The DIY Hunter

Mule Deer Browning Cellular Trail Camera

Watching Mule Deer remotely from a Browning Cellular Trail Camera.

Mule Deer Browning Cellular Trail Camera

The four-point in the back was taken by a mountain lion a few days after this photo was taken.

My number 1 buck on Browning Trail Camera

This was my number one buck I targeted during the muzzleloader hunt in September..

This year I drew a general muzzleloader deer tag and my three boys all drew general rifle tags here in Utah. I was excited to get out with my new CVA Paramount muzzleloader this year. This muzzleloader is a muzzleloading long-range rifle. Well, I least I feel very comfortable taking a 500 yard shot with it if the conditions are right. 

To help with finding me a deer to go after with my muzzleloader I employed my trail cameras. I found three four-point bucks in the area over the summer and leading up until the first of September and then they disappeared about the time they shed their velvet.

One buck I am sure was killed by a lion on around July 20th from studying my cellular trail camera that he was coming into with two buddies. The three bucks were regulars to the camera until a couple of mountain lions showed up and hung around for four days. Four days after the mountain lions left only two bucks returned for the rest of summer.

My favorite buck was a 3x4 that was coming out of private land and into public land to drink at a spring every fifth day or so and then only half of the time it came was during daylight hours. I hiked in to watch this spring three times during the muzzleloader hunt but he never showed up while I was there.

Deer hunting with my CVA Paramount muzzleloader

Deer hunting with my CVA Paramount muzzleloader.

The night before the opener of the rifle hunt my three boys and I hiked into our favorite rifle deer location to hunt the opener. It's a good four-mile hike and my boys were up to the task. Opening morning and we rolled out of our tent in a great location. We had plenty of deer around us and a few small bucks but my young boys have been spoiled and they each wanted to get a four-point buck. Unfortunately by mid-day, we hadn't seen a four-point buck and the DWR made us pack back out because of a fire. That sucked. We were a mile past the horse camps, on foot...

Sad having to pack back out because of a fire.

Sad faces as we prepare to pack right back off the mountain because of a fire.

fire closure.

Wildfire in the dark.

A view of part of the fire as we packed out on opening day in the dark.

With the property closed, we decided to try our luck on the Wasatch Front mountains. The deer herd has been in horrible shape on this mountain for several years now so I haven't hunted it at all for about four years. A combination of no good winter range, archers hunting the bucks during the rut, mountain lions everywhere (my trail cameras show lots of lions), R&K outfitters on the nearby CWMU killing everything they can find and highway 89 slaughtering deer has just really bummed me out about that mountain. There aren't the bucks up there like there used to be ten years ago.

Opening morning buck.

A buck the boys passed on opening morning.

A buck I watched during the muzzleloader hunt.

I watched this buck while I was set up watching for the big 3x4 buck during the muzzleloader hunt.

Small bucks Kaden passed on.

Some small bucks Kaden passed on... maybe should have shot one of them.

On the first trip out on the Wasatch Dallen found a good buck way down the mountain. We hiked down and around to get to the buck as fast as we possibly could. As we closed the distance from 1,200 yards down to 454 yards we watched the buck bed under the edge of a pine tree. The buck was bedded offering a decent shot if Dallen could thread it into his chest. Setting up with some shooting sticks and a pack under his shoulder Dallen made a near-perfect shot with his X-Bolt in 300 WSM and the buck never moved.

Spotting Dallens buck feeding

Dallens buck bedded

Dallens buck down

Right after Dallen shot his 2020 buck.

Spotting Dallen's 2020 buck (top photo) up until just after he takes the shot.

After getting to the buck we found that its left antler had nearly been shot off a few days prior. We made a splint on the antler to make sure we didn't break it completely off while we were working on it. As we were taking photos of his notched tag on the antlers we kept noticing some odd cut marks on the right antler. It took us a while to figure this out but the cut marks line up perfectly with two blades of a three-bladed broadhead.  How crazy is that? He was shot in the right antler with an arrow and the left antler with a rifle. 

Dallen 2020 buck

Broadhead cut through antler

Notice the broadhead slices through the antler. One blade sliced above the tag notches and another blade sliced between the two tag notches shown in this photo.

Bullet hole in left antler

And a bullet hole through the left antler with a corresponding hole through the top of his ear that you can see in the background.

After getting Dallen's buck packed off the mountains with our favorite Alpsoutdoorz Extreme packs(#ad) I made a couple more trips back in with all of my boys. We had some awesome hikes but never found any other four-point bucks for Kaden and Landen. We had a great time I just wished we could have made it back into our favorite location. Next year, next year.

With Dallen getting this buck in 2020 my two young boys always reminded me of is how lucky Dallen is. Dallen has a way of finding four-point bucks. The buck he took this year is now the 8th four point he has taken in his young life. Come to think of it, I have only taken seven in my ancient life. He has been pretty lucky but also works hard to find them. 

300 WSM Browning X-Bolt Hells Canyon Speed.

Brothers hunting.

Brothers hunting.

Hunting Selfie.

Kaden hunting.

Hunting with my three boys.

Smith Creek Lakes with my Jeep JK.

Exploring the Smith Creek Lakes in my JK with my new Hankook MT2 tires.