Friday found us heading to a drainage that I had seen 4 bulls in only the day before. On Thursday I had seen a real big lone bull in there in the morning but lost him in one of the many finger coulees that came off the main canyon. Then at sunset I watched as three bulls fed out of the timber for the night so our plan was to be in a position by the time evening arrived to be in a position to strike. I had spent quite a bit of time scouting this drainage throughout the summer and knew of a couple bucks that would be worth going after if the opportunity presented itself and spent about an hour on Thursday watching a buck that was a potential shooter but I ultimately decided he needs to find a few does over the coming weeks.Great storytelling. Excited to hear about Schaffs deer.
We spent the morning checking fingers for anything that had bedded down in the cedar and juniper mazes that filled the drainage. Finally we sat down beneath a sandstone ledge for a lunch break and a reprieve from the brutal wind. About 30 minutes into our sit @Ben Lamb mentioned he had seen a deer feed down into the timber in a finger about 1000 yards directly across from us. I fixed the spotter on the area for about 10 minutes until a fork horned buck came out into the open.
Several minutes later I still had my right eye planted into the eyepiece when I watched this buck come waltzing out of the timber. He immediately found himself a bed on the leeward side of a cedar tree with the drainage open in front of him. I handed the spotter to Ben and within about 15 seconds he was half yelling, "You need to go shoot that buck."
I gathered the essentials and left the spotter with Ben to watch. I had 1000 yards to cover with a buck bedded and a strong wind that was almost entirely in my face. I bombed off the face we were sitting on and began navigating my way through cedar trees. I had picked out a knob that I thought would get me within 200 yards of him that would still keep him from smelling me. Within about 15 minutes I had dropped through the canyon and was heading back up the other side ready to crest the hill and find him again. I reached the crest and found him still in his bed facing to my right. There was a 4 strand barbed wire fence in front of me that I was certain was going to deflect a bullet. While crawling to the fence to make sure that wasn't going to be the case the buck snapped his head right and had me pinned.
I had the rifle up immediately and sent a 168 Berger into his brisket at 120 yards. No wonder he immediately saw me.
He wasn't the buck I had been watching in there in the summer but he is a buck that I am damn happy with and one that I feel I would have a hard time passing on any year.