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Home Page Photo Categories 2011 Big Buck, Big Bull & Other Big Game Contests

"Deep Snow Trophy Buck for James"
Photo provided by: James Nickell

James Nickell writes, "This is a deer I took with a general Utah tag on public land. The day before the hunt opened we backpacked four miles into our area during a blizzard. We woke the next morning to a surprise 12 inches at camp and around 15 on the peaks where we planned to hunt. Not to be deterred, I hiked straight to the top. On my way, I jumped a really nice 4 point that I was unable to shoot. I spent the rest of the morning kicking myself for not being able to get a shot off. I came off the mountain later that afternoon to meet up with our group and plan the night hunt. I decided for that night to hunt on the other side of the canyon so that I could glass across and maybe find the buck I saw that morning. While hiking up the steep snowy slope I found a nice spot to sit and glass. Within minutes I spotted a group of about 10 does and one 2 point. I glassed for another 15 minutes and found nothing worth going after. As I stood to hike higher, I looked back one last time and saw a big bodied deer that had not been there before. From about 1200 yards away I could tell he was a shooter. The problem was he was in a very hard spot to get to. I had about an hour and 20 minutes of light and at a semi jog I estimated it would take me at least 50 minutes to get to him (assuming he didnít leave before I got there). So I sprinted off the mountain and before starting my ascent up the other side I ditched everything except for my gun and binos. I am an avid triathlete and endurance runner, but even with all of my hours of training, making it up this mountain before dark took everything I had and then some. Once I finally reached the summit I army crawled over the top and to my surprise the buck was standing broadside 70 yards away. A few seconds later I had a 170 class buck on the ground. He is 25-1/2 wide, really heavy and tall. I have seen better deer in this area, but he is the best I have taken so far."

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