Mathews Inc.
BC Mule Deer, as it Happens.
Mule Deer
Contributors to this thread:
Ambush 06-Nov-23
Brotsky 06-Nov-23
Nick Muche 06-Nov-23
Ambush 06-Nov-23
Bake 06-Nov-23
Corax_latrans 06-Nov-23
rattling_junkie 06-Nov-23
Ambush 06-Nov-23
Bowboy 06-Nov-23
tkjwonta 06-Nov-23
Scoot 06-Nov-23
Jaquomo 06-Nov-23
ki-ke 06-Nov-23
standswittaknife 06-Nov-23
Ambush 06-Nov-23
Rgiesey 06-Nov-23
Jason Stafford 06-Nov-23
Treeline 06-Nov-23
Kurt 06-Nov-23
Jaquomo 06-Nov-23
Ambush 06-Nov-23
APauls 06-Nov-23
Ambush 06-Nov-23
Shug 07-Nov-23
njbuck 07-Nov-23
ND String Puller 07-Nov-23
Scoot 07-Nov-23
BOWNBIRDHNTR 07-Nov-23
Insheart 07-Nov-23
Grey Ghost 07-Nov-23
Ron Niziolek 07-Nov-23
Treeline 07-Nov-23
Ambush 07-Nov-23
StickFlicker 07-Nov-23
bohuntr 07-Nov-23
t-roy 07-Nov-23
Ambush 07-Nov-23
Ambush 08-Nov-23
Ambush 08-Nov-23
midwest 08-Nov-23
Scoot 08-Nov-23
Ambush 08-Nov-23
Ambush 08-Nov-23
Ambush 08-Nov-23
Bigfoot 08-Nov-23
Ambush 08-Nov-23
Medicinemann 08-Nov-23
Ambush 08-Nov-23
t-roy 08-Nov-23
Ambush 09-Nov-23
Ambush 09-Nov-23
Bowboy 09-Nov-23
Scoot 09-Nov-23
WYOelker 09-Nov-23
Ambush 09-Nov-23
Ambush 09-Nov-23
Ambush 09-Nov-23
Treeline 09-Nov-23
Zbone 09-Nov-23
Ambush 09-Nov-23
t-roy 09-Nov-23
SteveB 09-Nov-23
Ambush 09-Nov-23
Ambush 09-Nov-23
Beav 09-Nov-23
Ambush 09-Nov-23
midwest 09-Nov-23
cnelk 09-Nov-23
Ambush 09-Nov-23
APauls 09-Nov-23
Stoneman 09-Nov-23
Zebrakiller 10-Nov-23
bghunter 10-Nov-23
Ambush 10-Nov-23
Ambush 10-Nov-23
Ambush 10-Nov-23
Paul@thefort 10-Nov-23
Bowfinatic 10-Nov-23
Ambush 10-Nov-23
Willieboat 10-Nov-23
Ambush 11-Nov-23
Ambush 11-Nov-23
Ambush 11-Nov-23
Ambush 11-Nov-23
Ambush 11-Nov-23
Ambush 11-Nov-23
Ambush 11-Nov-23
t-roy 11-Nov-23
Ambush 11-Nov-23
Ambush 12-Nov-23
Treeline 12-Nov-23
Zbone 12-Nov-23
Shug 12-Nov-23
Ambush 12-Nov-23
Ambush 12-Nov-23
Jaquomo 12-Nov-23
Zbone 12-Nov-23
ki-ke 12-Nov-23
Bowboy 12-Nov-23
Kurt 12-Nov-23
Ambush 13-Nov-23
Ambush 13-Nov-23
Ambush 13-Nov-23
Rackmastr 13-Nov-23
Treeline 14-Nov-23
Grey Ghost 14-Nov-23
Ambush 14-Nov-23
TMac 14-Nov-23
buckeye 14-Nov-23
Ambush 14-Nov-23
Ambush 14-Nov-23
Scoot 14-Nov-23
t-roy 14-Nov-23
Ambush 14-Nov-23
Treeline 14-Nov-23
Treeline 14-Nov-23
Brotsky 14-Nov-23
Ambush 14-Nov-23
Rgiesey 14-Nov-23
Ambush 14-Nov-23
t-roy 14-Nov-23
Ambush 15-Nov-23
Charlie Rehor 15-Nov-23
Treeline 15-Nov-23
smarba 15-Nov-23
Ambush 15-Nov-23
Brotsky 15-Nov-23
Ambush 15-Nov-23
t-roy 15-Nov-23
Ambush 15-Nov-23
Ambush 15-Nov-23
Ambush 15-Nov-23
Mike Ukrainetz 15-Nov-23
goelk 15-Nov-23
t-roy 15-Nov-23
SBH 15-Nov-23
Zbone 15-Nov-23
BOHNTR 15-Nov-23
BOHNTR 15-Nov-23
Ambush 15-Nov-23
Jaquomo 15-Nov-23
APauls 15-Nov-23
Ambush 16-Nov-23
Ambush 16-Nov-23
Insheart 16-Nov-23
Ambush 16-Nov-23
BOWNBIRDHNTR 16-Nov-23
WYOelker 16-Nov-23
Scoot 16-Nov-23
Ambush 16-Nov-23
Scoot 16-Nov-23
Treeline 16-Nov-23
Ambush 16-Nov-23
Ambush 16-Nov-23
Ambush 16-Nov-23
t-roy 16-Nov-23
Ambush 16-Nov-23
Nick Muche 16-Nov-23
JB 16-Nov-23
Insheart 17-Nov-23
Ambush 17-Nov-23
Ambush 17-Nov-23
Ron Niziolek 17-Nov-23
Insheart 17-Nov-23
Insheart 17-Nov-23
Ambush 17-Nov-23
BOWNBIRDHNTR 17-Nov-23
Ambush 17-Nov-23
Ambush 17-Nov-23
buckeye 17-Nov-23
Ambush 17-Nov-23
Scoot 17-Nov-23
JohnMC 17-Nov-23
Ambush 17-Nov-23
Ambush 17-Nov-23
Jaquomo 17-Nov-23
Rock 17-Nov-23
Ambush 18-Nov-23
kakiatkids 18-Nov-23
Fuzz 18-Nov-23
Zbone 18-Nov-23
Ambush 18-Nov-23
JohnMC 18-Nov-23
Zbone 18-Nov-23
Ambush 18-Nov-23
JohnMC 18-Nov-23
Ambush 18-Nov-23
t-roy 18-Nov-23
Ambush 18-Nov-23
ki-ke 18-Nov-23
Insheart 18-Nov-23
Ambush 18-Nov-23
BULELK1 19-Nov-23
Ambush 19-Nov-23
Grey Ghost 19-Nov-23
Ambush 19-Nov-23
Bowboy 19-Nov-23
Ambush 19-Nov-23
caribou77 19-Nov-23
Ambush 19-Nov-23
BOWNBIRDHNTR 20-Nov-23
Treeline 20-Nov-23
APauls 20-Nov-23
Ambush 20-Nov-23
Grunter 20-Nov-23
Wv hillbilly 21-Nov-23
Ambush 21-Nov-23
Brotsky 21-Nov-23
Ambush 21-Nov-23
Ambush 21-Nov-23
t-roy 21-Nov-23
cnelk 21-Nov-23
Ambush 21-Nov-23
Jaquomo 21-Nov-23
Ambush 22-Nov-23
Grunter 22-Nov-23
HUNT MAN 22-Nov-23
Fuzz 22-Nov-23
Brotsky 22-Nov-23
Scoot 22-Nov-23
BOWNBIRDHNTR 22-Nov-23
APauls 22-Nov-23
t-roy 22-Nov-23
Ambush 22-Nov-23
t-roy 22-Nov-23
Fuzz 22-Nov-23
Jaquomo 22-Nov-23
Grey Ghost 22-Nov-23
Ambush 22-Nov-23
Treeline 23-Nov-23
Ambush 24-Nov-23
Rock 24-Nov-23
Brotsky 24-Nov-23
CFMuley 24-Nov-23
midwest 24-Nov-23
t-roy 24-Nov-23
Ambush 24-Nov-23
Ambush 24-Nov-23
Ambush 24-Nov-23
Grunter 24-Nov-23
Treeline 25-Nov-23
Ambush 25-Nov-23
Treeline 25-Nov-23
Ambush 25-Nov-23
BULELK1 26-Nov-23
huntinelk 26-Nov-23
Insheart 26-Nov-23
Charlie Rehor 26-Nov-23
Ambush 26-Nov-23
Matt 27-Nov-23
t-roy 27-Nov-23
Scoot 27-Nov-23
Ambush 27-Nov-23
Ambush 28-Nov-23
Ambush 28-Nov-23
Brotsky 28-Nov-23
Fuzz 28-Nov-23
Willieboat 28-Nov-23
Treeline 28-Nov-23
APauls 28-Nov-23
Kurt 28-Nov-23
buckeye 28-Nov-23
Ambush 28-Nov-23
Ambush 29-Nov-23
BOWNBIRDHNTR 29-Nov-23
Treeline 29-Nov-23
Ambush 29-Nov-23
ryanrc 29-Nov-23
Beav 29-Nov-23
Rock 29-Nov-23
Scoot 29-Nov-23
Treeline 29-Nov-23
Steve Leffler 29-Nov-23
Ambush 29-Nov-23
Hancock West 29-Nov-23
midwest 29-Nov-23
BCPYGuy 29-Nov-23
t-roy 29-Nov-23
buckeye 29-Nov-23
standswittaknife 29-Nov-23
Jim McNamara 29-Nov-23
HUNT MAN 29-Nov-23
hunter12345 29-Nov-23
ND String Puller 29-Nov-23
Willieboat 29-Nov-23
caribou77 29-Nov-23
BOHNTR 29-Nov-23
BowHiker 29-Nov-23
Ambush 29-Nov-23
Grey Ghost 29-Nov-23
JohnMC 29-Nov-23
Beav 29-Nov-23
Scoot 29-Nov-23
JB 29-Nov-23
cnelk 29-Nov-23
Ambush 29-Nov-23
Grunter 29-Nov-23
JohnMC 29-Nov-23
JB 29-Nov-23
HUNT MAN 29-Nov-23
Kurt 29-Nov-23
Beav 29-Nov-23
Treeline 29-Nov-23
Cazador 29-Nov-23
Jaquomo 29-Nov-23
Rgiesey 29-Nov-23
bowhunt 29-Nov-23
Seth 29-Nov-23
ND String Puller 29-Nov-23
Lee 29-Nov-23
standswittaknife 30-Nov-23
Twinetickler 30-Nov-23
Stoneman 30-Nov-23
caribou77 30-Nov-23
Zbone 30-Nov-23
Fuzz 30-Nov-23
midwest 30-Nov-23
DroptineDC18 30-Nov-23
t-roy 30-Nov-23
Bowboy 30-Nov-23
hdaman 30-Nov-23
fishin coyote 30-Nov-23
cnelk 30-Nov-23
buckeye 30-Nov-23
BOHNTR 30-Nov-23
BIGERN 30-Nov-23
Bow Bullet 30-Nov-23
Cazador 30-Nov-23
BOWNBIRDHNTR 30-Nov-23
Bowfinatic 30-Nov-23
bowhunter24 30-Nov-23
Scoot 30-Nov-23
Ron Niziolek 30-Nov-23
StickFlicker 30-Nov-23
Jim McNamara 30-Nov-23
greg simon 30-Nov-23
Bowaddict 30-Nov-23
BigOk 30-Nov-23
axle2axle 30-Nov-23
Ambush 30-Nov-23
Ambush 30-Nov-23
Ambush 30-Nov-23
SBH 30-Nov-23
Tony 30-Nov-23
Ambush 30-Nov-23
Ambush 30-Nov-23
Tony 30-Nov-23
pav 30-Nov-23
t-roy 30-Nov-23
Treeline 30-Nov-23
wildwilderness 30-Nov-23
otcWill 30-Nov-23
huntinelk 30-Nov-23
Bowboy 30-Nov-23
Scoot 30-Nov-23
Rock 30-Nov-23
iceman 30-Nov-23
BOWNBIRDHNTR 30-Nov-23
ND String Puller 30-Nov-23
Steve Leffler 30-Nov-23
Rackmastr 30-Nov-23
Brian M. 30-Nov-23
Zackman 30-Nov-23
Ambush 30-Nov-23
ki-ke 30-Nov-23
cnelk 30-Nov-23
Ambush 30-Nov-23
axle2axle 30-Nov-23
Nick Muche 30-Nov-23
JB 30-Nov-23
Marty 30-Nov-23
BULELK1 01-Dec-23
Bottomdweller 01-Dec-23
hobbes 01-Dec-23
DaveHowell 01-Dec-23
SteveB 01-Dec-23
APauls 01-Dec-23
midwest 01-Dec-23
Ambush 02-Dec-23
EmbryOklahoma 02-Dec-23
Brotsky 04-Dec-23
TMac 04-Dec-23
njbuck 04-Dec-23
WV Mountaineer 04-Dec-23
Treeline 04-Dec-23
Deebz 04-Dec-23
From: Ambush
06-Nov-23

Ambush's embedded Photo
Ambush's embedded Photo
It’s a week into November and it feels like early October, damp and just above freezing. Even though deer season opened on September 1st, I don’t start till November. This is my time to sit back and relax and let it happen instead of running around trying to make it happen. I look forward to this every year!

It should be well below freezing with some snow, but again this season, it’s not. Last year was a great year for feed and the winter was good for the deer. We’ve never seen all classes of deer so fat going into the winter and maybe a repeat this year.

So far this morning I’ve had several does and fawns go through. There is a young 4X4 that followed a doe into the steep ravine in front of me, she came out on my side , but he just stayed in there watching and waiting. There is a stocky 3X3 fifty yards above him on the steep hillside, looking for love but not trouble, so he’s keeping he’s distance. Whether they will come over for a picture , we’ll see. The more mature bucks sight check from the high side, then circle around to scent check for hot does and danger. These guys are just Fluffers for the real breeding bucks.

