2012 Tough Wife's Muzzy Hunt
Posted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 5:43 pm
Well this was one of the toughest hunts that we have ever done. Both emotionally and physically. The hunt started out with us hiking back into an area that we have previously hunted for my archery hunt but had been unsuccessful due to the open area that the bucks liked to hang out. We had backpacked in about 6 miles. My wife was a trooper and ended up packing in about a 40 lb pack. After arriving in our high country basin, we set up camp(where we would be staying for the next four days). Right away we spotted some of the big bucks that we had hunted on the archery hunt and soon we were making plans to get on them. On the hit list was an awesome heavy 3 point that was about 27' wide with dual kickers on his right side. Also along with him there were some very nice heavy 4 points all in the 26-28' range. Multiple other nice bucks were with them as well. But as fate would have it, everytime we would get set up on a buck or make a stalk on them they always managed to just stay out of muzzleloader range. One day we snuck as close as we could onto a big bedded 4 point but at 200 yds there was no way we could get closer. So we sat and waited for 5 hours while this buck slept away. We endured grueling winds, hail and a very uncomfortable seat on pointy rocks. When the buck finally decided to get up he started our way and we thought for sure this was going to be it. But bad luck happened and he fed the other way and out of range. We tried to hurry and get around the mountain to cut him off but ran out of light. This type of deal went on everyday for 4 days. My wife was such a trooper, she had huge blisters on the back of both her feet that made it painful to walk but everyday, she was like, maybe today we can get on them. Well, we were not able to make it happen this year in our spot but will be back next year for sure after having learned a lot about the area and how the bucks acted. So after leaving the backcountry we headed to our backup area where we had a decent 25' 4 point found. Now my wife has never shot anything bigger than a 3 point and all hers have only been like 18-20' bucks. So she was getting excited to maybe finally get that wall hanger. Well we hunted hard for another couple days, getting up early, glassing, hiking, etc. Well we finally spotted our backup 4 point and the hunt was on! (This is where the emotional draining part of the hunt comes) We were putting on the stalk on this buck and had been all alone on the mountain. Halfway up the ridge I noticed a truck about 800 yds away off the road stopped and had their spotting scope out and looking in our direction. I didn’t think much of it at the time. We continued hiking up the ridgeline up to a little saddle where we thought the bucks might have gone. We came up to the saddle and sure enough found the bucks about 150 yds away from us. We watched the bucks feed into a super thick patch about 250 yds away. Now my wife had forgotten her binos in the truck so I told her I would stay up on the ridge where I could see the bucks bedded and let her put on the final stalk with me giving her hand signals of how far to go, etc. Well the truck we had seen down low could now see me up on the ridgeline giving hand signals to my wife. (There was no possible way to see the bucks from where they were.) As my wife continued to make the slow stalk, the truck came flying up the road and then out of my sight. Well, to make the story quicker, the guy in the truck hurried and went above us and then hurried and cut across the sidehill to about 150 yds in front of my wife, who was just getting into shooting position. I did not see him but afterwards, my wife said she saw him pretty much running into position above her from a couple hundred yds away. In the process, he hit some rocks loose which spooked the bucks and my wife didn’t get a shot off, But as I watched the bucks just trotting along I heard a shot and thought, “Sweet! She got a shot off on them!” So I hurried and looked at her and noticed she didn’t have her gun up. That’s when I freaked out. I hurried and scanned the hillside and found the guy. He had shot our 4 point 100 yds in front of us. My wife walked back to me and was crying. The buck she had worked so hard for, and had put so much effort into getting now lay dead by some inconsiderate cheating hunter. No ethics whatsoever were in place as this guy watched us the entire time and then screwed up our hunt. To say I was upset, was a huge understatement. I was in shock that the buck we had been watching all summer was no dead and by methods that were so uncalled for. I didn’t dare go over to the guy for fear of losing it on him, so we left with huge disappointment and anger. We took the night off from hunting, but my wife said the next morning she wanted to go and try to get a deer. Well, luck was finally on her side and upon pulling up to our hunting area, just as it was becoming legal to shoot we spotted a little buck not far from us. He ended up stopping at 100 yds from us and gave my wife a perfect broadside shot. One shot and he was down! My wife was super happy. As we walked up to the buck, we realized this buck was earned by blood sweat and tears. He is not the big buck we wanted but he will mean a lot knowing what we went thru this year. Jerky and backstraps!