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My "Best" Buck


Well-known member
Dec 31, 2017
Beneath these Western Skies . . .
Let me preface this by saying that I am not a mule deer hunter, I'd rather hunt pretty much anything else. After chatting with my then-nine-year-old son earlier this year around application time, he said he'd like to pack back in somewhere and hunt deer. Fast forward a few months, and with a tag in hand, off we went into an area that I knew little about.


The intended destination was four miles in. However, at mile two we glassed up some deer after taking a prolonged water break. Not wanting to leave deer to find deer, we decided to stay put and see if we could glass up any other deer. Over the course of the next few hours, we glassed up quite a few more deer and decided to make camp.

The final deer count for the evening was seven bucks (one 160"-type buck and six smaller ones) and 23 does. It was a wonderful "opener-eve" spent exploring the surrounding areas and enjoying the solitude of the mountain.


As my son and I were laying in the tent, chatting about the next morning, he kept asking if I would shoot the first buck we saw the following morning. Sensing he REALLY wanted me to shoot one, I decided the first buck that presented a shot, would fit the bill nicely.

We were up before the alarm and to the predetermined lookout point well before light. As the clocked ticked by, we were able to listen to the sounds of the mountain - elk bugling, the wind through the aspen leaves, and the trickle of the nearby stream. Just like it was scripted, three does and one buck appeared on the adjacent ridge. Waiting those last couple minutes for legal shooting time was brutal! Finally, legal time arrived and at 107 yards, the buck crumpled at the shot.


We made short work of taking care of the buck. Leaving plenty of time for the meat to cool down before we deboned it and headed back to camp.


With all the work done, and camp broken down, we were able to hike out while it was still cool and crisp. On the way out, we ran into a cow and calf moose at a very close range. Mama moose wasn't too happy with our presence, but slowly trotted off with her calf in tow.


With one final water break on the hike out, my son said, "This has been such an awesome experience. Can we please do this again next year?" Looks like more mule deer hunting adventures are in the future!

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Either your boy is very small or that buck has a big body. But your boy looks pretty tall so I think that’s a great meat buck. Grats!
What a great hunt :) Congratulations to you and your son on making some wonderful memories together!
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