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Showing content with the highest reputation since 10/24/2019 in all areas

  1. 70 points
    Here is my 2019 Az strip mule deer. It only took me 19 years to draw the tag!! This was one of the best hunts I’ve ever had! Mostly because I was able to share it with my girlfriend who was there for the scouting trips and the Hunt. She was so excited to be there and watch me take a buck of a lifetime! I couldn’t have done it without her! After finding out I was diagnosed with cancer and had surgery a couple of months ago I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to make the hunt. She was there every step for me!! This Buck is OUR buck!!
  2. 68 points
    As I lay here in my tent, Mr. Buddy heater on low, 6" of snow surrounding us, camp 75% packed up....well...what can I say. Taylor is a badas$. We packed up Tuesday night and headed to Kaibab Wednesday morning. Rained the first 4 hours of the drive until we hit The Gap. We were ready for a 12 day mule deer marathon. Taylor was so excited to finaly be on the road.... The rain held off just long enough for us to set up camp, then started snowing. We tried to get some scouting in, but it started snowing hard enough we couldn't see 50 yards. So we headed back to camp for some dinner and a good night's sleep. Thursday morning, snowing up top, raining down low. Scouted down low, saw a couple "end of season" bucks tending does. Went up top in the afternoon, and battled the snow. Saw 3 more "end of season" bucks, but a lot of deer. Lots of smaller bucks too. With 2 minutes of "legal light" left as we were heading out...we saw an "opening day" buck. Only about 26" wide, but really tall, good forks, good mass, and a nice 6" sticker on his left antler off the G3. He would be our goal on opening morning....or so we thought. Opening morning showed clear skies, 19°, and snow covered hills above 7000'....and fog. Made glassing more than 100-200 yards impossible. So, we left the location we had seen the big buck for later, and went to a spot that has produced for us in the past. Got there just as the sun was breaking, and glassed up one of our "end of season" bucks and passed on him. I walked out on a point to glass some canyons and started picking deer out, from 200 to 2000+ yards away. Found a decent 4x4 @ 1575 yards, but across 7 or 8 canyons....no thanks. Found a 1 antlered 3 point, and I swear I saw 2 lions hightailing it. Couldn't get a good look, but definitely not deer running like that, and light tan. So back to the truck,and fog had burned off by 8:00. Decided to drive back and look for the big buck. On the way out, I was glassing every finger and cut....at 8:40...."there are some does.....ooh. And a buck. You might want to get out for this one....and grab the rifle....yeah, grab the rifle for sure." I range him, "430...dial 1.5MIL. He is moving....454, dial 1.7MIL. He is quartering away...he stopped...put one in him." BOOM! "He is down! Great shot!" We watched him for 10 minutes without so much as an ear twitch. Got landmarks, grabbed the packs, crossed two canyons, and definitely no ground shrinkage when we got to him. 5 hours of exhausting pack out. At the check station, they measured him at 31" inside spread, 33.25" outside. Taylor made short work of the late season, getting her buck about 1.5 hours into the hunt. And topping my biggest buck I have ever taken too. I am so proud of her, for the hard work she puts in shooting, for the positive attitude, for wanting to spend time with me, and her being such a great kid. I thank my wife too, for putting up with the time and money I put into hunting. And most of all, I thank God for allowing me my health, my wonderful family, and the beauty and the creatures he put on this earth.
  3. 42 points
    My Girlfriend Ashley got it done in a big way this past Friday and knocked down a monster first Coues Deer! It was our only full day to get out and hunt together so we decided to roll the dice on a special buck that i've had 3 years of history with. It all happened so fast and was/is surreal because everyone knows that 99.9% of the time the stars just don't line up for you. I still can't believe that we got him and I am very proud of the effort Ashley put into harvesting this beautiful creature. DAN
  4. 40 points
    This past weekend was one of the best camps I have been apart of in a long time. My Dad took his best buck and my buddy Sergio hammered a buck of a lifetime. Hope you guys enjoy a few pics of these true desert studs. .
