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numbnutz's picture
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great stories guys, I'll have

great stories guys, I'll have to find pics of my first muley

GooseHunter Jr's picture
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Keep the pics coming!

Keep the pics coming!

elkkill06's picture
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Location: Fruita Colorado
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mossbuck35,Thanks for

mossbuck35,

Thanks for posting your pics again. Wink

numbnutz,

Hope to see your pics soon. Yes

tuckster's picture
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1st Muley

I first got into hunting a few years ago after I moved to Colorado.  My wife's family owns some land and I was able to get a PLO tag and have the opportunity to get out every weekend.  We had a fresh snow, so we decided to get out and see anything was moving.  We had spent a few hours hiking around when we saw just a small movement behind a tree.  We took cover and watched a doe begin to move down a draw.  Being new, I was ready to move to another spot, but my brother-in-law said that if there is a doe, and buck will be following soon.  Sure enough, he started to follow her out from his hiding place.  Took him at 94 yards.

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Location: From Grand Junction CO, stationed in Germany
Joined: 08/01/2010
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My first archery buck, Fort

My first archery buck, Fort Carson, CO 2004

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elkkill06's picture
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Your first muley

Conrad,

 I know you posted your first archery "buck", but I asked for your first archery muley. If I am correct I watched that one go down. Evil!

Nice buck Conrad!

Location: From Grand Junction CO, stationed in Germany
Joined: 08/01/2010
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I know, but we were in such a

I know, but we were in such a hurry to go find the elk that we didn't take pictures of her.

exbiologist's picture
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Wish I had a field picture of my first

The year I got my first mule deer buck, I was in college and a buddy and I had decided to head out to Eastern Montana for the opener, rather than fight the crowds in Western Montana.  We figured that even the Eastern Montana hunters would be heading west for the elk opener.  I had been studying my Delorme Atlas and we selected a series of badlands that was almost all BLM owned. 

We got out there with a little bit of time to scout before opening day.  Found some good glassing areas looking down into the badlands from above.  Most of the country was shrubby and heavily broken by deep coulees, all of them heading down to the river, about a 1000 foot elevation difference(over roughly 3 miles N-S by 8 miles E-W) from the ridge to the north where we would be glassing.  We saw a few does and fawns around the edges of the rough public lands, but nothing actually in the badlands.

That night we hung out in the only bar in town, watching the World Series, but kept ourselves under control and crashed at a cheap historic hotel.  We got to our glassing area with plenty of time to spare, but the wind was just howling.  It had to have been pushing 30 miles per hour, and when dawn arrived, there were no deer to be seen.  Eli, my buddy decided to descend into the badlands to see if he could kick something up.  I decided to cut across the main ridge, which had the only real cover to speak up; mostly large junipers, 6-12 feet tall. 

I still hunted my way across the ridges, without seeing much sign and tried to keep an eye on where my buddy was headed, but lost him early in the process.  As I neared the boundary of the public lands, I finally started to see large amounts of fresh sign.  I really slowed down then and increased my death grip on my rifle, wrapping the sling around my left forearm.  As I krept along, I saw a steaming pile of deer poop, looked up and saw the creamy white and sage green/brownish/gray/mousy color of deer legs underneath a juniper.  The bottom of the juniper probably wasnt much more than 3 feet from the ground, and as I stared at it, I realized those little deer legs had a head attached to it and it was staring at me! 

I knew instantly it was a buck, being able to make out the little white bases from just 20 yards away, but I also knew he was a little one.  I had told myself I was going to hold out for a four point on opening day, but it didn't take long for me to change my mind.  Having killed bull elk, doe deer and buck and doe antelope before this, I wanted to think I was a little more experienced and didn't need to be shooting little yearlings.  But what the heck?  Bird in a hand and all that, right?  So I centered the crosshairs from my Ruger .280 on his chest and pulled the trigger.

BAM!  He drops to the shot, with the 140 grain Ballistic Tip, impacting his sternum and blowing out the bottom of his chest.  But he was back up again in a heartbeat, bouding towards the deep coulee, I hit him again, this time in the shoulder, knocking him down.  But the rock and soil in the ravine was so loose as he kicked, he began to slide down further and further.  So I kept shooting him to make him stop kicking until he hung up on a small tree over a 100 feet down.

I was relieved to finally have my first mule deer buck, but I had no idea where my buddy was, and wasn't sure if I could drag the little buck out by myself.  And, like most of my firsts, I had no camera on me.  He was just a little fork horn, but he was mine and I was pretty excited.

I managed to gut him without incident, but draggin him up that loose rock and soil was a real battle.  You'd take two steps forward, only to slide three steps back.  It probably took well over an hour to get that deer up onto the ridge.  From there, I sat down, took a break, ate a little snack and went back to dragging him towards the road.  I was hoping my friend had heard the shooting or me yelling for him, but he never appeared.  I didn't think he could have been all that far away by the time I shot the buck. 

As I approached the road, I thought about hiding the buck under a tree, or hanging him, but the little junipers just weren't big enough for that.  Thankfully, just at that time, a truck drove by that I waved down.  An old timer and his wife were out road hunting the BLM and offered to drive me and my buck back to my buddy's truck.  When we pulled up, my damn friend, gets out the truck and yawns.  Turns out he was sleeping the whole time I was dragging that deer!

He was all excited when I told him I shot a buck, and he comes around to the back of the truck, and deadpans, "Oh, I thought you were gonna hold out for a four point."  Said, "Yep, plans change when you have the only buck you've seen just twenty yards away looking at you.  Now or never."  Anyway he was happy for me nevertheless, and we loaded the buck into his truck.  We spent the next day driving around some more BLM and Block Management land with no luck.  Still I was a happy camper, but wish I had a picture.

elkkill06's picture
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Great Read

Hey Ex,

Very good story and I really enjoyed reading it. How much grub did you get off of him after shooting him until he stopped moving? Eek!

exbiologist's picture
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Thanks man

Haha, yeah, that was back in the day when I paid for processing.  I'd be willing to bet those shoulders were a mess.  I know the bottom of this chest was blown out and there was some interesting articulation to the right shoulder.  When my buddy saw the brisket wound, he said something like, "whoa, get a little carried away with the knife, did ya?"

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