Let's do this!
First, thank you for following this project to completion: A Season of Hunting Big Mule Deer. I truly hope you learned something that will help you take the best buck of your life.
I used Random.org's random number generator to draw from the qualified entries (including those of you who were blocked by the system but emailed me your entries.)
1st Place: Vortex Viper goes to Josh Weeks
2nd Place: Huntin' Fool Membership goes to Brian Bitter
3rd Place: Hunting Big Mule Deer Book goes to Gentry Distefano
You have 10 days (January 21st) to claim your prize or I'll redraw from the qualified entries.
Thanks again. I'll be posting this year on research, gear, and more information related to mule deer hunting. If you've never done so, sign up for the Rok Blog upper right at "Rok Blog Sign-Up" to receive email notification when I post.
Thanks and God bless your hunting.
For more tips & tactics, check out my book, Hunting Big Mule Deer
I had been home from the Idaho hunt a week and watching the weather closely in preparation for my upcoming Utah hunt. The high pressure ridge that had dogged me during the Idaho hunt had mostly just strengthened over the last 10 days. This meant virtually no snow in the Intermountain West. Buck hunters from Colorado to Montana had been handed their worst season in years due to the mild conditions, and it wasn't looking any better for me.
I'd been glassing since first light with my SLC 15x56 binoculars backed up by my 25-50x80mm ATS spotter, both Swarovskis. This is a lot of glass to pack, but when I don't have to hike far, it's really the best combination for finding big mule deer.
I've been an outfitter for about 15 years. We operate almost exclusively on private land in an OTC unit. Our bread 'n' butter is elk hunting but because we manage hunter numbers, every once in a while a big buck will show up. My paid hunters have first shot at these bucks, but I often hunt them once everyone has gone home for the season.
It had been 10 days since I found the giant Idaho buck. Due the terrain he lived in, I knew killing him with a bow meant still-hunting through the timber hoping for a shot. I probably have a better chance of orbiting the earth in my own homemade rocket.
My favorite media to communicate through on Rokslide is this blog. While I love writing articles for our homepage, and our forums are downright fun and informative, it's the blog that is my own little space. It's here that I can best share with anyone who's truly interested in becoming a better mule deer hunter, particularly for outsized top-of-the-heap bucks.
With so many new members joining Rokslide, it stands to reason that many of you were not around when we launched in early February, 2012. Ryan Avery and David Long worked tirelessly night and day (that's no stretch) to build the platform we all enjoy now. One of David's jobs was working with top notch hunters and writers to bring you many of the articles that are still read daily by members.
One of those articles was written by Robert Hanneman: Bighorn Sheep Hunting Tips & Tactics and is still in the top ten articles we've ever published. Besides bighorn sheep, Robert possessed a vast knowledge of western big game hunting. So it was no surprise when the following year that Robert joined the staff of The Huntin' Fool- a company dedicated to helping hunters find good places to pursue their dream species.
I introduced The Huntin' Fool a few weeks ago and included a giveaway for a one year membership. I think the crew at The Huntin' Fool can help anyone research and hunt a variety of species across North America.
They also do some great membership drives that includes the chance to win some fabulous hunts. While The Huntin' Fool has given away some great hunts over the years, the one they are giving away this year is the pinnacle—a Henry Mountains Mule Deer Hunt
I can't think of anyone in modern times who has taken more really big deer than Jason Carter of Utah. I first came to know him through my outfitting business and since then have become friends. Jason is the only mule deer hunter I know of who has killed three net non-typical B&C bucks, and one of those was with a bow! He's also taken dozens of other great bucks. Jason worked as a hunt consultant for The Huntin' Fool for fifteen years. He hunts smart and hard all over the West. After hearing that he was partnering up with Under Armour for a new Western hunting TV show, I called him to get caught up on everything. Here's a rare chance to hear how one of the best gets in done on big mule deer.
Robby: "You seem to be a died-in-the wool hunter. How did you get into hunting and particularly big mule deer hunting?"