  5. 38 points
    Well, had a really tough hunt this year. Turns out I wasn't the only one that knew about my target bucks. After dealing with people shelling off artillery rounds at the bucks from over 1000 yards every morning i decided to back out of the area for a couple of days and let the pressure die down. I snuck back into my perch on Tuesday evening and was able to knock this buck down. He was about my "plan D" buck but I'm happy with him. I've always wanted a big two-point and i think this one qualifies. He's a really old troll of a deer and was the dominant buck in the area. A good one to get out of the gene pool. Sorry for the disgusting decapitation photos. He was a long ways from a road and didn't get to him until well after dark. The field photos were terrible.
  6. 36 points
    I was lucky enough to draw a Wyoming bull bison tag last spring. I’ve put in for WY, AZ, and UT for a decade or so and pulled a AZ tag a few years back and was unsuccessful after sitting in a blind for 158 hours. I was really hoping for another chance as I really couldn’t bring myself to shoot a fenced one on a ranch or reservation (I’m 1hr from the Ft peck rez which has bison hunts but they are fenced). The season runs aug 15-dec31 and then they reopen it from jan1-31 if they haven’t had any buffalo migrate down from the park. They shut the hunt down as soon as they start feeding the elk in Jackson Hole which has traditionally been mid jan. I decided to go as late as I thought was comfortable without getting shut out. Turned out it was still early. These hunts used to be easy, the buffalo would show up in nov or dec and they’d be near 100% success. The last 5 years or so the buffalo just don’t come down. The snow was deep when we got there, so much so we needed horses just to get through it at all. The buffalo unfortunately still hadn’t come down. There was a rumor of one bull on the elk refuge, there were about 15 more on the park about 5 miles off and the rest were all way way off in the park and likely won’t be here before they close the season. Well my luck finally turned on wild bison. We picked up tracks in the river bottom first am and caught up to the lone old bull on horseback. I was able to get into about 125 yards. I tucked a 175 swift a frame into his heart with my 7mm STW, then another. He spun around and started heading out. Couldn’t believe it. I put the next two into his low shoulder to break him, which sort of worked. I had time to reload and put two more in the base of his skull before he finally tipped. All shots where lethal. Can’t believe how tough they are!!! We got him gutted and were able to get horses and a sled to him. They’ve got draft horses here to drag them out, I really didn’t think it was possible but they got him drug about a mile to the nearest retrieval road and loaded whole!!! He weighed 958# carcass weight! That puts him at about 1600-1700# on the hoof. Should make Boone and Crockett and we are gonna have a few years of great eating!! Super stoked to have finally ended this quest. We were able to get done early enough to get in a little skiing and are having him butchered and frozen right away so we can haul him home ready to go in the freezer (freezers!). Edit: Sorry about the sideway pics. They all looked the same on my phone.
  7. 36 points
    I was fortunate to take my ram mid day on December 2nd surrounded by friends and family. Special thanks to my dad who scouted for me and burned miles of roads and glassed for hours.......As you all know, it was the hunt of a lifetime. He wasn't the biggest ram out there, but he is perfect to me. Sheep slow motion.xspf
  8. 34 points
    Here are some pics of my sons big horn hunt success, 15ds amazing hunt and memories 165 5/8 Gross 165 3/8 net
  9. 34 points
    I was fortunate to have had a chance at this buck with the AZ heat last week and the moon. Extremely poor movement during the day and it was a grind. Scouting him in the summer and he was the #2 buck. Found this guy up and feeding in the evening in the heat for the first time in 3 days. Got set up, he fed my way, and I made a poke. 6.5 PRC, 130 Berger VLD. He's 1/4" shy of 30" wide...