If you’re lucky enough to be out hunting, good luck. If not then hopefully you can get some entertainment from those that are. I’ll up date as things happen.

From: Brotsky
06-Nov-23
Good stuff Rod! Been waiting for this one. Good luck!

From: Nick Muche
06-Nov-23
Good luck Rod!!

From: Ambush
06-Nov-23

Ambush's embedded Photo
Ambush's embedded Photo
Thanks guys. A doe just walked past me and bedded 25 yards away and I can see a buck that was following her standing about 90 yards back on her trail. He’s been stalled there for the last ten minutes. It’s probably the crab clawed 4X4 that circled around.

From: Bake
06-Nov-23
Good luck! I'll be following along. I can't get back out to hunt this week so I have to live vicariously through Bowsite

06-Nov-23
The look on her face….. “Hey, Ambush — get this loser off my tail, wouldja?? Driving me NUTS!!!”

Enjoy your day!!

06-Nov-23
Love it!

From: Ambush
06-Nov-23
Turns out he had a doe in the brush there , but she finally squirted out and back up the hills into the ravines. He was a thick 3X4 and he stayed on her pretty tight. Love is in the air!! That’s three bucks so far this morning.

Just to clarify for our eastern whitetail friends, we don’t count the brow times on mule deer. So a 4X4 has four points up top on each side excluding brows if there are any.

From: Bowboy
06-Nov-23
Good luck!

From: tkjwonta
06-Nov-23
Awesome stuff Rod, one of my favorite hunts to follow. Looking forward to more updates!

From: Scoot
06-Nov-23
I always love this thread! GL Rod!

From: Jaquomo
06-Nov-23
Excellent! I'll be following while doing the same thing. Good luck!

From: ki-ke
06-Nov-23
One of my annual favorites. You’re due for a tank Rod!

Refreshing often…..

06-Nov-23
Always look forward to this

From: Ambush
06-Nov-23

Ambush's embedded Photo
Ambush's embedded Photo
Thanks for the encouragement guys!!

Good luck Lou, kill a big one! Putting the decoy and Nosejammer into action?

I pulled out mid afternoon during the lull. No more bucks seen since mid morning which is kind of the pattern for this lead up to breeding.

I’ve got a doe with a crippled hip and knee for the last month now. She’s limping less but looks in poor shape. Too bad as she has two big fawns this year. Coyotes or cat will probably get her and I know nature is nature, but I always feel bad for the pain they have to go through.

I’m booked up for tomorrow, but Wednesday will be morning till dark or death!

From: Rgiesey
06-Nov-23
Good luck Rod!

06-Nov-23
Good luck Rod, starting out great!

From: Treeline
06-Nov-23
Looks like you at least have some bait;-)

Good luck! Hopefully a big one slips in!

From: Kurt
06-Nov-23
Little 2-1/2 year old mulie buck in the yard just before dark trying to tear up our yard bushes. We ran him off. It is happening!

Hope you have one of your heavy, knarly horned bucks on the ground before the week is out...one that matches up or beats your '23 elk (big!)!

From: Jaquomo
06-Nov-23
Yep, hunt the bait.

I have the hat, a half dozen different kinds of decoys, mobile blinds, and a brand new spot.

Looking forward to a great story from up there in BC!

From: Ambush
06-Nov-23

Ambush's embedded Photo
Ambush's embedded Photo
This guy was around at noon yesterday. He could really blow up in a year!

From: APauls
06-Nov-23
Good luck Rod!!! We’re you happy with how your plots worked out?

From: Ambush
06-Nov-23
Adam, yes, sorta. It’s only about 3/4 of an acre and most I put into brassicas. But the hot dry weather was hard on it. But it did take the deer most of September to eat it to stubble.

The little piece my blind sits on, I planted clover and rye later in the year on the advice of a few pros on here. The rye got to about eight inches and was thick with the clover struggling for light underneath. Then the friggin bears got busy on it in late August as well as the deer and kept the rye mowed. Now the clover is short and so is the rye, but the weather keeps it growing. There’s a few does in it most of the time. So it’s not my usual total failure. I might just do it all in clover and rye next year.

From: Shug
07-Nov-23
Good luck

From: njbuck
07-Nov-23
Good Luck!

07-Nov-23
Heck yeah… this is always a fun hunt to follow. Good luck!

From: Scoot
07-Nov-23
Rod, I want you to know that I think it's complete bullshit that we have to skip a day today! C'mon man, where are your priorities?!?!?!? Lots of us desk jockeys out here wondering what's going on with the muleys and you are our source of info.

Haha- looking forward to your updates and wishing you luck this season!

From: BOWNBIRDHNTR
07-Nov-23
I'm with Scoot ^^^ ....on second thought, I think I'll leave my desk early and climb in a stand this afternoon! Good luck Rod, always enjoy this one.

From: Insheart
07-Nov-23
Hope you let the air out of one real soon. Good luck.

From: Grey Ghost
07-Nov-23
Good luck, Rod!! There's nothing quite like hunting Mule deer in the rut.

Matt

From: Ron Niziolek
07-Nov-23
Good luck Rod!

From: Treeline
07-Nov-23
I’m with Scoot as well! Damnit Rod! Get your butt back out there!

From: Ambush
07-Nov-23

Ambush's embedded Photo
Guess the score on this one. Not mine, but I wish it was!!
Ambush's embedded Photo
Guess the score on this one. Not mine, but I wish it was!!
Scoot I’m with you as well, X3!! But I have my hunting partner sitting in a good spot today for a good buck that has been on cam, so I’m pestering him for updates.

Ron N. I hope you have the best day today that a person could possibly have! A lot of prayers are with you and your family.

I have three criteria for killing a buck. He should be big, old or ugly. Any combination of those two and he’s dead for sure. If he’s all three, I’d likely pass out or freak out and miss! That being said, sometimes an urgency to shoot something will override everything. I guess that’s a way of saying “ I’ll know it when I see it.”

A couple friends have had some luck with their archery deer in the last few days.

From: StickFlicker
07-Nov-23
I love the dark brown horns! Good luck on your hunt.

From: bohuntr
07-Nov-23
Looking forward to this!

From: t-roy
07-Nov-23
We’ll make a farmer outta ya yet, Rod! Hoping a big ol ugly bruiser shows up for you! Following!

From: Ambush
07-Nov-23
C’mon Troy, I AM a farmer! I got a Massey Ferguson. I showed you a picture!!

From: Ambush
08-Nov-23

Ambush's embedded Photo
Ambush's embedded Photo
Ok, back in the saddle. Freezing just hard enough to put some crunch in my step and some glitter on the grass. Overcast and a bit foggy but it feels like great morning for buck action!! I can probably see to shoot in under an hour.

The moon is waning and should be about perfect timing for peak rut.

Good luck to all those lucky enough to be out with the sun coming up and high expectations for the day. We are a fortunate people!

From: Ambush
08-Nov-23

Ambush's embedded Photo
Ambush's embedded Photo
My Buddy just shot a brute about five miles from me! This is a buck we’ve both had on cams over the past three years.

From: midwest
08-Nov-23
Good luck Rod! I’m all in!

From: Scoot
08-Nov-23
Your buddy's buck looks like a fullback, Rod!

From: Ambush
08-Nov-23

Ambush's embedded Photo
Ambush's embedded Photo
Scoot, he’s what we call a “no neck”. Looks like his head grows out of his shoulders!

From: Ambush
08-Nov-23

Ambush's embedded Photo
Ambush's embedded Photo
We named him the Short G2 Buck. I guess it’s all relative!

I’ve seen two lone fawns so far. That means Mom is busy.

From: Ambush
08-Nov-23

Ambush's embedded Photo
Ambush's embedded Photo
First buck of the day is this perfectly shaped young 4X4. He has a lot of potential to be a very good buck in two years. He came in on on the heels of a mature doe. But he’s still in the Fluffer stage of his career.

From: Bigfoot
08-Nov-23
Awesome buck for your buddy! Love those dark and heavy racks. Looks like a perfect shot as well.

From: Ambush
08-Nov-23

Ambush's embedded Photo
Ambush's embedded Photo
It’s 12:30. The crisp morning turned to rain and now back to just cloudy. Not a lot of deer activity but I had three fawns and the crippled doe eating in my little rye/clover blind plot. I caught some movement to my right in the thick brushy bush edge. It was a fairly thick but small 3X3 with curves and blading. He stood there for about twenty minutes then made his move. He stepped out of the bush and came fairly quickly along the edge, rounded up the crippled doe and herded her back into the ravine and out of sight. He’s got a good sized body and is at least 3 1/2 years old. Just poor antler genetics. He meets the ugly criteria, but not legal or big. There’s bigger and uglier around!

From: Medicinemann
08-Nov-23
What is the definition of a legal buck where you are hunting?

From: Ambush
08-Nov-23

Ambush's embedded Photo
Ambush's embedded Photo
^^^^ Four points above the brow or where the brow would be.

So at 3:30 the Ugly3 came back following the same crippled doe. He then perked up and headed southwest behind me. Several minutes later a doe came running down from there with a pretty decent 4X4 chasing her. He ran her in circles in front of me for about five minutes. But his shoulders are tore up some, so I’m thinking something bigger is around. .

From: t-roy
08-Nov-23
Sounds like you’re getting closer to dropping the string, every day. Fingers crossed for you, Rod!

From: Ambush
09-Nov-23
It’s 6:30 am, Nov. 9. Yesterday left me a day late and a buck short. There was some excitement, but some disappointment after seeing one of my “maybe” bucks, at fifteen feet, slide down the scale to “almost for sure not” status. There has been lots of fighting and chasing on the cams at night but all younger bucks.

Today is just freezing and overcast with little wind. Because of the long ravine and steep bank that runs uphill for a few hundred yards , the wind is either east or west. Either one is the same for me, just determines where most of the scent checking will be done from. The mature bucks often side hill past, sight checking then hook around to scent check.

Anyway, all we can do is wait to see what the day brings. Good luck to all on this special part of the deer season.

From: Ambush
09-Nov-23

Ambush's embedded Photo
New Day,New Hope.
Ambush's embedded Photo
New Day,New Hope.

From: Bowboy
09-Nov-23
Good luck!

From: Scoot
09-Nov-23
Go get em, Rod!

From: WYOelker
09-Nov-23
I was wondering. Seems like a few good bucks are being taken meaning less on the hoof... I would almost prefer to not know when others harvest? How about you?

From: Ambush
09-Nov-23
WYOelker, I think we all get a little tinge of disappoint when someone takes one out of the pool. If it’s friends, then not at all. I’m also at the age and stage where I don’t have to kill something. I WANT to kill something, but I don’t have to.

I’ve seen one deer so far this morning. A 2 1/2 year old, 4X4 that was slowly pacing in the brush on the edge of the ravine. He looked a bit crestfallen. He had a look like he was expecting something good, but also knew it was’t likely to happen. He eventually took a straight line up the hill to hopefully find that elusive magic.

That’s left me alone to deeply contemplate why my one boot was dustier than the other.

From: Ambush
09-Nov-23
To relieve my boredom, a buck fawn came skittering in , jumpy as a cat in a car wash. His head and ears keep jerking around like the devil is on his tail! Somebody must have gave him a kick in the ass and told him to “ buzz off, your mom and I are busy!”

From: Ambush
09-Nov-23
That fawn left and two more came from the opposite direction and moved through. About 11:35 a 3X3 came in and milled around sniffing the ground the same place the previous buck did. A hot doe must have pee’d there last night. He had a cool line of stickers on the one base.

Something up the hill got his attention and with binoculars, I could get glimpses of what looked like a decent buck, side hilling and with somewhere to go. The 3 decided it was worthwhile going along, so he left on a line to intercept behind the bigger buck.

I’m assuming the buck was on the trail of a hot doe and I can only hope that the doe takes one of the several trails that bisect in front of my stand!

From: Treeline
09-Nov-23
Great buck your buddy shot! Hopefully one of the big ones is coming your way soon!

From: Zbone
09-Nov-23
Curious, was that breeding above on Nov 8th? Thanks...

From: Ambush
09-Nov-23
I hope so to Tavis!!

Zbone, yes. A few does come in early and a few late, but the bulk of the breeding will get done this coming week. It’s after that the mature bucks will roam, far, fast and wide to catch the leftovers. The last week of November can be very exciting or very frustrating.

I just had a 4x4 here that I had on cam last year as a scrawny yearling with a broken right front ankle. I didn’t think he’d make the winter. But he’s a robust buck now with a thick, fused ankle and doing just fine. It’s amazing what they can turn into sometimes!

From: t-roy
09-Nov-23
Get anything figured out on the dustier boot conundrum?

Agreed, it is incredible how resilient these animals can be with regards to injuries.

From: SteveB
09-Nov-23
Enjoying following along!

From: Ambush
09-Nov-23
I just had the best buck yet come through, following a doe with two fawns. Probably 4 1/2 years old. If he had forked better on the back, I would have shot him. He may be the buck I saw earlier side hilling across. Funny, he sniffed around the doe a bit, went, sniffed and pee’d right where the two other bucks did, then left alone.

It’s getting better!

I drowned a good camera a couple years ago. I could take good pics and Bluetooth them to my phone right in the blind. The camera I have now has no Bluetooth, which I didn’t know when I bought it. And cell pics past ten yards are just shitty.

From: Ambush
09-Nov-23
The Humper Buck from yesterday just came through and he was looking pretty wound up .

Seeing bucks all day now. Getting exciting!

From: Beav
09-Nov-23
Love this thread!!

From: Ambush
09-Nov-23

Ambush's embedded Photo
Ambush's embedded Photo
The crippled doe and her two fawns showed up with the yearling 3X3 in tow and in a state. The doe eventual got tired of his attention and left, so he moved right in to the fawns. “ Hey baby, you don’t have one of these pointy things , hold still and I’ll give you mine”.

