Colorado, 2009, DIY, Private Land
I grew up in eastern Colorado where my folks had a dryland wheat farm and also ran a small herd of cattle. We lived in the same yard with our grandma and grandpa. With a cow to milk, hogs and chickens to tend, there were chores every day. Hunting, however, was just a natural part of our lives. There were a lot of jackrabbits, pheasants, prairie dogs, coyotes and an assortment of other critters to help kindle a passion for hunting, and Dad did a great job of teaching us how to hunt.
My two brothers and I still have the farm. We no longer have the cows; the ground is now in wheat and CRP. Over the years, a nice herd of mule deer have moved into our area and they are a welcome sight.
In the spring of 2009, I drew a late season license in our area. Opening day would be December 1. I contacted my nephew, Darrin Imhof. He and I have done a lot of hunting together over the years, and he was as excited as I was.
The rut starts in November, so our scouting began then. In the pre-rut period, we glassed from far away, spotting young bucks with the does. They had great potential, but wouldn’t be the main players in this game.
Darrin and I were making rounds one morning and glassing the CRP. We had a wet spring and summer, so the grass was five feet tall. This was great cover, but made locating deer a real chore. We would look for does and when we found them, we would set up our spotting scopes. Find the does and you’ll find the bucks.
While glassing, a buck lifted his head out of the grass for just a second. Not wanting to believe what I’d just seen, I told Darrin. He set up his scope said, “That’s a freakin’ monster!”
For a full account of Stanley's adventure, go to page 26 in the June/July 2010 issue of Eastmans' Hunting Journal.