2021 Best Buck Mule Deer Photo Contest

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MightyMatt

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Dec 17, 2018
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20211104_130545.jpg Montana general tag. Passed on a lot of bigger bucks than him but ended up getting my dad his first deer in over 20 years. This is the one I took on the last day of the hunt. I basically played guide for two weeks and got to hunt for a day and a half. It was worth it though. Got my dad a great buck on the second day and a good friend his first mule deer two days before this buck. It was my dad's first mule deer and out of state hunt. Getting him on a good buck was my only goal for the trip and made it a great one regardless of my filling a tag out not. His health is declining and body beaten up from years of hard work so I wanted to make it a memorable hunt for him incase he doesn't get a chance to go west again. IMG_2070.jpg
 

bpurtz

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Jan 22, 2016
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Where did you find that rock camo mitten!? Great picture!
I had to look a couple times at the picture to see what I might have left in the frame - lol. I guess that rock mitten turned out to be the perfect natural hand shape to hold the buck head in place. Thanks!
 

danmayland

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Dec 28, 2015
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43615d60e3873754bdf44fa0cabd56e4.jpg


Montana. General season 2021. OTC Opening day!

It’s been a heck of a long time since I punched a tag on “opening day”. In fact it’s probably been since I was a kid. But this was a pretty special occasion.

I found this buck during archery season and had learned his core area. He was by far the biggest buck I came across in the unit with over 160 boot miles on the ground. I knew he was a decent buck but he didn’t really get me excited so I took my son out for the youth opener hoping to get him the buck. We found him first light of the youth opener and put him to bed mid morning. We made a solid play on him but as big bucks do, he gave us the slip and vanished out of his bed. We tried turning him up the rest of the day with no luck so my son ended up taking another 4pt he was excited to shoot just before dark that night.

We spent the next day hiking and scouting different areas trying to turn up a shooter buck for myself with to no avail.

Lying in bed the night before the general opener I had an idea of where I wanted to hunt but had never hunted there. Right before I fell asleep my son asked me if we could go back and see if we could find “that big buck”.

An early morning alarm led us back to the parking spot 2 hours before light. Several other hunters drove by as we waited for some darkness to pass. We snuck back into his layer under the cover of darkness and started picking apart the grey light. It was really windy and we weren’t finding deer where I expected to find them. The deer were obviously hunkered down in the bottoms of the deep coulees and we were on the wrong side of the basin. With some luck I had a pretty good idea where he’d be. We started still hunting the tops of the coulees and worked around the basin to the other side. We crossed over a small saddle into the next drainage that provided shelter from the blistering winds. 10 steps in and I caught deer movement busting out of a draw in front of us. I Instinctively dropped down on my tripod that I just happen to put on my rifle. I got behind the scope on watched two deer running straight away behind large pine tree about to vanish over the horizon. They crested the top of the ridge behind the tree at a hard quartering away angle. In less than a second I realized it was him and shot as he ran on a dead run into my crosshairs. I later ranged the tree at 358 yards! The shot echoed followed by the indistinguishable sound of an impact but he was already out of sight. We hiked over pretty confident I had hit him but couldn’t find him or any sigh of a hit. I found the tree and their tracks and started tracking him down a deep ravine. Less than a hundred yards we found him piled up in the bottom!! Having my son there to experience it all with me will make it my most memorable hunt. It was the first time he’s been with me when I’ve harvested a buck! The buck ended up being much bigger than we both expected and there was no ground shrinkage on this guy!


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