Buck down....waaaay down.

mtnboy

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Aug 14, 2001
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Well, I managed to find the biggest nastiest hole and proceeded to shoot a buck down in it... Luckily he was tiny...




 

Big Sky

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Dec 22, 2000
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North Central Montana
I did that same thing with a similar sized buck about 3 or 4 years ago. I swore I'd never do it again then proceeded to do it again the next year even further into the hell hole, with a bigger buck. Like the genius I am, I will be heading there again this year. Guess I'm a slow learner. Congrats on a nice buck and some great photos.
 

kirkl

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Dec 17, 2000
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Selah, Washington
Nice buck, how did you sneek up on that buck in the second pic on the bottom right, hes laying right below you. He must think hes hiding laying up against that sagebrush. LOL
 

Tom

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Jan 22, 2001
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Congratulations! Pretty fancy pictures. How did you do that? I need a new camera soon, maybe I should get that one with that software.
 

mtnboy

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alright - you asked for it.

Day 1 – The alarm goes off at 1:30am and I’m up like a kid at Christmas as there is fresh white still falling!! With one hour sleep I make the drive and get to my spot that I scouted this summer, just as the darkness fades in the eastern sky. I’m in my spot and psyched!


I am finally able to make out two deer bedded below my cliff top perch in the park-like openings. I break out my spotting scope and confirm that they are does (which is awesome, I thought there were only bucks in this nasty canyon and now I can hunt here in the rut!!) They eventually start to move and I make out a group of 4 more about 400 yards below me… then a buck… and another buck! I watch them in the spotter and there’s a 3x2 and a 4x3 about 24” wide, but with crab claw front forks. This place is better than I imagined…I watch them for an hour and another little 2x checks out the does. They boys are horney but the girls will have nothing to do with them :rolleyes: … Here's the lil' 2x3 through the spotter:


After the sun breaks the horizon, I move to the north side of the canyon, check out the adjacent drainage and find a perfect vantage, behind a monarch of an old tree. After an hour, all of the deer start heading to this side to bed in the cliffs and dark timber. The sun is out, but the wind is howling and body parts are freezing, sitting in the snow… I pick my head up and I see a huge body about 300 yard below me… I scramble to get the spotter on him and it’s a 4x4 with good forks in the large sage clearing below… I slip on the steep snow and when I finally get a good rest he’s disappeared and I can’t find him in my scope :mad: I dub him "Houdini" Here's a rough pic through the spotter at 400 yards - you can make out his right antler...


::Tracking in the snow - I head back to the truck about noon, grab some food and head to the adjacent canyon to attempt to glass the north side, where all of the deer bedded. I find a good buck track but it’s heading into a hell hole (I hear Moosie - "I could walk down there on my hands!" ;) ) Of coarse I follow as he heads into the cliffs, beds and then heads into the bowels of the canyon. I found some massive rubs and I learned a lot in his tracks! Eventually, I return to the tree to see if I can catch them at dusk, but only see the 3x and some does... A great first day for plan B... :D !!!


[ 10-27-2004, 15:09: Message edited by: mtnboy ]
 

mtnboy

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Day 2 – After some seriously needed rest in my camperiezed canopy, I’m cresting the cliffs above the canyon. I debate about sitting at my original vantage, where the early morning action was, or at the tree where I will catch them heading to their beds (where I saw Houdini) I waffle, but end up at the tree as the sky lights up.


::Buck Fever - I catch a sillouette of a buck crossing an opening 400 yards below me, but it’s still too dark and he disappears when he hits the bush, but it’s fairly open there and I think he’ll be there once it’s light. I scan over below my original spot and a HUGE bodied deer jolts me to attention. I quickly find him in the spotter, but his head is in the branches of a big fir tree. He’s about 450 yards down and I need to confirm his size before I find him in the scope. After about a minute of rubbing, he pulls his head down and I feel a rush of adrenaline surge as I scramble for my rifle as he walks behind the tree. This is the biggest buck I have ever seen in my life – he has unbelieveable mass (his antlers look like dark brown baseball bats, even from this distance) wide with deep typical forks!!!! :eek: !!!!!!! :eek: !!!!!!! He is heading down into the bowels of the canyon, but I quickly do a series of loud grunts and he turns and pauses, but is mostly obscured by the branches. He stands for about a minute and then disappears into the abyss… Grampa is on steroids!! I’m now spoiled for life (but this is my last chance to hunt this year – hopefully he’ll survive the winter)… I try to glass again, but I'm still wired...

I find the first buck again about 30 minutes later and he has fed up in the bush below me. He was a decent 4x4 (before I saw Grampa) but I quickly find him in my scope (not making that mistake again) but I waffle and he feeds just out of sight. I’m momentarily mesmorized as the sun peeks over the horizon (life is good!)…
 

mtnboy

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::S&M:: I watch for that 4x4 below me and some does feed into view, but he doesn’t stick his head up again. I am hoping to see Houdini and continually scour that area. I keep scanning back to where Grandpa disappeared, and see some does, but no sign of him. He’s heading into his sanctuary when the others are just coming out into the open…

I’m scan to the left towards the timber where they bedded yesterday and there’s a huge bodied deer 100 yards below me, staring right at me – it’s him - Houdini!!! :eek: Not this time….I ease back from view and grab my rifle…. he’s moving across the opening below my cliff and I want him in the middle before I shoot, so there there will be no magical escape…. After a minute I ease up and he’s still coming….a minute later I ease up again and I can’t find him…in a bit of a panic, I stand up and peek over the edge and there he is coming up my cliff ~70 yards below me…. AHA! He freezes, quartering towards me, fixed on my position hoping he’s invisible (guess he forgot the magic words…) I quickly shoulder my rifle and hold just in front of his near shoulder and squeeze one off. He drops at the shot and tumbles down about 30 yards stopping in the sage…he struggles to get up, but it’s quickly over. I say thankyou and bless him on his way… YEEESSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I ate some food, shed all except my Port-a-Pack, head on down, prepared for the pain to come! He’s a beautiful buck with a huge body!! I completely deboned him, packed him up the *$%#*!! cliff in two loads and then up to the truck on top in one HUGE load with the meat, head and my day pack…I shot him at about 7:30am and was back in my truck by about 4:30pm – utterly exhausted – but satisfied! Can't wait to do it again!!!!! :D :D



[ 10-27-2004, 15:08: Message edited by: mtnboy ]
 

mtmiller

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Jul 7, 2001
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Montana
Now that is a great story with great pictures. Thanks for sharing your adventure.
 
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