• Thank you for creating an account on Hunt Talk! We require that all new users contribute at least 10 posts before gaining the ability to start new threads. Once you have made 10 posts, you will be able to start new threads in the forum.

CO ML Success!

shannerdrake

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 14, 2017
Messages
192
Location
Indiana
Well we just returned from another great trip to South Central Colorado. I thoroughly documented the trip and my run-in with elk over in the elk threads, so I will keep this one a little shorter.

After driving all day Friday and seeing nothing Saturday morning, Saturday night, and Sunday morning, my hunting partner and I were excited to see anything walking on four legs. We had just completed a midday "cow party" in some heavy cover next to a waterhole (it was extremely dry and sitting around water seemed like a good idea) and did not hear or see a thing. My buddy and I had agreed that he got first crack at deer and I would get first shot at elk.

On our way to another waterhole that had a lot of tracks suggesting deer activity, we bumped a bachelor group of 6 bucks. Three were definitely shooters. The deer were spooked but not terribly and worked their way down into a bowl. We were able to run to the edge and look down on them and when we got there they didn't seem to be too concerned and kept looking back where we had bumped them. Fortunately we were about 90 degrees from where they were looking and in good cover. One of the bucks was a beautiful 4x4 in full velvet. My buddy wanted that one. We both were hunting with muzzleloaders so we took time to make sure we made our shots count. He lined up on his and me on mine. We agreed he would shoot and then I'd shoot only after his shot. I line up my sights, take of my safety and put just the slightest pressure on the trigger. I wait for what seems like an eternity for him to fire. I finally hear him click his safety off...
 

shannerdrake

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 14, 2017
Messages
192
Location
Indiana
Ppppft….His primer pops, but no boom. I think that probably technically counts as "first shot" but I'm a man of my word and really want first shot if we run into elk. As he fumbles around trying to put a new primer on, I get his attention and hand him my ML that is ready to rock. While he lines up for a shot, I drop in another cap, thinking no way it won't go off this time. Just as I get the cap on his ML, I hear him shoot, and the velvet buck goes flop! I can't believe it, but the other deer look around more than confused than ever and don't run away. I quickly snap the action shut on my buddy's ML, line up the shot, cock the hammer, and squeeze the trigger...
 
Last edited:

shannerdrake

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 14, 2017
Messages
192
Location
Indiana
Ppppft...the primer pops, but not boom. I'm beside myself. I've had this buck lined up in my sights more than once and still haven't managed a shot! I quickly swap out the spent primer and drop in a new one. Snap the action shut, aim, squeeze....ppppft. Nothing.

I'm debating with myself if throwing the ML at the deer is legal and/or advisable and about to give up when my buddy hands me back my ML. This whole time he has been quickly and quietly reloading and the other deer still haven't run off and are still looking back up the hill that we aren't even on! This time I take extra time, sit down and get a good rest. The buck I want is still only about 90 yards away, but him and rest of the gang are definitely getting ready to leave. I try my best to calm down and squeeze of a shot...
 
Last edited:

shannerdrake

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 14, 2017
Messages
192
Location
Indiana
BOOM!!! Finally! The smoke clears and I see my buck, definitely hit, but still standing. I can tell I'm low and back. He's hit hard and will die, but I need to try to get another one in him. I go to reload and realize that my ML doesn't have the ramrod in it. Apparently when my buddy was loading it, he dropped it on the ground afterwards not wanting to waste anytime putting it back in before giving it to me to shoot (fine by me as every second counted). Frantically I look but can't find it, but I remembered my buddy's ML, it should still have the ramrod! I was able to reload using his and got setup in time to see the group heading up the hills with mine struggling behind them. This actually brought my hit buck about 30 yards closer. We have a super cool screen grab I'll attach because my buddy had pulled his phone out and was recording over my shoulder as all of this unfolded. I get setup, bleated at the deer to get him to stop and squeezed the trigger...BOOM! This time it was all over.
 

shannerdrake

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 14, 2017
Messages
192
Location
Indiana
We had went from not seeing an animal in three hunts, to two nice mule deer laying within 100 yards of each other. We grabbed a few photos, marveled at our luck, reflected on the hurdles of ML hunting, and thanked the Lord for our success. Attached are a few pics including the deer and the over the shoulder pic mentioned earlier. My deer was a cool 3x4 with brows. He had shed his velvet likely within just a few hours of me shooting him. His antlers were still red and he had strands of velvet still attached. He absolutely dwarfed my 2018 Montana mule deer and all of my Indiana whitetails. I was thrilled! The hunt was a success for me then and there. Little did I know that the elk tag I still had was burning a hole in my pocket.
 

Attachments

  • CO 2020 Buck.jpg
    CO 2020 Buck.jpg
    5.2 MB · Views: 243
  • CO Buck Over Shoulder 2.png
    CO Buck Over Shoulder 2.png
    1,000 KB · Views: 242

shannerdrake

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 14, 2017
Messages
192
Location
Indiana
Yes, my buddy has one of the newer iPhones and you can scan the video frame by frame and take screen grabs. It made for some great pics, but that one is definitely the best. It also shows off the Williams Sights I put on for the hunt with the buck right there!
 

wyflyguy

Active member
Joined
Aug 7, 2013
Messages
73
Location
New Mexico
Congratulations! Muzzleloader hunting is a blast, but that kind of stuff always seems to happen. Good on you for keeping your wits about you.
 

chuckchili

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 13, 2019
Messages
256
Location
Colorado
Cool story and nice buck! That over the shoulder picture made it look like there was a whole lotta tree branch in the way of that shot!
 

Latest posts

Forum statistics

Threads
90,418
Messages
1,299,886
Members
28,083
Latest member
barehunting
Top