With a rifle, it was rare to see a big buck unless he was 600 yards and running off the edge of the horizon.
Hunting them with a bow, in open country, during the rut, has proved the ultimate challenge. Finding them is easy. Killing them on the other hand has proved the challenge, for me at least.
Watching a big buck and sometimes 2 or 3 sniffing and pushing does, and sizing each other up for a potential fight is a site to see. Especially when they do actually lock antlers. It's very intense and alot of fun to watch.
Usually I've seen maybe 1-3 does out of a herd in heat, while the rest of the does, are doing what they do the rest of the year. Watching for predators, like bowhunters. And getting past those does is the challenging part. Those giant 300# mule deer bucks can thank the does for saving many a life.
Good thing for me, I'm an equal opportunity Hunter, and I'm happy to take any buck. Although I'm always focused on those big boyz to start with realizing that success is not automatic, and alot of failed attempts will eventually lead to a success somewhere down the line, as long as I "never give up, ever!" So I don't ever "look a gift horse in the mouth"
My January 2019 hunt was no different. Opening day resulted in 3 failed attempts, on 3 different big bucks whose lives we're spared because of the watchful eyes of all those does. These bucks were so heavy, they couldn't keep up with the does once they decided to make tracks! They always seem to catch up to the herd at some point though.
Did I mention, good thing I'm an equal opportunity killer? This hunt had started out hot on a cold 16 degree day.
Day 2 started out with temps in the teens with a projected high of 22. Only my hunt wouldn't last to see that 22 degrees, but would see a great high! At around 7:15, I spotted a decent buck I'd be happy to put on the ground if I could get close enough. And he was all by his lonesome.
Heart gently pounding, and thoughts of killing going thru my brain, I started moving in, knowing if I blow this, I'd surely have another opportunity or 3 that day. So caution gets thrown to the wind. There is no going back now.
By 7:30 I'm where I need to be, and the lone buck has no idea, I have just ranged him, and nocked an arrow. Now the tables are turned, and in my favor as I draw my bow, and anchor. The buck is walking slowly as I settled the green 50 yard pin mid body in the center of the >, and touch off the shot. It only took a split second once the arrow cleared the riser, and found the mark. The buck hadn't even realized the RazorTrick tipped arrow had just passed thru both lungs, as he kept walking at a slower pace now. He disappeared 30 yards later over the edge of a hill.
I nocked another arrow, and slowly walked over to where he took the arrow, and this is what I saw;
Dang good hunting
Good luck, Robb
I assume this is a New Mexico muley?
t-roy, yes the ground was icy and crunchy. However a slight wind covered my sound :)
Thanks SF and Jaq! thanks again guys!