  10. 33 points
    I don't post on here much but like most of you I get on just to see cool pics of cool bucks. I feel this is a buck many would enjoy to see. Luck: when preparation meets opportunity. That’s the best way I can describe this hunt. Due to some life events I didn’t not have time to scout much this year. I actually missed the first day of the hunt and the second day committed to helping a friend fill his tag on the one day he had free. We had some luck filling his tag with a nice 90ish buck then it was game on for me and my tag. It would be a solo hunt for the rest of the season which I mostly do and prefer in most ways. I decided I would hunt a spot that I nicked named “The Hole”. It’s a spot I have looked at in previous years, one years was covered with decent buck, then some years I have a hard time turning anything up. I had never taken a deer there but knew it could hold a good one since it was a “hole”. This spot is not hard to access but I knew it’s a spot hunters overlook and I call it “The Hole” because, while it’s not that hard to access and not that far of a hike, it’s a pain in the butt to hike in given the brush and terrain. The only good glassing spot is pretty uncomfortable and with an all-day sit during an early season you WILL get burnt. I get to the glassing spot with a good 30min sit to cool down before its even light enough to start glassing. This is done for a reason as while most of what I glass from here is a good 1000 yards away, one of the better bucks I had seen in years prior was on a small ridge just in from of the glassing point about 350 yards away. As most of you know that darn close to get to Coues especially just to glass so I knew getting in there in the dark was a must. I sat there and set up the glass on the tripod and started glassing before there was much light to even see anything, thinking ‘Well it’s about that time when lots of hunters are just waking up and the deer are the most active’. Through the low light I make out the form of a deer’s body on the ridge just in front of me at 375 yards. I make out some antlers and continued to watch as the light began to make it easier to see. Due to the subdued light I couldn’t tell exactly what he was and being the first deer that morning I began looking around to see what else may be out. For about 15-20 min I looked around for more deer and not seeing any other and I kept going back to the buck I saw. He was slowly feeding uphill as I was getting a better look. I could not see his main beam on one side so I thought he was a big 2 on one side and a 3 on the other. To be honest I still wasn’t sure it was a buck I wanted to shoot to end my hunt so quick. Finally got an angle seeing it was, what I thought, a good 3x3. This look was just after coming back to him and I thought well that looks like a good buck maybe another one showed up. The decision was made at this point to shoot but it took a bit to find a place to set up, the buck only being 350 yards now. While getting the gun set up the deer disappeared on me. It was now maybe 15 min before sunrise, yes that buck was on his feet for just a short while in the daylight. The last spot I saw him was on the edge of a large brushy patch so I figured he was in there somewhere. The wind was howling to and he was on the shaded side from the wind so it made no sense for him to leave, my gut told me hes still there. I watched the brush for about 45 minutes and I catch the buck up for just a few seconds as he shifted in his bed. No shot before a bedded back down, but now I knew where he was and could make out bits of his antlers through the brush. I made sure the gun was ready and got the phone scope set up to film the shot and the wait began. I waited for about 45mins and at was getting back on the gun to make sure it was ready. Well I looked in the scope and there he was standing. He was now looking over his shoulder and looked uneasy. Not knowing if he was about to bolt I decided to bag the filming and take the shot. At 350 yards I felt 100% confident on the hit but watch to see if anything runs off the ridge and nothing showed up. I gather my gear, make the short hike across the small canyon and find this. When I pull him out of the brush he just got bigger. I did not see all the mass, extra points, and thought how stupid I was in thinking I may pass. I was gitty for a while and got to work. The pack-out was heavy and sucked but I loved every minute of it. Yes, luck had a lot to do with it but my preparation, previous knowledge and opportunity all aligned for this hunt. I've had the privileged to take some great buck, working a lot harder to do so, but this is my best. Sorry for the long read that did.
  11. 33 points
    Well, I couldn't hold out for long. My best scouted ram is down. Not the biggest or oldest in the unit, but my lifetime desert bighorn was taken at 8:30AM on my 33rd birthday. Most of my hunting partners, as well as my dad and brother all had a heavy, contributing hand to make this one special. More to come, but for now..
  12. 33 points
    My wife has tagged out on 3 nice bucks on opening day the last 3 years since she decided to start hunting. The deer were holding tight at first light due to the wind. When I changed glassing seats I used the chest binos to scan closeby hills and found this fella and another buck at 700 yards. We boogied over there and got nice and close when he was bedded down. The shot was 140 yards.
