Excellent job , he’s pretty fat for sure.Back in early June my card got hit for an early deer tag out in CO. The earlier season deer tags out west are so much fun to me. It’s just starting to get cool/cold, the leaves are changing and you can tell hunting season is here. This year I applied for this tag because a friend recommended a specific basin in a specific unit. This friend lived in CO for 25, but now lives in NC. He showed me all his old maps and told me I would have a great hunt. He was right. One of the really cool things about this hunt was my wife decided to come with me. This would be her first western hunting experience.
I left for CO on Thursday. The plan was I would pick up Kaitlin at the airport in Denver on Friday at around 6pm because she couldn't leave as early as I could. We headed out of Denver and drove for 3 hours into the mountains. We stayed at a hotel Friday night before heading the rest of the way up into the unit. On our drive in Saturday we saw a beautiful cinnamon black bear right beside the road. We got some great pics from 5' away. We finished our drive to the trail head and started our hike into the basin around 12pm. We took our time. About 3 miles in we saw a nice legal bull. A mile later I glassed up a mountain goat (we named him Billy, lol). It was alot of fun getting to point out all the different animals to my wife. That evening from camp we glassed a sow and a cub, a couple bulls and we watched Billy some more.
Over the next 3 days we took an inventory of animals. We had a huge cinnamon boar that we watched every day (I should have bought a tag) along with bulls and bucks. I found a glassing knob that took about 2 hours to hike to up some incredibly steep terrain. On Sunday evening I glassed 3 bucks 1100yds away across the basin. The 3 bucks were a 120" velvet 4x4, a 130" hard horn 3x3 and a big 150" chocolate horned 4x4. We bombed off the mountain trying to get into position for a shot. It was really steep. Finally, we got to an area where I knew I could make the shot. Right as I got set up the bucks disappeared over the ridge into the timber headed for the next avalanche chute. We didn't have enough light to chase them any more that day.
The next morning was filled with bears and bulls, but no bucks. After lunch we made the steep climb back to the glassing knob. At 5:40p I found the bucks again. They had moved over 2 avalanche chutes and were headed out to feed. Once again we headed down to try to get into position. It took over an hour to get into the new location. This spot was even steeper and it was really tough to find the bucks and get set up for an ethical shot. I found the buck in my scope right before he walked into some really thick brush and the light faded. I was pretty frustrated. The bucks were winning.
We decided we would roll the dice and gamble that the bucks would come out in the same chute again the next morning. We got set up as the sun came up and about 15 minutes later 2 of the bucks stepped out. One of the bucks was the big one. The 3x3 stood in the open for 20 minutes, the big 4x4 stood behind a tree (you've got to be kidding me). Finally the 3x3 started to feed towards the timber. I knew the big buck would follow and he did. Except he never stopped. I wasn't going to take a walking shot at 500 yards. He eased into the timber. I this point I didn't know what to say. We just kept watching and wouldn't you know it they came back out. The 3x3 in the the open and the 4x4 behind a tree. 3 minutes later they were back in the woods. This was getting ridiculous. Even a little comical. By this time it was about 7:45a. I turned around and shrugged to my wife "I don't know what to say". We decided we would stay a while longer and if he didn't come back out we would be there that night. Around 8am I looked up into a chute that ran parallel to the one we had been watching the bucks in. These chutes were separated by about 30 yards of timber. The big buck was standing in the 2nd chute. This chute was so thick all I could see was his head and antlers. I was ready. I watched him for 2 minutes. He didn't move a muscle. Finally he took 2 steps. I could see the top 2/3rds of his body. I squeezed off my 300 and I saw the antlers drop in my scope. From 530yds away I saw the bushes shake as my best buck ever flipped 10-15ft down the mountain. I was elated. We had worked so hard for this deer. We made the steep hike up to the deer. His body was massive. I weigh 210 and he was so much bigger then me. My guestimation was around 300-350lb. He was the definition of a fatty, lol. His rack is pretty great too. He scored 150 3/8" and has 16" g2s. This is a hunt I'll never forget and it was even better because my wife was with me every step of the way. I'm a lucky guy.
PS. We also found a nice bull deadhead.
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