Story Courtesy of MuleyCrazy.com
We have all heard stories about waiting an eternity for that perfect tag and my dad, Jeff, is no exception having waited since 1989 for his “Strip” monster mule deer tag. I am only 16 and have taken three elk, two mule deer, a buffalo, and three javelina. But what is even more amazing is that in 2004, we both put in separately for 13B deer tags and drew!
We had ten days to hunt for our big bucks and we planned to use every one of them. School, Schmool….this was a 13B tag! After a few days of seeing more coyotes than deer, (we got two of them), most of the crowd left and my dad and I were left to do what we love…..drive and glass, hike and glass, hike and glass, and drive and glass. We found a few groups of does with little bucks and checked those from time to time while looking for new groups of deer. We hunted in the sunshine, we hunted in the rain, and we hunted in the snow. We hunted in the pines, we hunted in the canyons, we hunted in the sagebrush, we hunted in the junipers, and we hunted in the sand. After eight days of nothing over 22 inches we were worn out.
Friends, Chris Wright and Jason Gisi, said that they would come up for the last two days and when they arrived they said the two foot stack of dishes in the sink and the empty boxes of cereal were their first clue that we were on the downside. They gave us some secret southern Utah deer hunting sauce, (Mt. Dew), raised our spirits by telling us stories of people getting their deer on the last day, and then we were ready to go. That evening we checked a group of our pre-scouted does and amazingly, there was a big buck with them. Being 1,000 yards away, Jason sat me down on a little chair he pulled from his backpack, set up some monster binoculars, and described the buck to me while I was looking through his binoculars. He said it was a three by four that appeared to be almost 30 inches wide and would probably score a little over 180. After nine days of does, coyotes, and dinks, (that what they called the little bucks), I was ready.
My dad and I started the stalk down the ridge and up the other side only to find no mule deer. As we came up the next ridge, there he was at 40 yards. Suddenly, the mule deer ran into the cedars and my dad grabbed the hood of my jacket and drug me up the ridge until he found an opening. When the buck appeared, I shot and hit a few inches too far back. The monster buck ran down the ravine and my dad grabbed my hood and drug me back down the ridge until we found another opening. I shot him again and he was down! All of a sudden there were does everywhere. Instantly my dad sat down, got ready to shoot, and said, “Watch the hillside and tell me if you see the big buck.” I questioned why he was going to shoot my buck when it was already dead on the ground but it all became clear when another big buck entered an opening on a dead run. My dad quickly shot and down he went! What a shot he made! Both our bucks were down within 40 yards of each other and my deer scored 185 and my dad’s buck scored 198! The stories of getting your deer during the last few days were true, and not only that, we got two bucks in two minutes!