The Humper came down the hill and into the ravine to round up the crippled doe and pushed her up toward me. He’s putting on the miles and the does have to be constantly on the move to stay ahead of all the bucks chasing.

From: midwest
09-Nov-23
Doesn't matter the species...the rut is just so fun to watch. Never gets old!

Really enjoying the play by play, Rod.

From: cnelk
09-Nov-23
I appreciate the time and effort that you take to do this every year. Keep on!

From: Ambush
09-Nov-23
Thanks guys!!

The wind picked up throughout the afternoon as did the rain. Just before dark and time to jump out, Humper decided to lay down twenty yards from the blind, while he watched the ladies. I had no choice but to spook them all off, but they don’t seem to get near as jacked up when it’s dark.

All in all it was a good day! I saw several bucks and some of them multiple times. Two were new to me and that means they are on the move. The mature bucks are likely guarding a lady some where private, but they too will be. out looking again. The does still have to eat and sometimes a buck will just follow dutifully along behind like a hen pecked husband in the mall.

There are still two bucks I haven’t laid eye on yet that were on cams recently. Either one may be a shooter. One is a nice clean 4X4 and the other is the Runt. He may fit both the ugly and old criteria.

I have to take family to the airport in the morning but hope to get the last four hours of the day in the blind.

It often only takes a minute when it does happen!!

From: APauls
09-Nov-23
Good luck Rod! Loving it!

From: Stoneman
09-Nov-23
This is a good one to save and read all at once, or check back a couple times a day.

Good stuff!

From: Zebrakiller
10-Nov-23
nice work good thread. congrats

From: bghunter
10-Nov-23
Only been on one mule deer hunt and really enjoyed it. This thread is great to tame my addiction lol.

From: Ambush
10-Nov-23
Late start today but better late than never. Got into my blind at 12:35 and there were no deer spooked or seen on the walk in. By 12:50 there was two does and a fawn on the edge of the plot , one more on a bush edge fifty yards east and a 2 1/2 year 3X3 watching nervously from thirty yards back. He hasn't been shy about nosing the does before, so maybe he got a lesson in waiting his turn. It’s windy and that makes them quite jumpy, so when a bigger gust just blow up, one hightailed and the rest scattered. I’m sure they’ll filter back soon.

From: Ambush
10-Nov-23

Ambush's embedded Photo
Ambush's embedded Photo
Turns out the 3X3 had good reason to be nervous. Humper who is much bigger and very aggressive was standing thirty yards passed him.

I think I’m going to rename Humper either Alice after Alice Cooper or Kiss. He’s got some funky black streaks by his eyes on that very white face. I see he’s also sporting some more streaks, this time on his haunches so he ran from someone. Co’mon someone!!

From: Ambush
10-Nov-23
So my third buck of the afternoon is a runt yearling that had got his nose glued to a doe fawn not much smaller than him. At least he’s picking on someone his own size.

And I can see my fourth buck slowly making his way down the hill. Looks like a light framed young 4X4 , that will likely push his weight around a bit when he gets to the yearling.

From: Paul@thefort
10-Nov-23
Rod, just to let you know, I am following along. No advice except hang in there, the best is yet to come. My best, Paul

10-Nov-23
Great thread Thanks for taking us along

From: Ambush
10-Nov-23
Thanks Paul! And in that case, I will try to get pics of the buck coming in, the arrow just before impact and the buck running away.

In the end the runt yearling wandered off on his own and the 4X4 never came out of the ravine. He must have went east or west in his quest for the Holy Tail. Or is that Grail?

Another heavier, darker 4X4 side hilled diagonal across the hill about a hundred yards out and just faded into the trees. Not a shooter either. But that was five different bucks in one afternoon and three of which I hadn't seen in person yet. So not a bad half day.

Tomorrow is all day until dark or death do us part.

From: Willieboat
10-Nov-23
Thanks for taking us along on the hunt.

From: Ambush
11-Nov-23
It’s a new day! It’s just above freezing, heavy cloud cover, no moon or stars, so about the only thing to report so far is, it’s friggin dark!

Winds are supposed to gust up to 25 mph later today and that’s bad for deer movement.

I also realized sitting here in the dark that I hadn’t posted the obligatory boot and four direction pics yet. I’ll do that later if it ever gets light enough.

Seems it’s been tough slugging for lots of hunters with the heat wave, but it still beats the heck out of lots of other stuff we might be doing instead. Enjoy the day!!

From: Ambush
11-Nov-23
Off to a decent start! First deer of the day is a mature doe followed by a handsome young 3X4. 2 1/2 year old with very good antler growth. To dark for pics They did a few circles as she played hard to get, then left west, the same direction they came from. This is a buck I’ve not seen or had on camera. That spells good things.

The good part about the reluctant does is the younger bucks push them all over the place, leaving scents trails far and wide. A mature buck may take up the trail and follow it right by me. Downside is they are walking and the window for a shot can be narrow, so no naps for me!

From: Ambush
11-Nov-23

Ambush's embedded Photo
Ambush's embedded Photo
The wind is squirrely, but I took precautions with the perfect cover scent. I ate a huge plate of liver and onions last night. I’m not sure it’s perfect, but it doesn’t smell like anything human in this blind!

The runt yearling came in with two fawns this time! He may be young and little, but in his mind he’s definitely a Player. They are twin buck and doe fawns. He divided his time between bullying the one and cozying up to the other.

From: Ambush
11-Nov-23

Ambush's embedded Photo
Ambush's embedded Photo
Here he’s lording his tiny crown over the buck fawn. I’m not sure who’s bigger.

From: Ambush
11-Nov-23

Ambush's embedded Photo
There is a grouse in the pic. Cell phones suck at more than ten feet.
Ambush's embedded Photo
There is a grouse in the pic. Cell phones suck at more than ten feet.
I get a kick out of watching the fawns pushing the grouse around. Seems like a game to them. I’ve watched fawns actually repeatedly bump rabbits with their nose and the rabbits just getting scooted along with no care. How do grouse and rabbits know deer are vegetarian?

I often sprinkle birdseed along the brush edge near my blind so I can watch the grouse.

From: Ambush
11-Nov-23

Ambush's embedded Photo
Ambush's embedded Photo
Now can I kill something?

From: Ambush
11-Nov-23

Ambush's embedded Photo
Ambush's embedded Photo
Midday Report.

After the little runt left eventually the twin buck and doe fawns came back. The button buck may have kicked runty’s ass because now he was acting like the king. He was constantly ramming his nose in his sisters business. She may have the misfortune of coming into estrous.

About 11:00 I got a jolt of excitement when I looked out my east peephole and saw a doe and buck trotting towards me. From seventy yards, I could see some height to his rack and grabbed my bow! In a few seconds and they were at thirty yards then I recognized him as the 3X4 from early this morning. They kept right on trucking. I wouldn’t have had time to pull a Paul@theFort pic, but I did get a couple poor ones just before he disappeared. I hope she runs another big circle and trolls a big buck by next time.

Just a few minutes ago, a bigger yearling fork followed a doe in then chased her off on one of the clover leaf trails.

I have a thick stand of dog hair poplar on either side of and behind me. When a non-receptive doe has a buck of a bigger size, she’ll often thread her way quickly through there and it takes the buck with his bigger body and antlers longer to maneuver through it. Then the doe has a bit time to put some distance between them, catching a bit of rest.

From: t-roy
11-Nov-23
I probably would’ve pulled a hammie, getting that “boots” pic! Keep it coming, Rod!

From: Ambush
11-Nov-23
Well dang!! The boot pic almost worked!

There was a dribble of the same little bucks harassing fawns mostly. About 2:00 the 3X4 came from the same direction again chasing a doe hard that was running hard. They must have made about a two hour loop through the trails in the area. Just as they passed I heard hooves pounding to my left and here comes Alice (the buck formerly know as Humper) just storming in after them! He was so puffed up and so pissed I didn't recognize him at first. I could see he had a new, long gouge on his lower shoulder so he's still finding bucks to fight. He's very aggressive and likely punches above his considerable weight. But it wasn't the 3X4 because he did a super fast hook away from the doe and Alice who charged the doe and run her out of my sight to the west. The 3X4 quickly followed but at a respectful distance. That was fun!

Just as shooting light was running out a doe popped up out of the ravine and she brought a buck that made me jump! I got the binos on him while he circled her around and around a spruce tree at twenty five yards. He was very nice, but I wasn't sure HOW nice! He was tall, quite tall, with decent width but I thought his 3's and 4's were maybe weak. But while I was glued to the binos, deliberating and palpitating, he made the decision for me and herded his Delilah doe off to safer places. I guess I had time to shoot him but I used that time look and waver. I think I should have, but I'd rather be sorry for not shooting than sorry I did. Hopefully I will see him again if even just to put the wonder to rest. He may be a one and done appearance, but maybe not. That's the way of these Wildcards.

I'll be lucky to hunt half a day each on Sunday and Monday due to other commitments, but hopefully the action stays strong and even picks up. They're chasing hard now!!

From: Ambush
12-Nov-23

Ambush's embedded Photo
Ambush's embedded Photo
Alice is ANGRY!!

From: Treeline
12-Nov-23
Loving the play by play, Rod! Totally different type of hunt for mule deer than I am used to but really cool! Makes me think I should try hunting them in the rut from a blind or stand…

From: Zbone
12-Nov-23
Yeah, thanks for the play by play....

I know Canadian deer are known for dark antlers but since the beginning of this thread, noticed how stocky these BC deer look including the does... The almost look like a different subspecies than those in the U.S., curious is this near the coast as our Blacktails?

From: Shug
12-Nov-23
Good stuff

From: Ambush
12-Nov-23
Yeah Tavis, this is not what people envision when they think about typical US or prairie mule deer hunting. Totally different ecosystem.

Zbone, I'm about 450 miles from the coast. Our coastal blacktail are smaller but very stocky when mature. We also have Sitka blacktail on the Queen Charlotte Island. They are tiny and super tasty. Best eating deer ever by a long long stretch! Alice probably weighs over 250 but under 300. After they get about 4 1/2 years old they start getting really thick and under that they are a bit more mule like. The deer here have to have bigger bodies to withstand the prolonged, sometimes severe winters. The farther north you go in BC the bigger the bodies get, whether whitetails, muley's or moose. They also look fat because they often are and they got their winter coats on now. They need fat now to burn later in the late winter.

From: Ambush
12-Nov-23

Ambush's embedded Photo
Ambush's embedded Photo
My Buddy’s buck from several days ago is probably 7 1/2 or 8 1/2. He’s over 300 pounds for sure.

From: Jaquomo
12-Nov-23
This is great to follow, Rod! Almost all the deer in my longtime area where I did my live hunts are gone from various causes, so now I'm trying to hunt whitetails in a totally new area. Not remotely the same. So thanks for giving me a vicarious fix!

From: Zbone
12-Nov-23
Thanks for the info Ambush, GOOD LUCK!

From: ki-ke
12-Nov-23
As always, a great follow along….love Canadian Mulies. They are certainly a different sub species that most lower 48 deer!

From: Bowboy
12-Nov-23
Rod your buddy’s deer looks bigger than a spike elk.

From: Kurt
12-Nov-23
And for perspective, Rod’s buddy is a big guy…like 6’3 or more. The antlers (Euro’s) Rod has in house are heavy, thick and dark.

From: Ambush
13-Nov-23

Ambush's embedded Photo
Things have changed considerably overnight.
Ambush's embedded Photo
Things have changed considerably overnight.
Lou, that’s a real disappointment!! Hopefully the whitetail hunting will take the sting out.

Kurt lives about six hours drive south of me in a totally different terrain. Like the difference between east and west Washington state. There are some giant mule deer in his area too!

Yesterdays forecast of snow overnight caused a change in my plans, but I still got in the blind at 1:00. Does and fawns filtered through for most of the afternoon. The runt fork and a 3X3 spent time chasing whoever would stand for a minute. The signal to start the race was always a snout in the butt. About 4:00, with an hour of shooting light left Alice (the buck formerly known as Humper) showed up and quickly took over. He is bad tempered and just will not tolerate any other bucks near him. Often the bigger bucks will ignore the wieners and even let them spar a bit. There is no humour in Alice.

It snowed an inch of sloppy stuff over night and is still slowly coming down. The only deer so far is a small 3X3 that popped up from the ravine and paced around on the lookout 35 yards from the blind. He looked kinda listless and dejected like the kid that even got turned down by the ugly chicks for the prom. His head and ears suddenly perked up like there was still hope and he made his way into the ravine then headed up the big hill.

And now I have the runty fork here to keep me company.

From: Ambush
13-Nov-23

Ambush's embedded Photo
Slowly. Eeease up to her.
Ambush's embedded Photo
Slowly. Eeease up to her.
Runty is in his glory! Two does and two fawns showed up. Choices, choices!!

From: Ambush
13-Nov-23

Ambush's embedded Photo
Ambush's embedded Photo
Runty thinks they’re all lined up to see him!

From: Rackmastr
13-Nov-23
Great thread!! That buck Adam shot is a tank in body and mass!!!

From: Treeline
14-Nov-23
Next few days could be dynamite… hopefully a giant come through!

From: Grey Ghost
14-Nov-23
Rod, do you hunt the same blind every day, or do you have multiple setups?

From: Ambush
14-Nov-23

Ambush's embedded Photo
I got tired of this week after week
Ambush's embedded Photo
I got tired of this week after week
I hope you’re right Tavis!!

I have one permanent blind now. I had several treestands spread around but after several years of intel narrowed it down to this one spot. I shot a couple nice bucks out of a tree stand right on the edge of the ravine, but I was getting picked off by most of the mature bucks. I tried pop ups but the bears savaged them every time. And I did get tired of the eleven hour grinds in a treestand in sub zero temps.

