February/March 2014 EHJ (Issue 141) - It was day 11 of the season and a lot of thoughts were going through my head. I had seen a lot of deer, but was I going to get one? Should I have shot the 4x4 I saw two days earlier? Many of the bucks I had spotted during this hunt were larger than any I had ever taken. Most would have been a trophy in my book, but I was trying to heed the advice of friends – wait for the snow to fall, let the rut really kick into gear and tag a really big buck.
Each time I went out I saw more and more deer. It was obvious that the migration was in full swing and the rut was indeed about to begin. Honestly, I was starting to get anxious and a little worried that I had already passed up one too many respectable bucks.
About the time my hopes were fading, I got a phone call from my buddy John in Bend, Oregon. We’ve hunted together many times in the past and adding John to the hunt was the extra motivation I needed to keep searching for a huge buck. With only a week left in the season, John wouldn’t be joining me for another full day, so I continued hunting on my own.
When I woke up that day, I was feeling a bit worn down from all the hunting and hiking, not entirely on top of my game. As I left the house a bit later than normal I remembered something a friend had told me recently.
My buddy Matt, a mountain biker, mentioned that one day earlier he had seen an unusual amount of deer tracks during his ride. Since I was really only planning to scout that day, I decided to take a quick detour and check out the area he rode in.
I drove up to the old logging road leading to the bike trail and parked at the locked gate. I had hunted here before but hadn’t been too successful, so I really wasn’t expecting much at all. I decided to go light and carried only my gun, a small backpack and binoculars.
Well, I hadn’t gone more than a halfmile past the gate before I saw a doe on the hillside above me – a good sign. I sat beside the road in the cold gravel and began scanning the terrain for other deer. There where mule deer all over the hillside above me. Several young bucks were chasing does.
For a full account of Lester's adventure, go to page 44 in the February/March 2014 issue of Eastmans' Hunting Journal.