November 2013 EBJ (Issue 80) - I started bowhunting in 1982 at the insistence of a good friend in Utah, Russ Bradshaw. Russ was as passionate as I am about hunting, but he was a bowhunter. Russ’s descriptions of seeing big bucks in herds in the summer range intrigued me enough to give it a try.
We both served missions in Asuncion, Paraguay. I returned to the U.S. in June and Russ beat me home by a few months. The bowhunting season was less than two months away and Russ made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. He told me to buy the best bow I could afford along with arrows and other necessities, and if I didn’t LOVE bowhunting he would buy all of the stuff from me, tax included. I took him up on it and never looked back.
I had to work late the day before the archery opener, so after work I threw all my new gear in my truck and headed up into the mountains to meet Russ at his camp. Unfortunately, I got lost and never found him; I just slept in the back of my truck and decided to hunt an area where I had seen a couple of nice bucks the night before. At first light, I had bucks all around me. I didn’t get one, but I was hooked.
More than 30 years have passed since that day and the passion hasn’t died. In 2012, due to a three-month sabbatical we had at work, Grant and I planned to hunt mule deer in three states – Nevada, Utah and Colorado.
The Nevada archery hunt started in early August. Due to the dry spring, the quality of the herd was down significantly. In prior years, there was the possibility of 190-inch bucks, maybe even 200. But, this year was tough. I had a few good stalks in nine days of hunting, but did not have a chance to harvest a quality buck.
Grant also had a few good stalks. One hot afternoon, he saw a nice buck come down from the high-country to water. He figured that the buck would bed near the same spot after watering, so Grant positioned himself to intercept him going back to bed. Instead, the buck headed another direction but Grant made a great stalk to get to within bow range and a heavy 175-inch 4x4 with eye guards was his.
We also got to hunt with our friends Randy Ulmer and Shawn Lytle. Despite the fact that no one else saw a decent buck, Randy managed to take a buck well over 200 inches. Randy is an amazing bowhunter and really fun to camp with. Although I didn’t get a buck, I thoroughly enjoyed my first Nevada deer hunt.
For a full account of Brett's adventure, go to page 22 in the November/December 2013 issue of Eastmans' Bowhunting Journal.