Close to home deer
by John Browning
I had left work at 3:30 pm and my girl friend and I were going to try and glass alittle before dark. I have a spot just outside of Payson where there’s usually a good buck or two. We drove the four wheeler to the top of the ridge loaded up our gear and walked to a good vantage point to start glassing. I was in the process of mounting my 10×56 swarovskis on my tripod when Christy said well there’s a deer right there. She was looking through my range finder across a canyon and the deer had just gotten out of his bed. I finally got my binos mounted and was trying to figure where she was looking, I asked her where the deer was and she said by the green tree I told her there all green give me a better clue, she was finally able to describe the location and I spotted the buck he was about 700yds away and had no idea we were around. We continued to watch him. The buck looked pretty good and I decided to try and get close enough for a shot, I asked Christy to stay and watch the buck in my binos and let me know if he started moving, I slipped down the canyon trying to be quiet as I could in the scrub oak and manzanita as I got to a small cedar tree I stopped and looked for the buck to make sure he was still standing there. Then I continued to sneak down the canyon and managed to get within about 400yds of the buck. I got my 7mm with 140grn federal positioned in the fork of a cedar tree sat down on my butt and located the buck in the cross hairs I ranged him again at about 450yds he walked towards me a little more and I decided I had better shoot now before he made it into the shadows. I took a deep breath and squeezed the trigger. The buck jumped and headed downhill. Christy yelled and said you got him I watched the buck go into some scrub oak and didn’t come out the other side. I had Christy stay and watch the area while I started down the canyon. As I approached the brush where I had last seen the deer I almost stepped on him. The buck is a 4×4 with a little cheater on the right side he has 16-6/8 main beams and 16-5/8 wide not the biggest I’ve taken but a real nice deer. I took him on Dec 16, 2003 in unit 22 at 4:45 pm.