Most of my hunting, scouting and prep is pretty physical and at seventy years old now I admit to being a bit ground down by the end of October. This is a place I can come for quiet and relaxing. I’ve grubbed out a small food plot over the years. I usually end up feeding the deer for six to ten weeks depending on snow depth and temps, often starting about now till mid January when they head off to the big fir ridges. I also put out alfalfa in several of their preferred bedding areas. That’s getting to be a bit more work than I’m up for this year too . Winters can be brutal here and they still haven’t recovered totally from die off a few years ago. I like to be preemptive because when it’s too late it’s too late.

From: TMac
14-Nov-23
Rod great thread. Your buddy’s buck is a tank! Good luck and stay warm.

From: buckeye
14-Nov-23
Hope you nail a good one Rod . I look forward to this thread every year. It's alot easier to do all day sits when you have as much activity as it seems you have there. Good luck buddy.

From: Ambush
14-Nov-23

Ambush's embedded Photo
Hard to see but that’s my lick branch.
Ambush's embedded Photo
Hard to see but that’s my lick branch.
Thanks TMac, I’ll take lucky any day.

I got five hours in yesterday’ morning before I had to bail. Can’t remember if I saw two or three bucks, so obviously none were memorable. Before I left I but two bales on their favourite lookout and by this morning they had kicked them into a nice fluffy mattress. Lots of tracks in the snow and one real toe dragger walked up my trail during the night. He may be close by or five miles away and still walking. This morning I saw two does, a fawn and two of the regular little bucks.

It does feel like a great day to kill a buck!

I had an unusual occurrence two days ago. I cut off a spruce bough that had been annoying me for the last eight years and chucked it on the bush edge. It’s a thick bough with a lot of little branch’s and twigs and it landed with the butt wedged in a double poplar base. Later in the afternoon Alice went to it and for three solid minutes rubbed his face in it. Not raking, just rubbing. An hour later another little buck came and did the same thing. Mule deer make lots of rubs but I’ve never seen this before. Twenty feet away I have a lick branch, built to T-roy’s specs, that I put a cam on for eight months. Nothing! They walk within two feet of it all the time without the slightest bit of interest. I dunno.

From: Ambush
14-Nov-23
I just had four flat tops milling around when a new, pretty sturdy fork came to investigate. He was standing just in the brush when all of a sudden he rocketed out of there and the does scattered. I just caught a glimpse of a big body running a doe to the west and behind me! When they go that direction, the doe will usually end up back here after running the trails. Sometimes fifteen minutes later sometimes two hours.

From: Scoot
14-Nov-23
Magic 8 ball says "Your arrow will fly today"!!!

From: t-roy
14-Nov-23
I sent you the “whitetail” specs. My bad! I’ll see if I can find the “mulie” algorithms. Shouldn’t be to hard, since there’s not too many folders in my mule deer archives….

From: Ambush
14-Nov-23

Ambush's embedded Photo
Ambush's embedded Photo
It’s always nice to have an extra set of ears listening for you. Especially really big ears.

Ahh, now it makes sense Troy. Or maybe just send me a couple of breeding pairs of trophy whitetail to use the lick branch I already have. Probably the simplest.

From: Treeline
14-Nov-23
She certainly is focused on something back there! Hopefully big daddy is looping back your way!

From: Treeline
14-Nov-23
Double post

From: Brotsky
14-Nov-23
Rod's clearly recovering that big bodied buck right now!

From: Ambush
14-Nov-23
No. Rod is clearly sitting here getting tired of the same cadre of little bucks taking turns chasing the bait away.

From: Rgiesey
14-Nov-23
I’m jealous Rod! But selfishly I’m hoping it drags out some because I like checking in while I’m trying to avoid work

From: Ambush
14-Nov-23
Ron, just for you I'm going to drag it out at least one more day.

I had a lot of does coming through pretty much all day, but no mature bucks. The Three MuskeDeers seemed to be hiding close by and tagged teamed any doe silly enough to stand still for two seconds. Their show got old by the end of the day.

It may be slow for a few days, but pretty quick new bucks should start passing through hoping to find a doe others missed. That's when a Wildcard could show up and make my season! Hopefully I don't have to do the full eleven hours tomorrow.

From: t-roy
14-Nov-23
You might try some Gene Simmons face paint, to mix things up a little bit.

From: Ambush
15-Nov-23
Troy, I don’t have any make up in my hunting gear, but I was having Nutella on toast this morning so I just smeared that around my face . It’s a bit grotesque and I can’t stop licking my lips but if you say it will help…..

It’s snowing and a pleasant 27 degrees (for you fellas still stuck on the pre independence scale). Shooting light will come late and slow this morning. Hopefully a big buck doesn’t ghost me and wreck my day.

Good luck hunters!!

15-Nov-23
Hoping for a good one Rod. Stay ready.

From: Treeline
15-Nov-23
Deer like Nutella! Gonna have one come jump in the blind with you to lick it off if you’re not careful! Good luck today!

From: smarba
15-Nov-23
It literally took me this long to realize this thread title was British Columbia and not Boone & Crockett. I thought Ambush was calling his home run shot in advance like Babe Ruth. Although maybe he's on to something and end up nailing a B&C buck...I hope so!

From: Ambush
15-Nov-23
I had a doe and fawn in the predawn that moved into the ravine. The 4X4 with the fused ankle came down the hill, barely paused at the doe in the ravine and popped out on the lookout. Another doe showed up and he half heartedly did a couple of polka moves with her. She left and he slowly moved on with his nose to the ground. He still has a very pronounced limp, but is obviously very healthy. I’ll just call him Limper. If he can make two more years he will be a very good buck!

Everybody seems a little listless today. Like the homeowner who threw a great party the night before but is now stuck with the clean up and a hangover.

From: Brotsky
15-Nov-23
Hopefully everyone sleeps it off and gets a little more fired up this morning Rod!

From: Ambush
15-Nov-23

Ambush's embedded Photo
Ambush's embedded Photo
This yearling 3X3 is one of the Three MuskeDeers that patrols regularly. I think he has good genetics. He’s already fairly thick and has (had) several stickers growing from his bases Up until a couple days ago he had a vertical line of three, inch long stickers on one side plus a longer one on the other side. I hope he comes back in three years!

From: t-roy
15-Nov-23
I’m hoping the bears have gone into hibernation, otherwise this Nutella idea might have been a bit ill conceived…

From: Ambush
15-Nov-23
^^^ That’s funny ‘cause a Buddy a few miles from me just texted a pic of a bear at his blind this morning. I had one a few years ago came out in late December. Thankfully he started raiding chicken coops and got shot.

From: Ambush
15-Nov-23

Ambush's embedded Photo
Ambush's embedded Photo
One of the advantages of a permanent blind amenities. I can have a hot noodle cup at lunch. :)

There’s been a fairly steady trickle of does and fawns. Alice just showed up again after a day’s absence. He looks like he hasn’t slept in two weeks. He left then cane back five minutes later pushing a doe. Not a lot of zip in his step but he’s still plugging away at his job.

From: Ambush
15-Nov-23

Ambush's embedded Photo
Hot Lunch Day.
Ambush's embedded Photo
Hot Lunch Day.

15-Nov-23
Thanks for taking the time to post this thread! Great job!!

From: goelk
15-Nov-23
Nice Buck Great pics

From: t-roy
15-Nov-23
Your snow pics add an even better element to this thread, Rod!

From: SBH
15-Nov-23
Love this thread. Thanks Rod.

From: Zbone
15-Nov-23
That's a pretty nice yearling...

From: BOHNTR
15-Nov-23
Great thread, Rod!

From: BOHNTR
15-Nov-23
Great thread, Rod!

From: Ambush
15-Nov-23
Glad some hunters are enjoying my pleasant misery!

The day ended with lots of does seen. Five different bucks total, but all ones I’ve seen before.

Alice came again half hour before dark and he was just standing still by a dark spruce tree. The poor little three point with the stickers, whom we’ll just call Stickers, came casually in to check some does and he didn’t notice Alice. Alice suddenly made a fast bluff lunge at Stickers and he pretty near turned inside out getting out of there. About five minutes later Stickers tried a test run by very casually trying to saunter past, kinda hands in his pockets whistling a light tune, but that just seemed to really aggravate Alice. A short, very decisive chased ensued!

I’ve had two other bucks over the years with the absolute meanest personalities and both were relentless and merciless fighters. The first two were definitely related and I’m wondering if Alice is too. I killed one of them, wanted to kill the other and might up end killing Alice if he keeps acting like a 3D target.

From: Jaquomo
15-Nov-23
Loving this, Rod. Sending more luck from the CO plains. Sounds like Alice might looking better.. ;-)

From: APauls
15-Nov-23
I’d read this thread just for Rod’s writing style alone. The hunting has me on the edge of my seat!

From: Ambush
16-Nov-23
Thanks Lou! Any whitetails there to tickle your fancy? Actually any tickle stories should just stay in the blind.

Adam, are you saddled and swinging for a monster? I think we have to change “run’n and gun’n” to “go’n and bow’n”.

Pretty much a cookie cutter morning, overcast and intermittent snow, and no light from the sky on the walk in. It’s 26F and will struggle to get above freezing today.

Maybe today!?!

From: Ambush
16-Nov-23
Deer are really moving this morning! At one point t I could see ten deer and one is a pretty good buck. He walked by at 25 yards but in the brush and with the gloomy light I couldn’t commit. He’s about 100 yards up the hill now slowly pushing a doe. He’s got decent height, mass and about two inches past his ears on both sides. But his G4’s are only about 2”. I need a better look in better light.

But this is a good sign that the Nomads are on the move!!

From: Insheart
16-Nov-23
Just caught up to this tread - guess I'll have to start reading it on stand. Have been busy chasing pretty much non-existent white tail bucks - dark to dark almost every day for 3 weeks - this read is a wonderful distraction. Keep it up.

From: Ambush
16-Nov-23
The buck is moving back and forth across the hill concentrated on one doe. If she makes a break for it, there’s a decent chance her route will bring her and him within bow range.

I might cave and shoot if he gives me a perfect shot!

From: BOWNBIRDHNTR
16-Nov-23
^^^ This is why we come to Bowsite!! Good Luck Rod!!!

From: WYOelker
16-Nov-23
Do it...

From: Scoot
16-Nov-23
Choot it, choot it!

From: Ambush
16-Nov-23
And just like that, I’m all alone. Like it was all a big tease!

And you guys are not helping my resolve with all the “choot it! do it!” hooting. lol

There’s fourteen days left in the season and I can probably hunt ten to twelve of them. But I still might cave :)

From: Scoot
16-Nov-23
Hahaha- good luck, Rod!

From: Treeline
16-Nov-23
Sounds like a potential customer there, Rod! Hopefully a better look will happen!

Still remember that great buck you got a few years back… The potential for a mule deer like that would have me stuck in a box for as many days as possible when they could possibly be moving! What’s the potential for another giant like that one?

From: Ambush
16-Nov-23
Pretty slim chance Tavis. I’ve had one other buck that I tried to kill for three years that would be close. There was another buck a few miles from me that would have been way bigger even as a typical. His sheds were found and measured. He was killed by a hunter, but sadly that year his left side was deformed. Not sure why.

I got some company. The crippled doe and a dink.

From: Ambush
16-Nov-23

Ambush's embedded Photo
Crabs. The Dissappointer.
Ambush's embedded Photo
Crabs. The Dissappointer.
Another dream dashed!!

About 1:30 the Limper 4X4 came in casually hanging with a couple does. He showed just enough interest to be polite, but not enough to be rude. A gentleman buck. Fifteen minutes later I saw antlers bobbing above the brush! Now I got a problem! I had just started eating my peanut butter/honey and bacon sandwich and I couldn’t set it down because it would stick to everything. It was still too big to shove all in my mouth and besides the squirrel cheeks would throw my anchor off. Should I just keep eating and hope he stalls. If it’s meant to be, it will happen? I was sure it was the mystery buck from this morning!

I was frozen in time, a chunk of honey drenched bread that had fallen out of my gaping mouth stuck to my chin. Now, sandwich in one hand and binos in the other, I confirm it is him. The crabs claws are unmistakable as he rises, one deliberate step at a time, out of the ravine and into full view.

“Well shit” I mumble through a wad of bread, “That’s not much of a buck at all!” I wish I’d never seen him again to save the disappointment!

We’ll call him Crabs.

Crabs and Limper kept a respectful fifteen feet apart and showed no real malice to each other. Now if Alice had been here, he would have started a fight at first sight.

And now there is another new buck just showed up. A heavy goofy looking 2X3 with one thick brow tine sticking out front. We'll call him Goofy

Oh well, still fourteen days left.

From: Ambush
16-Nov-23
And now Stickers the little 3X3 just showed up. I think I’m at six bucks today!

From: t-roy
16-Nov-23
I’m gonna start sending you trail cam pics, next year, Rod! It’s getting more and more difficult for me to come up with catchy new deer names. I think I need a fresh prospective, and you seem to have a knack for it! “Crabs the Disappointer” is a prime example! Love it! Any chance he’s an offspring of Vlad the Impaler?

From: Ambush
16-Nov-23

Ambush's embedded Photo
Here’s Goofy. And he thinks all The does should be —king Goofy too.
Ambush's embedded Photo
Here’s Goofy. And he thinks all The does should be —king Goofy too.
^^^ Haha, could be!

From: Nick Muche
16-Nov-23
This is great, keep after it Rod, looks like a really fun time!

From: JB
16-Nov-23
Great thread! I love reading this one every year!! Thank you!!

From: Insheart
17-Nov-23
Treeline mentioned a monster from a few years ago -- can you post a picture please.

From: Ambush
17-Nov-23

Ambush's embedded Photo
Ambush's embedded Photo
Insheart, I always like showing pics of that buck!

