Carbon Express Arrows
HC mule deer hunt. Good, Bad and Ugly
Mule Deer
Contributors to this thread:
EmbryO-klahoma 09-Sep-16
Bear Track 09-Sep-16
EmbryOklahoma 09-Sep-16
Scoot 09-Sep-16
EmbryOklahoma 09-Sep-16
EmbryOklahoma 09-Sep-16
brettpsu 09-Sep-16
Treeline 09-Sep-16
EmbryOklahoma 09-Sep-16
EmbryOklahoma 09-Sep-16
t-roy 09-Sep-16
EmbryOklahoma 09-Sep-16
EmbryOklahoma 09-Sep-16
EmbryOklahoma 09-Sep-16
XMan 09-Sep-16
Brotsky 09-Sep-16
midwest 09-Sep-16
EmbryOklahoma 09-Sep-16
EmbryOklahoma 09-Sep-16
EmbryOklahoma 09-Sep-16
EmbryOklahoma 09-Sep-16
EmbryOklahoma 09-Sep-16
EmbryOklahoma 09-Sep-16
EmbryOklahoma 09-Sep-16
EmbryOklahoma 09-Sep-16
EmbryOklahoma 09-Sep-16
EmbryOklahoma 09-Sep-16
EmbryOklahoma 09-Sep-16
EmbryOklahoma 09-Sep-16
EmbryOklahoma 09-Sep-16
EmbryOklahoma 09-Sep-16
HUNT MAN 09-Sep-16
EmbryOklahoma 09-Sep-16
EmbryOklahoma 09-Sep-16
EmbryOklahoma 09-Sep-16
EmbryOklahoma 09-Sep-16
EmbryOklahoma 09-Sep-16
hunt'n addict 09-Sep-16
Ron Niziolek 09-Sep-16
Scoot 09-Sep-16
EmbryOklahoma 09-Sep-16
EmbryOklahoma 09-Sep-16
EmbryOklahoma 09-Sep-16
BULELK1 10-Sep-16
BOHNTR 10-Sep-16
trkyslr 10-Sep-16
taxidermy man 10-Sep-16
EmbryOklahoma 10-Sep-16
IdyllwildArcher 11-Sep-16
XMan 11-Sep-16
TREESTANDWOLF 11-Sep-16
tradmt 11-Sep-16
2tuna@home 11-Sep-16
writer 11-Sep-16
WV Mountaineer 11-Sep-16
trublucolo 11-Sep-16
EmbryOklahoma 11-Sep-16
Thornton 11-Sep-16
Mark Watkins 11-Sep-16
Medicinemann 11-Sep-16
EmbryOklahoma 12-Sep-16
loesshillsarcher 12-Sep-16
Florida Mike 12-Sep-16
EmbryOklahoma 12-Sep-16
Brotsky 12-Sep-16
OFFHNTN 12-Sep-16
Charlie Rehor 12-Sep-16
Amoebus 12-Sep-16
EmbryOklahoma 12-Sep-16
09-Sep-16

EmbryO-klahoma's embedded Photo
EmbryO-klahoma's embedded Photo
Thought I'd share a little of mine and my wife's adventure. Colorado, 11-12k feet, High Country mule deer, Public land.

After getting 10 days of junk loaded up in the old truck, we were off...

From: Bear Track
09-Sep-16
Sounds like fun, but thinking you need a bigger truck with what you have left to pack! Ha!

09-Sep-16

EmbryOklahoma's embedded Photo
EmbryOklahoma's embedded Photo
I tend to agree, Bear track, and you're not the first to say that. ;)

The 10 hour drive and a few pit stops put us on the mountain around 4:30 and in the middle of this stuff... Yes, that's rain/hail mix. Apparently there's quite a bit this time of year.

From: Scoot
09-Sep-16
Sweet- this should be fun!

09-Sep-16

EmbryOklahoma's embedded Photo
EmbryOklahoma's embedded Photo
My only concern going into this hunt was the ATV traffic on this high forest service road. It was pretty damn rough, which kept the traffic down some. But if you had an ATV, easily accessible. This comes into play later...

Meanwhile... We had to set camp up on the evening of the 24th, in the rain/sleet. It sucked.

09-Sep-16

EmbryOklahoma's embedded Photo
EmbryOklahoma's embedded Photo
I'm not the best of story tellers. There's times when I've been "colorful", with my descriptions and didnt need to be. Like my story telling, my pictures might or might not go in order.

So... Here's one I forgot, the beautiful panhandle of Oklahoma. Soak that in for a bit.

From: brettpsu
09-Sep-16
Looking forward to this story. I'm leaving for Colorado muleys in a week.

