SouthEast Idaho Deer Success

Lilhowie83

Member
Joined
Jun 19, 2020
Messages
53
Day 1

Our fall hunting began on October 10th with me and my 13 year old having tags for any antlered mule deer and my 10 year old having a tag for an antlerless mule deer.

My 13 year old and I left at 4:00 on the morning of the 10th and got to our glassing knob, where we could sit and watch a couple different drainages, well before first light. As the sun came up the first thing I noticed was that there were still cows out on the range, usually they are off this allotment by the first of October, so I thought oh s@#$ there aren't going to be any deer up here because they dont want to compete with these cows for food. We kept glassing further up the drainage and I saw a really nice bull moose walking across the hill. As we were watching the moose I noticed a herd of deer coming out above the moose right at the head of the drainage. We watched them graze for a few minutes and we finally saw a couple two points and one decent 3 point come out and feed on the hillside. My boy was really interested in getting a closer look at the 3 point. We made a plan to drop down the hill and use a little knoll in the bottom to conceal us from the deer. We got to about 250 yards from where the deer were and were about to sneak over the knoll and see if my boy could get that 3 point in his crosshairs. As we eased our way to the top of the knoll that bull moose appeared right at top of the hill not even 50 yards from us, and it was apparent that he was not going to give up his ground because with every step we took he stepped closer to us and started snorting and pawing the ground. We decided to go up the hill to our left and avoid him and by doing so we blew our cover and crested the top of the knoll just in time to see the 3 point, followed by 8 does and 2 two points go over the hill at the top of the drainage.

We spent the rest of the day hiking and glassing almost every drainage on the mountain with no success.
 
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Lilhowie83

Member
Joined
Jun 19, 2020
Messages
53
Day 2

We took the 11th off because of some church and family responsibilities, but we hit the ground hard again on Monday the 12th, this time we were joined by my 10 year old who was going to try and fill his doe tag.

We decided to go to a place where I grew up hunting with my dad, and where my oldest boy shot his first deer 3 years ago. As we got to the top of the ridge we saw that there was already somebody sitting at the top of the drainage that I wanted to hunt, so we kept going up the ridge to another drainage that I have had some success in. We got set up in a good glassing spot right when the sun was coming up and we immediately started seeing deer in all the drainages that feed into the drainage we were in.

My two boys on the binos and spotting scope.
20201012_081906.jpg

Throughout that morning we saw 26 does and no bucks, we put on a couple of stocks and got my youngest boy set up a couple of times on some does, but both times he wasn't comfortable enough and just said I'm not ready yet. But it was a great experience for him to find the deer in his scope and get comfortable with the rifle.

After an unsuccessful morning we decided to hike out and make a new plan for the evening, mostly because of all the hunting pressure where we were at.
We went home and while I was getting some stuff put together for our evening hunt, my oldest boy said he was going to ride his motorcycle up the canyon and see if he could see any deer. About a half hour later he came back and said he found a bunch of deer bedded in some juniper trees. I finished doing what I needed to and got my 10 year old ready and we headed out the door.

We got to where my son saw the deer and sure enough there were a bunch of deer bedded in the junipers. I could see at least 3 does and 4 fawns but I could tell that there were more in there that we couldn't see very good. We decided to go back down the canyon and sneak back up small wash that was parallel to the drainage where the deer were. We got to a point where we should be on about the same level as the deer and we snuck up the wash and I could see there were 10 does and 7 fawns, bedded about 100 yards away. At that point my oldest boy had to sit the sidelines again, because he only had a buck tag. So I had my 10 year old crawl up next to me and look through the binoculars to see what he thought. He was looking at them snd said I dont want to shoot one that has a fawn and I dont want to shoot one bedded down. (Proud dad moment) He has really taken to heart the importance of ethical hunting. As he was looking at them he was talking pretty loud and the deer heard him and got nervous and ran off.

