Wyoming, 2008, DIY, Public Land
It was October of 1984, and I had a bighorn sheep license. We had been looking down into a large alpine basin with scattered clumps of krumholtz for 45 minutes when a whopper of a mule deer buck appeared below us working his way up. Luckily, I also had a deer license and deer season was open, so I quickly forgot about rams.
We watched the buck disappear into a clump of krumholtz, but he never came out. There had been a light snow the night before, but it was a bright sunny morning, and the wind was right, with just a small breeze blowing up toward us. We decided to sneak down on the buck and get a shot at him when he came out.
Quickly, we formulated a plan. Barry, my hunting buddy, would stay up high in case the buck circled around me. Plan or no plan, neither of us ever saw the buck again. I found where he came bounding out of his bed, but they are masters at using the terrain and vegetation to conceal their escape. He disappeared, unseen and unheard. I did get a nice ram that year, but my thoughts kept going back to that big buck. I was hooked.
Now it was November of 2008 and I had a limited quota deer permit. My best friend and hunting buddy since he was about ten years old, my son Wade, was with me.
I had this same permit eight years ago and saw several bucks but none the size that we were looking for. It had snowed like mad that year and even with all four tires chained up we couldn’t get to a lot of places we wanted to. This year we decided to start hunting when the season first opened, which gave us more options.
We had been hunting for two days and had been seeing lots of does and some small bucks but nothing worth taking a shot at. With cow elk season and deer season being open in our area, there were plenty of hunters out.
For a full account of Jim's adventure, go to page 37 in the August/September 2009 issue of Eastmans' Hunting Journal.