From: Treeline
09-Sep-16
Looks like you got off to a good start!

09-Sep-16

EmbryOklahoma's embedded Photo
EmbryOklahoma's embedded Photo
I'll mention rain numerous times within the photos. When I say it rained a bunch, it rained a BUNCH. I'd say it rained over 60% of the daylight hours. Daily showers I anticipated, not all day rain showers.

This is what we woke up to Thursday morning...

09-Sep-16
Thursday and Friday before the opener were spent getting the remainder of our camp and gear together. Then making sure our bows were still dialed in.

The game plan on Saturday was to slip into a couple different areas not too far from camp and intercept a deer. Having hunted this area for elk in 2011, I had knowledge of their tendencies. Later it would come to find out, I wasn't far off.

From: t-roy
09-Sep-16
Got any more pics of the panhandle! Looks kind of familiar! I think I recognized a couple of those poles;)

Keep it coming Rick! I don't fly into the bush till Sunday, possibly Monday. Looking forward to your hunt!

09-Sep-16
Don't get all hot and bothered it's really not that big of a deal. :)

Friday morning... Wake up and it's raining. We sleep in a while. I step out of the tent and not 10 yards from the door, I see the ass of mule deer! I crane my head around the tree and lo and behold it's a perfect 4x4 standing there, just 10 yards from our damn tent! Probably in the high 140s and BIG body. I think I raved about that deer the rest of the day. Crazy.

09-Sep-16

EmbryOklahoma's embedded Photo
EmbryOklahoma's embedded Photo
Friday evening I had a visit from an old Navy buddy, Evan. I was really surprised to see him after 25 years! He lives in Colorado Springs and was out this way hunting the unit North of us for elk. He got to our camp and I heard "Rick Embry!" The old New Yorker found me. We sat around and reminisced for over an hour. It was quite a highlight of the trip for sure. Hope to have him down to hog hunt later this winter.

09-Sep-16

EmbryOklahoma's embedded Photo
EmbryOklahoma's embedded Photo
As much as I'd like to stretch this out with pics and daily stories, I'll just say this... There were NO animals killed by my wife or myself. We came EXTREMELY close, although.

I'll just speak of those handful of encounters, fill in with some pics and then I'll tell you about "Jack" and "Wagon". J&W were the local resident hunters that burnt up the country side with elk and mule deer tags in their pocket. They were quite the pair!

Now... This is where I started on opening day. Awesome bedding spot. Just 3/8 of a mile from camp and a 300 foot climb.

From: XMan
09-Sep-16
Nice, I am looking forward to reading a good story.

From: Brotsky
09-Sep-16
Good so far Rick! I leave exactly two weeks from today for my mule deer hunt. Looking forward to the rest of the story, even if nothing dies other than hope! Ha!

From: midwest
09-Sep-16
Bring it! I leave early tomorrow a.m. Better have the damn story done! ;-)

09-Sep-16
Okay, back at it...

After an unsuccessful morning of the opener. I decided to go visit my "bowl" bedding area. I slipped in on the down wind side and peaked up the hill at the layout. Immediately I spotted a buck bedded just 75 yards away and unaware of my presence. After surveying the layout and belling crawling a bit closer, I noticed even more deer bedded. 5 bucks total, from 50-100 yards. All with their backs to the wind and facing downhill. There were two bucks that were easily in the 150's and maybe even 160. Then there was a 3x3 with a real wide spread <(remember this buck) and a 140s 5x4 with a 5-6" drop tine on his left main beam. I watched them for over an hour while every part of my body fell asleep. It was hard to move with all of the eyeballs!

The deer eventually got on their feet and went over the hill and disappeared. If I'd I would've known the land a little better, I probably could've did a big circle to cut them off. I was simply glad to have the close encounter and to not spook them out of the basin. Maybe I'll get another chance, I thought.

09-Sep-16

EmbryOklahoma's embedded Photo
EmbryOklahoma's embedded Photo
Sunday and Monday consisted of scattered showers and more ice balls. Lana found her a good spot not far from camp. She was content with getting the wind right and letting the deer come to her, whitetail style. :)

I told her to make sure she had her bow close by in camp too. You just never know.

09-Sep-16

EmbryOklahoma's embedded Photo
EmbryOklahoma's embedded Photo
I'm not sure if we even saw a deer on Sunday while out hunting, just the occasional forkie or spike hat came cruising through camp. They were like pets.

09-Sep-16

EmbryOklahoma's embedded Photo
EmbryOklahoma's embedded Photo
Monday it was a whole lot of this...

