Going back to the muzzleloader hunt, Jessie Davis of Cedar City once again had a pretty good hunt, and I would again like to thank Jessie for sharing his experience with us. Did you have a chance to check out his story from last year? Jessie took one of the most amazing bucks I have seen for a general unit, be sure to check it out: http://www.suhuntandfish.com/2011/11/you-have-got-to-see-this-one.html
Jessie once again has been kind to write up his experience to share in his own words. We need to get him writing on the blog more often, I greatly enjoy the way he writes. Enough from me, let's get to Jessie's hunt!
Preparations for my 2012 deer hunt began this year when my brother, brother-in-law and myself took our first scouting trip during early July. We knew right off the bat that this would be a very promising year as we saw buck, after buck, after buck on our way up the mountain that day. By days end we figured we saw somewhere in the neighborhood of 45 bucks with the majority of them being fairly mature! One thing really had me excited though... The beautiful buck that was buddied up with my 2011 muzzleloader buck was back for another year right in the same spot! Then, as if that wasn't good enough another beautiful buck showed up with main beams that went on forever!
Many hours would be spent between now and the general season muzzleloader hunt analyzing, pondering, and stressing out about how we were going to put these guys on the ground. In the weeks to come we made many trips up the mountain and even though they would sometimes go a few times in a row without showing up we would see them more often than not. We were able to get a fantastic look at this new duo through our vortex spotting scopes. The buck from last year looked to be about 30 inches wide sporting 6 points on one side and 7 on the other. He had a very unusual antler configuration but was strangely symmetrical for such a crazy looking buck. The new kid in town looked to have a high 20's spread and was a 5 by 6 with hellacious main beams.
After watching their morning routine a few times we decided on a place to hang our tree stands which was right in the same place I made my shot last year. Our trail cameras picked up many smaller bucks in the area but we never were able to get a picture of the 6 by 7 on them and we didn't get a picture of the 5 by 6 until about a week before the hunt started. As the hunt drew closer and closer we still saw these two but they became much more mysterious and unpredictable after losing their velvet and becoming hard horned. The opener of the muzzleloader hunt greeted us with a full moon that hung around throughout the majority of the hunt causing the big pair to seldom show themselves during daylight hours. Though we paid our dues in scouting we never did get a chance to drop the hammer on either of these leviathans. The sun would set on our season leaving us without their horns on our wall but a lot of great memories of pre-season glassing, a few awesome trail cam pictures of the 5x6, and knowing that we have them to look forward to going after all over again next year.
I did manage to score myself a consolation prize in a nearby area with a beautiful 24 inch wide 4 point with a dropping main beam. I had positioned myself in a gully that we knew the bucks used as an escape route when a buck my brother and sister-in-law surprised in his bed, blew up and came running right in my direction with no idea that I was there. I drew a bead on his brisket as he came running at me head-on and discharged a 425 grain conical that hit right where I was aiming and dropped him in a heap. He wasn't near the buck we were after but he was a dandy nonetheless. I'm already anxiously awaiting the events to come forth next hunt and realize with much angst and frustration that 2013 is going to be a very long year!
Maybe he wasn't the one that Jessie was after, but what a buck none the less! Congratulations on another fine buck buddy, hopefully you can get that big fella next year!
Before we part, let's go ahead and choose a winner for the Shed Inc hat. We had 27 entries, 26 from Facebook and one from the blog. Mixing all entries together, the random number generator fell on lucky number 18, Trevor Frandsen. Congratulations Trevor! Be sure to get in touch and we will get this fine looking hat to you.
If you haven't entered yet, be sure to get in on the drawing for the Vortex hat! We will draw Monday evening, contest closes at 5 PM MST. Also, remember as the year winds down, we are also holding a Bucks, Bulls, and Fins photo contest for a pair of Vortex binoculars, as well as other great prizes. Check out previous blog posts for details, or and visit our Facebook page as well, www.facebook.com/suhuntandfish.