Mule Deer, Elk and Western Big Game Hunting -

"What A Surprise!"
Written by Joe Campbell

What A Surprise!
Joe's buck is 26 inches wide.
After several scouting trips I decided to place my treestand along a trail that lead from water to a bedding area. I specifically positioned the stand along the trail with the wind in my face and expected that if a deer approached, he'd be coming from that direction.

After a few hours of sitting in the stand with cold feet and being annoyed by a noisy squirrel, I heard a noise behind me. At first, I thought it was just another squirrel dropping stuff from a tree. I slowly turned my head to investigate and to my surprise, there were antlers! Instantly, my heart began to race, but I had a problem. My feet were up and my bow was out of position and I didn't dare move for fear of spooking the big buck that was now within spitting distance.

He was so close that getting into shooting position, much less even moving a finger, was not an option. I waited for several minutes until he began to unsuspectingly walk away to my right, then I reached for my bow and stood up.
I did it without making a sound, but at that moment he stopped and looked around, I thought I was had. Did he see me or is he just looking around? He was obviously not in a hurry! I realized with his alertness I would never get the bow pulled back, much less a shot off.

I admit, I did give a quick thought to just letting one fly, since there was a good chance a muley this big would be the last in my lifetime. Then I convinced myself to draw my bow when he began to move again. To my surprise, he slowly began walking away. I held my breath and placed my 30-yard pin on his vitals. Just as he rounded a low bush, I gently pulled on my release without even an exhale. I watched as my arrow sank into his chest just above his right shoulder blade angling down toward the bottom of the opposite side of his chest cavity. He immediately ran 20-30 yards up and over into a deep heavily Pine and Aspen wooded ravine.

What A Surprise!
Several minutes later I climbed from my stand and found my Beman carbon arrow equipped with a 100 grain, 4-blade sidewinder only 5 yards from where I shot him. It was covered with bright red blood.
The only problem was that it didn't pass through and I was only able to find a few drops of blood. I began to worry, but followed his tracks only about 20 yards before finding a few very faint pin size drops of blood on some Aspen leaves. Finally, I spotted an Aspen tree that had been sprayed with blood and found my 26-inch buck another 80 yards down the trail. What a great hunt!!

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

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

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