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With a MT mule deer tag in my pocket I had high hopes of killing a giant muley. I don’t know a single hunter who doesn’t dream of killing a large racked animal and I am in that group for sure. But I have noticed that with age I have become more of a hunter who wants to just kill an animal that is mature, if high inches come along with that, even better! Don’t get me wrong, if I have an opportunity to kill an animal with lots of inches, I will never pass that opportunity up and will strive to reach that year after year to find an animal that fits that bill!
I was able to look over lots of ground in Eastern Montana in November. Being able to take my family along on one hunt turned out to be one of my best days in the field yet. It was their first mule deer hunt and we were able to locate a nice buck on public land. We planned a long stalk together and I wasn’t expecting much. After all, having a 4 and 6 year old along on a stalk you can’t expect it to go perfect!
I can’t say anything other than the stalk went amazing! (More to come in an future story) We completed the stalk and looked over the buck as he tended a hot doe. Although the buck hadn’t reach full maturity I was ready to drop the hammer as I had my whole family with me. Each of us studied the buck and when I asked if I should shoot the buck my son, Jackson said, “Dad he is nice but you can find a bigger buck!” He was four years old mind you! And then Emmalynn, my 6 year old said, “Yeah Dad, you can get a bigger buck!”
I like to think I am raising them right!
A week later I found myself in another area hunting with my cousins. We looked over and walked a lot of ground to turn up a mature buck. We were finding ample deer and some really nice bucks that needed another year or two to grow into something really good! A questioned myself for not shooting a few of those bucks but knew next year they would be really good and they weren’t mature.
I had found a buck that I nicknamed “Goofy” who would be a great buck to take out of the herd. He was mature and obviously didn’t carry a prime genetic that we want in mule deer. After passing on six bucks that were borderline shooters I decided to pay “Goofy” a visit on the last morning of my hunt.
After locating the buck in a feeding area and watching the sun rise I waited for him to present a shot. Once he stood still long enough, I made a good shot from just under 500 yards to put him down.
Very happy with taking this old, mature buck!