Mule Deer, Elk and Western Big Game Hunting -

35-Inch Colorado Slug Buck
By Christian Simpson

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It was the second rifle season in Northern Colorado and upon arrival to camp there was about 6 inches of fresh snow on the ground and the daytime temperature was hovering in the 20s. Recently there had been some logging near where my hunting group goes, so we were hoping this wouldn't effect our hunt much or chase all the critters off of the hill entirely.

Saturday and Sunday were relatively uneventful for me, but my dad connected with a 6x6 bull on Saturday morning and another guy in our group connected with a 22" 4x5 buck on Sunday morning. All signs were pointing toward a great hunt already, and it was only the end of the opening weekend of the season.

On Monday, the weather warmed up significantly, and I found myself glassing an aspen patch in the morning. The morning turned up a spike bull and about 15 does meandering through. I left my spot for lunch at about 11:00. At the end of lunch and a little relaxing, my dad's buddy said he had a magazine article saying the peak of afternoon game activity was at 1:45, and he was telling me this at 1:35 or so. So as unlikely as the peak of activity being in the middle of the day, I still got my stuff gathered and headed back to the same aspen patch from the morning to glass the hillside.

I got down to my spot at about 2:00 in the afternoon. After about half an hour, I spotted a slug-of-a-buck about 350 yards out, slowly feeding through the aspens toward me. I kept trying to find a shooting lane through the trees, but he never stopped in the right spot for a good shot. He disappeared into a draw at the bottom of the hillside, and I thought I had blown my chance at a great buck. At this point, I didn't know he was as wide as he was, but I knew he was a nice 5x5, at least.

Suddenly, after being out of sight for about 5 minutes, he appeared on the hillside below me, feeding up almost directly at me. He fed to within 30 yards and stopped, just slightly quartering to me, and I got my shot. One shot and the 35-inch wide trophy crumpled where he stood.

The whole thing really got my heart going; I couldn't believe my luck ... he fed right up to me, out of all possible game trails he could've taken. It was a heck of a fun time and I'm glad I got to share it with my dad. His elk was also the biggest he had ever taken in his 40+ years of hunting. Looks like the recent logging in our area IMPROVED the hunting, if anything! 2013 turned out to be one for the books for me and pops.

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