  13. 33 points
    I was fortunate enough to take my biggest coues buck to date this last Saturday along side two of my very good buddies Patrick and Trey. I wanted to hunt a new area that I have always thought would hold a good buck or two. I’ve just been very hesitant to go up in there because the country is so rugged. Saturday started off early. Our alarms went off at 3:15 am and it was finally game time. I was very excited as this was my first coues Hunt since my last one in 2016. We started hiking at 4:30am and finally arrived to our glassing spot just before 6:15am. 45 minutes into glassing I found what looked like a deer. Sure enough it was a little buck. I was excited to see this deer cause up till then all we had seen is one doe. As I was looking at this little guy I noticed a deer in a shadow underneath him. I zoned in on this deer and he finally picked his head up and right away I knew he was a good buck. I quickly called Patrick and trey to head over to where I was at. Patrick and trey finally got to me and we busted out our big glass and started examine this buck. After about 10 minutes of looking I knew I wanted to kill this deer. He and his two buddies ended up bedding at about 8am. After coming up with a game plan, Patrick and I bailed off the mountain as trey stayed back to keep eyes on the deer. An hour or so later Patrick and I finally got to the spot where we thought we could get a shot. 5 minutes into glassing Patrick finds him bedded 515 yards away. We quickly set up the 28 nosler on a rock and I settle in. Boom! My first shot goes off. Patrick says “you hit high shoot again”. I rack another round on and try to find the buck again. I finally found him still laying there in the same spot. I settle in again.... BOOM! Patrick again says “dude you hit high again aim lower!” At this time the buck is standing and is aware something is not right. I’m startled because the scope is dialed into exactly what the dope sheet says and I’m laying prone as steady as can be. BOOM! I shoot again this time hitting low. At this point the buck is terrified and knows something is not right. He runs down the mountain 30 yards and I find him again. BOOM! WHACK!!! I could hear the billet finally connect. Patrick is telling me “you hit him you hit him!” Finally a sign of relief on my end. The buck runs down the mountain 200 yards where he finally expired in a patch of oak trees. Patrick and I load up our gear and call trey on the radio to tell him to head on over that we had got the buck. It took Patrick and I about 45 minutes to get across the canyon to my deer. I finally got to him and I was in disbelief that i had just killed this beautiful coues buck. Trey finally got to us about an hour or so later and we quickly took pics and then started on cutting the deer up to get off the mountain. We finally got back to camp where we met up with my dad. He was nice enough to drive all the way out to camp to bring up some steaks to celebrate my best coues yet. Special thanks to Patrick and Trey. I couldn’t have done it without you guys!!! Special thanks to my dad Steve for coming out and bringing us food! 🤣🤣. Hope you all enjoy the pics. Steven
  14. 32 points
    Cousin went out solo today since wind finally went away for one more chance. Found this little guy. 275 yd shot. What a buck
  15. 31 points
    Story of my first deer. (Shortened) After glassing, and stalking other bucks I eventually found myself at the top of a ridge overlooking a wash filled with cattle. As soon as my eyes focused on a calf I saw the white bottom of a 2 point buck jump behind a bush. I briskly started walking to get even with the buck as I was on top of the ridge and he was in the bottom of a wash. I was using an ultimate predator decoy, a silhouette of a doe that I Velcro on my bow, to hopefully lure in the rutting buck. I chased him from ridge to ridge til eventually I cut him off and waited for him to walk right in to me where the wash ended. Seconds after stopping my movement he emerged from behind a bush at about 65 yards. His eyes immediately locked on me, the doe decoy, and began walking right towards me. I ranged the cactus 17 yards in front of me that he would have to go around. I drew my bow without him noticing because of the decoy. When he approached the cactus he turned broadside to go around it and that’s when I let the arrow fly. The Rage broad head penetrated deeply into his vitals from what I could tell at the moment. Instantly blood spurted out of him and he took off down the wash he came from. After waiting an hour I started tracking. After finding little to no blood I eventually made my way back up the wash where I thought he was. I found a large puddle of blood and 10 feet farther there he was; crashed in the wash. I had finally killed my first buck and it was an archery otc hunt. It took a lot of hard days, sleepless nights, and practice to get it done but I did it. Super happy for my first buck. He’s not a monster but for my first deer I can’t complain. Thanks everyone for all the tips and advice. I couldn’t have done it without y’all. 9F8FCEC8-3952-4732-83AF-844D2E2DF364.MOV
