20 replies [Last post]
hawkeye270's picture
Offline
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Fort Collins, CO
Joined: 06/15/2008
Posts: 1862
A bear wanted my buck!

Over the past few years, I have posted pictures and told stories of my various successful mule deer hunts... Goofy 2x3's, wide 3x3's and nearly perfect 3x4's. But no matter how hard I hunted, I was not able to harvest a typical 4x4. I truley believe that for the average joe, harvesting a mule deer buck of giant proportions is the hardest challenge in the hunting world.

Believe it or not, I felt more pressure to fill my buck tag this year than I did on my mountain goat hunt! Well I have finally done it... and I couldn't be happier.

Last night, with only 10 minutes of shooting light left, I harvested my best buck ever. It took five full days of hard hunting to find the buck I wanted. Thank goodness for the snow the state got Tuesday night. Prior to the snow I had mostly seen younger bucks... but the snow made the difference and proved essential in my being able to stalk within 70 yards of this buck in an old burn. I spotted him on my evening hunt from over a mile and a half away. I got into shooting position and had the chance to take a shot at him with the Nikon Laser IRT 4-12 scope I won last fall (which I have proofed on paper out to 650 yards) but decided against it. If I was to harvest my dream buck, I'd have to prove that I could stalk old, smart bucks. With the light dwindling, my senses were running full bore. I had to plan my stalk around two different doe groups that were bedded a couple hundred yards on either side of my buck.

I knew I had to be very close when all of a sudden I caught movement behind a burnt but still standing pinyon pine. I waited for his head to disappear behind the trunk, raised my rifle, settled the crosshairs on his chest and noticed that his eyes were now burning holes in me... I pulled the trigger. No ground shrinkage here... with every step closer, he just got bigger and bigger!

I was solo and this ended up being the coldest pack out I've ever conducted. I swear my fingers and toes were within minutes of frostbite. But so far, I have left the craziest part out.

While hiking back to my truck to grab some food before gutting him in the cold night, I crossed the tracks of a bear heading straight for my buck! Needless to say, I also grabbed my sidearm from my rig. I bet not many of you have paid attention to what the wind was doing AFTER you shot your animal... I paid very close attention to my surroundings to say the least. While packing him out, I crossed the bears tracks again... this time within 150 yards of my buck. I went back to the gut pile this morning to find that the bear had circled me while I quartered my buck. I was ready for anything, but luckily he decided that the benifit of one last gut pile before denning up didn't outweight the risks involved with dealing with a two-legged armed with a lightning stick. If this was Montana... I think I would have lost my buck to ol' Ephraim! But in the end, I finally took my first typical 4x4!

He is the icing on the cake of a hunting season that I will NEVER forget!

PreviewAttachmentSize
DSCN4840.jpg
DSCN4840.jpg433.16 KB
DSCN4839.jpg
DSCN4839.jpg436.86 KB
hawkeye270's picture
Offline
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Fort Collins, CO
Joined: 06/15/2008
Posts: 1862
Oh and by the way... he had

Oh and by the way... he had the biggest body of any buck I have ever seen. Take a look at his neck in the second pic... its bigger than my chest! And keep in mind that this isn't completely due to rutting activity bc the mule deer rut is still a ways off. I have also never seen as much fat on any game animal that I've harvested. It was an inch and a half thick on his back and rump.

Bowhuner13's picture
Offline
Location: Albany Oregon, Born in Salt Lake raised in Southern Idaho
Joined: 10/07/2011
Posts: 25
Good reads and a great buck.

Good reads and a great buck. Congrats

Retired2hunt's picture
Offline
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Colorado Springs, CO & Fort Myers, FL
Joined: 07/28/2011
Posts: 1613
  Nice - Very Fricken Nice! 

 

Nice - Very Fricken Nice!  A great symetrical 4X4!  I couldn't ask for a better buck.  Congrats on the great harvest and adventure to go along with it.  I think I would have been periodically firing rounds into the ground around me just to ensure that bear stay the 150 yards in perimeter.  Great hunt and adventure!

 

hunter25's picture
Offline
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Colorado western slope
Joined: 11/13/2009
Posts: 3021
Great buck!! Good job man,

Great buck!! Good job man, you've really come through big time this year. Now what's the plan for elk?

COMeatHunter's picture
Offline
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Joined: 06/01/2011
Posts: 620
Beautiful buck.  Congrats!

Beautiful buck.  Congrats!  Great story too.  I hope the memories will last a lifetime. 

flewthecoupe's picture
Offline
Joined: 06/07/2011
Posts: 75
That is simply sweet! I'm

That is simply sweet! I'm glad that bear didn't decide it was hungry enough to fight for that thing!

Offline
Moderator
Location: Kentucky/ Colorado
Joined: 06/23/2005
Posts: 1741
Great buck! Glad it worked

Great buck! Glad it worked out with the bear.

hawkeye270's picture
Offline
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Fort Collins, CO
Joined: 06/15/2008
Posts: 1862
Wade: I am now evaluating if

Wade: I am now evaluating if I have enough freezer space available to even hunt elk. With two prongers, a mountain goat and a huge bodied buck on the ground... I might be maxed out!

Flewthecoupe: Me too... I'm very confident in defensive shooting tactics against two leggeds but I can't say I've ever practiced scenarios involving bruins haha. I was actually wishing I had bear spray with me. Its the second time I've been circled with a bear popping its jaws!
hunter25's picture
Offline
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Colorado western slope
Joined: 11/13/2009
Posts: 3021
Well hopefully you can find

Well hopefully you can find the space, I'd really hate for that to be the reason to miss some more hunting. Plus there are always people that would love to get some meat. We give a bunch away every year. I'm sure you could find plenty of takers.

I wish you luck with any more hunting you have but I think you've made your own pretty darn well.

numbnutz's picture
Offline
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: portland,oregon
Joined: 09/06/2007
Posts: 3058
Great story and Excellent

Great story and Excellent buck Hawkeye. You have had an awesome season and I'm very jelous. The neck and body on that toad are huge. That is a buck to be proud of for sure. Maybe I missed it in the story but did you green score him? That is just nuts about the bear. I know out here when a bear hears a gun shot it's like a dinner bells to them. I have a on a few occasions shot a deer and within 30 minutes have a bear come in to check it out and they came from upwind and there was no gut pile yet to smell. I have some buddies that will get into bear country and fire there guns and just wait for a bear to come check it out. They are pretty sucessfull on harvesting bears using this method. I'm glad you and your buck made it out unscaved. Not only are you running out of freezer space your taxidermist bill is sky rocketing too. Again congrats on the very nice buck.

Related Forum Threads You Might Like

ThreadThread StarterRepliesLast Updated
Southern Colorado Pronghornwooduckman11210/17/2013 19:40 pm
Opening day buck in Upstate New Yorkwoods1126611/20/2013 06:31 am
new bear picsMilliondollarbear010/11/2004 18:45 pm
Oregon BuckNugents Bullet510/11/2008 14:02 pm
first bearjasonmk710/01/2004 08:41 am