We decided to go back to the 4 wheeler and go further up the canyon. A couple miles up the canyon we saw a group of deer feeding on a hillside about 300 yards away. We got the 4 wheeler behind a small group of junipers out of sight of the deer, we crawled through a small creek bed, through the junipers to the edge and I laid down my backpack for my 10 year old to lay the gun across, he laid down in the prone position and found them in the scope and immediately said, "I want to get closer." So we eased back out through the junipers and back to the creek bed. We crawled up the creek bed about 100 yards to the next group of Juniper trees and then worked our way up through the junipers until we were on the same elevation as the deer and about 150 yards away. I got my boy set up again and he sat there looking through the scope for almost a full 5 minutes. At first he wanted to find a big doe with no fawn, once he picked one that he wanted to shoot he had to wait a couple more minutes, because another doe walked right behind the one he wanted to shoot. After he got a good clean shooting lane again, he sat there for another couple of minutes saying things like, "I'm not ready" and "my heart is racing." Finally he said I'm ready and he shot. It was a beautiful clean shot right through the heart. I was do proud of him and the composure he showed. I learned a lot from him about taking your time and making sure you have the right set up.

Here he is with his first deer. 20201012_181509.jpg

More to come on the rest of our hunt.
 

Lilhowie83

Member
Joined
Jun 19, 2020
Messages
53
Day 3-10

I kept my oldest son home from school this week, and they dont have school on Fridays. So we were able to put in 4 hard days of hunting counting Saturday. I looked at my On X tracker and we put 33 miles on our boots this week. The biggest thing I learned through this, is that now that I'm just shy of 40 it is starting to get hard for me to keep up with my 13 year old, who has worked on the farm all summer, has played football for the 3 months, and is now in wrestling, I swear he is part mountain goat.

Despite the miles and hours we put in, we couldn't turn up any bucks that my son or I wanted to shoot, all we found was small 2 points that were hanging out with the does. We tried several different areas and covered a lot of country but it seemed like, due to the hunting pressure and the hot dry weather the mature bucks were holed up somewhere else, probably on a lot of the private property in the lower country. The coolest thing we found during this week of hunting was a huge Shiras Bull moose that had his entire left paddle busted off. I tried to get the phone skope set up to take a picture but he wasn't hanging around to take pictures. I would have liked to seen him with both sides, because

Day 11-14

With our lack of success, we decided to take it easy this week and just do a few short evening hunts that didn't turn up anything. On Thursday my boy had a wrestling tournament at a school about 3 hours away my wife and I drove up to watch him wrestle and as we were driving I said I'm going to take a "sick day" from work tomorrow and I'm going to take Garrett and go find a buck.

He didn't want to ride home with us, he likes to ride the bus with his team, so he got home at almost 11:00 and said he was still willing to wake up at 4:00 and go hunting. So we got up at 4:00, got ready and we were at the trailhead and hiking by 5:30. We decided to go to the same spot that we did on day 2, close to where I grew up hunting with my dad and where my son shot his first deer.

We got to our first glassing spot and I was really enjoying the morning, it was a calm, peaceful, quiet and cold morning. The weather had finally cooled off and it actually felt like hunting season after being so hot and dry for so long.

Watching the sun rise from our glassing knob.
20201023_072740.jpg

We sat there and glassed for a couple of hours and only turned up a few does. I told my boy that we were going to hike up the mountain, traversing through every drainage to see what we could kick up. We made our way up the mountain, crossed over the top and around the front of the mountain and back over the top to almost where we started glassing that morning. We had just hit 9 miles at this point and decided to work our way back to the trailhead crossing 3 more small drainages on our way. As we eased over the hill into the last drainage I immediately saw deer in the bottom of the drainage about 600 yards away. We quickly dropped down behind the chaparral brush and pulled out the binoculars. The first thing I saw through the binoculars was a nice 4x4 with a bunch of does. We made a quick plan and eased to our right and worked down the ridge about 500 yards, just out of sight the deer. As we eased our way back over the top of the ridge we saw the buck right next to a little pocket of maples raking his antlers on the trees. I got my son set up in the sitting position with his bipod legs fully extended. The buck raked the trees for a few more minutes and then walked to the right of the trees and turned perfectly broadside at 197 yards. My son took a few deep breaths and squeezed off a round from his 7mm-08. I watched through my binoculars and as soon as the shot went off the buck dropped like a sack of flour. We made our way down to him and it was a perfectly aligned shot that was just high and hit the buck in the spine right above his vitals. The only meat lost was about 6 inches of back strap.

My sons first mature mule deer buck. He didn't want me to post a picture of him. He's camera shy. 20201023_122633.jpg

All in all it was a very successful deer season. I ate tag soup but I helped my two boys fill their tags, which was a lot more rewarding anyways. Now off to find 3 cow elk for the next 3 weeks.
 