It’s 36F this morning and it looks like we’re in for a stretch of freezing at night and thaws during the day, plus some rain. That’s basically worst case scenario for the deer and grouse. Temps are the only thing on their side as they don’t use much energy staying warm.

From: Ambush
17-Nov-23

Ambush's embedded Photo
Ambush's embedded Photo
The only buck I’ve ever mounted.

From: Ron Niziolek
17-Nov-23
Really enjoying this thread, Rod. Love your style of writing!

From: Insheart
17-Nov-23
Double post

From: Insheart
17-Nov-23
Man-0-man what a buck.

From: Ambush
17-Nov-23
And prize for first buck of the day goes to …. da da da dum

runty!! The forking little fawn sniffer!

And Goofy is in for a close second! Goofy is such a little dickhead, I hope Alice shows up and kicks his ass.

From: BOWNBIRDHNTR
17-Nov-23
Did you learn from yesterday and bring a napkin to set that honey soaked sandwich on when you need to pick up your bow? Good luck today!!

From: Ambush
17-Nov-23
^^^^ Haha! So far, today is one of those days that if I ate out of boredom, I’d just be finishing tomorrow afternoon’s snacks!

From: Ambush
17-Nov-23

Ambush's embedded Photo
Ambush's embedded Photo
At 1:30 Limper showed up to relieve my boredom and put me up to three non-shooter bucks so far. Whew, it’s a wild ride ;(

From: buckeye
17-Nov-23
Rod, if it has 3 on one side and 4 on the other, is that a legal deer or does it have to have 4 on both sides?

From: Ambush
17-Nov-23

Ambush's embedded Photo
Ambush's embedded Photo
The crippled doe came to the blind for her daily apple core.

I have two cripples here at once right now. And a week ago I had a small doe on a cam vid with what looked like a broken lower hind leg.

From: Scoot
17-Nov-23
OK Rod, I have a question... you've seen lots of bucks and plenty of action. I know you are hopeful that a good one will show up at some point. I also know you know a lot about what is realistic, in terms of what you might expect there. Here's my question... what are the odds you're going to lay eyes on a shooter from the blind?

Mostly, I'm just curious about your level of optimism. But for the record, I'm not only rooting for you, I'm thinking your odds are quite good: 79% you see a shooter and 53% you kill it.

From: JohnMC
17-Nov-23
How short are your days up there? Currently in CO daylight hours are less than 11 hours. I'd guess you are quite a bit less than that.

From: Ambush
17-Nov-23
Buckeye, yes just needs 4 on one side.

From: Ambush
17-Nov-23
Scoot, it’s just a total gamble that a good buck shows up. Two years ago a Buddy sent me a cam pic of a real nice buck taken in the late evening. That buck was on my cam the next day early afternoon. That’s 7 miles as the crow flies and a wide river apart. That’s the only pics either of us ever got. Where did he come from and where did he go? I know there are big deer within that range. I operate on the principle that even if it’s one in five hundred, if I hit it, it doesn’t matter what the odds were. I go everyday, thinking today is the day.

John, I’m in my blind by 6:30. I can usually shoot about 7:15 to close to 5:00. I’m losing a few minutes on both ends per day right now.

From: Jaquomo
17-Nov-23
That's the right way to think, Rod. You understand how mature muleys travel right now. Once a rancher friend who lives about 7 miles from where I was hunting texted me that he had seen three "really good bucks" pass his barn, headed my way. The next morning I managed to rattle all three of them in.

Tomorrow morning might bring the one for you. Believe!

From: Rock
17-Nov-23
You just have to believe and maybe pray a lot!!!!

From: Ambush
18-Nov-23

Ambush's embedded Photo
The day ended with Goofy harassing the crippled doe. Such a dick.
Ambush's embedded Photo
The day ended with Goofy harassing the crippled doe. Such a dick.
Lou, this is yesterday’s “tomorrow morning” so I’m hoping you’re right!

Hey Rock! You must be chasing something right now too?!

My yesterday ended with only four different bucks, all seen before and none of any note. With the snow and shorter days I can see the feeding pattern is changing. They ‘re coming through a bit later in the morning and earlier in the afternoon which means they’re feeding longer. I have a lot of edge with good natural feed around the plot and they are taking their time snacking as they go.

On the up side I got sent a cam pic of a big mainframe 3X3 with a short G4 on one side making him legal. About four miles from me and he’s a for sure target if he shows up here.

After reading all the pros to the Fanatic clothes in that thread, I brought my vest for good luck. I should have it done up in the next forty five minutes, or so.

Good luck today everybody!!

From: kakiatkids
18-Nov-23
Give it hell Rod

From: Fuzz
18-Nov-23
Good luck!!

From: Zbone
18-Nov-23
Thanks for sharing, it's interesting to me these bucks migrating 7 miles a day during pretty much peak rut... Being from the Midwest without muleys didn't realize the long migrations begins so early, although I do know snows drives them from timberline down the mountains but hadn't realized those long route migrations already started in the valleys and lowlands... Would have thought they rutted and bred before their journey... It's a long time until spring's return and would have thought they're odyssey wouldn't begin at least until December... Seems like wham bam thank you mam on the road and keep moving...8^)))

There is a PBS (I think) video I seen of a mule deer migration of like a 150 miles... Once they started nothing stopped them, fences, highways, housing developments and roads, nor rivers they just kept moving on a mission...

From: Ambush
18-Nov-23
Nov. 18 and time for the noon report.

This morning well before shooting light, with binos, I could just make out Limper bedded on the lookout in front of and to the right of me. A few more minutes passed and three flattops came through and as if prearranged he got up and left with them. I haven’t seen a deer since! I now know the pain of being in a Connecticut Live Hunt.

I put on my Sitka Fanatic vest this morning for good luck but it didn’t work. Now, all the thumping, bumping and muffled curses while trying to get the zipper engaged may have had an affect on anything within earshot.

I think maybe my spirits need a Lift from Mathews. :)

Zbone, these bucks are not migrating. They are just on extended forays looking for leftover does. About mid January, depending on snow depth, the deer will move to the big fir ridges but stay “local”. Just a different biosphere. My area doesn’t have corn, bean, pea or other crops. No mast trees or orchards. They have to browse what grows.

From: JohnMC
18-Nov-23
If you want something lucking get an OU hat.

From: Zbone
18-Nov-23
Thanks for the info Rod... Yeah, 7 miles rutting can happen with whitetails around here too... Looking forward to your updates, good luck to ya rest of season...

From: Ambush
18-Nov-23
John, no clue what that is. Can you just send me a couple? One for my normal head size and one for after I kill a giant buck.

From: JohnMC
18-Nov-23
That is funny. University of Oklahoma Sooners - OU. I'll give you pass being you are a Canuck and all. ;) It is the only hat I'll wear, besides my cowboy hat and occasionally my Colorado Bowhunter Association hat. Boomer Sooner

From: Ambush
18-Nov-23
Ok, very cool. Are they known for something special like Line Dancing or beach volleyball. ?

I think a size 7 1/8” and a 12” should do it. Thanks man!!

From: t-roy
18-Nov-23
It doubles as TP in a pinch too, Rod.

Is there one certain type of browse that they feed on in the winter, more so than anything else?

From: Ambush
18-Nov-23
^^ Osier dogwood and salmon berry are staples. . They eat the leaves and stems , green and later in the year dry. We had a very hot dry summer and it looks like a lot of leaves fell instead of drying on the bush where they are easy to reach even in twenty inches of snow. Now the snow will cover the fallen leaves. Hopefully we don’t get heavy wet snow that crusts hard so they can’t dig them out. My little herd may end up eating more of their alfalfa bedding. I could normally have five of their bedding sites prepped already but it too wet still.

From: ki-ke
18-Nov-23
This is the first thread I open during my morning and bedtime constitutionals! Thanks for going with me Rod!!

I totally get and respect that you have this spot you’ve developed and stick with day after long day, believing that a giant will stroll in, make a move on the gimpy doe and you’ll kill him and wear the size 12-1/2 hat. Your persistence is amazing. But, are you ever tempted to look at new country for a day, even if it’s the same country with different scenery?

See you in the am…..

Hoping you kill a toad, but I’m happy you’re taking your time. Love the story

From: Insheart
18-Nov-23
Agree with others Rod, love this thread and hoping you push a sharp one thru the vitals of a monster!

From: Ambush
18-Nov-23
Thanks ki-ke for sticking with me and I hope I can provide a big finish. I have hiked, scouted and hunted lots of other areas and it's fun to do, but I've settled on this spot and will just hunt it as long as I can. It's a ten minute drive and a fifteen minute walk. Doesn't get much better than that! The deer numbers had taken a beating and are just now starting to come back so I think the future is good.

Today was kind of painful though. The initial couple of early morning deer, then literally nothing until 12:30. Then over about twenty minutes it was a parade of does and fawns, with a little fork as Parade Master giving everyone a good butt sniff to keep them in tune. From about 1:00 till dark just a few stragglers. Three bucks all day, two forks and Limper. Pretty sad.

Not sure how much I can hunt in the next three days with family stuff, grandkids on Monday and pick up my wife at the airport on Tuesday. She'll have been gone for week weeks by then and will likely expect me to spend most of the day with her. Maybe not though, because I think I may have gotten scurvy from no fruits or veggies since she left. Or could just be a rash from wearing the same clothes for three weeks straight. So I'm pretty happy that JohnMC is going to send me a couple hats from Odor Eaters (or something like that) and the Sooner the better.

From: BULELK1
19-Nov-23
Dang good reading Rod----->

Thanks for taking us along,

Robb

From: Ambush
19-Nov-23
Robb, you're back! I better go catch up on your Sheep Shenanigans!

From: Grey Ghost
19-Nov-23
Keep the faith, Rod.

Mulies are definitely nomadic. Just when I was starting to think there were no shooters around, I killed a dandy yesterday that I had never seen before. I think that's why I love mule deer hunting so much. You just never know what may show up.

Matt

From: Ambush
19-Nov-23
Congrats GG, throw a couple pics on here!

From: Bowboy
19-Nov-23
What’s the weather like today Rod? The mulie’s bucks are really chasing the does in my area.

From: Ambush
19-Nov-23
Graig, it's been raining for the last several hours but should quit late morning. If it clears, I'll try to get a few hours in. This could be really bad for the deer in my immediate area. I'm in the confluence of two big rivers and their valleys and the terrain around it rises up high and steep mostly thickly forested. The deer get most of the their feed on the steep slopes in the bush. Several years ago we had a lot of rain in November, then the temps plummeted, which left a deep, solid ice covering on the ground. The deer and moose could literarily not stand up on the slopes, so lost a good portion of their winter range. Combine that with a couple hard winters and we lost a lot of ungulates. I'm really hoping that doesn't happen again this year.

Are you out chasing deer?

From: caribou77
19-Nov-23
Been following this one daily, thanks for posting

From: Ambush
19-Nov-23

Ambush's embedded Photo
The dog hair poplar needs to go.!
Ambush's embedded Photo
The dog hair poplar needs to go.!
Well the rain quit and the sun even made a halfhearted attempt to shine. I got just over four hours in the blind and a little slow to start but picked up a wee bit as the afternoon wore on. By the time it was dark I’d seen several does, Stickers the stud yearling and of course Alice being his ever cheerful self. He even let Stickers hang around as long as he stayed fifty yards away.

The feeble sun gave way to clouds and then the wind kicked up some strong gusts. I heard a few trees snap off up on the high ridges. The deer will be on them like the fat kid on his brother’s Halloween candy.

I’m going to have to thin out about a thousand pecker pole poplars around the plot because I’ve noticed the deer don’t browse in there anymore. The really tight stems and canopy has suppressed the understory. I cut a dozen after dark tonight and piled them on the bush edge to supplement the herds food supply.

The good friend that owns the property I hunt on is hinting strongly that I’m being a bit fussy. He said, “ I grew a lot of potatoes this year and I need a lot of gravy. And you can’t make gravy from patience and hope!”

Alice better hope something turns up before the last couple days.

From: BOWNBIRDHNTR
20-Nov-23
Rod you are doing a fantastic job of keeping us BSers entertained but it is probably most important that you provide the landowner with some gravy! Alice better be careful!!

From: Treeline
20-Nov-23
Got a good feeling… Big boy is gonna swing by and give you a shot real soon…

From: APauls
20-Nov-23
Good luck buddy!! Are you saying this is a permission property?

From: Ambush
20-Nov-23
Adam, yes, a good friend's property. There is a mixture of private and public in the area.

I had one set of grandkids today so we went and sat in the blind for about an hour. Two 9 year old's and a 6 year old. We saw one doe and she didn't stay much past the three blonde heads all thrusting out the window at once and yelling, "There's one!!" After another half hour of the little apes running around the plot kicking deer turd filled snow at each other, not sure what tomorrow will bring.

Tomorrow is dark till dark or death.

From: Grunter
20-Nov-23
Rod I've been following everyday as well, thank you for posting these updates! You hunt a special place, so appreciate you taking us with you. Do you have different blinds set for different winds? Or sitting same one?

21-Nov-23
Good luck! Hope the one you want walks by today. Thanks for taking the time to post.

From: Ambush
21-Nov-23
November 21. Nine days left in the season and I can probably hunt seven of them. Considering it only takes a couple minutes when it does happen, that seems like lots of time. :)

It’s 39F and a bit breezy out of the south. Hopefully it dries the ground a bit before the deep freeze sets in.

Grunter, I just have one permanent box blind. Because of the topography the wind nearly always shears along high ridge in front of me (south). If deer come from behind me they have to pass to my left or right because I’m perched on the slope of a high knob. There are clover leafs of trails to my north and east and tons of trails in the ridges and ravines on the other sides. Many of them connect close to me. Between natural funnels and old skid trails kept open by animals, moving deer regularly pass by me. When winter hits, I feed them. Generations of deer know they can come here to pack on a few pounds from early December to about mid January. The alfalfa bedding sites are used by the local does and fawns. Often rutted out bucks show up mid December to rest and refuel. Most of those will be bucks that were born here and lived here till they got dispersed in their third fall. It’s imprinted on their brains. I have a pic somewhere of four good 4X4’s and a couple smaller ones all bedded together in a hay nest. Thermal protection is one of the best things you can do for deer in severely cold climates.

