November/December 2011 EBJ (Issue 68) - Hunting mule deer has always been a tradition in our family. My dad was never a trophy hunter, he just enjoyed getting out there with family and friends - we had a huge deer camp and that’s the way most everyone hunted back then. The equipment we had was very limited, two-wheel-drive trucks, poor optics, old leather boots and clothes that absorbed more water than they repelled. However, after all these years, three memories from back then stand out - we were always cold and wet, most of the big deer got away, and we learned to love hunting mule deer together.
In the early 1970s, I spent most of my time following my older brother, Donnie, around. He was a trophy hunter, willing to work hard, and walk all day searching for big bucks. I was right on his heels trying to learn everything I could from him and when I finally reached the legal age to hunt, the mule deer hunting in our area was sub par. It seemed like we had to hunt harder to find big bucks and when we did, I would almost always find a way to mess it up. By the early 80s, deer herds dropped, regulations changed and most of the big hunting camp family traditions were gone.