December/January 2014 EHJ (Issue 140) - As we sat on the crest of a small hill in the eastern plains of Colorado glassing a vast sage brush bedding area, Scott spotted a good buck with a handful of does. We were hunting near agricultural land and the bucks were with the does as the rut had kicked in early this year. I was amazed at the body size of these animals. Being from Wisconsin we have some big deer but nothing like what I was seeing.
It was October 30th and day four of my hunt. We had seen plenty of good bucks and my hunting partner filled his tag on a really nice mid 180’s buck the day before. I was hunting with Scott Limmer of Comanche Wilderness Outfitters and to say Scott has the eyes of a hawk is an understatement. When Scott says, "That’s a good buck.” you better get ready because it’s a bona fide shooter.
Our area had received a couple of inches of snow the day before but it didn’t change much because of the drought conditions that persisted. We were having beautiful weather with plenty of sunshine and temps in the daytime topping out in the 60’s. I really enjoyed hunting in the mild weather.
As we were watching the small herd from our vantage point Scott said, "Now there’s a gift.”
Looking towards the direction he pointed, I could make out the body of a very large buck with a doe. It didn’t take Scott long to get his spotting scope on the big deer.
After several minutes of studying him he said, "New game plan. It’s the ‘Old Crab Claw’ buck that we had an encounter with on day two.”
On the second morning of our hunt Scott had located a dozen does with a giant buck sporting an impressive set of antlers and a massive body. Scott pointed out that he had a crab claw on his right front, which I thought looked cool. The terrain was quite open and as we stalked closer, we ran out of cover and one of the does spotted us and spooked the whole herd. As the big buck disappeared into the sage my heart sank. He definitely was the biggest live deer I had ever seen in 50 years of hunting.
With the thought of a repeat running through my mind, Scott assured me that we would have a better chance today because the big buck would have his guard down for the rut. The stalk was on. I took one quick look through the spotting scope and could hardly wait to get closer.
After watching them for a half hour they eventually disappeared into a small draw and never came out the other side. Scott was sure that they were bedded so we headed out. They were only about a mile away so it wouldn’t take long to cover the distance. With the wind in our face we moved fast.
As we closed the distance Scott crept up and spotted the bedded does. I chambered a round into my .257 Weatherby Magnum and Scott motioned closer for a better look.
For a full account of Greg's adventure, go to page 38 in the December/January 2014 issue of Eastmans' Hunting Journal.