Thanks to a True Sportsman from Missouri

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This story is about a guy named Ken who went on a mule deer hunt to Wyoming with his dad Steve, and several other good friends. Ken is really an archery guy. He is one of those who think that shooting deer with a rifle is just a little too easy. But his dad and some of his friends had been going from Michigan to Wyoming for a few years, and he was talked into going along this time, partly because he had never been out there before, and partly just because he ought to try it once. This particular year, there were 15 in their party, all hunting except Steve’s wife (Ken’s mother). They had all pulled trailers out with them and made their camp near the area where they would be hunting.

 

No full hook-up out here!

So October 15 found Ken walking around the hill country (if that’s a proper description) of North Central Wyoming with a Remington 760 Woodsmaster in his hands instead of his trusty bow. They had hunted all day without seeing a buck that he was able to get a shot at, and were driving back to their camp on a two-track that crossed through BLM land. Dusk was almost upon them.

Suddenly, a good-looking buck ran across the road only about 50 yards ahead of them and continued to run for another 100 yards before stopping at the base of a hill. It stood there broadside, looking back at their truck. They figured that the next time it moved, it would run up the hill into some mahogany trees and would be gone.

Ken jumped out of the truck as quietly as he could, stepped behind the cab and laid his rifle across the back of the truck to take aim at the buck. “Don’t put a hole in my tonneau cover”, said Steve. “Lay your rifle on your hand to raise it up a little.” Ken was nervous and afraid that the deer was going to jump at any moment, but he settled the cross hairs on the buck’s vitals and squeezed the trigger.

“Click."

Before he could go into panic mode, Steve said, “You forgot to rack a bullet into the chamber! Take it easy, he’s still standing there. Just put one in the chamber and shoot him.”

Somehow, Ken managed to slide a round into the chamber, get the scope back on the deer and touch off the shot. They both saw the deer stumble and turn to run up the hill into the trees. As it was later discovered, Ken’s 165-grain bullet had hit the deer in the front shoulder, too low to hit the vitals, but enough to severely break the shoulder and upper leg.

Getting out of the truck, Steve walked with Ken over to where the deer was standing. They found blood, though not as much as they had hoped for. They followed the trail up the hill by flashlight, but by the time they reached the trees, it was getting too dark. They marked the last spot of blood with a handkerchief tied to a branch and drove back to camp to resume the search in the morning.

The next day three of the other hunters volunteered to help them track the deer. They picked up the trail at the handkerchief and began finding a few drops of blood, then fewer and fewer. They spread out and began heading toward a fairly deep draw that they thought a wounded deer might head for, but without the aid of any more blood to follow.

The group of hunters had just crossed over a ridge and were about to go down into the draw when they heard a shot, and looking up, saw a puff of smoke on the other side. Then they saw another hunter stand up, wave at them and holler, “He’s down. Come and get him.” When they arrived at the other hunter’s location he told them that he was sitting there, watching the draw when he saw them come over the top. At the same time, he suddenly caught the movement of a deer that was sneaking through the brush in the draw, obviously wounded. He quickly figured out that they were following it and that the deer had probably been bedded down in the draw during the night. He had put it down with a shot in the neck.

It turned out that this hunter was from Missouri, and had also hunted there before. Since his truck was much closer than theirs was, he helped them load the deer into his truck and drove them and the deer back to their camp. He was a true sportsman who helped them to collect that deer and quite possibly prevented it from escaping to die at a later date.

 

 Ken and his buck (left) and another of their party with his.

Comments

numbnutz's picture

Congrats to the hunter. Looks

Congrats to the hunter. Looks like a great buck. Sounds like the other hunter was a true sportsman, I would have done the same thing to help out a fellow hunter. Thanks for sharing this story, it was enjoyble. the pictures look good too.

Deer Slayer's picture

Congratulations to Ken and

Congratulations to Ken and all the others in the party that connected on a muley buck. It sounds like you all had a great time, and what an act of sportsmanship the hunter from Missouri did. We have permission to hunt on one farm along with a few other guys. Everyone that hunts there gets along except one guy. One time I shot a doe and he was out there that same day and he got all mad because he said if I wouldn't have been in my stand he would have shot that doe. No one that hunts on this property likes that guy and we are all hoping he won't be back next year. Thanks for the story, I enjoyed it.

