Caribou Gear

First Archery Buck


Well-known member
Mar 11, 2013
After picking up my dads old bow over the winter I started shooting archery earlier this summer, my only goals for this season were to hopefully have some encounters with rutting elk and to harvest a whitetail doe.

I have a three pin sight 20-30-40 and spent most of my time practicing there. I did practice some at 50 but set a personal limit that I would not take a shot at a game animal past that range.

As most of you know MT archery opener was last weekend. I spent most of the day Saturday and Sunday morning looking for elk in areas I was confident in but wasn’t any to turn up any concentration of fresh sign. The game plan Sunday night was to glass from the truck and hopefully locate some elk from the truck at a BMA I had never beeen to, but know provides a good vantage over some surrounding country. As my girlfriend and I were signing into the BMA I glassed out over the fields just past the gate and noticed two small fork horn muleys feeding along the brush line. I decided it would be a good opportunity to practice stalking and took off to see how close I could get. The bucks dropped off into a series of small but steep draws that run between these fields and long story short, I was able to sneak to 100 yds twice but they busted me both times the second time they blew way out and ran out of sight. I considered the experience a success and had pretty much walked all the way back to the truck when I saw two good bucks trot-walking from the direction the spooked bucks had ran, to my surprise they were headed pretty much right to where I had just been stalked in to. I turned heel and ran as fast as I could to intercept the two bigger bucks in the draw, both of the were shooters for sure for me, with archery equipment and one was markedly bigger than the other.

Right when I bottomed out in the small draw I saw one buck dropping in to the draw a few hundred yards up on another small finger. I thought they were going to bottom out the draw and come up into the flat on the other side. Knowing my wind was perfect I sprinted to the top and drew my bow and waited, nothing happened and I knew the bucks were in the draw. A perfect situation to move in close. On my hands and knees I began stalking along the draw range finding the middle and top of the draw every so often as I was moving. A little way into moving along the top of the draw I looked up further and saw the tops of antlers, I had a location to move to know and did not risk ranging or skylining myself anymore. After about 100 yards further of crawling I knew I had to be close and was right on the hinge point of being able to see in the bottom of the draw. I slowly eased my head up and couldn’t believe it but the big buck was RIGHT below me about 10 yards head down and feeding. I did not see the smaller buck.

My excitement level reached another level and I knew I had to calm down. I knocked an arrow and took probably 2-3 minutes to collect myself. I slowly went from knees to standing while drawing. The big buck filled the entire sight on my bow. Unknown to me I had crawled past the smaller buck who was know about 15 yards behind me. The small buck spooked at my silhouette I’m guessing, but had no idea what I was. The sound of the smaller buck jumped scared the big buck and both spooked a short distance and stopped just below the top of the draw. The smaller buck stopped just below the top of the draw and the big buck went about 5 yards further before they both stopped from ranging on the way up I knew the bigger buck was just outside of my comfortable range at about 55, the smaller buck was slightly quarter away and right about at 50. I didn’t hesitate and settled my 40 yd pin on the top of the back of the smaller buck, although it was Probably just a second I thought long and hard about if this was a shot I felt comfortable with. I wavered for a second, but focused the “fuzz” around my pin and the deer and everything cleared up and I decided it was right. I let the arrow fly, the flight was true, the arrow seemed to bury right where I had aimed, I heard the “thwack”, and saw the deer do the typical mule quick that is famous in archery. Much to my shock I thought to myself, I just smoked this deer. The deer took off and I ran behind them to get a vantage as they took off, I hopped on top of some old farm equipment at the top of the draw and I can’t explain the happiness when I just saw one buck of the pair running off into the distance. I knew he was down somewhere close.

Turns out my girlfriend and a couple other hunters had watched the whole thing go down through their spotters and saw the deer go down. Turns out he only went about 100 yards, the arrow was able to connect on liver, both lungs, and heart before a clean exit.

Unreal experience and some fantastic beginners luck.


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Well-known member
Dec 28, 2021
Great stalk, great shot, great story and what a memory! Plus you had witnesses who shared in on your memory which is awesome. I felt I was there with you in your story! Shooting it with Dad's bow will always be a memory never forgotten.

Nice job!


Well-known member
Dec 13, 2020
Man that’s great! That’s a beautiful Mule Deer and I’d be pumped to kill him. Thanks for sharing.

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