Written by Justin Robinson
Earlier this summer, I had been on a scouting trip when I found three bucks that had been running together. I watched the three of them as they grazed in a high mountain basin munching on Snowberry and Current Bush leaves. While watching, I noticed that one of the deer had a really nice typical frame with good eye guards and decent mass. I watched for about an hour and a half as they worked there way through the basin. The sun had set and it was time for me to head out. I thought of those deer often and visualized how I could get close enough for a shot.
During the archery hunt, I found the deer but they had moved into a canyon where I was sure I wouldn't be able to get a shot. After that trip I wasn't able to find the deer, they were no where to be found. I hunted the rest of the archery season in various spots not seeing very many deer. I was actually quite disappointed at the deer that I had seen. The muzzle loader hunt came and went for me. I was really busy with work and school, not even getting out to go hunting. I was beginning to think that it was going to be an unsuccessful year.
Four days before the general season rifle hunt a snow storm moved into Utah filling the high mountains with three to four feet of snow. I began to get excited to hunt the general rifle season of Central Utah.
Arriving to the spot I originally wanted to park, I decided that was far enough. Tired from the hike I just sat there scanning the hillside for deer. Just as I was getting rambunctious a nice 150 class four by four went running behind me. I raised my gun, but I did not have a clear shot. Not seeing anything in the canyon I was hunting, I decided to follow this deer. I followed him down the ridge line until his tracks mixed up with all of the other deer tracks on the ridge line. I then decided that I would head back up the ridge line and circle the basin towards my four-wheeler. Half way across the canyon I sat down to catch my breath and to eat brunch. Then something caught my eye. I look only to find another buck in the bottom of the canyon. He was a nice 160 class deer, the only problem is that he was just too far for me to make an ethical shot. At that point I decided to head home and try hunting a different spot on another day.
Well, another hunting day came at 4:30 in the morning and off I went trying for that elusive Muley. This time I was going to see if I could find one of those three deer that I had seen earlier on in the summer. I arrived in my truck to the spot I normally park a half hour before normal. So I took my time enjoying the morning by myself. Finally, it was time for me to head up on my four-wheeler.
Arriving to the base of the canyon trail, I strapped my gators on, buckled my Badlands 2200 c.i. backpack, and through my Browning A-bolt 7mm Rem. Magnum over my shoulder for the long trek in front of me. It was slightly overcast and the temperature was about thirty two degrees. The snow was about two feet deep, hitting me just under the knees while walking.
Exhausted from trudging in the snow all morning, I stopped to catch my breath. I then pulled up my binoculars to look into a canyon that was off to my left. Scanning the rim of the canyon, there he was the buck that I was looking for! It was the buck with the good typical frame and he was in a huntable location. He was working the canyon rim headed towards a patch of Aspen trees. I thought to myself, "If I hurry I can make it to the little finger that protrudes from the rim and have about a 350 yard shot". So, off I went on a dead sprint towards the finger.
I got to the finger about 150 yards from the top. Then I looked to my left and he was staring right at me at about 300 yards, closer than I first thought. I froze, for what seemed like an hour, but closer to five minutes. Finally, he turned and slowly started to head for the ridge line. As soon as he did, I moved over and got a dead rest on a nearby Aspen. I took a deep breath, picked my spot on the quartering away deer, and boom!! Over the rim he went. The doubt settles in, did I miss? Then I thought to myself, well you know he was about 300 yards from you. You know your gun is dead on at that distance and you know where you held on the deer. Well I guess I will side hill it over to where he was and find out if I hit him or not.
When I got over to where he was there was no blood to be found. Then, I saw some slide marks in the snow on the back side of the canyon rim. Following the slide marks to an Aspen patch below me, I could see him piled up in the snow. Wow, what a rush that flowed through my veins as I saw him lying there. All the hours and the hard work had finally paid off for me. The deer unofficially scores 183 5/8 gross. He has 4 1/4 inch eye guards and has over 30 inches of mass. The date was the 27th of October, my 27th birthday, and I had just shot a 27 inch 4x4 Muley. I would like to thank my wife Amy for letting me pursue these wise old bucks and for putting up with me. Also, my Dad for helping me get the deer home after the long morning.
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