Mule Deer, Elk and Western Big Game Hunting -

My Colorado Trophy Buck
Written by Mitchell Walz

My Colorado Trophy Buck
I have been watching this deer for over 3 years now and I finally had a legitimate chance to hunt him. I own Walz Guide Service in Craig, Colorado and have had several hunters on this buck in the past years, but we could never seem to get him picked up. It always seemed like something would go wrong when I would get someone on this deer.

I was guiding one of my last deer hunters for the year and we came across this buck on the last evening of his hunt. It was very cold and windy and we would have to cover a pretty large canyon to get to him before dark.
My hunter elected to pass on this once in a lifetime buck, so we just watched him rut some does until it got dark. Over the next week, I had a party of elk hunters in camp and I did not get a chance to hunt this buck or even keep my eye on him. I was beginning to think that the curse would stay on me and another year would go.

When the last of my elk hunters left camp, the first thing that I did was head for where I last saw him. To my surprise, he was still in the same canyon, just a little closer to me this time. I watched him rut a doe for about an hour and she kept bringing him to me as if on a string. The closest they got was around 425 yards.

In western Colorado, long range shooting is quite often the norm and I frequently practice out to 500 yards. I was confident that I could make this shot, but the wind was blowing and gusting over 60 m.p.h. My gun found a familiar place up against my shoulder, I adjusted for the wind and the shot felt good, only the buck didn't flinch.
The next round entered the chamber and exited the barrel with the same result. I then held 2 feet in front of the buck and shot. Snow flew up 2 feet behind him. The wind had pushed my bullet over 10 feet to the left, and it was blowing so hard that he couldn't hear the muzzle blast.

My guts were all messed up by now and I realized that I had to cut some distance between us. I had to hustle, for I only had 45 minutes to get across the near vertical canyon---I reloaded on my way.
Going down the canyon was easy, the other side proved to be the challenge. As I made my way up the side of the canyon, I slowed down and tried to catch my breath. I was in a small finger draw, just deep enough to conceal my accent and when I felt that I was high enough, I peaked out of the draw and there he was, but he was bedded down.

I could not see her, but I knew he was bedded up with the hot doe he was rutting. I knew that as long as she held tight, he wouldn't leave her. I took 10 minutes or so to catch my breath, and as my breathing came back to norm, I found him in my scope again, but had no good shot.
He was bedded facing directly away from me. The sun was fading fast and I had only minutes left of shooting light, so I whistled......nothing. I whistled again…..nothing. The third time I whistled he looked my direction. Surely, he was going to stand up now…..but nothing.
I had only a few minutes to make this work, so I hollered. Wrong move! He bailed out of his bed and ran flat for 100 yards. Fortunately, he just had to stop and look back to see who and what was yelling at him, and at 245 yards, the wind didn't push my bullet this time!

There was no shrinkage when I got to him. He ended up grossing right at 201. His beams are both 27", both G-2's over 17", awesome G-4's are 13 1/2 " and 14 1/4" and he had over 40 inches of mass. He carried his mass throughout his beams. I finally had a legitimate chance to hunt this deer and I will never forget how fortunate I was.

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

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

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