Rem2arms's picture

A couple nice looking

A couple nice looking muley's you got there and the way it happened for Ken is a story that's told over and over again. What I mean to say is there's too many hunter's that would steal someone else's game just to brag that they themselves got one. That hunter is to be comended on his kind act to help in that situation and I'm glad you posted that story. It helps to renew faith in other hunter's.

It's funny I should read that story now cause that happened to one of my friends this year with a buck he shot and was trailing. He was taking it slow so as not to keep jumping him and had good blood. Yes, he made a mistake as I'm sure we've done at least once with getting anxious to get the game. Anyway, he heard a shot ring out across a rise and thought it may have been his but continued the way he was trailing until he came to the end and a gut pile.

He called the local warden and together they trailed the sign to a logging road and tire tracks. They never did get to see the vehicle or the hunter/hunter's so that's just one case where another hunter enjoy's my friends meat. Some say that the shot that puts it down gets to keep the game but I disagree, guess it's just in my upbringing. Anyway, Great story and a great hunt.

arrowflipper's picture

Great Story

Congratulations on a successful hunt.  It's always wonderful to run into other sportmen.  I have seen just the opposite.  I was hunting in Utah one fall and watched about 6 different guys shooting at the same little spike.  He didn't have a chance.  I don't know how many times he was hit before he went down, but it was like a track meet to see who could get to him and put the tag on.  It takes all the fun out of hunting when you see people like that.  We just loaded up and left the area.

Sounds like you had a great camp as well.  With that many guys around, I'm sure you had lots of fun.  The largest deer camp I've ever been in was 17.  We spread out every morning and went in different directions.  I think though, it was more of a "campout" than a hunt, even though we did manage to harvest a few deer. 

I'd like to hear your opinion on eating mule deer versus whitetail..... can you tell the difference?  Does it have a stronger flavor, maybe because of the sage diet?  Looks like you had lots of fun.  Again, congratulations on a successful hunt.  I hope you got that guys name and address and send him a big thank you card. 

WishIWasHunting's picture

Great story!

Thanks for sharing.  I enjoyed the story and the pictures.  Congrats to Ken on a successful WY rifle deer hunt! 

I realize the regulations are different in WY than CO, but some of the events in the story got me thinking about if this had taken place in CO.  In CO, it is illegal to "Party hunt (kill someone else's game or let someone kill yours)" (CDOW Regulations Brochure).  I think the MO hunter should be commended for his actions, and I think he made all the right decisions.  However, I think I would be nervous to make the same decision the MO hunter made (while hunting in CO) for fear of unwarranted legal repurcussions. 

Thoughts?

 

P.S. I do not mean to criticize or diminish this successful hunt in any way.  I simply think it sets the stage for an interesting discussion. 

groovy mike's picture

you are right to use the term “Sportsman”

Jerry – you are right to use the term “Sportsman”

 

This Missouri hunter could have legally tagged and claimed that buck as his own.  It was quite a gentlemanly thing to do to stop that buck and hand it over, let alone interrupt his own hunt to help Ken and Steve get the buck back to camp.  Maybe Ken won’t think that shooting a buck with a rifle is quite a easy after this hunt as he did before he went!

 

Nice looking bucks and congrats to the hunters.  It sounds like a good time even if that si a LOT of people to hunt with!

ManOfTheFall's picture

It must have been a great

It must have been a great time with a group of friends that size. I couldn't imagine all the stories being told in that group. It sounded like you all had a great time and at least Ken got to experience some rifle hunting. That other guy helping you guys out was a very nice rewarding gesture. I liked the story and thanks for sharing the pictures. Congrats on the bucks. 

hunter25's picture

Great story of a good hunt

Great story of a good hunt and a lot of guys working together as a group. I have never been in a situation where I willingly headed out with that many hunters in one group but I bet they had a great time at the campfire every evening.

Sounds like a good area and with stories like this ine I bet your getting pretty excited to head out there this year. 7 or 8 more months and we'll all be deer hunting again. Can't wait to get back at it.

Glad to hear they were able to recover that deer as I know how sick he would have been if he lost it. I've been fortunate myself but have come very close a couple of times over the years.

I will be hunting antleope up there in September in a diferent area but strangely I have omly seen about a dozen deer in all the years I have been going.