MonsterMuleys.com

"One Great Big Buck Hunt"
Written by Cody Westphal

One Great Mule Deer Hunt
My Dad, Creed, and I have been hunting in high mountain ridges and burns for mule deer bucks, as well as elk, for many years. All of our hard work over the years finally paid off, on one November afternoon.

The night before our hunt, we were talking about hunting these high mountain ridges one last time before the snow got too deep. The morning of the hunt, we awoke about 4:00 am. After 2 hours of driving, we got to our destination. Dad and I decided to split up and walk two different ridges. After walking for 2 hours or so, through 10-inch deep snow, I came across numerous fresh rubs; not only on brush, but 4-inch diameter pine trees! I instantly knew there were monstrous bucks in the area, because some of these trees were snapped off.

I slowly and quietly eased my way to the top of the ridge. As I peaked over the top, to glance at the feed-slide below, I spotted a herd of mule deer does feeding about 25 yards away. As I sat motionless, watching, I spotted a nice 5x5, about 20 inches wide. He was a descent sized buck, but not quite what I was looking for. I decided to sit still and watch them for awhile.

Just as I was ready to get up and make my way across the narrow ridge to the next opening, out of the corner of my eye, I spotted this giant buck getting up from his bed behind a tree. I couldn't believe my eyes! I had been sitting there for twenty minutes and had not spotted him, but yet he was so close. He then took a few steps forward, and was broadside at 30 yards. With the caliber of the buck, there was no question that I had to take him. I was using a 280 Remington, with a 140 grain Nosler partition. As soon as I shot, the buck dropped. As I walked up to him I was thinking; how the heck are we ever going to get him out of here??

When I approached the buck, I grabbed his horns up out of the snow and knew I had just shot a 170's class mule deer (28" wide).
After I field dressed my buck, I headed back down the mountain to get my Dad to help me.

One Great Mule Deer Hunt
When I finally tracked down Dad, it was around 1:00 p.m. We knew we were going to have to hustle if we were going to get my buck out by dark. Making our way back up the ridge, I joking told Dad that I had just shot the biggest buck on the mountain, boy, was I wrong!

Not more than ten minutes later, I felt my Dad's strong hand grab my shoulder. I instantly stopped. As I looked to my left, I saw the Biggest Buck I have ever seen, in my entire life!

He was standing broadside. With no seconds passing, Dad shot the buck, and he dropped in his tracks. As we stood there looking at each other, there was only silence.
Then, with a small grin on his face, my Dad said "No Cody, I think I just shot the biggest buck on the mountain." We then approached this "HAWG" and I knew he was right!!

His buck is 38 inches wide, and a 9x10 scoring 198+ gross. Still a mile from my buck, we decided to drag Dad's out first and come back for mine later. Fortunately, the drag was downhill, it took the rest of the afternoon to drag him, he was so BIG!

After this day and a half of getting the bucks out, we finally got them home. We then weighed them. Mine weighed 255 # (field dressed), and Dad's weighed 278# (field dressed). What a monster he is!!
This day will be etched in our minds forever.