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I finally have time to write up about my hunt.
After my oldest boy decided he wanted to go out with his girlfriend to for opening weekend I was set to go out on a lone hunt. This isn't abnormal and I don't mind hunting alone one bit. But I now have a girlfriend who doesn't like it, so she decided she was going to come along on her first ever hunt!
Hunting the Wyoming line can be fun and frustrating at the same time. I had scouted out four bucks I wanted to get in my sights, but the biggest was one that would go back and forth over the state line. Unfortunately that first weekend he never came into Utah. So I hunted a couple other areas and got on a couple bucks. One of which I almost shot, but it being day 2 it didn't happen. First weekend had me looking at a total of 17 different bucks, 4 of which were in the ending weekend shooting class. She had a great time because all we did was watch animals. She loves the spotting scope and seeing what they do when they don't think anyone is watching.
I had to go back for a couple days to take care of some work issues and ended up going back up on Thursday to hunt the final four days. Thursday was somewhat frustrating as the bigger bucks seamed to have disappeared. I had hoped they weren't all shot or spooked into Wyoming never to be seen again during the hunt. Friday morning came after a long night because of a moose that wanted to play in the river for a few hours right below our tent. Sun coming up we were on the edge of a large spread of sage brush that led up into the quakies. Off to the west one of the smaller bucks with a couple does came out of the trees and made their way down in front of us. No way I was shooting what looked to be a 2nd year buck. Once again she was enjoying the spotting scope, when she says do you see the ones to the south east? So I put my binos on what was coming down into the sage. He had 9 nine does with him and a thick rutted up neck. At first I couldn't tell what his horns were looking like because his face was so dark and still early morning light. He turned to the side and back the other way and it was a buck I hadn't seen in five scouting trips. My blood started pumping faster and knew I had to try and get closer for a shot. There were two small pines between me and him to get closer. The initial range was just over 800 yards. Well outside of my comfort range. I've become accustom to using my dads rifle since he passed and am comfortable with it out to 400 yards. So I told my girlfriend to stay put and just watch what he is doing. (This turned out to be a mistake) I started doing my creeping down behind one of the pines and ranged it at just over 500 yards. Getting better, but not where I wanted to be, so I started to go for the last pine that will give me cover. By the time I got to the pine, all eyes were on me so I stayed put for a few minutes to let them call down. Didn't work so I ranged them and 443 yards with no shot because of all the does around. This was going to be as close as I was going to get so I set up on my sticks and got my cross hairs on his shoulder waiting for a shot to be available. When all of a sudden She tries to whisper something to me from behind me. All of the does then take off and I figured I wouldn't get a shot. The buck just quartered to me and stood there. I couldn't believe it! So with a slight squeeze I fire off a shot, it sounded like a canon going off because of all the echoes! Then SLAP! Hit him right where I was aiming! He hunched up and started to scoot! He couldn't keep up with his does and turned towards the trees and stopped. So I put another one in him to put him down. Another good hit. The dang thing started walking slowly to the trees and made it into them. So my girl comes down the hill and sits next to me with huge tears in her eyes! She watch the entire sequence of watching the body get hit with the bullet and the blood start coming out. I asked her why she watched, and she said because I told her too! My bad! She says, it's a good thing you eat them or I would be pissed! So down the hill we go, pick up the blood and find him about 15 yards into the trees. three holes through the lungs with no expansion at all from the slug. I will NEVER use a corelokt bullet again for anything other than coyotes. All in all a great and fun hunt having waited for 9 years to draw. He is now at the taxidermist and wants to use him in a couple shows next spring so we will see how it turns out!
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