  16. 31 points
    Well, our hunting "party" was fortunate to draw 5 tags in the same unit for late bull. Getting two bulls on the ground and taken care of is daunting, five seemed downright crazy. Out of the 5 hunters, 2 of them would be happy to just get bulls on the ground (both guys around 70 years old) and the other 3 were were going to hold out for good bulls. With all the snow on the ground, it made access to some of our spots impossible but it did push a LOT of bulls into some other country that seemed to have basically zero hunting pressure with much more forgiving terrain. The first morning started with spitting snow, fog and wind. My dad called us pretty early and said the two older gentlemen in our party had both knocked down bulls and they needed some help. The rest of the day was spent trying to get two bulls broken down and into the trucks through a blizzard. The storm put down a lot of snow fast. we had to get out of the country soon before the roads were impassible. I didn't take any photos of these bulls because we were in such a hurry to get them taken care of and the amount of snow coming down would have made it tough anyways. One of them was a broken 300" type 6-point, the other was a raghorn 5. Nothing too impressive but they were happy. We woke up to about 8 degrees and around a foot of snow on Saturday. We headed back to the same area the two bulls were taken at the day before and immediately started seeing bulls. We spotted 8 or 10 on a near ridge (500 or so yards away) but nothing too enticing. I swung and started glassing the opposite direction and found a bull that needed a closer look. Just when we were packing up i took another look at the near ridge and suddenly there were a lot more bulls that were standing up. 3 of them would have been shooters. I just got a look at the tops of what i thought was the biggest bull and we decided we need to kill him. He had a 340" type 6-point, and a 350" type BEAUTIFUL, palmated 7x7 with him. I had to talk my brother out of shooting either of them because the one looked to be bigger. It was hard watching those two bulls walk away. The biggest one bedded after all the other bulls left the country and we could just see his tops. We decided to sneak in a little closer and ended up getting to about 410 yards where we'd wait for about an hour for him to stand up. He finally stood and walked through a very narrow shooting lane and my brother was able to knock him down. When we made it up to him, we found out that his eyeguards were extremely short. He probably doesn't score as high as the 7x7 would have but he is an ancient bull with incredible tops and main beams. I've been around a LOT of bulls on the ground and this one was probably the oldest. Hunters throw around the term "past his prime" "he's digressing" or "he wouldn't have made it through winter" FAR too often, but this bull was most likely all of those. He was bony, hips protruding, his spine looked like a razor back and his teeth were in BAD shape. Now that my brother was tagged out, we decided to bring Forest and Heather into the same area the next morning. Right away we found a bunch of bulls including the 7x7 that was running with my brother's bull. they were on the move and Forest had to shoot fast. He hit the bull and it bolted. we figured with the fresh snow it would be easy to locate. 5 miles and just some pin pricks of blood is all we found, until our buddy got on a high knob and was able to glass him up again. He made a giant loop and ended up in the same spot he was when he hit him initially. It looked like he basically just burned him and top of the shoulders, he'll be fine. After relocating him and realizing the wound was extremely superficial, we decided that we needed to get Heather on a bull that we had glassed up while pursuing the wounded one. He was in a great spot. We made our way around to him and got to 475 yards and waited for him to clear the other bulls. Heather made a fantastic shot through the middle of the shoulders. The bull didn't even twitch. He has great main beams, wide and good tine length on everything but his left G-5. Heather was thrilled, as she should have been. We spent the rest of the day taking care of this bull. The next morning we went back at it trying to relocate the 7x7 or find another good one. We glassed up a LOT of bulls again, including the one he killed later that day. We made a move on a 340" type 7x7 but he busted us. On the way back to the truck, I glassed a few bulls that were BIG. There was really no way to get withing shooting distance as they were bedded in a big PJ flat. We decided to try to push them off the thick flat and into the open flats. I made a loop around them so my scent would push into them and they SHOULD have left the country the opposite direction as my scent. Well, they didn't read the script and ran the wrong direction into some country that that would have been impossible to hunt. This was definitely