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"Bowhunting Big Bucks"


Bowhunting Big Bucks
Brad's buck was taken on public land during the 2000 season. Also pictured on the left is Brad's dad, Kent Roberts.
I received an archery permit for the Book Cliffs last year. I was really excited and hoped for the best. The area had been closed for some time. It was the second year it was open. My numerous scouting trips produced a couple of good bucks and more 20-22 inch racks than you can count.

The first day of the hunt was exciting. I had my parents along and my brother-in-law. We had a 28-inch buck found but there was so much traffic from bow hunters, bear hunters and people scouting for elk that the bigger deer holed up.

We saw a lot of bucks but nothing I was interested in going after. We even watched a couple of bow hunters harvest their bucks. Both of these were nice deer, but again, not quite what I was after. As we recounted the numbers of animals seen, we must have looked at 100 different bucks.

That evening, we were hunting some canyons close to camp when a nice buck was found. As we looked at him through our spotting scope, I could see he was heavy and had a couple extra points on his left antler. The only drawback to this deer was his spread, it was only about 23 inches.

Well, my father and I produced archery equipment such as arrow rests, releases, a plastic molded nock and vane and a quick point scope mount for bows, I was all geared up and wanted to try some of our equipment out. The buck looked like he was in a place where I could approach close enough for a shot, so I went after him. The only problem I could see was that he had several other bucks in the area. If I spooked one of them, they would all take off.

I made a careful stalk, and a couple of times a smaller buck had me pegged. I waited it out until he moved on and continued my approach. When I was within range, I drew my bow and released. The shot was perfect! I stood motionless and watched as the buck ran down through the brush and trees. He only traveled 60 yards before going down.

This was a fun archery hunt...lots of bucks, good accessibility. But it appears that the area has been reopened too early because the older age classes of bucks are not present. Buck to doe ratios are high, but big bucks are scarce.

Written by Brad Roberts