Mule Deer, Elk and Western Big Game Hunting -

"Lucky In More Ways Than One"
Written by Matt Brown

Lucky Matt
My brother, Steve, and I woke up early to head into one of our better hunting spots where we know some monster bucks like to hang out. Before we left the truck at about 8:00am, Steve told me to fire 3 quick shots if I ended up shooting something and we went our separate ways. I headed into an area where I've never hunted, but I knew was a likely bedding area for one of the bigger bucks in the area. Steve headed to some ridges that usually hold the bigger bucks during warmer days like this day was.

I had been walking for a couple hours and was finally making it into the area where I thought I would run into one of my bucks that I have sheds from. I noticed a few small rubs and a little bit of sign, nothing too promising but I still figured I might bump into something. I took the antler that I carry with me off my pack and decided to try and mock a buck rubbing a small fir tree.

Lucky Matt
This tactic has worked lots for me in this particular area and I thought I could bring something in on this day. I racked the antler up and down the tree a few times, and then stopped to listen for 30 seconds. I then proceeded to take a few steps forward and to the left to gain a little bit of a better vantage.
After 10 steps, I rounded a fir tree and there, right in front of my eyes was a massive 4 point muley 15 yards away. I immediately recognized the buck as one me and Steve have 2 sheds from. When the buck and I made eye contact he turned to run, I barely had time to get the rifle to my shoulder and touch a shot off. I immediately saw hair flying in the air, but was still unsure about where I had hit the buck as it happened so fast. I jacked another shell in the chamber and took five steps forward and saw the buck wheel-barrowing himself forward on his front legs. I tried to get a clear shot to finish the buck off, but the way he was dragging himself around and my adrenaline pumping made the task pretty difficult.

Lucky Matt
Finally, I threaded a bullet into his upper spine-neck area and the buck lay still for the final time. I then walked back to my pack and tried to calm down before walking up to the buck, I was pretty excited as this was the one buck in the area I really wanted to get. I walked up to the buck and admired his massive antlers and was really surprised at how much mass the buck had gained as compared to last year. I then set the buck up for photos and took about 20 pictures to make sure I got some good ones.

After the photos were complete I began to field dress the buck and was almost finished when I went to cut around the rear end. I had a little bit of hide that needed to be removed so I put my knife blade under it and pulled directly towards myself………….My knife cut through the hide and plunged right into my left thigh just above the knee!

Lucky Matt
I immediately felt blood squirting out of my leg, so I quickly took the lace off my left boot and tied it tightly above the wound. That seemed to stop the bleeding, so I continued to skin the buck so the meat would not spoil.
Soon after, I realized that my knife wound was much worse than I had thought and that I better get out to the road ASAP or I would be in serious trouble.

I took flagging tape from my pack and ribboned a trail from the deer to the road so that my brother would be able to find it when I was getting fixed. I continued hobbling down the road and realized that my boot lace wasn't tight enough around my leg, as my boot was now full of blood. I took an 8-inch stick and put it between my leg and the boot lace, then I gave the stick a few twists to tighten the lace and it seemed to help.

Lucky Matt
I continued walking the road hoping to run into my brother somewhere along the way. I would call out for him every few seconds and never got a response. I started to feel really faint, so I laid on the ground and elevated my leg for 5 minutes. I felt a little better after the short rest, so I continued down the road until I hit a cutblock that Steve and I had split up a week prior when we hunted this area.
I had to rest again as I felt really close to passing out. I also remembered Steve telling me to fire 3 quick shots if I had killed anything, so I did that as well. After resting, I made it down to, and across a small creek and climbed up the hill on the other side. Once at the top, I was really feeling sick so I laid down again and elevated my leg to slow the bleeding. I knew I could walk no further so I prepared myself for a long wait and tried to stay comfortable and not panic.

I was looking all around me keeping an eye out for my brother when I saw a flash of movement across the creek. I saw my brother walk out from behind some pines, so I yelled to get his attention. He heard me and started coming my way. As he was walking towards me I told him I shot a big buck, but that I needed serious help, as I had stabbed myself in the leg. He didn't believe me at first, as this seemed like something I would do as a joke to mess with him.
As he walked closer though, he realized the seriousness of the situation and ran and got his truck. Then we had a rough hour of hell bouncing up and down on the ride out. Steve took me home and my mom called the doctor to meet us at the D and T Centre. The doctor stopped the bleeding and then I was sent to Kelowna general hospital to see a vascular surgeon. I had my leg operated on that night to repair all the damage. As it turned out, I didn't hit the femoral artery at all, I cut a few veins and a lot of muscle and in total lost about 2 liters of blood during the 2 kilometers Ii had to walk out. Now my leg is all stitched up and I have around 6 weeks of recovery time to look forward to.

Editor's Note: Be careful folks!!

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

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

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