A near perfect father/son hunt (photos included)

Big Sky

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If one hunts enough, one has magic days in the field now and then. Saturday was such a day. My 13 year old son and I got off to a late start around 10:00am. I was a bit aggitated at the late departure and my hopes were not high. About 15 minutes out of town a 5x5 bull elk ran right up to us and crossed the hwy less than 50 yards away. While we both had elk tags and the season is open we had no idea who owned the land the bull was on so we just enjoyed the thrill of watching a wild bull elk. I turned to my son and mentioned, "hey maybe my luck's changing." He just said something about being my good luck charm. Finally we get to the ranch we had permission to hunt. Right off the bat we see a dozen muley does and a 2x3 buck. My son passed and we continued. I wanted to check out a draw that had been very good to me over the years and earlier this summer I had seen a very nice buck. We hadn't traveled very far up the draw when I spotted some deer. Bingo it was the very buck I had seen this summer. He was with 7 or 8 does and another fairly large 4x4 buck. I told Aaron I found his buck and we planned a stalk. We executed it perfectly and popped over the last hill after about a 1/2 mile hike. There were the does and a buck right in the middle. The sun was in our eyes and there was terrible glare off the snow. It was time to shoot or get off the pot. The deer had us spotted and were getting nervous. I told Aaron to shoot as soon as the buck stopped walking. I couldn't see his antler's clearly but thought it must be the buck we had seen because it was right where it was supposed to be. The range was a little over 200 yards. The buck stopped and Aaron hit him perfectly right through the heart. Upon impact of the bullet the I got a good look at the antlers and my heart sank. I realised he had shot the wrong buck. This was a fork horn with deep forks not the either of the larger 4x4's I had spotted earlier. He was very excited about his fine shooting and only slightly bummed about the smaller antlers. I was sick over making such a bad call, but excited for my son just the same and hid my own disappointment as to not take away from his momment. He was shooting a Remington Mt.Rifle LSS 7mm08 stoked with Hornady Light Magnum 139gr SST's. One shot and the buck only stumbled/fell downhill about 12 to 15 feet and it was lights out. It was a very good shot with about a 15 mph wind and wet snow drenching us as we lay prone for the shot. The little bugger did really well.


Here's a graphic photo of the heart and damage. I was impressed.


As we approached his buck my curiousity got to me and I had to know where those bigger bucks went. I peeked up over the hill behind my son's buck and witnessed one of the coolest sights I've ever seen while deer hunting. In front of me were all kinds of deer. I imagine there were close to 70 deer, and many of them bucks of all sizes. The big buck we were originally after was in a herd of about 40 deer now. There were two other bucks that were his equal, one was wider and heavier, but lacked tine length. The other was thinner but had good tines. There were also about 9 or 10 other smaller bucks with the herd. I initially passed on all of them and took care of the chore of getting my son's buck field dressed and drug out of the hills. After we got his buck loaded we drove to the top of the draw (actually it's more of a canyon.) On top I could see the three big bucks and decided to have a better look through my spotting scope. I mentioned to my son that one was a little better than I first thought. He said something about how cool it would be for both of us to kill bucks on the same day. The more I thought about it the more I agreed. I told him if the buck let me get close enough I might just be too tempted. Long story short. He let me get 60 yards away and.....well, let's just say I'm done :grin: The Remington AWR 300 WinMag did the job. No he's no record book buck, but he's a little too nice for me to walk away from at such a close distance and waaaaaaaaaay too good to pass up the memory of a great day with my son when we pulled a double.

My buck, that I had should of been my son's if I were a better guide. Oh well next year he'll know to trust his own eye's instead of the old man's.


It just doesn't get any better than this last photo. May many of you be so lucky to have such a great day afield with your children. I just hope your eyes are a little sharper than mine.


<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ 11-03-2003 06:59: Message edited by: Big Sky ]</font>
 

danr55

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Dec 18, 2000
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Mesa, AZ
Great photos.. as for the mix up.. Don't worry everyone knows that fathers shoot bigger bucks than their children. It's the way the world is designed..

 

MEATHEAD

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ATHENS,TN
Congrats to the both of you. We can't always make the right choice for our children but we try.

Great story and pics.
 

schmalts

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WI
Those are great deer and even better memories for the future. I cant wait till my boy is older so he can go with

Although i am a little offended by the picture of the vitals yuk!i would never take a picture like that


<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ 11-03-2003 09:54: Message edited by: schmalts ]</font>
 

Nemont

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Oct 22, 2003
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Glasgow, Montana
Congrats on the great day and great memories. I can't wait for my kids to be old enough to hunt with me. Also congrats on the bucks.
Nemont
 

mtmiller

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I got you on the other board BS, but congrats again.

Also welcome NEMont. Good to have another MT boy on the board. How is the deer hunting going? Weather has to be helping.
 

Big Sky

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North Central Montana
MtMiller, unbelievably the mule deer have already started rutting. I've never, ever, ever, seen it this early before. Normally I don't see any rutting activity until around the 12th of November. Pretty strange. The does are all bunched up and bucks are with them and not just the little guys either. I saw one buck dog a doe all over the country side. Makes me wonder what kind of winter we are in for out here.
 

Ridge Runner

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Sep 21, 2003
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Big Sky what else to say except that is what it is all about right there. Great pics, great deer , and a great day in Gods country with your best hunting partner your son. Way to go to the both of you.

Happy trails
 

1_pointer

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Indiana
Sky- I saw the same thing yesterday, a nice 3pt (no rear forks) was with 8 does and chasing one of them pretty hard. 'Twas up by Powder Mtn.
 

Calif. Hunter

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La Palma, CA, USA
Great story and a terrific memory for both of you. I don't think it gets any better than that. I hope to share a few days like that with my son in the future.

Congrats to both of you on bagging two fine bucks.
 

Nemont

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Oct 22, 2003
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Glasgow, Montana
MTMiller,
Hey thanks for the welcome. The mule deer hunting is really picking up. There are lots of mulies and MANY, MANY Whitetails in the river valley. I am just waiting for the right buck to come along. Plus the ducks and geese have just come in big numbers so I have been in the fields and in the duck blind rather than deer hunting. CAN'T WAIT FOR THE RUT.
Later Nemont
 

mtmiller

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Montana
Good to hear you are getting into the waterfowl. Obviously the ponds around here are closed up, so I need to get down to the river one of these days.

I just have an OTC whitey tag to fill, so I am having to live through you guys. Get a good one and post him here.

The dirtbags here are pretty good guys.
 

Nemont

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Oct 22, 2003
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Glasgow, Montana
BigSky,
I am from Glasgow. I see you are from Sidney. My moms grew up in Lambert and I still have family over there and in Sidney. I get over there a couple of times a year.
Again great story of you and your son.

MTMiller hope you get you doe. There are enough of them around. Did you live in Malta for a while?
Later
Nemont
 

mtmiller

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Yeh, I lived in Malta until the July 2002, then moved to Havre. Just my luck, I drew 652 right after I left that part of the country. I lived on Bowdoin NWR for about 3 years, which was awesome and the hunting rocked.
 

Nemont

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Oct 22, 2003
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Glasgow, Montana
My neice's and nephews worked at Bowdoin during the summers doing bird counts. They didn't like counting pelicans. Anyway I am orginally from Dodson and My wife is from Whitewater. Loved Phillips County just couldn't make a living there.
Nemont
 
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