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Old 11-08-2017, 10:06 PM
JTRED JTRED is offline
 
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Location: Central Kootenays BC
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Default Mountain Mule Deer

My mule deer drought is finally at an end. Four years of just not quite pulling the trigger, just can't quite make out if he's a 4-point, in the right spot just not quite the right time, won't step clear of the willows covering everything. Finally this past Saturday a really nice 5x3 stepped into my scope.

It was a perfect day to be up on a mountain overlooking Kootenay Lake, snowing but not hard enough to restrict visibility, steady breeze but not too strong and temperature hovering around 0 C. I was hunting a new area that I didn't have any expectations of. I left the truck just shortly before daybreak and hadn't walked 5min before I was running into does, I bumped 4 does off my friends lane way where I was parked. His new property backs onto crown land and just happens to have a cutblock across the mountainside behind his land. By crossing his property I am able to hunt the area without having to first drive through it.

I spent the next six hours slowly making my way up the ridge skirting the south side of the block watching numerous small groups of does feed and bed all across the hillside. One small buck(regs here require us to only shoot 4-point or bigger) and a small herd of elk round out my morning. Lots of activity to keep a guy interested.

Around 1:30pm I decided to make way north across the cut and slowly circle my way back to truck. Half an hour later I spot a doe, she quickly becomes two, followed shortly by a third. Number four appears and the fifth takes some finding. Six and seven appear out of nowhere and right behind them is the buck. It's steep uphill with little cover no way to shoot prone or even sit and besides it's just too far. So despite really wanting to shoot I could only watch them as they slowly fed across the mountain, not really getting farther away but not getting any closer either. So as soon as they disappeared into a hidden ravine I scrambled uphill as quickly as I could towards where I thought they might come out. I cut the distance by 150-200m and was scouring the area where I thought they should be when I just happened to glance up and to my right to see the whole group staring down at me from a very steep section of the mountain. How they got there so quickly I couldn't guess. The buck is sort of just milling through the herd while some feed and others take turns keeping an eye on me. They're approximately 180-200m away so I get set up on my shooting stick and follow the buck in my scope as he's making his rounds.

He just won't step clear, every time it looks like he'll be clear another doe moves in front or crosses behind him. This goes on for a while. Finally it looks like he's going up and will clear the does and be in a good spot for me, but no he wheels around and heads very steeply downhill almost straight for me. A lot went through my mind right about then 1)he's at a terrible angle for me to shoot 2) he's going to clear the does 3) he's going to disappear from view into the ravine and never be seen again in about 1/2 a second. I watched him stagger after I squeezed the trigger and then he was out of sight.

The does were not concerned at all as I made way up and across to where I watched him go out of sight. For those who have not hunted mule deer in the mountains before, 200m away is not 200m of walking. Steep loose shale, logs and debris from logging hinder every step. When I got up to him I had to finish him, I hate that part when I haven't done my job properly and my shot doesn't kill instantly. He ended up sliding and tumbling down hill for quite a ways, helped me out since that is exactly the direction he had to go. What a beautiful animal to end my four year curse with. A big bodied 5x3 with lots of character.

It took a bit of work to get him down the mountain and into my woodshed but it all worked out. It was a great hunt on a spectacular early winter day in the Kootenays. The rifle I was using is my 25-06rem shooting Federal Premium 115gr Nosler Partitions. I'll try again tomorrow to upload a couple of pics, stay tuned.
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Old 11-09-2017, 06:28 AM
Norwest Alta Norwest Alta is offline
 
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Great contribution. Thanks
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Old 11-09-2017, 11:16 AM
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thumper thumper is offline
 
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It's not often you can slide your mule DOWNHILL to the truck - whether in the mountains or on the prairie. Well done! And figuring out your strategy, doing the entire process solo, in a mountain setting - is magical.

Thanks for taking the time to articulate your experience so well. Looking forward to the photos!
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Old 11-09-2017, 12:36 PM
Benelli1 Benelli1 is offline
 
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Well written story of your memorable hunt, thanks for posting.
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Old 11-09-2017, 05:22 PM
JTRED JTRED is offline
 
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Location: Central Kootenays BC
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Default Mule deer pics

DSCF1666.jpg

DSCF1668.jpg

Here's the pics I promised.
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Old 11-09-2017, 05:28 PM
Sooner Sooner is offline
 
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Nice buck, congrats
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Old 11-09-2017, 05:31 PM
DRhunter DRhunter is offline
 
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Great deer and story. Thanks for sharing


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Old 11-09-2017, 06:13 PM
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alpineguy alpineguy is offline
 
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Very nice post and buck......thanks.
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Old 11-09-2017, 09:12 PM
bakerman bakerman is offline
 
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Nice buck. great post.
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Old 11-10-2017, 09:53 AM
HIGHLANDER HUNTING HIGHLANDER HUNTING is offline
 
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congrats on a great hunt.
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Old 11-10-2017, 09:56 AM
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Flight01 Flight01 is offline
 
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Very cool. Iím a p7 for mule deer and not sure which part of Alberta to hunt
Have always favoured the mountain hunt.
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Old 11-10-2017, 12:10 PM
cdales cdales is offline
 
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Awesome! Those MTN Muley hunts are a whole new level compared to the prairie. That is an awesome story and a great looking buck. Congrats.
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Old 11-10-2017, 02:54 PM
Bigwoodsman Bigwoodsman is offline
 
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I love the Mountain Mule Deer, they are a hard animal to hunt. You Sir have a nice animal on the ground, a real beauty, a one-of-a-kind trophy.

Thanks for posting and sharing the pictures.

BW
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Old 11-10-2017, 05:31 PM
Slicktricker Slicktricker is offline
 
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Beautiful deer man congrats
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Old 11-10-2017, 05:56 PM
JTRED JTRED is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flight01 View Post
Very cool. Iím a p7 for mule deer and not sure which part of Alberta to hunt
Have always favoured the mountain hunt.
The only thing that would have made the hunt even more perfect is if I had got him on one of my backpack trips into the mountains. My hunting partner and I usually pick an alpine lake with cutthroat and spend a few days hunting the high country in the early morning then a couple of hours fishing for our supper. Followed by an afternoon/evening hunt. There are so many spots we can choose from that are within three hours drive and then hike in 3-5km. Mountain hunting just does it for me. My partner sometimes packs a shotgun for blue grouse, we eat like kings. Cutthroat stuffed with huckleberries and garlic with a starter of blue grouse kebabs marinated in spices and scotch. Shooting a mountain mule deer is just icing.
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Old 11-10-2017, 06:57 PM
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fingershooter fingershooter is offline
 
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Great story. congrats and thanks for posting
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