Preseason Scouting Turns up Some Giants

With the fall hunts up and coming, we got out and did some pre-season scouting. As it sometimes happens, we saw some truly amazing bucks but come hunting time we weren’t able to turn up a giant.

 i went hunting non-typical velvet buck   velvet mule deer bucks

    Great looking non-typical buck in velvet                       Velvet bucks feeding through the trees 

 i went hunting non-typical velvet buck   typical velvet mule deer buck

           Giant typical velvet buck in his bed                            Got him to stand, has to be over 30 inches! 

Our time spent in the mountains was memorable. My youngest got off a shot at a 2 point and narrowly missed at 40 yards after putting on his best stalk to date. As two deer fed along a sparsely wooded hillside, Carson made his way up the hill a few hundred yards ahead of them. With only a small bush in which to conceal his presence, he crouched down and waited at the top of a small ravine separating himself from the deer.

Archery hunting
                                                  Fun time trying to get it done


As the deer entered the ravine, they completely disappeared from sight. Carson said his heart began to beat violently. As the doe popped up just 25 yards in front of him, he said he could barely keep his breath under control. Minutes passed as the doe slowly fed away and that’s when the buck finally showed himself. However, the buck was at 40 yards and barely within Carson’s shooting range. The moment came for him to take the shot. Carson fully expected the buck to bolt as he rose to his knees and drew his bow. But the buck paused. Carson let an arrow fly! The shot that appeared to be right on track hit just under the buck and smacked a log with a loud thwack as the buck bounded off. Oh so close and oh so exciting!

 archery hunting  archery hunting arrow

         The charcoal from the burn made for good camo                          Within inches...clean miss... 

The archery deer season came and went without our group having notched a tag. However, I had a tag for the muzzleloader deer season and was excited for the opportunity to get out and hunt with my CVA Wolf. But after several long days of hiking without turning up a single buck, I was getting quite discouraged. Being the last day I could hunt, it was a foregone conclusion that I would shoot at any buck with antlers; I wanted meat for the freezer.

Hole in a rock
                While hunting, found this interesting hollowed out cave inside a boulder










It felt like a Hail Mary situation as I found myself crossing this pine covered hillside at midday. As I scoured my surroundings, I almost didn’t see the deer at first. Their now gray colored winter coats blended in perfectly with the outcropping of rocks that littered the mountainside. A quick double take shook me to my core as I noticed antlers on one of the two mule deer standing 130 yards away. Without taking a closer look, I quickly un-shouldered my gun, popped a primer in the breech plug and took aim. A large puff of smoke filled the air as the black powder exploded out in front of me. Then all was still. The smoke slowly cleared and only one deer was standing. Unsure of what had just happened, the doe finally bounded off as my buck lay motionless on the ground!

CVA wolf muzzleloader buck
                                           Not a bad buck for the freezer












I didn’t know at the time, but our freezers were about to fill up quickly. Our family had four antlerless elk tags and one doe pronghorn tag. I was first to connect on my antelope at a whopping 558 yards with the 6.5 Creedmoor. As is the case in most antelope country, there was absolutely no way to get closer as the rolling prairie offered little cover. We had already cut the distance by about 1000 yards since first finding the herd in our spotting scopes. As beads of sweat rolled down our backs, I setup on double tripods and sent the 143 gr. Hornaday ELD-X bullet hurtling toward its target. In no time we had the animal boned out and in our packs as we trekked back to our truck a couple of miles away.

 antelope hunting long range  long range shooting

            Rolling prairie provided little cover                         558 yards was as close as we dared stalk