We’ll see what the day brings!!

From: Brotsky
21-Nov-23
Good luck today Rod! Hopefully this day delivers one more thing to be thankful for!

From: Ambush
21-Nov-23
Time for the Noon Report:

This sucks! Thats about it.

What started as a decent day quickly deteriorated to rain, then snow, the wet snow and rain and now just rain again with a fog that rolled in. I’m in a blind so I can take all that, but the not having seen a deer yet is grating on me.

It was very windy last night and that probably interfered with their feeding, so maybe they got a real late start and are making up for lost time. At any rate, non have made the normal to and fro yet.

When I was here yesterday with the grandkids, I turned the timed feeder on to drop over night. Not much, so it should have been all gone. Tough to say for sure but looking with binoculars from here, it looks unmolested. I’m going to pull a couple cards tonight and I can look then.

I really hope the afternoon picks up.

From the blind I can see the tree that I sat in for so many days for quite a few years and I’m really happy I’m not sitting there today! Yuck!!

From: Ambush
21-Nov-23
Well the weather stayed the same for the rest of the day except the fog got thicker and by 4:00 it would have been tough to get a shot off in the dark gloom. At 2:30 I saw the first two deer of the day, a doe and fawn picking bits of clover in the few bare patches the snow had melted from. I'm not sure which way they came from (I might have been napping :) About twenty minutes later a few more flat tops came through definitely from the bedding areas higher up on the hillside. Goofy followed them in at a distance and didn't seem particularly interested in them, then went his own way shortly after.

So, very little movement today. I'm not sure if they just bedded closer to the feeding areas because of the weather or my grandkids scared them all just that bad. They did sound a bit like a pack of starving coyotes.

Tomorrow is supposed to be a better day, with a dip below freezing and the clouds clearing off by mid afternoon. I need to draw a Wildcard!!

From: t-roy
21-Nov-23
Do the deer eat a lot of the alfalfa that you put out for bedding, or do they just pick at it occasionally? If we have severe winter conditions here in Iowa (which we DO have some years) our whitetails would most likely eat most of it. Curious if the mulies don’t prefer it like whitetails do?

From: cnelk
21-Nov-23
Rod - I for one hope you are successful on the very last day! Just so the thread stays active until then.

So much fun following along. Good luck on the last day. ;)

From: Ambush
21-Nov-23
The hay I buy is always first cut high alfalfa content. I have a good arrangement with a farmer about an hour away: he charges me too much and I pay it. But it's cut at prime protein content and during good drying weather.

I have a crib that holds one bale, under a good water shedding spruce tree and I put a bale in it early September. Over three or four weeks they will pick all the alfalfa out of it and about 90% of it ends up on the ground. I cleaned that out at the beginning of November and replaced it with a fresh bale. They're still pretty picky, but less so. I put three bales (one per week) in the one bedding site and they just kick it all apart and spread it around. I kick it back up into a pile around the tree. In this weather they're kinda like me when I'm hunting and not really hungry but feel like eating something so I pick just the red smarties out of my trial mix. I can gauge their need pretty well from watching how they treat the bale in the crib. They can't kick it around in the crib as much, although I had cam pics of a fawn that hopped up in it for a sleep several times.

When it gets real cold, they may eat 30% of it. We had a really cold long winter one year that they probably ate 60% of it over the winter. This year it's too wet to put it out yet or it loses it loft, just like a wet sleeping bag. I've had some success going in mid to late December after its colder and drier and fluffing it up with a pitch fork but that's less than ideal. And a bunch of work! The future is all about fawn survival and healthy, pregnant does.

From: Jaquomo
21-Nov-23
Great following along, Rod! I've been there and you just have to have faith. When you least expect it....

From: Ambush
22-Nov-23
November 22. Dark:30

It froze just hard enough over night to turn the schluck in the snow to a crunch. Should be a drier day with maybe even a bit of sun late afternoon. And against Brad’s wishes, I think I’ll kill a buck today.

I will pick my wife up at the airport at midnight tonight after a three week trip. That means I will not be hunting tomorrow. All the older guys know this, but for any young hunters out there, here is some vital information for your survival. I’m a forty three year survivor, so listen.

Tonight my wife will ask if I’m going hunting in the morning. I’ll kinda muse out loud about whether I should. She’ll say “well if you think you should , that’s fine”. That is one of those women speak phrases for “do it and you’ll be sorry!”

The worst case scenario is when your wife seems a bit edgy and you innocently, sincerely and stupidly ask “Is something wrong honey?” The responses will always be “No”. This is your first hint you are in trouble. But you persist a bit and ask again. “Are you sure nothing is wrong?” You will get a slightly exaggerated “Everything is fine!” Now you have just pulled the pin from a grenade and you have only two options! RUN! Which is the smart option in the short term. Or do your damnedest to defuse and suffer some minor injuries.

So, I will voluntarily stay home tomorrow and earn valuable marriage points, redeemable for prizes later. I see a new bow in my future. :)

Hopefully I just kill a buck today and avoid all the above.

Are you back Lou?

From: Grunter
22-Nov-23
Great advice Rod, however maybe she should just come out there with you. Then you spend time with her, and got help for the dragging! And we all get more updates. Everyone wins! Good luck these last few days, I'm thinking a big boy will make a appearance.

From: HUNT MAN
22-Nov-23
Rod for the Win!! Great advice and so true. Better just kill one today!!

From: Fuzz
22-Nov-23
Very wise is this Ambush fella.

I'm going to show my wife that post later and ask if that sounds about right. ;-)

From: Brotsky
22-Nov-23
Nothing in this world scarier than a woman who is "fine"! Sage advice Rod! Good luck today!

From: Scoot
22-Nov-23
I knew Rod was wise, but damn he's wise! An informed muley hunter and husband... a rare breed indeed!!! GL today, Rod!

From: BOWNBIRDHNTR
22-Nov-23
Fine....probably the scariest word a woman has ever spoken! Much like another four letter F word it can mean so many different things - and often the same thing!!!!

From: APauls
22-Nov-23
Go Rod Go!

From: t-roy
22-Nov-23
Let me know if you want me to speak to your wife for you, Rod. I’d be more than happy to….

From: Ambush
22-Nov-23
Troy, I just might let you. You’re the only guy I know that can come home from an auction and casually say “oh yeah I bought the farm next door at the auction this morning. Can you get me a coffee.”

Well it’s noon and although my DPH (deer per hour) meter isn’t exactly pinned in the red, it’s hovering way higher than yesterday at this time. Seven deer but not an inch of bone. I did see yesterday that the cripple doe was definitely peeing on her hocks and rubbing them together in that pre estrous posture. Maybe just a bit late for her but just in time for me. Well not “me” specifically, but a buck for me.

Monday afternoon I kicked all the alfalfa back up into a doughnut ring around the spruce tree. It was pretty spread out again. I just watched a doe start near the trunk and paw while backing up. She would root around and pick out a delicacy here and there. Tonight I’ll go kick it back against the tree. I’m not sure who is playing who here.

The weather is perfect to kill a deer. Let’s see if a big buck knows that.

From: t-roy
22-Nov-23
I almost bought “THE” farm after pulling that stunt ;-)

From: Fuzz
22-Nov-23
Ambush...I read my wife your post and she was almost crying laughing! She said you're a pretty smart man!

From: Jaquomo
22-Nov-23
Rod, I am back and holding out hope for a vicarious buck from you. The deer population where I hunted was way, way down. I did not see a muley that was remotely interesting, and only two whitetail bucks I would have shot. It was grim. A few mornings ago I was sitting there in the dark and 15 degrees, thinking I wasn't really having fun. Then my wife texted later in the morning, told me how nice the weather was at home, and she hoped to go fly-fishing a couple more times before the ice goes on.

So I went home and we went fishing. And it was good, and my wife is happy. We have a full freezer and I still have a Sonora hunt coming up in early February. Happy wife, happy life!

From: Grey Ghost
22-Nov-23
One thing I’ve learned over 33 years of marriage is never question my wife. She’ll let me know when we need to talk. She’s usually happiest when I’m hunting.

Matt

From: Ambush
22-Nov-23
That's too bad about the deer hunting Lou. But at least you know when it's time to fold and the consolation prize doesn't sound half bad either :)

My afternoon went about the same as the morning, several does but not a single buck. First buckless day I think. Not even Alice showed up! I wonder if he's getting some ominous vibe from the blind as the season winds down. -##----------------->

From: Treeline
23-Nov-23
Hopefully the day off with the wife will help….

From: Ambush
24-Nov-23
It is November 24 and back in the saddle. The saddle being a swivel, rolling office chair with arm rests. Pretty comfy.

It’s 23F and the wet snow is now frozen and super crunchy and for the first time the sky is full of stars. Might even have an actual sunrise this morning and it may just jump over to the other side of the freezing mark. All in all, it’s looking like a great day.

Hopefully me and the deer are ready to get at it after the day off for both of us. Should have shooting light in forty five minutes, then let the games begin!

Good luck to everyone that’s waiting to release an arrow this morning!

From: Rock
24-Nov-23
Good Luck Rod, hope today is the day the big one shows up for you.

From: Brotsky
24-Nov-23
Good luck Rod!

From: CFMuley
24-Nov-23
Good luck! I’m not very active on Bowsite, but I just wanted to let you know how much I’ve enjoyed this post. I find myself checking back multiple times a day to see if you got it done.

From: midwest
24-Nov-23
Good luck, Rod. Woke up to temps in the teens here in Iowa this morning with light northerly winds. Would be a spectacular morning to be in a tree but I'm tagged out on buck tags until the late season. :-(

From: t-roy
24-Nov-23
Beings you’re sitting in an office chair, this would be considered just another day at the office, correct? Hopefully a big, old, ugly bruiser shows up for your meeting today. Hopefully, he got the memo….

From: Ambush
24-Nov-23
It’s 2:00 and I have a decent buck standing about 90 yards to my east. It’s quite possibly the one that got me excited a couple weeks ago and then I turned down. If he keeps coming he may well give me a shot unless he takes an off ramp into the ravine.

From: Ambush
24-Nov-23

Ambush's embedded Photo
Ambush's embedded Photo
Forty yards now but heading for the ravine.

From: Ambush
24-Nov-23

Ambush's embedded Photo
Ambush's embedded Photo
He did pop back up on my side to sniff a doe.

To be a shooter a buck has to have age, size or character and he lacked all three. He has nice long G2’s, but that’s about it.

From: Grunter
24-Nov-23
I like your standards Rod! Wish my neighbors were as selective as you, we would have much bigger bucks running around. I can tell we would get along great! That buck has potential for the future.

From: Treeline
25-Nov-23
Up and comer. Give him a couple more years and he will fit at least two of your criteria…

From: Ambush
25-Nov-23
Yes the up and comers are plentiful and most are 3 1/2 years old. The big downside is many of those will not make it past the spring. It’s a critical year or two for them.

November 25 and also 25F with an overcast sky and slight breeze. Temps will just kiss the bottom side of freezing. With all the dark hours now the deer can feed extra and still have the cover of night. But they also get up and feed a little longer at mid day because they know winter is coming.

Tomorrow will be a family day for the most part. But I’ll probably also do a quick scout in another area. I may set a pop up blind just below a saddle on the bedding side of it if the amount of tracks warrants. With the wet snow freezing hard a few nights ago any big tracks will be preserved as clues. I’ll pull a couple of cards from here and depending on what I see on them and during the recon to the saddle I’ll make a decision about where to finish up the last four days of the season.

Of course, the smart and efficient thing to do would be just shoot a buck today :)

From: Treeline
25-Nov-23
That country is definitely tough on the critters. Sounds like they need a couple of good years to get them back up and going. Pray for global warming.

From: Ambush
25-Nov-23
Definitely could use a little global warming! I burn piles of tires with used oil whenever I can ;)

Today was just a grind. I saw a few does in the predawn moving back to the bedding areas. Another single doe just before noon. Then about ten more between 3:00 and 5:00. Another buckless and luckless day. Gone is the excitement of the pre rut and rut with all the deer running helter skelter to stay ahead or to catch up. The cam cards I pulled tonight didn't provide any encouragement either. By tomorrow night I'll have to make plan where to throw my chips for the final deal.

At least once a day I just head over the Mule Deer Meatpole and get pumped up again!!

From: BULELK1
26-Nov-23
You are having fun and enjoying the outdoors for sure-------->

Good luck, Robb

From: huntinelk
26-Nov-23
Thanks for all the entertainment. Hope you kill a giant to end the season.

From: Insheart
26-Nov-23
First thread I open every morning. Pulling for you to kill another giant!

26-Nov-23
The “giant” thing can be over rated. Enjoying yourself is sweet.

From: Ambush
26-Nov-23
Well, after some reconnaissance and some intel from a buddy with a couple cameras in the area I was considering switching to, I've decided to finish the race on the horse I started with. So back to the blind tomorrow.

I've got close to nine hours of shooting light each day, which leaves about fifteen hours of darkness for the deer to avoid me. They got me beat there. But I've got four days left, so that's a total of thirty six hours. That's two thousand, one hundred and sixty minutes. Now, since it usually only takes about two minutes when it does happen, that sounds like I got tons of time. Pretty sure I got it all over the deer on this one!

That Wildcard could walk by in the first two minutes or the last two minutes, or any of two minutes in between.

Now if Alice shows up to rock the stage, then maybe he'll get some heavy metal back from me. Although the proper time to shoot him would have been before he bred a bunch of does. Might just have to go with the "better late than never" attitude.