09-Sep-16

EmbryOklahoma's embedded Photo
EmbryOklahoma's embedded Photo
I even made the Texas kids a snowman...

09-Sep-16
I did get out Monday evening for a quick hunt and ran right into a really nice 4x4, that looked to be in the upper 140s. I was headed for a strip of evergreens and we had a stare down for 15 minutes. He eventually went up the hill and walked off. No shot and a crazy fog rolled in that left visibility under 50 yards.

My plan was to grab Lana and be in that small strip of timber in the AM.

Getting there around daylight on Tuesday morning, we both took up positions to make it advantageous for each of us. After not seeing anything for the first hour and a half, we decided to move up the ridge just a bit. Just as we stepped out from the tree line, there he was! The 4x4 and a forkie, with the forkie staring us down. The 4x just started trotting up the hill. I knocked an arrow and went to stalking him, using the trees to block my movements.

I had covered around 100 yards and could monitor his movements with glimpses of antler and his coat. I finally saw my open and knew it was going to happen fast. With my range finder in my pack, I quickly guessed a distance to the gap he was about to cross. 40 yards, I figured. I drew back and he started moving faster... I whistled at him and he stopped. Third pin, everything was happening fast... Settled mid body.... Release.

09-Sep-16

EmbryOklahoma's embedded Photo
EmbryOklahoma's embedded Photo
As you can figure, if you've been reading along, I didn't kill the 4x4. He bailed out at the shot and I had missed the yardage by 5 yards. He was only 35 yards. So I sulked the rest of the morning. Pretty deflating. I would've been proud to give him a ride to Oklahoma. It just wasn't meant to be, unfortunately. It's a heart breaker for sure.

Here's a random tree growing in a rock for no reason....

09-Sep-16
Let's talk about Jack & Wagon...

I first heard of j&w on Friday before the opener as they had ridden their 4 wheelers up and down the road several times. One evening they ran into a hiker that I got to speak with, and he informed me that not only did j&w have elk tags they also had resident deer tags. Okay, no big deal. I thought!

When you hunt most animals, you would think less pressure and being secretive, crafty, not alerting the damn deer every step you take, would be better for your success, right? That's what I thought anyhow.

Wednesday afternoon I'm up in the area of the 4x trying I intercept him one more time, when I see, "Jack", dancing across the fields. Seriously, he was walking with an arrow nocked, across a small opening. He walked within 60 yards and pushed off to the North. No big deal, right? Well... 45 minutes later, here he comes from the North (arrow still loaded), and proceeds to walk by at 30 yards or so. I whistle at him so he won't go back south and ruin Lana's hunt.

We shake hands, exchange "how's it goings?" Then he opens his mouth... "Dude... I just f'n shot at these 5 bucks I just jumped down in the next drainage." (My blood pressure is rising). He continues... "Yea, they were like 70 yards or so. Guess you could call it a Hail Mary? I figured I'd hit one or I'd miss." I could not believe what he was saying and quite frankly, I just wanted him to leave! After listening to him f-bomb and mf-bomb for 10 minutes, I just wanted to go back to camp and self medicate. I couldn't believe it.

Then, before he leaves he says... "My buddy should be coming up soon." Oh great, can't wait to meet "Wagon".

09-Sep-16
Okay... Time to speak briefly of "wagon".

Wagon, he came out of the same area that Jack came from. He sauntered across the small opening only to end up 10 yards in front of me. Wagon was locked and loaded as well. As he walks into the timber, I'm standing in front of a couple large evergreens just 5 yards away. He stops, and looks around, facing away from me. He then bends at the waist just slightly and let's out the most disgusting fart. At that point, I was glad the wind was NOT moving directly in my face.

It was very awkward at that point. I waited a few more seconds and said in a half voice, "what's up man?" He just about knocked the arrow off of his bow at that point, from jumping. He turned and said... "GD you scared the sh-- out of me. Your camo works good too." Lol (I wanted so bad to say, it smells like it.)

We talked briefly and I learned he was from Colorado Springs and his buddy was from Pueblo. They were in and out of every basin for all of the days we were there. Relentless would be an understatement. No discretion or being stealthy, just lumbering up and down each ridge or basin. It was quite deflating. But... I know it's public land. ;)

09-Sep-16

EmbryOklahoma's embedded Photo
EmbryOklahoma's embedded Photo
Back to the story...

Wednesday found us back in the "bowl" to try and intercept a buck coming to it from bedding. Lana tagged along this time...

09-Sep-16

EmbryOklahoma's embedded Photo
EmbryOklahoma's embedded Photo
When we first got to the "bowl", we walked right up on a bedded buck. Less than 5 yards. Scared the bejesus out of us! Him and another buck trotted up the ridge and watched us for a bit. I had a feeling they would be back... Forward 2.5 hours later...

