2021 Best Buck Mule Deer Photo Contest

HoldMyBeer

Newbie
Joined
Oct 9, 2021
Messages
2
76FFA136-D973-4BCC-B8A7-93A8A3B4F2DD.jpeg This deer was a long list of first for me along with tons of luck and recollection of information that I covered in preparation for this trip that made the drive from SC to WY worth it.

This was my first:
Post here 😅
Hunt outside of my home state
Solo road trip
Western hunt
Public land hunt
Mule deer
Time quartering game
Pack out

This hunt started out around this time last year when I bought my first WY preference points and dove into reading and watching anything I could find on western hunting. In this search I came across rokslide and Robby’s book on mule deer. I did my research and applied for antelope and deer tags in an area that I had pretty good chances of getting both. Fast forward to results coming out and I had my first WY deer tag in hand, time for more research.

One week before rifle opener and I was packed up and heading west leaving me with 4 days to scout an area I had never seen in person. My expectations were fairly low but I was ready to work for it. A couple days into scouting I found a few pieces of public land that were holding deer and even glassed what I thought was a nice 4x4 for the area. Opening morning came and I was in place for what I thought was going to be a great morning hunt only to get pushed out by a group of antelope hunters that obviously needed more time at the range. I packed my things up and headed back to my truck to get deeper into some roads less traveled. That’s where I came across a decent piece of public land that had great terrain features that I’d somehow not noticed all week. It was mid morning and getting hot so I knew deer would be bedded. I grabbed my pack and rifle and went to hiking to what looked like a decent glassing point about 3/4 of a mile in. Much to my surprise I quickly spotted a few deer bedded in a cut close to a creek bed and could tell they were bucks. I started getting close and could tell they were young and not really what I was looking for. Then it happened, as I turned to hike towards a different glassing point I jumped the biggest buck I’d seen all week and he knew right where the public land ended. I sat there with my head low for a while then decided to take a look at where he was bedded and tracks going to and from. I hiked back out and went to unsuccessfully glass another spot for the afternoon.

The next morning without much of a plan I went to an area I’d seen a few deer earlier in the week without much luck. I headed back to where I had jumped the deer the day before and glassed for hours before I caught movement a few cuts over from where I’d seen the deer the day before. I gathered my things and went to get a closer look. I’m nearing 2 miles back when I come over a hill to see a nice 4x4 rack sticking up over some brush at less than 50yds! I instantly dropped and took my pack off as quiet as possible which is never quiet enough. This couldn’t be happening I had been practicing for that 500yd shot everyone said I’d have to take. The buck heard me moving around and stood up to investigate but he was too late I was already set and ready for the shot. I dropped the hammer on not only the biggest buck I’d seen all week but my first muley buck.

Then the real work began with my first quarter, cape, and pack out. My first pack out, a solo pack out, I one tripped it the 2 miles and I’m honestly stoked that I was able to do this. I will say seeing the truck at the end of the pack out felt almost as good as watching my buck drop.

This may be the best photo from the hunt but the pile of others with bad lighting or shadows in the wrong places are the ones that really tell the story of my first solo diy public land western hunt.
 

Fatcamp

Senior Member
Joined
May 31, 2017
Messages
3,912
Location
Sodak
Resized952021100995105512~2.jpg

Wyoming October 8th harvest. Game Warden who checked in on us this morning said he was a cryptoid? Looked it up a bit and it makes sense. I gutted him in the dark as fast as possible but don't remember seeing testicles. Story in the Live Hunts Forum.
 

swampokie

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 8, 2017
Messages
1,510
Location
oklahoma
Western Colorado bucks and a bear. Took the whole season to get it done. Had 75CE0891-FF99-4B20-8C30-8E8113321F4A.jpg a fun but extremely challenging hunt. Terrain was brutal 28 degree slope avg and very hot temps. Camp raiding and pack shredding bears and a giant bull that just escaped the pole.
 
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Jaden Bales

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2018
Messages
540
Location
Wyoming
Western Colorado bucks and a bear. Took the whole season to get it done. Had View attachment 335159 a fun but extremely challenging hunt. Terrain was brutal 28 degree slope avg and very hot temps. Camp raiding and pack shredding bears and a giant bull that just escaped the pole. View attachment 335160
Gotta pick one photo, sir! Mr. Denning will hop in here shortly to remind if ya don't.
 

TraskI

Member
Joined
Apr 22, 2017
Messages
70
Ten mile in solo hunt. One of the nicest photos I have ever taken.
93dd491fc3cef4f91e0ddf53a86ac8a3.jpg


Sent from my SM-G996U using Tapatalk
 

lonedave

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 7, 2014
Messages
254
Location
West Richland, WA
A little late, but I shot this buck September 26th here in Washington on public property along the Snake River. I spotted him bedding from close to a mile away and managed to sneak in to the rock outcropping above him as he snoozed. I couldn't move far enough out to the edge to see anything but his rack as a doe and fawn were further out from the rock to the right of the picture. I sat for over three hours waiting for him to stand and trying hard not to fall asleep in the sun. I was lucky and kept alert, so when he stood, I was able to take him from about 25 yards. He dropped out of his bed and ended up about 30 feet below. .62 caliber Thompson Center Hawken, patched round ball, and 90gr of Goex 2f.
IMG_3688.JPG
 

swampokie

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 8, 2017
Messages
1,510
Location
oklahoma
Took one off. Had a better pic I thought than those two but kept posting upside down. Couldn’t figure it out so I gave up
 

Juan_ID

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2012
Messages
789
Location
S. Idaho
Been a while since I’ve posted one of the Mrs. but she got it done on opening day this year. Neither one of us really knew how big he was but after having passed up 5 smaller bucks earlier that day she’d made up her mind. The surprise encounter at 55 yards left us speechless and scrambling but she made it count. God is good! 89BFBA96-4A4D-4CA1-9AFA-3715F31160FB.jpeg
 

manitou1

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2017
Messages
846
Location
Wyoming
Here is mine from 2021.

20211003_101244.jpg

Yup, he is still out there somewhere! Never struggled for a mule deer like this before.
Hundreds of hours, many miles on boots and cannot turn up a decent buck.
Drought, heat? I don't know, but this season has been ridiculous.
Congrats to all who have gotten it done this season.
 
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