not their first rodeo. There were around 10 bulls in the heard and 5 of them were no-brainers. The biggest at a glance looked to be a 380"ish bull that was busted past his 4th on one side. At this point the day was winding down and we decided to get a better look at a bull that Forest passed earlier that morning. We were able to relocate him and we decided he probably shouldn't have passed him. we worked our way into position and Forest shot, hitting him a little far back. All the bulls in the heard headed north. We looked around for an hour or so and scattered in all directions, not finding any blood or a sign of a hit. The smart old bull button hooked the rest of the heard and headed the opposite direction. Forest glassed him beddded under a rock outcropping about 250 yards away and put him down for good. He had 8-10" busted off his left fourth is why he decided to pass him earlier. This elk hunt was a blast. I've been on a lot of them and i don't think i've ever seen so many good bulls. We probably saw around 150 bulls in four days. Till next time
  17. 31 points
    On the fourth day trying to get on a herd of bachelor bucks, my daughter, Hunter was able to connect on a good desert muley in south east Arizona. Her buck grossed right at 150”.
  18. 30 points
    With all of the grocery stores being out of food. I decided to take matters into my own hands and challenge the feds on the taking of equines. I decided to go traditional and used my recurve. Perfectly placed behind the shoulder. He didn't go far very short blood trail! I didn't think it would fall that easily. They are truly magical creatures Tension breaker had to be done
  19. 30 points
    Okay guys I went scouting today and I seen something that seemed like I was in a fantasy.... After seeing countless whitetail deer. I spotted some in a pocket really high in a canyon and what I seen next you would not believe......
  20. 30 points
    Third Day Update: TAG FILLED. As I finally have a chance to relax and look back on it, wow what a day it’s been! We decided to go back to the spot I posted about yesterday morning. While we had seen some bulls yesterday, we weren’t entirely sure if they’d be there again since we didn’t scout this area before the season started. (It was a whole new spot because we couldn’t get to the spots we had scouted and wanted to hunt due to all the snow.) We looked at a map last night and decided on an area to sit and glass and wait in the morning to see if the elk would come through that same area. We got up early and hiked in about a mile to sit and glass. About an hour after sunrise, we decided to cross the ridge we were sitting on to get a better view of a tree line and valley that we had seen tracks in yesterday. 30 minutes later, as I’m loudly clearing snow off a log to sit on, my buddy spots the first cow. She was coming from a saddle connected to the little valley we were sitting on about 150 yards from us. He tells me to shut up and look and I see her clear as day. A few more cows follow her and I think to myself “where are the bulls?” After what seemed like forever, but was probably about 30 seconds, we spot a bull following the cows. He’s a decent 4 pointer and being the third day I think “game on, I’m gonna tag my first bull!” All of a sudden 5 more bulls come into view from that same saddle but there’s one (potentially major) problem. The lead cow is now at the bottom of this valley we are sitting right on top of about 80 yards in front of us. She can either keep going down or turn directly towards us. There were tracks all on the hillside we were sitting on, so I’m just praying she doesn’t head straight for us. My prayers went answered and she continued leading the group down the valley. I turn my attention back to the bulls, but I’m starting to get so excited that not only will I get a shot at one, I’ll actually get to PICK the one I want to shoot. And they are only 125 yards away! I quickly look at each bull through my scope and pick out the one that looks the biggest. Honestly, I probably should have looked at each one longer but I was worried that I would miss this awesome opportunity because the group was moving steadily through. The big one stopped and I had a clear shot at about 125 yards. I pulled the trigger. He went about 30 yards and dropped on his side. He was down! I couldn’t believe it. Clean, double lung shot. I was shaking so hard and for some reason my left hand was tingling like crazy. We waited about 10 minutes but he was down and gone. I walked up and he was a beautiful 6 pointer. I honestly couldn’t have dreamed of a more perfect way to fill my first tag. Thank you all again so much for your tips and words of encouragement! I’m really glad I got to finish this thread with a success story and a great bull. Until next time, John
  21. 30 points
    Opening day I was able to tag out by 8:00 on this deer I had been seeing on my cameras since August. He was a very heavy bodied buck. I was luck to have a Buddy watching in the glass to give me a hand down off the hill.
