Casey Charter’s 2005 Buck
by Casey Charter
I wish that I could say my 2005 hunt started with a lot of scouting and having a buck for myself and my dad picked out well before opening day, but that’s not the case. I also wish I could say that we had glassed up tons of bucks picking out the ones we wanted. This also was not the case, we did find bucks, but we got them the hard way.
On Thursday, the day before opening day, we rolled into camp at 10:00 am. When we got on the crest of the ridge with camp about 100 yards below us, we saw two deer jump up and run away. With my Zeiss in hand, I could tell they were both 3×3’s. After a little discussion, dad and I decided these would be the bucks we would aim for opening morning. That evening, we went out on a ridge to glass. My dad was glassing back towards camp and he glasses up these two bucks. They were only a canyon away from camp and were easily recognized by the very tall 3×3. We were just a little excited for opening day, thinking that we would have these two bucks tipped over by 8 am. Well, we looked for them all over the place but could not find them.
We decided to go back on the ridge that we glassed them up at. The time was 9 am opening morning. We walked right through camp and got some water and a burro. We weren’t but 500 yards away from camp and just kinda walking and talking along when my dad looks up and says ” theres a deer, it’s a buck!”
The deer ran across a little draw and then we saw him on the other side. This buck was running just as fast as his legs would take him. I decided to pass on the shot as he was broadside about 150-200 yards away from me. My dads 7RUM barked and I saw the deer changing directions. We didn’t know if he had hit him or not but I thought he had because of the way the buck changed directions. After about 5 minutes of discussing the shot, I headed over to where the buck was when my dad shot. I was about 40 yards from where the buck was when my dad called me on the radio, “there he is, he’s hit, to your left, now your right, he’s below the rocks man he’s gone. I immediately took off my backpack and ran after the buck to see if I could catch him moving in the bottom of the wash. I could not find him and I told my dad to try and cut blood. He couldn’t find any blood and sat on a rock bluff and started glassing where the buck ran. When I picked up my pack, I found a piece of flesh and then some blood, then some more, then some more. I told my dad he had a tracking job to do. He started off down the hill to the bottom and I started glassing. He tracked this buck for about an hour, with some conversation here and there on the radio I found out he had stopped seeing blood but was on his tracks. Then, out of nowhere, I hear another shot. Then a call on the radio “Bubba, Daddy got a buck.” He stepped out in the opening and I could see exactly where he was. I made the hike down to him and found his buck to be a pretty decent forked horn. I was pretty proud of my dad; he made a good running shot and did a damned good tracking job. After talking to him, he told me his second shot was not necessary, he said the buck was lying down with his head bobbing up and down, he said he looked like he was about minutes from dying. We, I mean I, did the field work, then threw the buck on my back and headed back to camp. It did not take me long to cover the 2 miles, even with a buck and a backpack and gun strapped to me. Now: on to my hunt!
Well, after my dad killed his buck, it was my turn! We spent that evening, and the next morning looking for a buck. We spotted very few deer, with no bucks amongst them. Saturday night had us at The Grubsteak thinking we were gonna meet a bunch of Coues folks. We were wrong, we did however meet Christian and Mike. Mike had came down to do some hunting and with no one else there with a tag, I told him I had one to fill. He did not waste a seconds accepting the offer. After the 11 mile dirt road trip, we were back at camp.
The next morning, Mike and I made our way out ( dad stayed in camp as he was a little under the weather). Right away we started seeing deer, Mike glassed up 2 deer 821 yards away, and when I got my Zeiss on them I could tell the bottom deer was a buck. We developed a game plan and, as he says “IT was on.” Things did not work out right and the buck kicked up still 500+ yards away. That was only the second buck I had seen in 3 days of hunting. We decided to head home that afternoon as we were not seeing deer and were running low on supplies (beer and water). On the way out, we were climbing a hill and caught a rock to the sidewall of my tire, there goes that tire! In world record time, I had the tire off and the spare on. The spare blew also but thanks to some buddies, we had fix-a-flat in it and were on the road again.
Because of the two flats, we could not go out Monday morning because we had to get them both fixed. At 2pm, we rolled out to our place where I killed my last buck. Our plan was to get to the barrel cactus and glass until dark. We were about half way to the barrel cactus when I heard a deer blow in the wash below me. I told my dad to stop, look and listen. We could see the two deer milling around below us. When they came out, I got my gun on them. At first, I thought they were both does but caught a glimmer of light from the bottom buck. I knew he was a small, buck probably a spike. As soon as I saw the glimmer, I sat down, got my gun up and set the bi-pod set up. The deer stopped about 200 yards away broadside looking at me. My dad told me he was a spike and after a second of though, I told my dad I was going to take him. I had prepared all summer for this moment, a lot of days at the range and perfecting loads for my 270WSM had come down to this. I missed high on the first shot then nailed him on the second. The second shot went low in the shoulder, catching the lung. I knew I hit him well but I continued to shoot because he was not down yet. I hit him 3 more times in the same spot. He was not the good 3×3 I wanted to go home with, but I am happy with any buck considering the amount of deer we had seen. This is the first time my dad and I have ever gone 2/2 on deer, it was a fun hunt all though it was a little tough!