Three bucks come off of the opposing hillside and make their way down to us. They peeled off at the last second and walked into the timber and disappeared. Hmmm?

I gave it 30 minutes or so and finally caught a glimpse of the wide 3x3 sneaking out in front of us. He was 30 yds and closing! When he got to about 25 yards I figured this would be a great chance for Lana. I looked back at her and said, get ready! As the buck was behind some smaller evergreens and about to come out, she shifted her weight just a bit. The deer heard the noise and stopped in his tracks. Seconds... Minutes... Then he finally bounced off. So close!

09-Sep-16

EmbryOklahoma's embedded Photo
EmbryOklahoma's embedded Photo
That pretty much concludes the deer sightings because the next few days were spent trying to mend. What I had, I do not know. The altitude was not a problem at all the first 7 days. Whatever I got, it wasn't good and let's just say I could poop over a screen and still hit the water. Not good. Plus I was having shortness of breath and could not sleep. It sucked.

I'm the bald one...

09-Sep-16

EmbryOklahoma's embedded Photo
EmbryOklahoma's embedded Photo
Camp...

09-Sep-16

EmbryOklahoma's embedded Photo
EmbryOklahoma's embedded Photo

From: HUNT MAN
09-Sep-16
Great story Rick and Lana. You guys are welcome at my campfire anytime. Hunt

09-Sep-16

EmbryOklahoma's embedded Photo
EmbryOklahoma's embedded Photo
We hunted "not so hard", admittedly. Not sure the reasoning. I just couldn't get my will power to hit top gear. We did have many laughs. Grew MUCH closer as a couple for sure. Lana is a strong willed lady and I love that about her.

Hopefully We can do it again in a few years. Sorry the story didn't have a bloody ending. We both would've liked that. It wasn't in the cards this year.

More pics of random stuff to come...

09-Sep-16

EmbryOklahoma's embedded Photo
EmbryOklahoma's embedded Photo
In totality, we stayed on the mountain for 9 nights and 9 days. We were over it. We missed our damn dogs and wanted a shower. Plus Mexican food (let's be honest), not this crap. ;)

09-Sep-16

EmbryOklahoma's embedded Photo
EmbryOklahoma's embedded Photo
We were tired of mountain house too. :)

09-Sep-16

EmbryOklahoma's embedded Photo
EmbryOklahoma's embedded Photo
This is a ritual for Lana...

09-Sep-16

EmbryOklahoma's embedded Photo
EmbryOklahoma's embedded Photo

09-Sep-16
Thanks for posting Rick. I grew up reading articles from Dwight and MR, but now days I enjoy the entertaining stories on Bowsite better. Thanks again Rick looking forward to your stories from OK this fall.

From: Ron Niziolek
09-Sep-16
Good stuff Rick!

From: Scoot
09-Sep-16
You bet- thanks for sharing. Sounds like a fun trip.

09-Sep-16

EmbryOklahoma's embedded Photo
EmbryOklahoma's embedded Photo
Although unsuccessful, we realize what it takes to kill those mature animals in the area. We got close, just not close enough. We will never regret the paths we take. Hopefully the next time will result in a different outcome, whatever that entails. We tried.

Thanks for looking/reading and hopefully I didn't alienate too many folks. Good luck to all this fall! You are all my brothers and sisters.

Yes, she insisted... and those are my toes. :)

09-Sep-16

EmbryOklahoma's embedded Photo
EmbryOklahoma's embedded Photo
A couple more...

09-Sep-16

EmbryOklahoma's embedded Photo
EmbryOklahoma's embedded Photo
And off the mountain...

From: BULELK1
10-Sep-16
Well---hell.....what a great memory of an adventure.

Happy it all went safe and sound and enjoyable.

Thanks for sharing

Good luck, Robb

From: BOHNTR
10-Sep-16
What elevation were you at?

From: trkyslr
10-Sep-16
Rick thanks for the thread! Enjoyed it and the pics

10-Sep-16
I don't know, I think you are a darn good story teller and the wife's a real trooper!

10-Sep-16
Thanks guys! I love sharing our hunts.

Roy... Elevation was around 11,500 - 12k

11-Sep-16
Looks like a great hunt Rick and Lana.

Rick, maybe one of these times I'll cook for you guys and you'll think differently about camp food. I'm a better cook than hunter.

Super happy for you two. I'm doing the same hunts but only wish I was doing it like you.

Grats

From: XMan
11-Sep-16
Thanks for sharing Rick, glad you had a great hunt with Lana.

