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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
This is my 4th year hunting big game, but, so far this year has topped them all! As most of you probably know I drew a dedicated hunter tag for the Manti unit We hunted the archery season but were unable to connect on anything and quite frankly I was a little discouraged and the amount/quality of bucks that we were turning up. I made some plans with work and i was able to get Thursday-Tuesday off for the muzzy hunt.

Thursday-Sunday
The first part of the hunt was pretty slow for us and we had a hard time finding deer in general. There were 2 highlights that stuck out to me. The first being Thursday morning we ended up spotting ten bucks. there was a couple of decent 3's and small 4's and my buddy was almost able to get a shot but some other hunters that were in the canyon kinda messed up our stalk and they ended up getting a shot but missed. The second was, my wife was able to come up for the Saturday Night hunt and we spent the evening looking over a nice canyon and I found a herd bull with some cows he was bugling his head off. We were able to watch and listen. We didn't see any deer but it was very fun to spend the night on the mountain with my wife.

Sunday Night.
This turned out to be a very interesting night. I ended up having to hunt alone this night and I made some decisions that I would probably rethink if I were to do it again. I got to the glassing spot around 5:45 and I spotted a buck around 6:30. He was a good 4 point and the best I had seen so far during the hunt and we had seen him during the archery hunt. He was way down in the bottom of a canyon a little under a half mile away and 800 feet of elevation drop between me and him but I decided to go for it. About 200 feet from where I was going to drop over the ridge and hopefully on top of the buck I found a landmark, grabbed my headlamp and dropped my pack. I went another hundred feet found a landmark and dropped my shoes. I ended up getting in above the buck and had him at 150 yards. The stalk to that point had taken me an hour and It was to dark to shoot. I waited till he was out of sight and snuck out hoping for another chance in the morning. here is where it gets interesting. The eclipse is pretty much in full force and everything looks different under just the light of the headlamp. I could not find my shoes. I looked for 20-30 minutes and was getting very nervous I was going to spend the night on the mountain. I finally found them but now could not find my pack. Again, I look for 20-30 minutes and finally locate it. My cousin, another member of the forum. Nocturnalenemy was supposed to be meeting me at the cabin tonight so I pulled my phone out to call him to tell him the situation and Its completely dead. I ended up getting back to the truck around 930 and luckily beat him to the cabin.

Monday
Me and Nocturnal make a plan to head to the canyon just west of the canyon I stalked the 4 point in the night prior. I end up locating a good three point, another one I stalked on the archery hunt, right at first light and we make a plan for nocturnal to make a stalk. As the buck fed his way towards the draw in the bottom of the canyon, he met up with the 4 point from the night before. nocturnal is about halfway into the stalk so I radio him to tell him the good news. With some luck, the plan almost worked perfectly! Just as the 4 point fed his way to the bottom of the draw, almost out of sight to me I hear a shot ring out and the buck jumps out of sight. At this point I'm blind to what is going on so I radio nocturnal. he had turned the radio off. I asked him if he hit him and I was answered by another shot ringing through the canyon. Once again I come on the radio with the same question and once again I am answered by the third shot. This time I wait for him to call me I was very anxious to hear from him. He came on with the words "I think I'm a horrible shot" My heart sunk a little but that is how it goes sometimes. He started the defeated hike back to the top. Even though he missed, it was a great experience for both of us. Monday night we drove some roads and glassed some canyons but we left the canyons we had been hunting alone for the night hoping they would settle down for the Tuesday morning Hunt. We turned up a couple of small bucks and finished the night watching a rutting bull run his cows around.

Tuesday The Last day is always killing day right?

