2023 Muley & Cow Recap (Ongoing)

enbhunts

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Hubby & Wifey team at it again!


We've each got a buck tag and she also has a cow tag.

We've had almost zero time to scout for this season...so we were sort of going in blind. I've hunted the unit once before as has a buddy of mine

Lots of ecouting.

WEDNESDAY:

Opening morning in the middle of the week is one of my favorites. Especially with this being an OTC unit (we'll see how much longer that will last) it's nice to not have a ton of folks running around in the hills at the same time.

Our opening morning plan was just to get to some glassing points and see what we could see.

Which wasn't much...lots of pretty country, no deer or elk. Good day though!

THURSDAY:

We get out a bit late in the a.m. I wasn't feeling super well and my wife was gracious and helpful to get me out this day.

We get to another glassing ridge at about 11 a.m.
You can see the ridge directly in front of us, up to about 1000 yards.

The ridges to the north and south, are about 600 yards and 400 yards out respectively.

After about an hour of glassing, my wife spots some deer on the north ridge, about 580 yards away. 6 does, no bucks. But we found does! That's all we've gotta do is stick with them and hopefully a buck will show up.

We stay on them for about 30 minutes until they eventually head into an aspen patch.

About 20 minutes later, about 1500 yards away and about 2000 ft higher than us, my wife spots 3 cows feeding into the open. We watch for about 20 minutes while they feed out of our sight.

We debated on whether to make a move on them but decided against due to not k owing where they were going to end up.

After a couple hours of glassing with no action, it really starts to pick up at about 3:30, as does the wind and cold. Storm blowing in so we hunkered down next to the fore and watched the group of does move out of the aspen patch at about 500 yards this time.

As I'm watching them, my wife turns and glasses the south ridge.

"Big cow!" She says

We take a longer look at the animal and it turns out to be a huuuuge bodied buck at about 400 yards. Super dark in color and huge body.

My wife starts to get into position and the buck moves out of sight.

We are trying to keep tabs on both groups of deer to our north and south, when my wife goes behind us to check the ridge to our southwest.

The buck had moved down the ridge with some does, chasing and tending to them. She got into position again but he never presented a good shot.

As we're walking out now at dusk we feel good for Friday (today)

We make a plan to get onto the ridge to our south since there is a big saddle and lots of feed, and that's the ridge with the bucks so here we go!

Pics from Wednesday and Thursday:20231123_130156.jpg20231123_163711.jpg20231123_130146.jpg
FRIDAY:

We get up to the trailhead 20 min before shooting light. We start hiking in, we have to drop into a drainage and climb up the other side to reach the saddle.

There used to be access up the other side of the drainage, but it's private now so this is the way 😅

We get to the saddle after crossing the creek and climbing.

Not two minutes into glassing do we both say at the same time, "three does"

We glass a little longer. Finally, here comes a deer, head low to the ground. Checking a doe.

Big bodied buck.

Can't really tell on the rack size but think he's at least a 3x3, maybe a 4x3.

My wife gets her pack off and ranges, 255, I get 260.

I move 20 yards to the left because we forgot our dogs ear protection (again) and don't wanna blow his ears out.

The buck at this point is just moving slowly through the Sage. He stops Finally and my wife shoots.

Boom! Thwack!

I see the buck kind of hunch over and start trotting a bit.

Boom! Thwack!

He's still not down but he's absolutely hit and hit hard.

He gets to a small rise and goes over. Out of sight.

"How'd the shot feel?"

"Good!" My wife says.

We get to where he was standing and find blood everywhere. I've never seen so much blood sprayed before. We're feeling pretty confident.

10 minutes later, my wife calls me over excitedly and says
"I got my first buck!!!"

She ended up hitting the heart...TWICE. Two bullet holes side by side. These animals are something else, man. To be able to hobble away for 30 yards after being hit like that...dang. I've only ever seen this once before on my first bull when I was 13. I hit him in the heart and he ran for 70 hards🤷‍♂️IMG-20231124-WA0026.jpg

Awesome experience. Beautiful wife, great deer, and views for days. Lightly snowing and a fire while we break him down.

Great day. Still got a buck tag for me and a cow tag for my wife. Will update later.20231124_115919.jpg

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SATURDAY:

We got around 9 inches of snow overnight.

I wasn't super worried about the roads and I should have been. We couldn't make it up to the spot we wanted to hunt due to a steep incline and sliding into a rut and almost into a private land fence 😑 oh well. We tried. Our morning hunt was off a bit so we decided to just drive some of the lower roads amd glassing points.

Turned up around 25 does, a spike and a forky. All of em on private.

We then headed south on the hwy to another drainage we had wanted to check out about 10 miles away. We get up there and don't find anything after glassing some awesome area for a little over an hour.

My wife asks, "What does your gut say we should do?"


"Go back to the area with all the does and hope a buck cruises by on public" I say

"OK, let's go" She says.

45 minutes later we're back turning off the hwy and into the little section of BLM in between a private ranch and another private property across the road from it.

Barely 200 yards off the hwy, I turn and look out my wife's window and "buck, right there"

We pull further up the road and I get put and get off the road.

The buck knows something is up, and is acting fidgety.

I calm my breathing, get the reticle on him, breath, let out half my breath, hold for 2 sec...

BOOM, THWACK!!!

I see him roll down the hill kicking and die 10 yards from where I shot him.

So so happy at this point, because our morning hunt was derailed, and we still came out with a nice buck, and my gut was right to come back here.

Still have my wife's cow tag tomorrow. For now here's some pics of the day:
IMG-20231125-WA0018.jpg20231125_170321.jpg20231125_144140.jpgIMG-20231125-WA0036.jpgIMG-20231125-WA0038.jpg
 
Congrats on your deer. Hope your wife can connect on a cow. Really enjoy the pics and following along with your write up
 
SUNDAY:

We had only a couple hours to hunt this morning, due to family coming into town.

Beautiful morning, super cold and crisp, saw 2 mule deer does, 8 antelope does, and one antelope buck.

All in all, a great season! Got to experience another season with my wife, which has meant the world to me. I continue to be impressed each day with her commitment to being the best hunter she can be.

Lots of venison steaks and elk burger for the winter ahead!20231125_175800.jpgThe tenders off my wifes buck, with sea salt, pepper, and oregano. 20231124_184632.jpg
 
Great job, and looks to have been an amazing time.
It was awesome! Definitely saw bigger bucks than what we ultimately ended up shooting, but couldn't get good shots on those big ones ultimately
 
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