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"Ghost Mine Success"

Todd's Colorado Buck
Todd's buck is a heavy 4x4 that grosses 173 B&C.
I left work in Salt Lake City, Utah around 5 p.m. and headed for the LaSal Mountains of Southeastern Utah. I had drawn a late season hunt in Colorado's unit 63, on the east side of the LaSals. I would be hunting with my dad and brother-in law. We arrived on the mountain around 12 a.m., the moon was bright and with a skiff of snow you could almost see good enough to shoot. With the newly fallen snow we were excited for the morning hunt. I rolled out my bag in the back of my truck and woke at 6 a.m. I was covered with frost, and it was a bit chilly to say the least.

Opening morning found us working the rims of carpenter ridge overlooking rock creek. We saw a few deer and elk but nothing worth shooting. We continued working the rims but were finding very little. Our luck, or lack there of, continued throughout the day and into Sunday.

Sunday afternoon found us heading further east towards the Doloras River. The country looked promising and it wasn't long before we a found a bunch of fresh tracks. We continued glassing and looking the area over and eventually jumped a group of does with a small buck hot on their tail. We watched these deer for a while in anticipation of a bigger buck showing up, but no such luck. The area was riddled with old abandon mines and the disturbed areas were growing cliff rose like weeds. The deer were concentrating on these areas, leaving fresh sign all over the place. Later that evening, we ran across a huge track in one area and decided we needed to be there the next morning.

We started Monday morning hunting around the old mine sites. We would look over the rims, through a rock here and there, and glass, hoping to catch a glimpse of a deer. Again, we saw fresh sign everywhere, but the junipers were so thick it was difficult to see much more than 100 yards. We had just glassed a small side canyon and were on our way up an old mining road when we first saw the buck. At first glance he didn't look very big, he was looking straight at us and he just wasn't very wide. I remember thinking how huge the body looked compared to his antlers.

As the buck turned and started trotting away, I was looking for a spot to shoot. He may have been narrow but his height and deep forks made up for his lack of width. I ran around a small draw and caught the buck on another mining road just as he was about to drop off into a small canyon. He was looking right at me, so I dropped my bipod down and slowly squeezed the trigger on my 7mm Magnum. The buck whirled around and continued down the road. I new he was hit well, so I headed back around the draw to get on the road. I picked up his tracks and blood and followed him about 100 yards over a little rise.

Upon seeing the buck, I was again surprised. He wasn't the biggest buck I had ever taken, but he was a keeper none the less. I remember thinking his head was too small, but after measuring his 27" neck, I knew why. The buck was 4.5 years old, 22 inches wide, and 24 inches tall. He gross scores 173 B&C points, and has an extra eye guard off his right antler. We were able to drag the buck a couple hundred yards, then with a little effort, were able to work the truck to the buck.

Overall, I would consider it a successful hunt. We harvested two other deer, a small buck and another 165 class 4x4.

Written by Todd Black