OverlordBear

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 6, 2018
Messages
272
Location
Idaho
Great story thanks for the write up. My kids will be at that age soon so it will be fun going through these types of hunts with them like you are doing. Sounds like you strive to be a good dad keep up the good work!!!
 

Lilhowie83

Member
Joined
Jun 19, 2020
Messages
53
Great story thanks for the write up. My kids will be at that age soon so it will be fun going through these types of hunts with them like you are doing. Sounds like you strive to be a good dad keep up the good work!!!
It is extremely fun to go through this with the kids and to help them learn. The best thing that we got out of it was the bonding that happened and not necessarily between me and them, but between the two of them, these two boys have always butted heads a little bit, but the last couple of weeks they have got along better and have wanted to do more together. And now my 8 year old is counting down the days until he can go through hunters ed. So it's a small and simple thing but spending time together on the mountain has definitely strengthened our family ties.
 

idahobucks

New member
Joined
Oct 28, 2020
Messages
7
G
Day 3-10

I kept my oldest son home from school this week, and they dont have school on Fridays. So we were able to put in 4 hard days of hunting counting Saturday. I looked at my On X tracker and we put 33 miles on our boots this week. The biggest thing I learned through this, is that now that I'm just shy of 40 it is starting to get hard for me to keep up with my 13 year old, who has worked on the farm all summer, has played football for the 3 months, and is now in wrestling, I swear he is part mountain goat.

Despite the miles and hours we put in, we couldn't turn up any bucks that my son or I wanted to shoot, all we found was small 2 points that were hanging out with the does. We tried several different areas and covered a lot of country but it seemed like, due to the hunting pressure and the hot dry weather the mature bucks were holed up somewhere else, probably on a lot of the private property in the lower country. The coolest thing we found during this week of hunting was a huge Shiras Bull moose that had his entire left paddle busted off. I tried to get the phone skope set up to take a picture but he wasn't hanging around to take pictures. I would have liked to seen him with both sides, because

Day 11-14

With our lack of success, we decided to take it easy this week and just do a few short evening hunts that didn't turn up anything. On Thursday my boy had a wrestling tournament at a school about 3 hours away my wife and I drove up to watch him wrestle and as we were driving I said I'm going to take a "sick day" from work tomorrow and I'm going to take Garrett and go find a buck.

He didn't want to ride home with us, he likes to ride the bus with his team, so he got home at almost 11:00 and said he was still willing to wake up at 4:00 and go hunting. So we got up at 4:00, got ready and we were at the trailhead and hiking by 5:30. We decided to go to the same spot that we did on day 2, close to where I grew up hunting with my dad and where my son shot his first deer.

We got to our first glassing spot and I was really enjoying the morning, it was a calm, peaceful, quiet and cold morning. The weather had finally cooled off and it actually felt like hunting season after being so hot and dry for so long.

Watching the sun rise from our glassing knob.
View attachment 159311

We sat there and glassed for a couple of hours and only turned up a few does. I told my boy that we were going to hike up the mountain, traversing through every drainage to see what we could kick up. We made our way up the mountain, crossed over the top and around the front of the mountain and back over the top to almost where we started glassing that morning. We had just hit 9 miles at this point and decided to work our way back to the trailhead crossing 3 more small drainages on our way. As we eased over the hill into the last drainage I immediately saw deer in the bottom of the drainage about 600 yards away. We quickly dropped down behind the chaparral brush and pulled out the binoculars. The first thing I saw through the binoculars was a nice 4x4 with a bunch of does. We made a quick plan and eased to our right and worked down the ridge about 500 yards, just out of sight the deer. As we eased our way back over the top of the ridge we saw the buck right next to a little pocket of maples raking his antlers on the trees. I got my son set up in the sitting position with his bipod legs fully extended. The buck raked the trees for a few more minutes and then walked to the right of the trees and turned perfectly broadside at 197 yards. My son took a few deep breaths and squeezed off a round from his 7mm-08. I watched through my binoculars and as soon as the shot went off the buck dropped like a sack of flour. We made our way down to him and it was a perfectly aligned shot that was just high and hit the buck in the spine right above his vitals. The only meat lost was about 6 inches of back strap.

My sons first mature mule deer buck. He didn't want me to post a picture of him. He's camera shy. View attachment 159351

All in all it was a very successful deer season. I ate tag soup but I helped my two boys fill their tags, which was a lot more rewarding anyways. Now off to find 3 cow elk for the next 3 weeks.
good job getting kids hunting!
 
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