Posting a bit late on this one! Since arriving home things with work and home have been a bit crazy...
Had the good fortune to draw an early area 6 Nevada mule deer tag this year. (Nevada Guides Draw) We decided to hunt the last 5 days of the season Oct. 16th to the 20th. We arrived in Elko to find warmer than normal weather, and very little chance of pending weather in the forecast. The first day of the hunt was pretty uneventful, we spotted a few bucks, and quite a few dink bucks. Nothing I wanted to put my tag on.
On the second day things quickly shifted into high gear! Shortly after 7 AM. on our first spot we decided to glass, we spotted this buck on top of a high bald mountain top across a big canyon at 1,497 yards. (See Below)
Everyone said this is definitely a shooter buck! And, I quickly agreed, and said I wanted him, then the waiting game begin! He stayed up on that bald top for over and hour and a half, milling around and feeding. Everyone thought he would feed over the top, and go the opposite side of the knob and bed down. Which would have been our best play. Nope, he finally decide his belly was full, and it was a nice warm morning and he picked one of the four or five small bush patches on the mountain top to bed down in. He wasn't big for nothing, he had a 360 degree view and not much was going to sneak up on his nap!
By now I am a ball of nerves. I'm trying not to think about what a saw through the spotting scope, and I just keep telling myself; "I am going to kill this buck today, this is going to happen!"
Around 9 AM my guide and I decide our best play was to go around the two mountains behind him and hopefully catch the wind right and come in just above him to some rocks we figured would give me about a 150 to 175 yard shot at him. Game on!
Well going around two mountains turned out to be about a 3 mile trek, slowly side hilling up the mountains. Luck would have it, and the wind kicked up in our favor and help to keep our noise to a minimum. We popped out on one mountain, and found out we still needed to go around one more mountain that we couldn't see from where we first spotted the buck. And, I just keep telling myself "I am going to kill this buck!" On the third mountain, be looked up and spotted some rocks, and thought this is our spot, wrong? Crawling up to them, and taking a look at things the spot that the buck was on was 429 yards away. And, we didn't have the view we thought we would! How could we have been so wrong? Now, I'm starting to stress, it close to noon and too many thoughts start racing in my head. My guide and I talk about if for a bit, and he tells me stay here I am going to take a look at something.
About five minutes go by, and I look behind me to my guide motioning for me to go back the way we came up to the rocks. When I get to him he tells me we missed our spot by one small knob! That was great news, we make a short walk around and down a bit and spot our rock pile. By now my heart is pounding, and I have to get my thoughts back together because when we get to the rocks it could be game on! We start to make the last fifty yards to the rocks, and the wind that is blowing perfectly into our faces, and all of a sudden it kicks up blowing like crazy. But, this is a god send, because I step on a stick that I couldn't see, and nothing! The wind blocked it out. Yes, I suddenly feel a calm come over me and I'm relaxed again! We belly crawl the last 25 yards and we are in position. I deploy my bipod, get my rifle comfortable and ready.
Where is the buck? We look and we look and we can't find him! I am spent at this point! Suddenly my guide goes, I have him! He is just below us, laying in some tall grass in from of the small patch of buck bush, he's 130 yards away.
I can't see him! I look and I look, and I can't see him... He keeps telling me he is right there! Then it dawns on me, my guide is just above me slightly, and he is on his elbows he has a higher vantage point then I do. Okay, the buck is there, he's 130 yards away this is all good! But I can't see him! I am a bit on edge, but I keep telling myself "I am going to kill this buck today!" My guide is telling me just relax, stay on the gun he will stand up sooner or later, just be ready when he does. 30 minutes go by, have you ever been prone looking through a scope for 30 minutes? Things start to cramp and hurt! We start taking turns looking down laying flat and relaxing. As much as you can relax when you keep thinking about what you saw in the spotting scope 6 plus hours ago! Now once in a while I turn my scope up and look at the patch of grass still noting, I turn it back down incase he stands up. Then all of a sudden the clouds start to separate, and the sun become brighter. About that time I turn my scope up again. And, BINGO I see horns, yes! Now my old ticker is going, he's right there, and I suddenly feel calm again! It gets a bit brighter and I see both sides of his rack. My guide and I talk about the bucks position, and I now know which way he is facing. I can't take this anymore, my guide tells me shoot him where he lays if you think you can, you own him! I look at things one more time on 10 power and tell my guide to get on his glass, I'm going to turn my scope back down to 4 and take the shot! He tells me as soon as you pull the trigger get another round in the chamber, and get back on him.
I get the scope on 4 power, click off the safety. Line everything up to what I feel will be the best shot, slow start to press the trigger and all of a sudden BOOM! The rifle goes off, I am reaching for the bolt handle, old one out, new one in and I searching for the glass to my eye! And I hear "You just smoked him, he's on his side and he only kicked once!" Get back on him though, give it a minute. My heart is finally pounding, my mind is racing, and all I see through the scope is white belly. It's over, its finally over!
We spotted him a few minutes after 7, and it now 1:18 PM. I am on cloud 9! My guide and I finally relax a bit and the high five and hooping and hollering begin!
We walk up to him and there he is a stud of a 4X5, eye guards and just an amazing deer wide and tall. His fronts are a bit weak, but I wouldn't change him for nothing. He tapes 30" at his widest point. We didn't score him, and I know it is just a number, but I hope he will make at least 180?
It was a great hunt and I can't thank everyone enough who helped me get here, and heaviest such a great buck. I keep finding myself distracted throughout the days since then, and reliving it over and over in my mind.