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Mar/Apr 2011 EBJ (Issue 64) - I was highly anticipating my 2010 hunting season. We had hunted deer the previous season and encountered a lot of younger bucks in the area and were really excited to draw deer in Wyoming again, knowing the bucks had grown a year older and that much bigger.
We went on a nine-day backpack trip in July to help get in shape for our hunt in September, and we also packed into our hunting spot to scout for animals. We saw a lot of nice bucks - a couple of which were exceptional - making us anxious to get in there and hunt. My dad, Bill, is a Wyoming resident and was excited we drew tags so we could be in hunting camp with him again.
In August, he went in to scout and set up our base camp. He saw numerous really nice bucks and a very wide buck that was truly impressive. Later, on August 31, four of us – Dad, me, my wife, Janet, and a friend, Josh - all packed in to set up camp and scout that evening. We went several directions and saw numerous nice bucks, so we were ready for season to start that next morning.
Opening morning found the weather clear but with a storm moving in. I went up to my favorite glassing spot to see what was out and worth going after. The previous year I was looking for a monster and had a lot of close encounters, but I never saw anything big enough. I have taken two 200-inch-plus bucks, so I was looking for something bigger or more unique before I would fill my tag.
I glassed numerous groups with small bucks, but there was one group of five with two nice bucks in it. One stood out as being a really wide buck that I thought had five points on one side. As I was watching them and glassing other deer, I noticed two other hunters in camo making a stalk on that group of bucks. Watching them for several minutes, I saw them sneak to a small clump of trees but they ran out of cover. I was about a mile away and having trouble getting a good look at the buck because the storm was moving in and it had started to snow. It was hard keeping track of where the bucks were feeding and where the hunters were. The hunters finally retreated back to their horses while the bucks still fed unaware.
Since they were so far away, I kept trying to decide if he was big enough to go after. The group of bucks kept feeding toward some northfacing timber, which would put them in good position for a stalk. I finally decided he was worth a closer look, so I headed in that direction. Halfway there, I had to cross an open ridge that made me visible to the buck, so I had to move very slowly when the bucks were behind trees. There was also a group of nine bucks that would see me no matter what, but if spooked they would go a different direction, so I wasn’t worried about them.
For a full account of Rob's adventure, go to page 18 in the March/April 2011 issue of Eastmans' Bowhunting Journal.