MonsterMuleys.com

"Last Day California Muley"
Written by Ron Carnes

Last Day California Muley
I waited five years for this northern California premium tag. Both my brother and I drew the limited two week mule deer hunt. Even though we know this area very well, with the advantage of living in the area, we took a few weeks before season and scouted. We had seen large bucks in this well wooded area several weeks before season and hoped to see the same bucks on opening morning. "Ha" that was wishful thinking! On opening morning we passed up a nice three point knowing that the big one was just around the corner. For the first week, we spent countless hours looking for these monster bucks only to see a small 3-point and some forked horns.

The start of the second week was not much better, we had a full moon to deal with and the weather started changing for the worst, and I don't mean rain and snow, we are talking sunshine and warm temperatures! Time was running short, so we decided to separate and hunt in two different locations. My brother took a buck that following Monday of the second week, but I was holding out for the big one. I continued to hunt each evening knowing that I would come across that one buck that would make this premium tag worth the wait. With just two days left in the season, I came across four bucks in the late evening. They were all really good bucks, but I decided to hold off.

On the last day of the season I hunted all morning without seeing any sign of deer, and I was kicking myself for passing up all the bucks earlier that week. Knowing that I should be hunting, I decided to take a break and wait for the evening hunt. I received a call from my brother just a few minutes after returning home. He wanted to know how my morning hunt went and I proceeded to tell him that I was unsuccessful in taking a buck. He decided to come along on that final evening of the hunt.

That final evening we hiked a ridge where we had seen bucks in the past and started glassing. To our surprise we spotted four bucks about 1,500 yards away and the stalk was on. The brush was deep and thick, and before we knew it we were in over our heads. The wind picked up and we couldn't get a shot on any of the bucks that we had spotted. We continued down the steep slope hoping that we might get a second chance. Out of nowhere I jumped a buck of a lifetime. At a full run one hundred yards away, I took a shot and it was good. As we approached the monster non-typical, I was in awe. What a great northern California buck!