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My Colorado Buck
So after getting done with my sheep hunt early I had some time that I decided to use on chasing a mule deer. Outfitter and good friend Ben Harris of Rugged Rack outfitters in Colorado is a magician when it comes to finding and killing mature mule deer. I couldn’t wait for opening day. Last years deer would be tough to beat but we sure were going to try.
Last years buck. Grossed 186
I get to camp the day before the opener and we head out to glass that evening. It’s about 97 degrees and most places we checked had few deer on their feet. Then at last light we got a glimpse of one that made my heart jump.
I decided right then and there that I’d hunt only him and if I was prepared to eat my tag.
As far as we could tell he was traveling with 2 other smaller bucks and they were utilizing an alfalfa field and bedding nearby in a thick stand of cedar trees. Ben has spotted this buck before and had some history with him from previous years. I was excited for opening morning.
Day 1. Morning hunt We get to a glassing point early. The buck is out in the field. We try to make a move on him but they were moving to quickly to get out ahead of them. Instead of pushing the envelope we watched them walk off and noted there exit route.
Finds us in the same area but setup close to where they exited the field. About 30 minutes before dark we spot them. The big guy is laying in the alfalfa chewing cud. I attempt a stalk and get in a position for a shot. Tap the range finder and it says 63 yards. Come to full draw and release. The arrow streaks towards him and disappears harmlessly under his belly. Luckily he wasn’t too spooked and moved off. Looking back the shot was further and my range finder had been hitting the small shrub in front of him.
Day 2 morning We spot the buck and his compadres. We attempted to get ahead of them but the exited the field from a different spot. No luck. Luckily during the day to kill some time The family we were staying with were kind enough to show me how to rope cattle. Talk about laughing until my side hurt.
Day 2 afternoon hunt
We setup along what we thought was there travel route but again they beat us and came in from a different direction. Less than 15 yards from where we were sitting the previous night. That’s bow hunting.
Day 3 morning. We slip in along the fence line of the alfalfa field. The bucks are working there way towards us. We are setup for a 20 yard shot. My chest is pounding with anticipation. The first small buck steps out. The big guy is second in-line and I’m starting to pull tension on my string when that first buck spooks taking him out into the field. We get a range. (57 yards) not sure what happened with the shot. It went nowhere remotely close. Best guess is I made a rookie mistake and didn’t look through the peep. I was devastated.
Day 3 afternoon though day 4 afternoon.
Not much to say here. Lots of sitting and time behind the glass but no deer spotted. I’m supposed to fly out after day 5 morning hunt. I made the decision that if I spot him in the morning and can’t get in for a shot I will cancel my flight and hunt the afternoon.
Day 5 morning
We approach the field in total darkness and as the gray light starts to filter in we can make out the shapes of 3 bucks. Yesssss. He’s back except now he’s hard horned. Ben thinks he disappeared to rub his antlers and that threw off his pattern. We get ahead of him and wait. The bucks are closing in and when they get to 200 they decide to veer off and take another path.
Time to call the airline and switch flights.
30 minutes before legal light ends and he steps out on the ridge above the field 300 yards away.
We get low and walk the 2 track road. Cutting the distance to 150. The last bit of stalking won’t be easy and we are running out of time. He is still laying down when we drop into the dry creek bottom and make our way to a lone cedar. We have come as far as cover would allow.
I say a little prayer and ask my mom for guidance. Ben hits the range finder and whispers 60. I draw from a kneeling position and standup. I tell myself peep, level , nose. Those 3 words calm me down and help me in the moment of truth to get my mechanics right.
With light fading fast I settle the pin on the bedded buck and touch off the shot. My green lighted nock streaks toward him and I hear the sweetest hollow sound of a solid hit.
The buck runs off carrying my arrow and I see him going through the trees. He plows into a fence recovers and runs off.
At that point I’m in total shock and disbelief. We just pulled off a last minute bottom of the ninth hunt and the celebrating begins.
And??????? You can't keep me hanging like that.........
what a buck! Congrats, you're having a hell of a year!
Thanks Guys. He grossed 200 2/8
AAAAAAWWWWWEEESOOOOMMMEEEE!!! Ding Ding Ding and there goes the bell!
WOW!!!! Awesome buck, congrats!!
Awesome buck and great story! Congrats!
Hell of a buck! Congratulations! Well done!
That buck is bad-ass. Gnarly. Congrats man.
Congratulations. Dandy buck. Thanks for sharing your hunt.
Wow what a buck. Way to stick with him and make it happen.
Nice deer Leo! That's a great buck. Thanks for sharing the story.
Heck of a buck Leo!! Congrats!!
Awesome! What a great buck, man! Congratulations!
Holy crap what a deer!!! Congrats
Congrats Leo, what a season!
Congrats on an awesome buck!!
So Awesome! Congratulations!
I’d say you definitely outdid last year’s buck! Congrats on a great deer, Leo!
Wow, very cool nontypical.
That's what perseverance looks like...well done, Sir !
I would have cancelled my flight and hitchhiked home to kill that beast. Congratulations!
Congratulations....I guess you’ll bring him over with the sheep?
Once in many lifetimes
you did great
A dream buck and a dream story. WOW !!! Congrats
Thanks Guys. Yep Shug, I'm gonna keep you busy measuring this year. Thanks Bou and everyone else. I feel blessed to have been lucky this season to fill 2 tags, sheep and mule deer. You know what they say, Better lucky than good.
Awesome buck, congrats!!!!
Great looking buck, Congratulations! I'll bet that is the best cancelled plane fare you'd ever had.....
You got that right Jake. I truly believe when something’s meant to be it’s just meant to be. I don’t care who you are on trophy animals especially there’s always an element of luck. I’m lucky that I have a supportive family who understands my passion and let’s me pursue it.
Outstanding, congratulations. Ed F
Simply impressive! High wide and heavy, what’s not to like. Way to stay the course!
Well, that was worth the trip and effort. Nicely done leo. my best, Paul
Absolute stud muley! Congrats!!!
Wow! That's an awesome buck. Congrats
What a buck! Way to keep your head in the game and be persistent
Wow, great buck! Congratulations buddy! Woohoo!
Awesome buck and story. Congrats!!
What an incredible creature!
Yeah that’s worth the effort! I would have cancelled everything til I killed it! Way to stick with it. Opportunity like that doesn’t come often
Holy moly! What an animal..