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"South Dakota Muley for Darin"
Photo provided by: Darin Johnson

Darin Johnson writes, "While hunting antelope in northwestern South Dakota on a friend's ranch, I obtained video footage of this buck while he was with two other bachelor bucks. When I and my hunting partner, Bill, returned five weeks later for our deer hunt, I knew which deer I would be holding out for.

On opening day, we passed on several smaller bucks in hopes of seeing the big one. After walking for almost 10 miles on the ranch, we decided to sit in the pickup on a high ridge and glass the country while our sore legs recovered.

I was glassing some cut banks at the base of a hill approximately one mile away and spotted a deer bedded down in the shadow of one of the bowl cut banks. The distance and poor light condition didn't allow us to get a clear image of the rack, but we knew we wanted to investigate further.
We backed off the ridge and got out of the pickup about 1/2 mile away from the deer and began our stalk. I worked my way around the cut banks toward the bedded deer and when we were about 20 yards away, I came around the last corner and the buck immediately jumped out of its bed and out of the bowl. I took a shot at about 25 yards as he was running, quartering away and he went down in a hurry.

Needless to say, I was happy with the end result. The buck is a 5x5 and measured 25" outside and had great mass for a South Dakota buck. I was using my .270 Mauser 98 that I use for all my big game hunting. This was a great hunt and one I will cherish."

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