"Steve's Wyoming Archery Deer Hunt"
Written by Steve Schulz
It seamed like only yesterday that I was out chasing the monster muleys of the sagebrush. But this year it would be different, I would get one. With the built up excitement of a child on Christmas morning I strode through the brush, taking in the sweet fresh smell of sage brush in the cool early morning air, as the sun broke over the ridges to the east.
Glassing from a vantage point as the sun rolled out, I slowly started to pick up deer in the distance. I found quite a few nice bucks, but none of which were of the caliber I was going to subject myself too crawling through cactus to get a shot at, a few average 3x4s, and 4x4s. It was way too early in the season to simply shot an average deer.
Later in the after noon I finally found a suitable candidate, a beautiful 4x4 with great fronts and good backs, about 25 inches outside. Probably close to a 160 class deer. I watched as he feed down into a pocket and laid down under a sage bush. He was with two other bucks, a big 3x3 and a little 2x2.
Shortly after I started in for the strike, I spooked the bucks and the big boy was up and looking around. By the time I got to a vantage point, I found the 3x3 walking away without the 4x4. I sat and watched him lay down, but couldn't find the big 4x4. I decided to head back to the truck and call it a day. As I hiked back, I was heading in the direction of where I had last seen the big 4x4 and as I got closer I thought to myself how it would be funny if the big buck jumped up and ran out of here.
Here is where my best friend in the world, luck, comes out to play. As I came to the ridge the big 4x4 did in fact jump and run, but he stopped broadside looking for what had disturbed him. Quickly I judged the range and with confidence let the arrow fly, watching as it cleared his back by about two feet.
I hunted for three more days, not finding any other bucks of which I was willing to log hours of blood and sweat over. I did however log quite a few long days hiking around glassing, of which my feet and back were starting to feel the effort.
Bow - PSE Vengence
Arrows - Black hawk
Broadheads - Nap spite fire 100 grain
Release - Scoot mongoose
Site - Cobra sure lock
Binos - Brunton 11x45
Camo - Predator
Glassing the bunch we could not find any thing bigger than a 2x2. After sitting for a while, we found a few more just to the left. There were three and all were bucks. One was a real good 4x4 with good fronts and good backs, maybe around 150 -160 class. And one with huge bases around six inches with a whole lot of trash sticking up about 3-4 inches long and one long beam coming up about 14 inches on both sides.
Of course they were on the other side of a deep draw and after a climb up the other side we were yards from the big 4x4, which was feeding broadside to us. After ranging the buck and cutting the distance I was now within 40 yards of him. Wayne slipped back down the draw and up a bit and was tossing rocks to get the bucks attention off of my location.
Pulling back and hitting my anchor point, settling my forty yard pin just behind his shoulder. I took a few deep breaths to calm my nerves. Whack, then thud the arrow was on its way and had missed striking the dirt bank behind the deer. Of course he was on his way also out of the county. My best friend, (luck) decided to show up again, and I had double clutched the string then mashed the trigger on the release. Wayne came up the side of the draw excited thinking I'd just stuck the buck. He simply said, "Well, lets just find another one." Easy enough to say, I'd been out for six days and this was only the second shooter buck I had seen.
We hiked around on sore feet up and down and around then back to the truck, at least the day was overcast and slightly windy, which helped keep the heat down. We did eventually get into another spot where I'd found nine bucks three days ago. After getting ready, (taping up blisters on sore feet) we were off hiking and glassing. We jumped two small bucks and a doe in the bottom of a draw and watched as they climbed with ease up and out.
The two of us decided to walk back to the truck and snoop around other hot spots where I'd found bucks in the past. Scrambling down one side of a draw and up the other, getting to the top walking along, I spotted a deer out feeding along the same hill we were on, about 100 yards just in front of us.
With the wind blowing towards him I was sure he would be bounding out of sight any moment now. It appeared that luck was again going to show up. We both dropped to the ground, peeking through the sage brush I could not find the deer, now slightly standing, I still was unable to locate him. Now standing I still could not see him, we both started to creep in the direction of the buck. Getting to the edge of the draw we both looked over and still saw nothing, shrugging our shoulders at each other, we stepped closer to the edge. There, I caught movement and glimpsed the back forks of a bucks antlers as he feed along feet from me.
Within seconds I had an arrow from the quiver and on the string, edging over even more, I could see his body and part of his head, perfectly broadside. Hitting my anchor point finding my mark, with a flash the arrow was gone with the sound of a loud thud of a solid hit.
The deer bolted down and across the draw stumbling forward falling three times before he finally fell in a thick patch of sage brush right in the bottom of the draw. A perfect shot behind the shoulder right through the heart. It appeared as though luck was along for the ride again today and had changed.
This was one of the biggest bucks I'd shot with a bow, with main beams measuring over 23 inches and bases over 6, grossing 160 P&Y and change.
Like most adventure or quests afield it is not a one man show, things are usually a coordinated effort of many. Even if it is simply the skills that were taught, or the permission to pursue your passion in a hot spot. Thanks Dad, and thanks very, very much to Doug Cooper for allowing me the opportunity to chase deer on his place. I really don't think you will ever know how much it means. And thanks to my wife, Valerie, for understanding my passion for bow hunting.
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Click-a-Pic ... Details & Bigger Photos
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