Mule Deer, Elk and Western Big Game Hunting -

"Tracking A Bruiser"
Written by Brian Latturner as told by Alex Garcia

Tracking A Bruiser
It was opening day of the second rifle in New Mexico's unit 51. My uncle, Gene Garcia, father, Eluterio Garcia, and I were hunting an area that we knew quite well and where my uncle has taken many large bucks. We set out early with my uncle Gene and I hunting down a familiar canyon to the north while my father headed east. The plan was to meet up hours later.
At about 7:30 a.m., we got lucky and cut an exceptionally large track that we felt was left by large bodied deer. Typically large deer bucks and we were hoping that it was a big buck.
As we followed the track, we noticed that every now and then another fairly large track would periodically join up with the track we were on. However, we remained on the original track. We also noticed that the buck would walk for a while, then break into a run, then back to a walk. We figured that it was us who kept bumping the buck and putting him into a run. Then once he put some ground between us, he'd settle back down and begin walking again. We knew we were getting close!

At about 11:00 a.m., we found where the buck had bedded down. It seemed very fresh, and we knew the buck couldn't be too far away. We split up and I circled the bed and verified the direction of the tracks. They were headed southeast, so we began moving in that direction.
I hadn't gone far when suddenly two bucks jumped from their beds and began running up a hillside about 100 yards in front of me. All that was visible were big racks above the junipers. It's an image that I will never forget and one that we hunters dream about!
I was excited, but waited, hoping they'd move through an opening where I could get a good shot. Finally, about two-thirds of the way up the hill and about 150 yards away they broke into a clearing. I raised my .270 rifle and squeezed a round off. He only went another 10 feet before going down.

It all happened so quickly. It was only a few seconds between the time they jumped from their beds until the time I shot, but it will always be one of the most incredible experiences of my life.
The second buck seemed like he might have been a little wider, but not quite as tall as the buck I shot. He disappeared before my uncle could take a shot.

My buck is 29-3/4 inches wide with 11 points on one side and 7 on the other. If it hadn't been for my uncle and his excellent tracking skills, I would have never had such a wonderful opportunity. Thanks uncle Gene and dad!

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Click-a-Pic ... Details & Bigger Photos

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