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Unit 22 in the Thick

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Brother, friend, and I headed up to the North end of unit 22 for late October whitetail hunt.  Had some great looking bucks on the trail cameras the previous months so we knew they were around.  Brother shot his the evening of opening day at about 30 yards.  We dressed it out and had to in the ice chest by 7pm.  Throughout Friday I heard 10 rifle shots and had seen some ATVs moving around some of the 2 tracks so I knew the bucks would be pushed back up into the thicker Juniper brush and trees along the lower mountain fingers.  Saturday morning had me creeping across the mountainside at day break watching for any movement as I crested each rise.  Was hunting for a location where I could sit and glass over a few fingers running up the mountainside but the terrain never provided me with more than about 100 yards of distance, hardly worth getting my binos out.  Finally after an hour of hiking up and down I found a nice point overlooking 2 draws to the mountain behind me.  I could see out a few hundred yards and more importantly, there were several  clearings as varying distances.  Settled in and began scouring the terrain.  After about 7 minutes after taking a seat I see the gray back of a deer climbing the crest of a finger 85 yards directly in front of me on the hillside.  As it quietly moved along the trail I got my 6.5 Creedmoor shouldered and figured out an opening it would pass through.  As it stepped out of the brush making its way through a 10 yards clearing I could see it was a healthy 2 by 2.  Deciding I was going to pass on him, I was surprised to see a second buck step into the clearing as the first buck vanished into the vegetation.  Following the exact same path as the first, I settled my cross hairs on him.  Another 2 by 2 that looked like an exact copy of the first.  Still looking through the scope following the 2nd buck, movement caught my eye to the left and another buck was pushing through the brush and into the clearing.  Same 10 x 10 clearing but a slightly different path.  As I adjusted my rifle slightly to get a good look at him I saw he was slightly bigger and was at least a 3 by 3.  I didn't have much time to make a decision and decided I was going to take him, grunted, and he stopped, giving me a perfect broadside shot.  The 143g Hornady Precision Hunter bullet cracked and he jumped, sprinting forward into the tangled brush.  The 2 smaller bucks ahead of him doubled back running back down through the clearing and down the draw.  A 4th buck, very close in size to the one I had shot, was the last in line and had not made it to the clearing.  I saw a good rack on him as he vanished back down the hillside.  I sat there for another 10 minutes, radioed my brother and friend to bring me the skinning bag as we had another deer to clean.  The whitetail I had shot went about 30 yards and expired due to a double lung shot that left a silver dollar sized exit hole.  I easily tracked him from where he was shot right to where he dropped due to the wide blood trail left.  No visible entry on the hide.  We skinned him out in a short time and packed the meat out.  That weekend we saw a total of 7 bucks, and 26 deer total but only those 2 bucks of any size.  Once January comes around I'll get an OTC archery tag and see if anything is left up there.  5500' in Unit 22.





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  • Great Buck! 1

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Nice looking buck, gotta love those 143s on coues.   Congrats.

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Great looking buck congrats

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