  22. 28 points
    Filled my 2019 tag yesterday. Glassed him up on a hillside in the afternoon following a doe around. Took him at 350 yards with my 270. To date he's the best buck Ive ever taken. Going to get him mounted for sure. Glad I decided to take Friday off rather than go to work.
  23. 28 points
    Hunted this buck for 8 strait days. I seen him scouting 1 time before my hunt. Never to see him again for 2 strait weeks. The times I did see him he was way out in a completely different location miles away. The buck was always on the move... For the few seconds I did have to see this buck I could tell he was an awesome deer; Deep forks, great mass and height! I called this deer “Ghost” he was unpatternable.. The buck never stayed in a certain area like almost all bucks do. This buck knew that staying in any given area for too long was bad news for him. Super smart deer! To make things even more difficult he was the only buck in the dam area not chasing does😂 Including scouting and my hunt I only seen this deer 3 times and the only time I seen him was at the last 10 minutes of shooting light; completely nocturnal animal. Below is the story on how it went down... I spotted a buck at 1 mile at dawn. When I put the spotting scope on him I could tell it was a shooter buck(not ghost). The buck was herding and rutting these does hardcore. It didn't take me long to pack up all my gear and start closing the distance on them. I get to a half mile of them and these deer rutted over the top of this hill away from me. I didn't wanna run right into them and spook them so I gave It about 30 minutes and just glassed the two drainages that came out from where they dropped into. I did this to make sure that they didn’t escape out of this pocket when I ventured into it. They never did so I headed over to the deer trail and started track them to where they went, I pursued them extremely slow because I knew I could get really close hunting this method. I tracked them for half a mile when I noticed ears walking towards me 100 yards away. I get down on my belly and just watch these deer get 20 yards to me and feed right around me lol they had no clue I was there. So then I see a 3x3 buck about 150 yards away and I grunted at him to try and pull him closer. He came in 20 yards and had a stand off with me and had no clue where the grunting had come from. He was looking around for 10 minutes right in front of me. The buck then started grazing and eventually met up with the does that were right in front of me. It was at that moment that I started hearing grunting and trampling like a stampede lol I just got ready on my belly cuz I knew something was lurking in front of me lol. I pulled my muzzleloader and have it on my side as I'm laying in my back. I then see about 25 deer within 30 yards of me. All I could see was little heads pop up out of nowhere. Then behind the does herding them up is a different buck than what I had seen this morning. An even bigger buck had pushed the big buck I seen this morning out of the group in the span of like an hour. This buck happened to be my target buck. "Ghost" I called this buck ghost because this buck I tried hunting for 7 days with no success. The smartest creature I have hunted lol. He had no pattern to hunt and never showed himself. He was nocturnal. But anyways this buck was pushing the does, nudging them in the rump and grunting like a mad man😂 I got on my knees as he got 50 yards from me and I let him have it. It took me 3 shots to bring that bad boy down. Here he is fellas, an awesome desert mule deer with a muzzleloader🤙🏽
  24. 28 points
    It’s been a minute since I’ve been on here but this forum definitely used to be one of my favorite places for recent success photos and any help I needed when it came to hunting AZ. It’s been tough to find time to hunt for myself lately but I finally had a few days to get out and chase desert bucks with my bow. My buddy glassed this buck up with some does and we put them to bed. I made my way to 45-60 yards of the deer bedded and waited for the buck to stand. Things got a little western but the buck stopped broadside at 65 yards and the arrow found its mark. Grateful for good friends and the opportunity to take this neat buck.
  25. 28 points
    My son Jake connected on a nice buck this weekend on a jr. hunt. He wanted a 3x3 and luckily we got eyes on this guy once the fog lifted on Friday. The pack out was tough on him (and me) but he hung in there.