Last hunting was a good one for me. Well the past 4 of the 5 have been I should say. But last years was a fun one. I'd seen a few good bucks and alot of ok ones and a bunch of small spikes and 2 points. I started my season hunting up on Cahilty which is located on the otherside of McGilvery by Adams lake. I had been told by a few of the locals there was 2 monster bucks together. One typical 5x5 and a 7x9 that was a non-typical. Pictures I'd seen won me over on wanting to go for one of them. the 5x5 was thick, with long brow tines. You could tell he was a 4 to 5 year old buck. Solid body, thich and i mean thick rack, I'd have to assume he was scoring in the 180's. The non-typical was a true bruiser, everything about him made you want to go get him. In the picture they were running together. side by side. He was a monster. He had prolly 4 inches or so in body height on the 5x5 and his rack was much much bigger, and thicker. He had a much wider rack and much taller than the other one. I spent alot of time after seeing this picture looking for them, hiking out to spots where I figured they were bedding. Nothing and nothing more. Just does, and small bucks that would not do as it is 4 pt season at this time and everything I had seen at this point was no more than a 2pt. As the first part of 4 pt season was coming to a close and the bush was becomming loud and impossible to walk in as the leaves and branches made for noisy movement I was in my truck heading up the Cahilty road looking for and immature bull moose, when I seen the 2 bucks still together. I was amazed no-one had taken on of them if not both. I pulled the truck over as I am on old access road that many people hunt. They stood there for merely seconds just long enough to renew faith that they were still alive. I drew my .300 winchester short mag and began to raise the rifle to get the monster the 7x9 in my sites but it was not ment to be they scattered into the thick fast. I slowly made my way up the road about 100 yards and began to track them. You oulod here them moving away crashing through the thick brush. No matter how far I walked in I couldnt be quiet. There was no trail to follow nothing, just what they had left and that was not good enough to walk on. I eventually had to turn back to the truck and regroup. I knew tracking would only push them further at this point. For the rest of the day I would see only a handful of grouse, and some does and nothing else. Sadly I'd have to go back to work and not be able to come back out until the following weekend. Towards that weekend I went out to the adams lake store and what do I see but a picture of the non-typical I had been pursuing. He was in the back of some guys pick-up. Lucky buggar!!!
So 0-1 now, but where I live there are plenty of bucks to hunt. i began hunting the otherside of the mountain. the season has changed by this point, snow had started to settle in the upper levels and it was a matter of time before it would be too deep to venture into. So I made my way to McGilvery and began to hunt it. Not to heavy but I kept it light, a few mornings here and there. I found some impressive rubs and beds. I knew I was in a good spot. I'd seen many does and again more small bucks. the season has changed no to any size buck, but i wasnt interested in the little ones. I want them to have a chance. I'd seen on many occasions a fairly nice 4x4 but all he'd give me was a glimpse here and there. But he kept coming back and I kpet waiting. I'd moved around after seeing him a couple of times to try and better range for shooting. After I had moved I though I'd have him but what I'd seen wasnt him. It was a small buck chasing 3-4 does down the trailer. Hmmmph. Eventually I began to wonder as to where he went. Was he shot, did he move on somewhere else? I never found out about him, as the last couple runs I tried to my spot there was someone else there already. As we entered into November it was back to 4 pt season again for the mule deer and still nothing. Id done some driving between times after working heading home, seen alot of white tail does and a small 3x3 at this point and a very nice looking 5x5 as well, but no chance on those bucks.
Now on the 2nd week into November and about a month left and my weekends are now going to be used for other chores. Yup my season is almost done. I made one last trek to the McGilvery mountain. As I headed up to another spot I had yet to make my way to this year I'd driven about 8 clicks up the one of my side roads I use when up on the ridge I spotted a buck. I decided to pull over and hike after him. There was about 6inches of snow where i was and alot of ice. I tracked him for about 10 minutes when I spotted him. I put my binoculars up and did a count. On the one side i could see that he had 4 for sure and the other side I wasnt too sure but he was legal so I put the binoculars down and switched over to my .300 and took aim. I braced myself and prepared for my 250 yard shot. He didnt give that front shoulder but he gave me his lungs and thats where I knew I had to put it. I braced and squeezed off the shot, besides the crack from the .300 you could here the whack of my 180 grain ballistic hit. But he didnt fall or twitch no sign at all that he was hit. I moved myself down a few feet and went into a crouch to take aim once again. This one was for the back of the ear. I intended on putting him down. I set I aimed, and just as I was pulling the trigger I slipped. It was horrible down right horrible, I landed on my butt, scoped myself and the rifle discharged too!! The buck bolted!!
I regrouped and checked everything over. i was alright, my rifle was good too. So I sat and waited for 5 minutes. I wanted to give him time to slow down so I could begin tracking him. Now the track was on. Its now about 1130am. I began to track him. Wow, what a blood trail. I followed him through the snow, gotta love that red on white. dam easy. I walked for about 1km down hill, then no more snow. He had crossed a landing. the blood trail ran into the next block. But as I came into the trail had completely disapeared. Crap!! I had my cell on me and I knew I was gonna need help with this one. I called my brother in law Bill to come and help. Woke the bugger up at NOON! what a slacker, not to mention he didntbelieve me that i shot a deer!! He eventually agreed to come up and help. My girlfriend came too! I was kinda amazed considering Im the one the hunts and she doesnt care for it. Im workin on her though.lol. Either was she stayed with Bills truck. Well before I know it Bill and I are searching every square inch of land to try and find a track or a speck of blood. Sure enough we found the trail again. It was spotty though. Which made it a little hard and the no more snow to help. After about another 30 minutes of tracking we found him, laying in the windfall, barely alive. Where he lay was heavy in blood, and it was time to finish him. I out one last shot in the back of his head and that was it. He turned out to be a respectable 4x3. He was just a guess but about 3 years old. Bill and i had to drag him about 700 yards through thick brush and windfall until we reached the main road. I got the luxury of staying with my deer while bill retreived his truck which was about 5-6 kms up the road. By the time he was back my deer was gutted and ready for transport. I gave Bill my license and a quick note for transportation and he drove me back to my truck. We drove back home, then took his truck to our butcher in Barrier. The buck weighed in at 154 lbs after bein butchered, I'd like to thank Farm Gate Meats for yet another well done deer!!
Well I hope everyone enjoyed the stories of last years hunt and Im hoping next year gets back on track and its back to the 1 shot method for me!!
Anyone else have a story about an incident or settlin for a smaller buck lets hear it!!