I think we had the Best mule deer tag in unit 102, in Wyoming. It might not have had the biggest bucks, but it did have some really nice bucks. We scouted it for a few days and found a buck which we named the Hunk Buck because he looked like a “hunk” of dirt when we found him.
We were unable to go on the opener as we had a wedding to attend. The wedding was wonderful and after the reception, we drove late into the night to get to our camp off of Lower Sage Creek road.
It also might be the best deer tag, as my oldest boy Mitch had the tag. Any tag you have is better than a tag you do not have. My girl, Gentry, is not at school currently and so she had time to come with us as well. My nephew Easton, Mitch’s good friend Andrew Black and the Outfitters Guide TV team were all there.
I was not sure we would be able to find “Hunk” again, as it had been so long since we had last seen him. We woke up at first light to begin looking for Hunk. Thirty minutes hadn’t passed when we spotted him on a hillside. What made it better was that he was in a place where we could stalk him. The wind was strong, which made it hard to glass or I think we would have found him earlier. He had not moved 2000 yards from where we had left him 10 days ago.
He had laid down and we were waiting for his little 4-point buddy to lay down as well. As we were waiting, Hunk got back up and his little buddy laid down. We asked ourselves, “Why would Hunk get back up?”. He looked like he might be 30″ wide and we were all debating if he was that wide or not. He was a perfectly symmetrical 4×4 and he looked awesome in the velvet.
Hunk seemed to be rubbing his antlers on little twigs on the bushes. He did this for a while and then moved to some heavier bushes where he really went after it. It was so cool to watch the velvet come off right before our eyes. His antlers were blood red and suddenly he didn’t look 30″ wide! It didn’t matter – it made him look even neater than he did before because his antlers were now blood red. They really stuck out because nothing else was red in the vicinity. This made us all excited for we were hopeful to put a tag on this buck. He kept rubbing his antlers and we figured that it would be making a lot of noise, he would be distracted with the uncomfortableness of the velvet and so this was the prime time to begin our stalk.
Mitch began making the stalk. He was supposed to come over a little ridge and we were guessing he would be 40-50 yards away. Mitch was shooting a Barnett crossbow and it is very accurate which made it easy to shoot at 75 yards, as long as the wind was not too strong. But it was pretty windy. Just before Mitch came over the hill Hunk decided to walk about 50 yards to the west, where he then laid down. His little buddy followed, but was eating as Mitch came over right where we had planned. Jeff from Outfitters Guide (our videographer) had snuck closer to film it, and we were all watching from the truck (we will post this film later once it is edited). “Hunk” was at 91 yards and the little buddy was pegged on Mitch. Mitch could see “Hunk” but only his neck and head. He decided that in the wind it was too far, especially for a neck shot. He waited for a few minutes until the wind shifted and the deers got wind of his scent and they immediately bolted out of there. So close, but not close enough. This is bowhunting.
We watched where “Hunk” ran and planned to go look in that canyon later to find him.
Back at camp we made sure that the bow was shooting the same at this elevation. After a few shots the string broke. We must have been having too much fun shooting this Barnett crossbow earlier. We sent Mitch and Andrew to town to see if they could find a string. They couldn’t find a string and so they bought an entire new crossbow. So now we will have a spare crossbow in the future.
This hunt is turning out to be better than we had ever dreamed. Maybe he is a 30″ buck. Can we find “Hunk” again?