Sitka Mountain Gear
Mule deer hunt
Mule Deer
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Lark Bunting 28-Aug-17
From: Lark Bunting
28-Aug-17

Lark Bunting's Link
I'm pretty new to hunting but shot my first doe three years ago. I haven't hunted them since but drew my archery tag this season. Opening weekend I found myself in my unit here in Colorado. I camped from the truck and set up on Friday evening. My buddy drew the same tag and met up with me Friday evening as well. I hunted Saturday and half day Sunday. Our tags are now antlered tags only, this unit used to be either sex archery. I have no idea why the CDW cut the tags in half and made it a buck only unit, there are deer everywhere! Saturday morning we bumped a doe 100 yards from camp. It was 6:05 am and we'd already seen our first deer for the day. At 7:00 we were only .34 miles back from camp and a monster, full velvet buck trotted past us while I was exploring some VERY (still steaming) elk poop. The buck caught me off guard and was at a good trot, no matter the sound I made I couldn't stop him. Oh well, bucks in the area, cool! We ran into two more doe, then another buck but the distances were too far, and the forest floor was like walking on rice crispies; every step was fricken loud! We stumbled upon a couple more deer that afternoon. By the time my buddy had to leave that afternoon we had seen three bucks and three doe. Not bad for opening day! After I got my buddy packed up I had a couple more hours to explore so I made my way behind camp and I sat in one of the two ground blinds my son and I had built earlier in the month. Nothing was happening and I'm not good at sitting still so I began slowly hunting my way back to camp via an aspen grove that runs a long ways up there. Slowly making my way up hill, staying off the narrow aspen grove about 20 yards, I had I believe a doe behind a bush blowing like crazy! I mean, this thing was blowing about every 20 seconds, LOUD! I chuckled and kept moving and as I looked uphill I saw two twin bucks, pretty young but four points on either side. I ranged the first one at 65 yards and as they were looking directly at me one started moving toward me! I took a couple steps closer as well and ranged at 56 yards. I drew back and every pin was covered by branches. I lowered myself, still covered, I moved right, and the deer walked back to his brother. I followed them around playing cat and mouse and finally it was too dark to hunt any more. I walked, at a hunting pace for 6.5 miles on Saturday. Sunday morning I covered about the same amount of ground and had two does feed right to where I was sitting in a rock outcropping to within 13 yards. They had no idea I was even there until they meandered around me and winded me. I honestly have no idea why the CPW decided to pull so many tags and to make it a buck only unit. In the day and a half I was out I had seen 5 very nice bucks and 5 big doe. Now, why didn't I bring any deer meat home? Easy, I really don't know what I'm doing when it comes to hunting deer in this area. The only doe I've ever shot stood up from her bed as I rounded a large boulder and didn't move. I got lucky. All the bucks I saw this weekend were on the move one way or another (trotting or feeding) and I couldn't stalk close enough to ever get a great shot. I've measured success and failure by the meat or lack thereof in my cooler at the end of the weekend. I've changed my attitude this year though and I think this weekend was a HUGE success. I was within shooting distance of 10 deer in an area the CPW apparently thinks is lacking deer...they just didn't hold still long enough for me to shoot or I couldn't sneak into where they were due to the dry conditions. I have a couple more weekends to hunt up there and I will take what I've learned from this weekend and try to adapt. Trying to edit some videos and post it on youtube but keep getting distracted. :)

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