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Home / Zach Knowles / The buck with 9 lives

The buck with 9 lives

January 19, 2016
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I first found this non typical buck the second week of November while looking for a whitetail for a client. I glassed this buck up and after looking at him, I asked the hunter if he’d like to upgrade and kill him. He said that he didn’t want to but he knew his friend, who was also in camp and hunting on another part of the ranch, would definitely want to take him. I left the hunter there to watch the buck and I went to get his friend. By the time I found him and got back the buck had fed into a deep, thick canyon and we couldn’t pick him back up. We looked for him the rest of the day with no luck. I went back in the next morning and immediately found the buck feeding on the opposite side of the canyon from us. We snuck down and got into position for a shot. Over the next 5 minutes, 9 rounds were fired with none of them connecting. There was a fairly strong crosswind that I believe had a lot to do with it. We looked for the buck for the next two days but couldn’t ever find him again. I continued looking for him over the next 6 weeks with no luck. I could always find the other bucks that he was with, but not him. I stated to get worried that maybe one of the shots had hit him and he was dead somewhere. I watched the footage at least a hundred times and finally convinced myself that there was no way he was hit. Finally on the 15th of December, I glassed the buck up fighting with a smaller buck about a mile from where I had seen him last. With only 30 minutes of daylight left and a mile to cover, the hunter and I took off after him. The last 500 yds was really steep and when I made it to the top I had the buck at 180 yds feeding. Over the next 5 minutes that it took the hunter to reach me, light faded and he couldn’t find him in the the scope when he got there. Once again, he’d gotten away. I looked for him for two more days with no luck. I went home for Christmas and got back on the 26th to start hunting on the 27th. The hunter was stranded in Midland for 2 days in a blizzard and didn’t make it in until the afternoon of the 29th. He quickly changed clothes and we headed out to glass the last few hours of light. I drove to the rim of the canyon where I’d seen the buck 15 days earlier and within 10 minutes I found him rutting does directly below us at 360 yds. We quickly set up for a shot and after one well placed round from my .300 Win Mag (his gun was lost by the airlines) the buck was down! The hunter couldn’t have been happier with him and I was so excited to finally put my hands on this buck after chasing him for 2 months!

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About Zach

Zach Knowles

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My Bio

Zach Knowles is a professional outfitter and guide as well as doing contract camera work for an outdoor television show in some of the most extreme destinations anywhere in the world. He thrives in the harsh places and isn't afraid to take on any challenge in any terrain. Zach’s family has been in the hunting and outfitting business since he was a small child and he spent a lot of his young years in Saskatchewan where his father outfitted 70+ deer and bear hunts a year. At 12 years old Zach harvested an elk, mule deer, and antelope on a trip to Wyoming and it was then that his love of the mountains and western hunting was born. Since then he has gone on to guide and harvest many more animals from Alaska to Mexico, to the Middle East. He owns and operates Xtreme Outfitters, running 60+ whitetail, mule deer, mountain lion, and sheep hunts a year. When he’s not guiding or hunting for himself, you'll find him in the team roping arena or at the ranch taking care of his commercial cow herd.