Colorado, 2008, DIY, Private Land
In June of 2008, I was living in Missouri and enjoying hunting deer and turkey, with no idea what kind of opportunity was about to come my way. It was then that I received a phone call from a friend who had just gotten a job managing a ranch in Colorado. He was looking to hire a ranch hand and offered me the job. After a couple of days of thought, I decided to accept the offer.
After arriving at the ranch, I discovered archery hunting was allowed. Unfortunately, I was too late to apply for licenses that year. I bought an over-thecounter antelope tag and waited for the day the leftover deer permits went on sale. I spent most of my free time target practicing and checked the DOW website every day, impatient for the leftovers to be posted. When they finally appeared, there were no archery deer tags left over. Looking closer, I found there were some leftover rifle tags for the second season. I decided to buy one and hunt with my bow anyway. I hoped that with guns going off all around, I would be able to close the deal on a good muley with my bow.
As summer progressed, more and more bucks were drawn to our area. In one night, I counted 49 different bucks. Still, I told myself that I was not going to be too picky. I had never killed a mule deer and wanted to be successful on my $316 out-of-state tag. It seemed like my hit list grew with every evening of spotting. Little did I know that I never saw the biggest deer on the place.
On October 14, I was out scouting when I spotted a huge buck with a droptine. There were many deer out that morning, but this buck dwarfed all the others. I saw this buck every day until season and began to develop a plan of attack. Instead of taking the deer myself, my plan was to scout him for a hunter I would be guiding the first three days of season. I positioned a blind in a spot where we could access it undetected.
For a full account of Jake's adventure, go to page 32 in the July/August 2009 issue of Eastmans' Bowhunting Journal.