With Landen notching his deer tag it was time for me to get a little deeper into the backcountry to try and find a shooter buck for myself.
Tuesday morning rolled around and I was headed up the mountain.
That evening I didn’t see any deer but the next morning I was finding plenty just nothing of any age past two. Midday I moved to watch another canyon but there wasn’t anything in it that I could find so for the evening I headed back to the area I watched the bunch of bucks that morning. Sure enough, I was finding lots of small bucks again but nothing of any size darn. Given where I was hunting and that two other guys were in the area as well when I got back to camp that night I packed up and headed down the mountain. I wanted to see what might have moved into the area Landen shot his buck a few days earlier.
Back at home I recharged the battery and the next morning I was heading into the area Landen and Dallen killed their bucks this year. With my 28 Nosler, I felt really confident with my longer shots and this property has some really wide open canyons where I could glass for long distances.
A couple of miles in I had in mind of a couple of good points where I wanted to set up and watch for the evening hunt. If it looked promising I would set up the tent and hunt the area in the morning as well, if not I would move further in and camp for the evening.
On the way in I watched a good number of does and one small buck out moving around in mid-day. By afternoon I had set up the spotting scope on a good vantage point to glass from, pulled out the binoculars and watched the show.
I found a number of does and then way down and across the canyon, I spotted a buck moving up to a small ridgeline. It was the first 4 point I had seen all year. His body looked pretty mature but not the size of his antlers. Hmm... I hadn’t seen anything of any size this year and I also hadn’t killed a buck since 2011 and I kind of wanted to break in the new rifle.
I ranged the buck and he was within my zone of confidence (see 28 Nosler — Shooting At Spirit Ridge Rifle Golf Course). I could try to get closer but it would probably take me over an hour to drop to the bottom of the canyon then climb up the other side to get to where I would need to be to see him. Well to do that I would have to hope that the horse hunters that were riding a trail headed in his direction didn’t continue on that trail because even though they were much farther away. There would be no way that I could cross the canyon and be in position before the horse hunters passed within a couple hundred yards of this buck. Hmm... I decided to take the shot.
Oh, how I love my 28 Nosler X-Bolt. Down he went like a ton of bricks. As I was headed over to get him the horses ended up riding within 200 yards of him and easily beat me there by a half hour. I was glad I took the long shot and really glad I moved to a different mountain.
The buck was missing one eye from what looks to be Pinkeye . I hate it when deer get that in their eyes, poor things. He didn’t have very big of antlers but he had one heck of a cool roman nose and should make for a great European skull mount.
After my quick photo shoot as the sun dropped behind the mountains, I was cutting away, getting the meat all boned out ready for the trip off the mountain.
I debated spending the night and hiking out in the morning but decided to just pack out in the dark.
It was nice to get a buck on the ground after a long dry spell dating back to 2011. And the highlight of my hunt mule deer hunt this year was getting out with my two youngest boys and watching Landen get his buck: Landen's Second Buck — 2017 Rifle Deer Hunting in Northern Utah
Next up my muzzleloader elk hunt: 2017 Solo Muzzleloader Elk Hunt — Hunting the Backcountry