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My first mule deer


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I left on September 9th for public land and a do it yourself bow hunt in South Cetral Colorado. After a 17 hour drive, I was to meet 2 friends from New Mexico with OTC archery elk tags as we had done the previous 3 years. I had one preferene point for mule deer this year and was fortunate enough to draw a mule deer tag, so I skipped buying the elk tag and focused on mule deer instead. This isnt a hard area to draw and according to the draw satistics, usually one point is all you need.

For the first two days, mule deer were scarce as I had only seen one small buck after coverng miles of ground. Having never shot a mule deer before, my standards were not high and it would not have taken much antler for me to release an arrow. I hadn't gotten that chance yet. After listening to stories of close elk encounters the first two nights, I was really questioning why I was chasing mule deer instead of elk. Do you know how hard it is to listen to stories of bugling bulls and not be able to chase them? I was really considering driving into town the next morning to buy an elk tag, but I held firm and kept after the mulies.

The dawn of the third day brought some luck with it. As is usually the case, pressure was high near the roads and although elk were being seen, they we deinitely on the move, away from the pressure. My two partners and I headed deep into a canyon in search of unpressured elk and deer. We seperated, and I began still hunting the edge of a wooded draw working my way up a steep slope. As I crawled along, I glassd a butt and then the tips of antlers about 70 yards above me in the open scrub brush. The brief glimpse of tines was enough for me to take off my pack, hat, and binos and begin the stalk with just my bow and rangefinder.

After about 5 inutes, I had crawled and closed the gap to 40 yards according to my rangefinder. I was comfortable with this distance and could now see more of the deer, he was just feeding. I attached my release and eased up onto my knees to take the shot. I settled my pin on the buck's chest and was getting ready to release when a secnd buck moved in and blocked the vitals of the first buck with his tines. I held and held waiting for the second buck's tines to clear but they never did, and I finally had to let my bow down as I was shaking too much. I now didnt have a shot at either, time ticked by towards either of them noticing me. While waiting for my next shot opportunity, a third buck eased over a slight rise in the terrain to join the first two. He was clear, his vitals were open, and he became the new target. I immediately drew my bow, took aim and released. The shot looked good but at impact the buck whirled to his right, and I thoguht I saw the entire arrow go flying from his side. What happened? No penetration, did I hit the knuckle, oh no!

I waited a few minutes, calmed myself and walked the 40 yards to where he was standing.........no hair, no blood, no arrow. I took 4 mnore steps over the rise where he had first appeared and there he layed, not 30 yards away. Bright foamy bubbles coming from his side. The arrow and fully penetrated but his shoulder blade had snapped the fletching off. My first mule deer and on public land all by myself.

I do not know what he scores yet although my taxidermist suggested it will be high. Either way, I'm proud and I look forward to him on my wall next summer. On to Minnesota Whitetails. Thanks for letting me share.


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HOLY!!! After a deer like that you could either just hang up the bow and quit!!! Not that any of us would but that is an awesome deer cool story. Congrats.

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I am no taxidermist but I did sleep at a Holiday Inn Express last night; the score will be high!!!

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DANDY BUCK!!! Congrats!

First time I put the crosshairs on a buck Muley, I wasn't sure I was going to make it, that's a pretty big set of horns for a guy coming from Minnesota, lots of excitement.


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Thanks guys, a deer of a lifetime for me. He was dropped off at the taxidermist last night.......my wife is just so thrilled wink

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Awsome! That gets me excited. Got drawn for a montana buck tag this year. How did the first two bucks look in comparision. I'm guessing your glad the vitals were blocked from view on the first one.

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Awsome! That gets me excited. Got drawn for a montana buck tag this year. How did the first two bucks look in comparision. I'm guessing your glad the vitals were blocked from view on the first one.

Actually the first one was almost identical but he had alot of nontypical points coming off all over. I really did want that first one but when this one appeared, I didnt think i had the right to be picky!

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