From: Matt
27-Nov-23
Good luck. Here in NorCal we have had an almost entirely nocturnal rut. Hopefully that’s not what you are dealing with because it is very frustrating.

From: t-roy
27-Nov-23
Today’s the day, Rod. Hopefully the headliner finally makes it to the venue. If not, the backup band might be looking for a new lead.

From: Scoot
27-Nov-23
Go get 'em, Rod! Rooting for you to hit a home run in the late innings!

From: Ambush
27-Nov-23
Not much of day with not even an inch of bone seen. Starting about 9:00 there was a sporadic dribbling of does throughout the day. Maybe a dozen or fifteen. What is unusual is that even the little bucks are absent as they are normally hanging with the does once the big bucks quit running them off. It looks like the does are eating some alfalfa. I turned the feeder on last week to drop six times during the night which may total about ten pounds and most of it is gone by morning. They are going to bed later and getting up earlier so eating has become more of a priority with the cold coming. The rut is good and truly over. A couple weeks ago if I saw a doe coming, I would get excited about what might be following her. Now I'm just more excited for the company.

I did see something unusual today though. There was a weasel slinking along just inside the brush. I was watching him through the binos when he got about two feet from a red squirrel that was sitting on a root. I thought, alright that little hunter is going to hammer that squirrel, this should be fun! They squirrel saw the weasel a second before the weasel saw him and he just charged that little white streak! The weasel ran and looped and turned and circled logs and brush with the squirrel hot on him. The chase lasted over a distance of about fifty yards, with the weasel finally making a break across an open lane, after which the squirrel gave up. I know weasels are pretty fearless, but apparently red squirrels are more than a match. A couple of times I've been able to watch pine martens chasing red squirrels through the trees and that is very cool to see the speed and agility they both have.

Anyway, three days to go! And I hope something more exciting than a weasel and squirrel race happens!

From: Ambush
28-Nov-23

Ambush's embedded Photo
Ambush's embedded Photo
November 28. 28F and a little breeze out of the south. By mid afternoon it should climb a few degrees above freezing. With some clearing in the skies and a full moon I didn’t need a headlamp. Literally walking on moon beams.

I’m going to rely on statistics for my hope now. Since I haven’t even seen antlers during the last three full day sits, statistically I’m due to see a cranker. Right?

Just now a beautiful blue/black fox was five feet from my blind. When I tried to hold my phone out for a pic, he caught me and literally exploded out of there. There’s a little circle laying on the ground where he was standing and I’m pretty sure that’s his butt hole.

From: Ambush
28-Nov-23

Ambush's embedded Photo
Ambush's embedded Photo
Nice to have an actual morning sky for a change too.

From: Brotsky
28-Nov-23
Good luck today Rod, I've got a feeling! It might be from the Mexican food I had last night but it's a feeling!

From: Fuzz
28-Nov-23
Rooting for ya!

From: Willieboat
28-Nov-23
Give ‘em hell right till the bitter end it just takes 1!

From: Treeline
28-Nov-23
At least you have interesting stuff going on! Beautiful morning! This could definitely be the day!

From: APauls
28-Nov-23
Good luck buddy!!! First minute's as good as the last but you already know this

From: Kurt
28-Nov-23
Beautiful photo Rod!

Good luck, last minute bucks or bulls are sweet!

From: buckeye
28-Nov-23
The next buck you arrow will have certainly been earned, that's alot of hours you've put in Rod. I hope you punch your tag soon.

From: Ambush
28-Nov-23
Thanks guys!

Today was only slightly more painful than yesterday with there being just a few less deer. Fourth consecutive day with no antlers. Odds are stacking in my favor now!

Two interesting things this afternoon, well interesting if your bored near to comatose .

Yesterday I watched a red squirrel put the run on that weasel. Today that weasel came along the brush edge on my side and I was watching as he came to about ten feet. Then I noticed that he didn't have a black tip on his tail. That's weird. And he's very fat and stocky. He got a few feet closer then turned away and he has a rather bushy tail. Huh!? It was a white phase red squirrel! Not albino though because there was just a tinge of red on the top of his tail. I didn't get a pic this time but I'll keep an eye out for him. And that's why the other squirrel was able to run him like he did. Didn't make much sense that a real weasel would back out of that confrontation or that the squirrel would start it.

An hour before dark there was a group of does and fawns milling around. A big doe walked towards a button buck and expected him to move and when he didn't she gave him a couple of the customary light kicks. Well he turned with his ears back and got right in her face! A bit surprised she gave him a couple shots to the chest and he responded right back. Before you know it they are both on hind legs and the hoofs are just flying, but the big doe has quite a height advantage. He's mostly kicking air while she's landing them on his head and back and as she pushed forward he lost his footing and went right over on his back. She kept raining down the blows as he squirmed and wiggled to get his feet under him and get the heck out of there! He squirted out and ran about thirty feet where he stopped and tried to regain his composure and salvage some pride. He dusted himself off while looking around to see how many of the other fawns had seen his humiliation at the hands of a woman. If they both lived another two years, he'd show her a thing or two, he muttered. Then he promptly went and bullied another fawn.

Tomorrow is another day, but the "lots of time" has turned into "time is running low". I better make the best of it.

From: Ambush
29-Nov-23
November 29. 26F and just a whisper of wind out of the SSW There’s a chill in the air but it’s more from the heartless nearing of the seasons’ end. But the crunch of heavy hooves on the crusty snow can heat a hunters heart up real fast!! Here’s hoping!

From: BOWNBIRDHNTR
29-Nov-23
Good Luck Rod, end of the season success is the best!

When I was a kid we had a white phase squirrel and a white phase robin in our neighborhood. They were always fun to see.

From: Treeline
29-Nov-23
Takin it down to the wire! Hopefully, that big buck will decide that he doesn’t want to freeze for another winter and wander through…

That is crazy about that white squirrel!

From: Ambush
29-Nov-23
Well the statistics bear out. The first deer I saw today was a shooter buck!!

I could just make out a body in the pre-dawn, sixty yards to my right (west) at the narrow end of the plot. He stood there for about five minutes and I could eventually make out decent antlers and couldn’t identify him as a known buck. He eventually moved into the ravine. The ravine is at it’s shallowest right there where it splits into two, divided by a long ridge that’s slopes up to some bedding areas. Once in there the deer have several choices and one is to take the trail to me. After another several minutes, he did just that! He popped up on the edge of the lookout knob which is now also the alfalfa bedding knob. He spent a good five minutes in there sniffing the beds and lip curling. He sweetened his hocks in his urges. I could see just well enough through the binos to decide that given the chance, I’d shoot him. But I needed him to take his time and the light to hurry up.

He eventually moved forward to stand under another spruce tree, but on my side of it. That tree is twenty seven yards, putting him at twenty six.

I’ve got my bow in my hands and I draw on him, knowing that I still need a bit more light or for him to step out from under the tree. Everything is grey, brown and blended together. I let down and wait a minute. I draw again and put my thirty pin on the back of his leg and follow that lighter hair up. I’m thinking that if I stop my pin just on the brisket and a bit up, I should be good.

The pin disappears in the dark hair.

Most of us have been there, where we want to take a shot, but our heads know it’s more desperate wishful thinking than a solid plan. And most of us have suffered the consequences of allowing our emotions to make the decision. Often resulting in a long difficult recovery or no recovery at all. I let down again. As I’ve said before, I’d rather be sorry for not taking a shot than kicking myself for taking a shot.

A couple minutes later the buck turned 180 and walked back into the ravine. Will he be back? Is he a one and done? That’s the nature of these Wildcards, only time will tell.

Now I wait, but with a renewed hope!!

From: ryanrc
29-Nov-23
Smart move. Most of us have taken a shot like that over the years and regretted it.

From: Beav
29-Nov-23
Damn this is exciting! Hope he comes back!!

From: Rock
29-Nov-23
At least you will not be able to say this was as boring of a day as the past few days have been. Good Luck you made the right choice in this situation.

From: Scoot
29-Nov-23
Holding off on a shot like that takes discipline. I have the same approach, regarding rather regretting not taking a shot than regretting that I did take a shot. I hope your patience- and ethics-related karma comes back to reward you! After the time you've put in, I bet your heart was a-thumpin when you finally saw one that tripped your trigger. Good luck, Rod!

From: Treeline
29-Nov-23
Wow! That one really got exciting in a hurry!

Solid choice on holding off in that situation. Takes a lot of discipline to keep from pushing a marginal shot and turning it into an all day/night rodeo… Well done!

He will be back…

29-Nov-23
Rod, This has been an amazing thread. You have put in the time and the restraint. You have earned a chance at the buck. Hoping you are dressing him out right now.

From: Ambush
29-Nov-23

Ambush's embedded Photo
Ambush's embedded Photo
I might have work to do. It’s getting dark here.

From: Hancock West
29-Nov-23
Sounds like a smart move waiting. Been there and its tough to do. Congrats.

From: midwest
29-Nov-23
Hell YEAH!

From: BCPYGuy
29-Nov-23
Oh come on you had a whole day left:) Awesome, it’s been a great read good luck with the recovery arrow looks very promising.

From: t-roy
29-Nov-23
The suspense begins!! Anxiously awaiting more updates, Rod! Fingers crossed!

From: buckeye
29-Nov-23
Alright!

29-Nov-23
Sweet…

From: Jim McNamara
29-Nov-23
Here's hopin you got plenty of work to do but a short recovery!

From: HUNT MAN
29-Nov-23
Hammertime

From: hunter12345
29-Nov-23
Congrats. I feel like Alice made one too many appearances.

29-Nov-23
Hell Yes!

From: Willieboat
29-Nov-23
Right on !

From: caribou77
29-Nov-23
Ok…. You can update us now!

From: BOHNTR
29-Nov-23
It’s been a long time since I’ve continually checked on a bowsite thread this often. Good stuff, Rod. Can’t wait to see him

From: BowHiker
29-Nov-23
Bravo...bravo...Awesome. good luck

From: Ambush
29-Nov-23

Ambush's embedded Photo
Ambush's embedded Photo
I might have work to do. It’s getting dark here.

From: Grey Ghost
29-Nov-23
This made my day!! Persistence usually pays off. I’ll be refreshing this thread frequently.

From: JohnMC
29-Nov-23
Probably going to be one of those guys that never comes back and finishes the story! Just Kidding obviously. Can't wait to see what you shot. Congrats!

From: Beav
29-Nov-23
Wow!! Bottom of the 9th walk off homer!!!

From: Scoot
29-Nov-23
YES! Hoping for a short blood trail!

I woulda bet a case of beer you were going to tag out!

From: JB
29-Nov-23
Agree on the hopes of a short blood trail! Can't wait to hear the rest of the story!!

From: cnelk
29-Nov-23
Giddyup!

From: Ambush
29-Nov-23

Ambush's embedded Photo
Ambush's embedded Photo
Just got it all in the truck and some work to do yet tonight. We’ll finish this off tomorrow. I can sleep in for the rest of the season now!

From: Grunter
29-Nov-23
Wow what a ending to a great thread! Hoping you're dragging him out right now!

From: JohnMC
29-Nov-23
Good looking buck!

From: JB
29-Nov-23
Congrats on a great looking buck!!

From: HUNT MAN
29-Nov-23
This is Bowsite !!! Congrats Rod

From: Kurt
29-Nov-23
Congrats Rod....end of season dandy! What a sweet way to end it!

From: Beav
29-Nov-23
Congratulations!!! Great buck and thank you for sharing your hunt.

From: Treeline
29-Nov-23
Hell yeah! Congratulations! I knew it was gonna happen! Looking forward to “the rest of the story”!

From: Cazador
29-Nov-23
Crusher!

From: Jaquomo
29-Nov-23
Fantastic! Way to hang in there, Rod!!!

From: Rgiesey
29-Nov-23
Great deal Rod! I was never rooting for you to finish up early as I really enjoy this thread. Close to the end and a great buck.

From: bowhunt
29-Nov-23
Wow

Thanks for sharing your hunt. I was starting to wonder if a new big boy was going to show up for you.

Congratulations on a well earned great buck!

From: Seth
29-Nov-23
Congrats! Thanks for bringing us along.

29-Nov-23
Way to go Rod! Can’t wait to hear how it all went down!

From: Lee
29-Nov-23
Way to go!! Been pulling for you.

Congrats,

Ler

30-Nov-23
Very cool .. congrats as always .. one of my favorite threads every year.. love this

From: Twinetickler
30-Nov-23
Atta boy! Way to hang in there and make your opportunity count on a great buck! Thanks for sharing it with us!

From: Stoneman
30-Nov-23
Congrats on a great ending! Cranker…

From: caribou77
30-Nov-23
Congratulations! Well deserved!

From: Zbone
30-Nov-23
WOW, OMGosh you did it!!! Beautiful deer, many CONGRATS Rod!!!

Luv the mass and the look of that rack...

From: Fuzz
30-Nov-23
Congratulations! Thanks for taking us along for the ride!

From: midwest
30-Nov-23
What a tank! That was worth the wait! Congrats, Rod, and thanks for bringing us the daily play by play!

From: DroptineDC18
30-Nov-23
Many congrats in a terrific buck. What a hunt!

From: t-roy
30-Nov-23
Persistence certainly paid off for you in a big way. Congrats on a terrific buck, Rod! Thanks for bringing us along on the ride!

From: Bowboy
30-Nov-23
Great buck congrats

From: hdaman
30-Nov-23
He's a dandy buck! Congrats and thank you for taking us along!

30-Nov-23
Congratulations Great buck, Well Earned. Now I'm gonna have withdrawals from looking for this thread every morning at work.

From: cnelk
30-Nov-23
Epic

From: buckeye
30-Nov-23
I'm happy for you Rod. That's an awesome buck!

From: BOHNTR
30-Nov-23
Perfect ending!

From: BIGERN
30-Nov-23
Unbelievable persistence, that is a great buck! Good shooting.

