Well it finally happened; my hunting buddy got a break and was in the right place at the right time. He has taken deer off our property over the past several years but hasn't been lucky enough to take one of the big guys that cruise our canyons.
We had a cold snap come in this past Saturday morning along with thick misty fog. Visibility was only about 60 yds and we made a move to creep into a stand that is usually reserved for evening hunts due to its close proximity to the wheat fields where the deer spend the nights feeding. Nothing came thru the canyon at first light and we were beginning to think it was another slow day when a great buck appeared out of the fog from the opposite direction than the normal morning deer travel. This guy was walking with the wind at his back and headed to the wheat, just goes to show you never know what they are going to do. He milled around for a few tense moments and finally closed the gap to a 20 yd shot in which my friend smoked him with a broad head thru the engine room. The buck flinched, changed direction and began to WALK away like nothing had happened. He made it up to the next shelf in our canyon and walked around a corner and out of sight at 100yds.
The decision was made to back out and give him time. After 2 hours we returned and were glassing the canyon from above when 2 does jumped up and ran in the same direction the buck had gone. At the point the buck had turned the corner and was out of our sight due to a large rock outcropping this doe stopped and looked back at us then snapped her head around looking due west and began to stomp her foot as she stared intently at something just out of our sight. At that moment I knew she was staring at the buck. We dropped into the canyon worked our way across the bottom and back up the opposite side to remain down wind of the bucks location incase he was still alive. We derived a plan for me to move further west along the canyon wall so that I would have a better vantage point as the wall swung back to the north and my friend would take a direct approach right above the buck so that he would be in position if a follow-up shot was needed.
As I inched forward I was so excited to see this magnificent buck lying at the foot of the wall. He was done and I signaled that it was over. Both my friend and I were so relieved to have worked so hard and finally have a plan come together for him.
We later calculated that this season alone we have carried decoys over 10 miles thru the canyons, rattled in more than 20 set-ups and hiked in excess of 20 miles back-N- forth thru the rough terrian. needless to say this buck will be a proud addition to his living room wall.
Here's a picture of him once we got him back to town.
This Buck scored 151" 2/8 and that's a hand full for a basic 8 pt.