Tuesday morning rolled around this was my sixth day of hunting and it was getting harder to wake up so we left a little later then normal. We made it to the trail head about six and made a plan to start at the canyon he had made the stalk in on monday. We were going to glass for 30 minutes or so and move down to the next canyon east, this is where I stalked the buck on Sunday night. We got to the glassing point and I spotted some deer at the top of the canyon about 200 yards away. One of the deer was a pretty good 3 point so I mad the decision to make a stalk. They were moving west pretty quick so I felt rushed and blew that stalk quickly. Shortly After that we moved to the next canyon. Right away I had spotted a buck in the bottom and nocturnal quickly followed up with finding three more just above him. One of them was the 4 point and nocturnal Informed me that it was my turn to go after him. I planned a different route this time. They were following the shade line, feeding slowly to the bottom. I made my way to the west side of the canyon, there is a draw that I knew I would be out of their sight and I could close some distance quickly without being seen. I stopped halfway down the canyon to glass and try to relocate the 4 bucks and plan my next move. I was only able to glass the 4 point and at this point he is about 100 yards from the bottom of the draw. There is a thick patch of aspens just on the other side of the draw at the bottom of the canyon that I know they bed in quite frequently. There is an opening about 50 yards wide between the bottom of the draw and the bedding area. I made the plan to get to the opening and hopefully cut them off and get a shot in the opening. I made it to the top of the opening and started glassing feverishly knowing they were close but not the exact location. I could not find them for a couple of minutes and became worried that they had given me the slip. Miraculously, I caught some movement at the bottom of the draw and had just caught the buck laying down in his bed. 2 things that are crazy about this. If I would have looked one second later I would not have seen him lay down, Second, he is now laying in the steep open meadow 150 yards below me. I cant see him but I know he is there. I decide on a rock that is about 50 yards away as a goal to stalk to. I make it to the rock undetected and sit down. I sit and wait for about ten minutes and decide to throw a rock in the trees to the left. My attempt was to get him to stand up or move up the west mostly open hillside and present a shot. He was not phased by the rock and stayed in his bed. I moved ten yards closer and attempted the rock throw again with the same results. I move to 75 yards above where he is bedded again I sit and wait for ten minutes or so seeing if he would stand up. I was getting nervous again that maybe he had slipped out undetected. After the wait I decide to throw another rock but this time closer to where he was bedded. IT WORKED!! 2 deer stood up and instantly took off to the east into the thick aspens. This is what I did not want to happen but luckily when the buck first got up he ran straight towards me and than cut east. He stopped in the trees about 30 yards away I took the shot and dropped him in his tracks! he slid about 30 yards to the bottom of the draw and was kicking so I shot at him again but missed. luckily he was dead about 5 seconds later. I was ecstatic!! I radioed nocturnal to tell him the good news! He hiked down to start quartering and boning for the pack out. I cut my self pretty good with the havalon during the process I ended up getting 4 stitches later that night at the instacare. I shot him at 930 we got the deer and all the gear out in one grueling trip and were back to the trail head around 330. This is the biggest buck we were able to turn up during all of scouting and archery season and he is my biggest buck to date! Needless to say I am very proud of him! Plus I have 100% success rate the last three years!! :D:D Big Thanks to Nocturnalenemy for all the help I could not have done it without you!!
 

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Great looking buck, nice job and congrats! And the finger-carving badge as well!

I've got that same scar just a little further up on the thumb, cut all the way to the bone cooking steaks for the family at our property down by Salina.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Nice work Brendo! Great buck! Nice havalon cut too. Chicks dig scars. That's why I cut myself twice this year. :cry:
Ha Ha that's funny cause its exactly what my wife said!

Nice buck. Sounds like you had a fun hunt! The conditions were harder this ML season, but sticking with it makes the result sweeter.
And, thanks for showing why Havalons and Pirantas and other razor knives are dangerous.
It was such a great hunt. The last couple years I have killed on the first day. I really just wanted to enjoy more time in the mountains and being able to follow a good buck and end up killing him was a bonus! If you use a havalon keep a good first aid kit handy for sure. I assume you don't use them?

Great buck Brendo! Looks like your persistence paid off big time! Congratulations.
Thanks! I really feel accomplished after this hunt! Seeing very little deer the first three days really takes a toll on you mentally!

And thanks to everyone else for the kind words.
 
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