Mule Deer, Elk and Western Big Game Hunting -

The Wrong Place at the Right Time
By Eli Parris

Eli's Monster Muley
My anticipation for this hunt began in June when I discovered that I had drawn a tag, along with one of my hunting buddies, Eric. This unit is by no means considered a "trophy" area, and it only takes 1-2 points to draw. It is the third time I have had this tag - the first year I killed a small 4x4 and the second hunt produced nothing in 8 days of hunting. I think I saw one forky. As a matter of fact, I have hunted this unit for elk as well and the best buck I've even seen was 160's class, which happened to be during the rut.

We chose to hunt an area that I had never been in before. I had scouted it several times, and literally had seen zero deer. So why did I think this area would produce? 2 reasons. The first was access and the second was cover. There wasn't anybody as dumb as we were to hunt this nasty stuff. Secondly, this area had little of the cover that a bowhunter would need, and this unit is pummeled by general season bowhunters the whole month of September every year.

Opening morning came and we tried to steal an extra 30 minutes of shut-eye. We soon realized that dawn was approaching. We hurried to our glassing spot, only to find it occupied. I was furious. Not wanting other hunters to ruin opening morning, we quickly found another area to glass and began picking apart the scenery. Elk were everywhere. As we admired a nice 6x6 bull, Eric spotted a buck below. It was a nice 3x4, and soon after, this big boy stepped out. They were only out for about 7 minutes before they bedded some 800 yards below us. Being late was the best thing that happened to us. Had we been glassing from our original spot, we would not have seen these bucks.

Eric's Buck
With the wind ripping in our faces, we had the conditions for the perfect stalk and setup. Had it not been blowing so hard, I doubt we would have been able to get the positioning we did. The plan was to surround the bowl below where they were bedded and it worked successfully. We were able to get within 200 yards of them and we both connected.

My father was an avid sportsman and was the person that taught me everything about hunting and to love and respect the outdoors. He passed away on October 1, 2010. Coincidentally, I shot this buck on the 6th anniversary of his death. I know he had something to do with it. Thanks Dad!

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

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

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