2014 Archery Mule Deer Pt. 1


Veteran member
Dec 15, 2011
Carlin, NV
This season started off with a bang…….15 yards to a buck and my bow aiming right at his vitals! Then, with arrow in flight, the good Lord stuck a twig in front busting my arrow in two and a decent buck trotting off. Well……isn’t that just GREAT!!!! In all reality, it was amazing. How I did not see that twig sitting there can only be chalked up to buck fever. Pretty hard to hold my composure at 15 yards, his eyes wide, my eyes popping out of my face. You gotta love it!!!

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These 2 pictures was taken from approximately 400 yards away through my spotting scope.

The next encounter found me approximately 100 – 125 yards away from a better bedded buck, marked perfectly by a quaking aspen growing out of the sagebrush. I decide to drop my pack and creep along the tall brush down this corridor to get with 50 or so then set up and wait for him to arise. About the time I get moving, down the main road comes a UTV with two occupants screaming and hollering, have a grand ole time. Now, sometimes during scouting, I too have had that kind of fun….normally alcohol induced but fun just the same so I couldn’t be mad now. Even though it was archery hunting season and these gents seemed to be all camo-ed up. Anyways, all I could think was “Please don’t turn down this road…..please don’t turn down this road”!! You see, there is a road only 70 yards or so away from me and the bedded bucks along the finger. To my surprise, they kept going straight. Sweet!! As I gather myself to continue this stalk, I see these good ole boys turn around…..F***!!! Sure as shit, they turned around and are heading for this road. As they were turning off the main road onto this road, the driver must not have seen the huge washed out ditch!! Clang, clang…..”Holy Shit, you almost f***ing killed me” came spouting out the passenger’s seat…..”Did you see that motherf***ing ditch….hahahaha”!!!! This is all I will here for what seemed like an eternity. Now for those of you good with distances, this talk was heard clear as a bell from approximately 800 – 1000 yards away. By no surprise, my prey is now standing and watching this fiasco go down as well. I am too far for a shot, so all I can do is watch these bucks and see what they do. Maybe these nutty folks will push them up to me! But, instead of coming up to me, they beeline for a small quakie stand between me and the road this gents will be travelling. I laid low as possible, hid my pink fletching to the best of my ability, and watched this too hoot and holler up the road only 15 yards above the watching bucks and 70 yards from me laying easily visible. They go by and the deer begin to feed within the quakies. As I listen to the gents talk about this that and the other, I slowly start sliding down the hill, trying to get closer to the edge of the trees. I can visually see the bucks feeding about, so I take my time and try not to make sudden moves draw attention. I get to within 60 yards or so of the tree line when I hear my good friends that just went by “There ain’t no f***ing deer up here, let’s go back over to that one spot!” Again, imagine these words clearly spoken and heard…….now imagine this clown saying this not 800 – 1000 yards away, but from a fairly big hill that has to be all of 1500 or more yards away. I could barely hear the engine of his UTV but his voice very clearly. So yet again, I listen to them talk off the hill, drive by at an elevated position from me at 60 yards and couldn’t been more than 10-15 yards from the 3 bucks. I can even swear that the passenger looked directly at me and didn’t know I was there or say anything.

Oh well, nothing really hurt other than they got my prey up before he or I wanted him to get up. So again, I am watching from 60 yards as they feed. They start moving up to my level of the hill. To my left, the tree line will run out, so the buck will have no choice but to come out in the open. Directly in front of me is a line of 10 – 15 feet of antelope brush. While on my butt or knees, I cannot see through or over these bushes, so I decide they will be good cover to slide over and get me a view of the end of the trees. While moving the bow I somehow must have put my broadhead too high in the air and I get busted. Not sure if it shined or if he say me, but when I got to a little opening to see him, he is staring my position down like a hawk. I am still behind the antelope brush, so I think if I chill long enough, he will lose interest and continue about his feeding. Well of course that isn’t the case, he continues to stare for what seemed like 45 minutes but in all reality must have been 4 or 5. He figures if he snorts real loud and obnoxiously, I will make a move. Well it almost worked, cause when I heard it I shook like a leaf in the wind!!!!

While watching through the antelope brush, this buck comes from within the edge of the trees and starts stomping and snorting up the hill towards me. He is moving to my right, getting closer to the big opening where I would have an opportunity at a shot. I am able to range kind of sort of through the brush, but it will not give me a reading of him, just the quakies behind him. It reads 63 yards, so I am guessing him between 50-55. Of course, he doesn’t continue into the opening but stops short. Being the novice archer that I am, I am running through my mind what I need to do. Do I what him out longer? Do I draw, stand, and possibly get a shot? Seemed like eternity has passed, so I decide I’m going to draw then stand. Right as I start, the buck snorts extremely loud and bolts along with his 2 little buddies. Soooooo close yet sooooooo far away!!! Gotta love public land archery hunting!

The following weekend found me camped near a mountain I have never truly hunted. Just been up on it a couple of times and seen plenty of deer. Even saw a good looking buck running with 4 others on the opening Sunday, so I figured I would give it hell for a weekend. Friday morning was a little chilly, but not unmanageable. I get up, do my morning dues, and start gathering all my gear for an ATV ride. I grab my bow and went to grab the quiver of arrows. Okay……..not in the front seat like before, must of put it in the back. Hmmmm, not sitting on the back seat……..I know, slid it under the seat. Well slap me silly, not under there either. FORGOT MY QUIVER AT HOME!!! Now….. I can go hunting with a bunch of loose arrows out of the truck or run home and get my quiver. I opt to run home, so there goes a perfectly good morning of hunting.

As I am heading back out, I see a fairly nice buck feeding not too far from the main road. At the same time, I think he sees me too, so he feeds up and over the finger. Not knowing what the other side looked like and the wind blowing completely wrong, I opted to head back to camp and get ready for the evening hunt. Well the wind picked up, I’m talking 50mph plus, so that squashed that evenings hunt.

When I got up the next morning, the outside temp had to of been -354 degrees. That might be a bit of an exaggeration. But, when I turned the truck on, it did read 14 degrees. Anything below freezing is all the same, miserable. I didn’t expect that type of temps in the middle of August, so my wood stove was at home. In addition to the freezing temps, the wind was blowing and it was raining. I jumped in the truck just the same, hoping by light it will have burned off. It did, and I proceeded to find 6 deer all leaving the country due to coyotes.

Speaking of coyotes……those little bastards kept me up all night. Hooting and hollering from all different directions. I even know one had to get within 20 yards of my tent before he sang out. He must of known I didn’t have a spot light, cause if I did my 9mm Beretta would have be barking at 1 in the morning.

So lack of deer, me not prepared for the weather, and the next day being my birthday, I opt to pick up camp and go home. This was a bad weekend of hunting.

Next weekend found me camping at a familiar spot along the Charleston Rd. A year earlier my good friend took me to a new area and we saw amazing country and some good bucks. I expanded the area that season, and found a perfect spot that doesn’t appear to be hunted much, if at all. Last season I made a good stalk on a bedded buck, only to be busted by his little buddy at 20 yards. The good buck never stopped to give me a good shot, even though when he did I flung an arrow just cause. Shot was entirely too far for even a seasoned archer, but I figured what the hell.

So this time, I am up on my perch just before shooting light. I sit and watch for an hour or so when I come across a good solid 4pt........

Continued on Pt. 2