From: Bow Bullet
30-Nov-23
Congratulations for concluding a very tough season with a great buck!

(But now it's time to be Paul Harvey and give us the rest of the story). :D

From: Cazador
30-Nov-23
There is Something about guys who commit to the bow, and just grind, wow!

Besides the crusher buck, my favorite is the feet out the window!

From: BOWNBIRDHNTR
30-Nov-23
Congrats Rod. One of our mutual friends on Bowsite might have sent me a picture last night. My wife probably wonders why I went to bed with a big smile on my face!

This has truly been one of (if not THE) best live hunts ever posted on Bowsite. So nice to see everyone pulling for your success. Your descriptive writing style and hints of humor made this thread a daily read....and your well-earned success has made it EPIC.

There are a few great posters on Bowsite, you sir, are one of them! Jeff

30-Nov-23
Well done! Really enjoyable following with you day by day. Appreciate your updates congrats on a heavy old buck

From: bowhunter24
30-Nov-23
Way to go sir, really appreciate your story each year! Almost as good as me being in a stand! Thank you and thanks Bowsite!

From: Scoot
30-Nov-23
Persistence is a trait that all really good bowhunters have. If you don't have it, you can't really be a great bowhunter (in my book). Rod, you have it in spades! You stuck with it and your belief that "if I just put in my time, a good one will eventually show up" paid off. Awesome! Many congrats again! I look forward to the details of how it played out.

Like others have said- I really enjoyed this thread. Very fun to read and it was fun rooting for you from the bleachers. Also fun to see a bunch of others cheering you on. The happy ending makes it that much better! WTG!!! Scott

From: Ron Niziolek
30-Nov-23
Good stuff, Rod. Persistence works!

From: StickFlicker
30-Nov-23
Congratulations Rod.

From: Jim McNamara
30-Nov-23
Excellent, just excellent. Bet you slept well. Nice heavy rack and lots of venison. Can't beat it. Well done.

From: greg simon
30-Nov-23
Been following this thread from the beginning, one of my favorites. I love "the grind". Been living it vicariously while at work. Thanks for taking us along and a big congratulations on that deer!!!

From: Bowaddict
30-Nov-23
Congrats!! Enjoyed following along, and a great ending.

From: BigOk
30-Nov-23
Congrats!!

From: axle2axle
30-Nov-23
Stud buck…nicely done! Thanks for bringing us along!

From: Ambush
30-Nov-23
Ok. On another thread this morning, Scoot gave a pretty direct order to get this thing finished up!!

First off, I just want to say how amazing the Bowsite community is! For all the kind comments, the encouragement, the well wishes and just for even being patient enough to follow along. Even I got bored of me on occasion. It's quite something that an ordinary guy like me can come here and "walk" among legends! Too many to name and legends for different reasons. It's kinda like being a kid again and sitting quietly around the camp fire past your bedtime, listening to the men talk, a bit in awe yet feeling part of it. This campfire is a great place to feel welcomed to. And thanks to all the hunters throwing another stick on the fire so we can stay up a bit longer.

So after the early morning encounter that got me excited, let me down, but left me hopeful, it was slow. Twenty minutes after the buck poked the stick in my eye, two does and a fawn came and left following the same directions as the buck. Finally about noon a yearling fork came by, looking about as lonely as me and if he drank at his tender age, we may have gone for a beer together. He eventually tired of the gloom hanging in the air and trudged off.

Now from the shooter bucks earlier actions and his still pretty active rut urges, I had fairly high expectations that he would be back to check again, just hopefully before dark. And about 3:45 he lived up to that hope! I first saw antlers floating just above the brush angling up from the ravine to my right. A quick check with the binos confirmed his ID. Now it was time to get ready, wait and hope. He walked steady this time with no hesitation and went straight to the hay bed on the lookout. As I've watched other bucks do over the years, he circled slowly around the spruce tree, getting snootfulls of doe scent in the hay nests. I can't shoot there and I was confident he'd move across in front of me, so I just sat quietly, bow in hand letting it happen. I'd been waiting a lot of days for it to happen, so a few more minutes is easy. After a few minutes he committed to carrying on and in the right direction. From his direction of travel, he has three likely routes. One takes him behind the same tree he stood in front of earlier and that's the worst one for me. Second is in front of that tree where he will give me a shot in a few places as he walks five feet inside the low brush. Third and best is he will come right out in the open and cut across the plot to pick up the trail going north the the feeding grounds.

Of course he takes the first and worst!

Now I have to be on the ball. There are only two short openings for me to take a shot! Where is right now, and when he just clears the spruce after passing behind it. On the latter, I'll have to stop him. That trail angles slowly down the sidehill into the ravine and gone. I'm ready and he is broadside right now, but his near leg is back and when it goes forward that means he's walking and possibly blowing the number one and best chance. Still lots of lung showing, I reason, and start my draw.

Ok, here is where years of experience and many animals killed come into play. I knock my friggin arrow off the string and it clatters through the rest to the floor!!! I don't even look at the buck as I franticly get the arrow back in place, fully expecting to see those antlers and eyes floating above his butt ready to leave when I look up. But there are special angels that look after children and fools and I haven't been a kid for many decades.

That buck is locked right on my blind, and is now standing perfectly broadside front legs right in line and he looked exactly like a Rinehart 3D mule deer at a shoot. I'm some how able to slow the next few seconds down enough to put the thirty pin in the ten ring and follow through well enough to see the arrow hit through my sight. And it looked about perfect! In two jumps he was gone on his intended trail and I watched to see if he would appear on the hillside, but nothing. I was confident in the shot but just sat for about five minutes reliving the last month and this moment that makes it all worth it.

I walked out to find my arrow, which I did pretty quick. Then I walked out onto the edge of the knob to look into the ravine. I could see again why the deer like this spot to bed and wait for love to show up. It has a great one hundred and eighty degree panorama of the ravine bottom and the hillside and with the open plot behind them, slim chance a predator will be successful. I can also see the buck laying about seventy yards away in the flat bottom. I'm pretty grateful for my life right now.

I'm by myself and dark will soon be here, so I snap a few quick, "as he lay" pics and plan the extraction. I don't like to gut them them close by. The guts don't bother the deer but the coyotes over the next few days do and the less stress the better at this time of the year. I pretty quick realized that he had fallen in a handy spot as far as ravines go. I normally get them loaded in my little plastic sled and just grunt them out. But the plot jutted close the ravine at this point and I have 150 feet of 1/2" rope in the truck. With the little bit of snow and frozen ground I can back right up close enough. That plan worked and after getting him clear of the bush I dragged him a good distance away to gut, skin and cut up in to manageable piece's. I was home by eight o'clock.

He's a nice buck. Not a big buck, but a nice buck and I'm really happy with him. Got some age and good mass, which I really like. I like to have a minimum of 150" for a clean typical 4X4 and he does that job handily. And my friend has plenty of gravy for his potatoes!

I only have a few pics and they are on my phone, so I have to add them one at a time. Someday BS will catch up and fix that, but for now it will do.

Thanks again all!!

Cheers and Happy Hunting!

From: Ambush
30-Nov-23

Ambush's embedded Photo
Ambush's embedded Photo
As he lay.

From: Ambush
30-Nov-23

Ambush's embedded Photo
Ambush's embedded Photo

From: SBH
30-Nov-23
Loved it!!!!! Congrats and Thankyou!!

From: Tony
30-Nov-23

From: Ambush
30-Nov-23

Ambush's embedded Photo
Ambush's embedded Photo

From: Ambush
30-Nov-23

Ambush's embedded Photo
Ambush's embedded Photo

From: Tony
30-Nov-23
Congratulations. That was a cool hunt to follow along with. Glad your persistence paid off in the end.

From: pav
30-Nov-23
Dandy Buck Rod! Well-earned for sure!!! thanks for taking us along!

From: t-roy
30-Nov-23
Excellent blow by blow description, Rod! Good thing those instincts kicked in at the right time, too.

From: Treeline
30-Nov-23
Love the final installment! Excellent play by play and, even knowing the outcome, had me on the edge! Thank you for taking us along for the ride!

30-Nov-23
Congrats!

From: otcWill
30-Nov-23
Helluva hunt and deer! Well done and thanks for the ride.

From: huntinelk
30-Nov-23
Congratulations, thanks again for the month of entertainment. Great buck

From: Bowboy
30-Nov-23
Look at the neck on that buck!

From: Scoot
30-Nov-23
I loved every minute of this thread, Rod. Even the boring parts! :) You're a really fun and entertaining writer and I enjoyed it once again. Thanks so much for taking the time to share the adventure with us. Many congrats! Scott

From: Rock
30-Nov-23
WooHoo, why to finish it off Rod, what a great story and read. Congratulations on a great looking Buck.

From: iceman
30-Nov-23
Congratulations! Thanks for taking us along

From: BOWNBIRDHNTR
30-Nov-23
What an ending, you can't make it up any better than that! Congrats again!!

30-Nov-23
Really like those dark horns! After all your effort I’m glad you got your shot! Thanks for letting us tag along, I really enjoyed it.

30-Nov-23
Congrats Rod. A Bowsite classic.

From: Rackmastr
30-Nov-23
Awesome stuff!!! Congrats!!!

From: Brian M.
30-Nov-23
Couldn't have been scripted any better. Great buck, but what impressed me the most is your endurance. Full days, everyday? I'm spent hunting 4 mornings a week. Congrats and thanks for taking us along.

From: Zackman
30-Nov-23
Huge congrats!!! Love when things come together at the last minute for someone doing things the right way!

From: Ambush
30-Nov-23

Ambush's embedded Photo
For those that like numbers. (I do)
Ambush's embedded Photo
For those that like numbers. (I do)
Thanks Guys, appreciate the comments.

He was just a little all better, all around, than I thought.

From: ki-ke
30-Nov-23
Congrats Rod! What am I going to do now? I guess its back to coffee and a stupid by comparison magazine to get me going in the morning......

What do you think that thing weighed?

From: cnelk
30-Nov-23
“ Ok, here is where years of experience many animals killed come into play. I knock my friggin arrow off the string and it clatters through the rest to the floor!!! ”

If this hasn’t happened to you, you haven’t bowhunted long enough. ;)

Well done on the recovery Rod!

From: Ambush
30-Nov-23
Ki-ke, I’m guessing he would be 270# walking around, but I’m not good at that. The worrisome part is that this buck had no fat inside or out. I hope that’s not same for the rest of them at this late date.

From: axle2axle
30-Nov-23
Great ending to your adventure…and again, thanks for bringing us all along. Was a great ride.

From: Nick Muche
30-Nov-23
Fantastic Rod!!! Congrats on a great buck, way to go!

From: JB
30-Nov-23
Best thread around! Thank you and congrats on a beautiful buck!!

From: Marty
30-Nov-23
Congrats and thanks for taking the time again to share your hunt!

From: BULELK1
01-Dec-23
What a Dandy Muley ----->

If you are swinging by me on I-15 heading south on the Snowbird gig, let me know.

Good luck, Robb

01-Dec-23
Awesome buck and awesome hunt thread! Thanks for taking us along! Really enjoyed it

From: hobbes
01-Dec-23
Beautiful buck. Enjoyed following your season. Congratulations.

From: DaveHowell
01-Dec-23
Congratulations! Great deer and great story!!

From: SteveB
01-Dec-23
Congratulations Rod! Way to keep with it and thanks again for sharing it with us all!

From: APauls
01-Dec-23
Well HECK YEAH Rod!!!!! Friggin way to go! It's almost like you knew the ending when you started the story.Your patience, your steady positivity, the "foreshadowing" that the last minute is as good as the first, and that new deer move through....just an epic tale! CONGRATS!

From: midwest
01-Dec-23
That was fun. You are such an entertaining writer, Rod. The arrow falling off story cracked me up! My dad had a similar style of clever humor in his writing. I wish I'd gotten his talent in that regard. Congrats again!

From: Ambush
02-Dec-23
Thanks for all the more than generous words and congrats!! Bowsite is a great community!

I went yesterday to clean up the blind and pull the cards from the cams. The ravine cam I don't pull until season's end, but there was nothing inspiring on it. Regular deer, coyotes and a bunch of moose. That cam goes year round anyway. The two close to my blind I hadn't checked in the last two weeks. It's a bit of a silly phsycological thing. It would be nice to check and see an excitement generating buck, but it's also disheartening to check and see nothing. I'm going to sit there regardless and what happens will be what happens, whatever was or wasn't on the cams, so not knowing can help to stay the course. But about two weeks prior I got one five second vid of the buck I shot. That was cool.

Everyday in the solitude of the blind gives me lots of time to reflect on life's blessings. Lot's of time to re-read some of the epic Bowsite stories and the new adventures as they happen. Time can actually go pretty fast and sometimes I'm surprised when I realize the light has dimmed enough that it's time to pack up for the day. Time flies when you're in good company!

Thanks again to everyone that followed along and hoped (with me) for the big finish. We did it! All together we pretty near caught up to the "transgender swimmer" thread. Hmmm, maybe next year I should find and target a doe with antlers ;)

Cheers and Happy Hunting, Friends!

02-Dec-23
Enjoyed the read, Rod. Congratulations on a fine buck!

From: Brotsky
04-Dec-23
Congratulations Rod! Loved every minute of it and the results were well deserved and hard earned!

From: TMac
04-Dec-23
Great mass and buck! Thanks for taking us along on your adventure.

From: njbuck
04-Dec-23
Congrats on a great buck. Thank you for allowing us to follow along on your adventure!

04-Dec-23
Congrats ambush!!!!

From: Treeline
04-Dec-23
Thanks for the follow up with the score! Those bucks up there can sure fool you if you’re not used to seeing deer that are that big bodied!

From: Deebz
04-Dec-23
Great buck! I'd love to get a chance to hunt some mule deer. You sir are an excellent writer as well.

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