My First Colorado Muley Buck

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Every year since 1999 I have been hunting with my buddies, Larry Ray, Rick King, Paul Cackowski and Bruce Kirk.  We had been hunting the same area, usually during Colorado's third rifle season, but this year, 2003, we decided to try second season.  Especially, since Colorado's Division of Wildlife decided to add a couple of days and lengthen it to a nine day season.

Our camp was situated approximately four miles up from the trailhead and on the edge a beautiful meadow at 9,500 feet.  Just the perfect setting to get away from it all!

My buddy, Bruce, who is also my gunsmith, couldn't come up right away and would join us on Saturday night.  The rest of us got to camp on Thursday and set out on Friday to do a little scouting.  We were about six miles west of camp when Larry spotted what we thought was a big bull elk grazing in a field between two large stands of aspens.  We were about a 1/2 mile away when we spotted him and I gasped when I found him in my binoculars.  It was big non-typical muley!

Now, I have been hunting Colorado for about the past four years and had never even seen a buck of this size before.  And, it just so happened that I was the only one with a buck tag.  Needless to say, I didn't get much sleep that night waiting for opening day!

Saturday morning came early and I was on a bee line to that same area where we spotted the buck.  For about four hours, I searched and searched and found not a glimpse of any deer.  I was convinced that they really do know when the season starts.  Then about 9:30 or so, I was walking along a game trail just east of one of the aspens stands and there he was looking right at me, with my gun on my shoulder!  Before I could get my rifle up for a shot he turned and was gone.  My heart sank!

I made my way back to camp and everyone could tell I had missed the opportunity of a lifetime.

I loaded up onto my four-wheeler and headed down to the trailhead to meet my buddy Bruce. Bruce showed up a couple hours later and we rode back up to camp in the dark.  We had a quick dinner and made plans for the morning.

I took Bruce to the same area where I had my encounter with the buck and we started a slow methodical search.  As we approached the aspen stand where I last saw the buck, there he was, standing broadside about 100 yards into the quakies.  I motioned for Bruce to stop and he watched as I brought my rifle up and squeezed.  Bruce told me later that he never saw the buck when I shot, but that he heard that familiar sound.  I watched the buck jump straight up in the air touching his front feet to his back, then he disappeared.  I am glad he did, because I had the shakes so bad, I don't think I could have gotten off another shot if I needed to!

We sat for about 15 minutes or so, which felt like an hour and then we started walking to the spot where I had last seen the buck standing.  When we got to the spot I started scanning to the right thinking the buck would have run in the direction he was facing and there he was, piled up against an aspen. 

I think I almost passed out with excitement, I had just closed the deal on probably the biggest buck I would ever see in my lifetime in the woods!  The buck ended up being a 10x8 with two of those being drop tines on his right side and measuring 30 inches wide.  What more could a guy ask for!

The best part of the deal, I had handloaded the bullet that took my deer and I was with my best friends!


ManOfTheFall's picture

That is one awesome buck!!!!!

That is one awesome buck!!!!! Great story, I really enjoyed it. I hope someday you can top that one but it will definitely be a difficult task. It's a good thing you stuck at it with him and didn't get discouraged. It sounds like you have a great bunch of friends and a great area to do your hunting in. Hopefully you and your friends will continue to be successful so you can write some more good stories for BGH. Thanks for sharing your story.

Hunt Okanogan's picture

What a buck!!!

You're spoiled now for hunting muleys! might as well hang up your gun! That one is going to be had to top. keep at it though you never know.

WishIWasHunting's picture


That is one heck of a buck!  He has plenty of character, is wide, tall, heavy, and dark!  Nice looking mount too.  Thanks for sharing the story also.  Sounds like you have a nice location to share with a good group of friends. 

cscott711's picture

Wow, what a pig.  That memory

Wow, what a pig.  That memory will last forever.

GooseHunter Jr's picture

That is truly a buck of a

That is truly a buck of a lifetime.  Congrats on a great buck and thanks for a vedry well told story.

jim boyd's picture

That is an absolute beast and

That is an absolute beast and I am so glad for you!

I can imagine the joy you felt in taking that bad boy and I can also imagine the stories and tall tales that came to pass that evening by the campfire!!

I long for the day I can get out and get on a hunt like that, if nothing rlse than for the majestic scenery!

Great harvest and great story - like I said...what a beast!


Ca_Vermonster's picture

Wow, that thing is a heck of

Wow, that thing is a heck of a buck.  I am still waiting for my first mulie buck, and I think I could be happy with that one. Wink

Great story, great animal.  Thanks for sharing!

gatorfan's picture

DoooooooD!!!!  That is a

DoooooooD!!!!  That is a MONSTER!!!!  Congrats on a successful hunt!

It amazes me that you got more than one chance at a buck of that caliber.  Those are usually the ones you hear about getting away.

Even the mount makes him look like the king of the woods!

Congrats again!  That's a high bar to set...