11-Sep-16
Great pics and story.

From: tradmt
11-Sep-16
Thanks for sharing. The trophy is in the hunt and the special people we share it with. I think you were successful for sure.

From: 2tuna@home
11-Sep-16
Very nice read, and a damn fine collection of images.

You and your lady getting it done together. Fantastic

From: writer
11-Sep-16
Thanks for the ride.

Think I've met your friends "Jack" and "Wagon" on some Kansas deer hunts,...and duck hunts...and some turkey hunts in the Ozarks...and an elk hunt in New Mexico....

They fly-fish, too, in case you're wondering. :-)

11-Sep-16
Rick, you ever get out this way, you need to plan a November Thanksgiving hunt with us. You and Lana would fit right in. Good read. Good hunt. This is what it's about. God Bless

From: trublucolo
11-Sep-16
"Think I've met your friends "Jack" and "Wagon" on some Kansas deer hunts"

I think Jack and Wagon get around a lot or were cloned at birth because I've met them here in Colorado and out in Oregon. Sounds like a great time at any rate Rick.

11-Sep-16
Yea, unfortunately, J&W are a staple on a lot of public lands. :)

From: Thornton
11-Sep-16
Great pics!

From: Mark Watkins
11-Sep-16
Great thread Rick!

Thanks,

Mark

From: Medicinemann
11-Sep-16
Did your Navy buddy have any luck on elk?

12-Sep-16
Jake, he hasn't had any luck as of yet. He was hunting West/SW of Pueblo somewhere. According to him, decent elk population.

12-Sep-16
Thanks for the recap Rick!

From: Florida Mike
12-Sep-16
"I'm the bald one"

I would have spit tea all over my keyboard when I read that! Sounds like a great adventure, except for the sick part. Congrats on a successful hunt! And some cute toenails! Hahahaha, Mike

12-Sep-16
Yea, Mike... I'm sure I'll catch some grief at P&Y next year. Hopefully all will be forgotten. :)

From: Brotsky
12-Sep-16
Great story Rick, not all stories need a kill to be an honest joy to read! You and Lana are welcome at our place in SD anytime, you'd fit right in! Best of luck to you both this fall!

From: OFFHNTN
12-Sep-16
Great write up! Thanks for sharing!

12-Sep-16
Another classic! Good for you! C

From: Amoebus
12-Sep-16
I had an ending to a deer hunt in CO just like you described. I was able to make it to a motel, but then couldn't stand up without running to the bathroom for 2+ days. I couldn't get to a store for medicine - I was trapped! Like you, it finally cleared, but I was very close to calling the front desk and offering her $100 to buy me ANY medicine to plug me up. Maybe even some Depends. I wasn't too confident on my 19 hour drive home, but that turned out okay.

Glad that you enjoyed some beautiful high country. Next time!

(Also, don't let Lana read that the highlight of the trip was a visit from a Navy buddy. You can think it, but never write it down...)

12-Sep-16
Thanks guys for checking out the thread. Again, I enjoy sharing, successful or not.

Amoebus... Good point on the highlight, I probably should've said... "One of the highlights". :)

I got to thinking and I left out a story that occurred on Thursday September 1st... It was the day I met the angriest man in Colorado. He showed up on the mountain driving a Toyota Highlander. It might have had 5" of clearance. We were sitting in our truck waiting out the mid day showers (go figure). He pulls up and we were both floored to see that vehicle that far up the mountain. Let's just say that road will make stuff fall off of your vehicle, it's that rough.

So, angry Colorado guy gets out and changes his shoes, puts on some pants and then goes to the back and pulls out his vehicle manual. He thumbs through it for about 15 minutes. Every chance he gets, he's staring over at us. Few minutes go by and finally I walk over to say hello and see if he needs help. I said... "Hey, how's it going?" He replies in a very gruff tone... "Good!" I ask him if he needs any help... "Nope!" I figure my service or friendship is no longer needed and turn around immediately to walk back to my truck (I just about gave him the finger).

I guess he noticed I was pissed and comes over to "talk". He tells me he's got a muzzleloader cow tag and is going scouting. Sigh. So angry guy talks himself up left and right, "ive packed two elk out over 4 miles"... Blah blah blah. Conversation had idled down to nothing, because I had ZERO to say to a person that trumps everything you say with an extravagant story. I'll be honest.. There was a point when he was blabbing, that I just wanted to punch him square in the nose. :)

He was probably mad that all of his service lights came on from driving that damn small suv up the mountain. Still had paper tag on it too. His name was Bob... Spelled backwards, it's still Bob.

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