to just keep himself up. Said that he probably would have fallen any moment anyway. Any bow hunter holding at full draw for any length of time knows that feeling. We hugged and high fived while we both sat and recovered. We then heard some yelling from across the canyon and I looked back across with my bino's and see 2 guys standing on the ridge watching us with bino's. We get up and go look for blood. We shockingly found little bits of blood and followed it though a small patch of trees and a shallow ditch about 50y where he piled up in the next clearing. More hugs and high fives followed. This was also the first animal my son shot that didn't fall within sight so he got to blood trial his first deer. I then left and went back across the canyon to get our gear to start the fun part.

    To be continued.......
    kwaynem, BobbyV, Kicker and 3 others like this.
    Steve Petersen--Correctional Peace Officer, Owner-Bullbuster Taxidermy, Retired Military AD1(AW) USN (ACT) 12/07/1997-10/02/2011, TSgt USAFR 10/03/2011—01/07/2018, Master Hunter and uncontested owner of the first deer killed off the Grady County WMA-2011 (Verified by Rex Umber WMA biologist) Kids who hunt and fish, don't steal and deal

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    Super Moderator Bullbuster's Avatar
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    While gathering up our stuff I'd heard a vehicle and looked back to where my son was and saw those same 2 guys standing above my son on the ridge top. By time I got back to my son the 2 guys were down talking to him and looking at his buck. I saw them give him several high fives and hand shakes in congratulations. When I arrived back they introduced themselves as Aaron and Del and said they had watched the entire stalk and just wanted to come give congrats to us. After talking for a bit it turns out Aaron is from Ohio and Del is from West Virginia and these were the same 2 guys from the day before that set up across from us on the ridge. They had no idea we were set up where we were until we packed up and started to leave or they would have gone somewhere else. They were also the same 2 I'd shined my light at that morning. It was also them that I saw running down the hill. They had also seen the bucks and were going to make a play on them but stopped when they saw that we already had. We make chit chat while I field dressed the buck. Turns out Aaron used to live in OKC and worked at Quad Graphics for several years. He even lived 2 streets over from where I lived. Talk about a small world. They were both Pro Staffers for The Elite Outdoors group and even had shows on the sportsman channel. Del had even written several songs for a few other hunting shows opening tunes.

    My back was is horrible pain by now and it took all I had to be hunched over field dressing the buck. My son clearly saw I was in pain and even made a comment about it as he was holding the legs and such for me. Del asked if I'd hurt my back and my son said I'd broken it. Well I explained what happened and how I had the compression fracture of my T6 and separated cartilage of the #6/7 ribs at the spine. Sounding like my nagging wife they asked why the heck I was even out here. I said tags need to be filled and I had no one else to take him. My pain was his gain. They both then asked how we planned to get the deer out of here and where we were parked. It was my intent to drag it to the bottom, quarter it and hike it the mile or so back to the truck. They offered to drag it the 100y or so up to the top of the ridge load it into there Polaris and drive us to my truck. Say what??!!! They just became angels in orange to me!!! I said we couldn't drive to my truck but I'd be grateful if they could drop us off at the far point and we'd drag it he last 1/4 mile or so down to the truck. These 2 guys gave it all they had to drag this deer up the hill through the brush to help us out. If you've never drug a deer through knee to waist high sage brush you've never lived, 100% sarcasm inserted.

    Finally up top we take a few pics together and we loaded up and they drove us to where we needed to go. After unloading we swapped contact info, shook hands, some high fives to my son and a dozen more thank you's from me we parted ways. The drag back down was not easy nor was it any fun. I really thought about just stopping and quartering it and doing it that way. I was in no mood for anymore of it and just wanted it to be over. We made it an old 2-track and my son drug it himself while I went for the truck. It was 3 after the shot before we got the deer loaded into my truck. Had these guys not volunteered to help it would have easily been another hour or two longer in quartering and packing it out ourselves. I thank God they were there as our angels in orange. They certainly added to an already memorable hunt and who knows maybe even some life long friends and connections for us. I almost couldn't even get outta bed this morning and its hard to even move around. This is one hunt we shall never forget and will feel for awhile to come.

    The End........
    Steve Petersen--Correctional Peace Officer, Owner-Bullbuster Taxidermy, Retired Military AD1(AW) USN (ACT) 12/07/1997-10/02/2011, TSgt USAFR 10/03/2011—01/07/2018, Master Hunter and uncontested owner of the first deer killed off the Grady County WMA-2011 (Verified by Rex Umber WMA biologist) Kids who hunt and fish, don't steal and deal

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    Super Moderator Bullbuster's Avatar
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    Now for the pics lol

    Our view from Saturday’s evening hunt.
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    Our view from morning hunt location
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    The happy hunter and his prize
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    My son along with the two guys who helped us out Aaron (left) and Del (right)
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    okbob, BobbyV, kwaynem and 5 others like this.
    Steve Petersen--Correctional Peace Officer, Owner-Bullbuster Taxidermy, Retired Military AD1(AW) USN (ACT) 12/07/1997-10/02/2011, TSgt USAFR 10/03/2011—01/07/2018, Master Hunter and uncontested owner of the first deer killed off the Grady County WMA-2011 (Verified by Rex Umber WMA biologist) Kids who hunt and fish, don't steal and deal

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    Super Moderator Bullbuster's Avatar
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    More pics...

    If you’re able to zoom in and can see the tree on the right. You can see my silver truck behind that upper left branch way down in the bottom.
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    The long drag out.
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    BobbyV, baby, kwaynem and 3 others like this.
    Steve Petersen--Correctional Peace Officer, Owner-Bullbuster Taxidermy, Retired Military AD1(AW) USN (ACT) 12/07/1997-10/02/2011, TSgt USAFR 10/03/2011—01/07/2018, Master Hunter and uncontested owner of the first deer killed off the Grady County WMA-2011 (Verified by Rex Umber WMA biologist) Kids who hunt and fish, don't steal and deal

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    Super Moderator Bullbuster's Avatar
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    Wow no clue why some of the pics are sideways and some aren't. Must have been something with the resizing when loading them.
    murphranch likes this.
    Steve Petersen--Correctional Peace Officer, Owner-Bullbuster Taxidermy, Retired Military AD1(AW) USN (ACT) 12/07/1997-10/02/2011, TSgt USAFR 10/03/2011—01/07/2018, Master Hunter and uncontested owner of the first deer killed off the Grady County WMA-2011 (Verified by Rex Umber WMA biologist) Kids who hunt and fish, don't steal and deal

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    Congrats to both buddy
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    Congrats to both of you! Great write up! It's nice to be able to read about y'alls hunts while stuck out here.
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    Way to get it done!
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    Master Hunter Archer22's Avatar
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    Congrats!
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    Master Hunter okbob's Avatar
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    Awesome congrats!
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