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"My Kaibab Trophy Hunt"
Written by Andrea Despain

My Kaibab Trophy Hunt
It all started in August when we got online and there it was, "You have been drawn". I was so excited to receive my first Kaibab deer tag. I made a phone call that day to make reservations for my hunt in November. This was my first mule deer tag, I'm an inexperienced hunter and I have only killed one trophy big game animal. But, I love to hunt.

Upon learning that I successfully drawn a tag, we began studying maps and spending many hours discussing strategy and where and when we would hunt. We had planned several scouting trips, but then bad luck struck. Ben was in an accident and broke his hip…our plans changed.

Through it all, every doctor and nurse was asked by my husband, "Will I be able to go hunting in four weeks with my wife?" I had several offers from medical staff and physical therapists to accompany me on my hunt in my husbands' absence. He did not like that idea too much! Needless to say, Ben was not able to hunt with me. He was able to go to the hotel anxiously awaiting our arrival each day.

My Kaibab Trophy Hunt
We did not have the time to scout as we had planned, so Dusty and Mark, two great friends that graciously offered their assistance, took to looking for the "BIG BUCK" I wanted to tag.

On opening morning, I had it in my head that we were not going to see the big one and would have to spend quite some time looking around. To my shock, we saw the "grand daddy" of bucks around 8:30 am. We happened upon him and I was so anxious I could not get a steady shot. I knew now what my buck looked like! I just had to get back on him.

I figured if I was patient enough I could find him again. That evening and the next day, we searched for him. We saw deer every time we went out, but no "grand daddy". Saturday evening, we came across a really nice buck, but I could not get the bigger buck out of my head and passed on him. We circled around and were heading out for the evening when we came across some deer. I set up for the shot when I saw the kicker on the right antler thinking this was the "grand daddy" I had seen yesterday. I shot at about 35 yards and hit dead on.

As I looked up, Dusty had a shocked look on his face and said "What did you do?" I then realized he had his camera in his hand and was going to take a picture of the deer. I was sick! It was not the "grand daddy" I had seen, just the nice buck that I had passed on earlier. As we got down to the buck, he was bigger than what we had thought, but I still could not get the "grand daddy" out of my head. I was so disappointed I shot the wrong buck. We took him in to the check station and found out that he was the widest buck they had seen yet… I have since come to terms with my first mule deer, the "smaller nice buck".