Mule Deer, Elk and Western Big Game Hunting -

"My 2001 South Dakota Mule Deer"
Written by Wacey Jay Kirkpatrick

Wacey's Big Buck
Wacey's buck is 28 inches wide.
On many occasions, while driving up the county road to my grandfather's place (which is two miles from our place), we would see a really nice buck. He was hanging with a bunch of does and some little two and three point bucks. My Dad and I first guessed him to be a 4x5 at about 27 to 28 inches wide. One evening as I was taking a tractor up to my grandfather's place, they crossed the road right in front of me and went out into a wheat field to feed for the night. Talk about buck FEVER! When pheasant season started, the deer in the area got really stirred up from all the road hunters, and I figured he would head out of the country, but much to my surprise, he stuck around.

Every year my uncle gets a bow license and comes out to bow hunt. On his second trip out here, he hunted along Big Creek, an area near the ranch that holds a lot of deer. Unfortunately, he didn't see many deer, so dad and I decided to try to get him on top of the big boy we had seen.
There was only one small stipulation. If my uncle happened to shoot him, he had to head mount the buck. My uncle reluctantly agreed.

We set my uncle up on a part of the creek that ran right by our alfalfa field, where the buck had been bedding in the afternoons. It seemed as though God told that buck to find a new bedding spot, because the buck came down the hill from our house and bedded down in the creek bottom without us knowing it. We looked all over for him, but didn't find him until just before dark. By then, it was too late.

About two weeks before the rifle season opened, the buck disappeared. I was hoping that we would run across him on opening day because I wanted my Dad to get a shot at the big one this year. Sadly, the first and second weekend went by without any sightings of the wise old buck.
Ultimately, my uncle shot a nice 4x5 whitetail buck and my Dad shot a good 2x4 muley. Now I was the one that had to get my tag filled. When the second weekend ended, I was starting to get worried that I would not even get to see another mature buck.

We had a four-day weekend from school for Thanksgiving, so I was looking forward to a lot of hunting time! I hunted most of Thanksgiving Day and saw a nice, dark horned 4x4, but I decided that he needed to have a chance to grow up. The day after Thanksgiving, I decided to go see if I could see a whitetail. I saw two whitetail bucks, and one little muley buck, but no "Big Ones". As I was getting back to the pickup, my Dad called on the cell phone and said he was going up to my Grandpas to do some chores and then he would come hunting with me. So I headed back to my Grandpas place to help get the chores done early.
When Dad arrived, he said that we needed to go get some livestock barrels up by the stock dam. On our way up there, Dad stopped the pickup and said that he just saw a buck go into the creek bottom. We couldn't tell how big he was, so we got the barrels and went back to my pickup so I could get my gun. Dad and I walked down into the creek bottom and got ready for the buck. We figured he would come right by us if he kept heading in the same direction. All of a sudden, I saw the buck and he stopped and looked at us. I whispered to Dad, "It's the BIG ONE"! The buck saw us and took off running. Dad whistled at him and he turned broadside. Bang! I shot right over his back. The buck took off running again and dad whistled once more. Again, the buck stopped and turned broadside! This time Dad said, "Pull your scope down on him a little". I did and fired again. The buck jumped, kicked, and took off running. He was hit!

We waited for him to lie down and die, then went to get the pickup. As we were pulling up to him, we realized that he had broken his main beam right in front of the front fork. Dad and I guessed that he broke it while fighting with another buck. When I put the tape measure up to his rack, my mouth dropped open. He was 28 inches wide!

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

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

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