Conflicted. That’s how I often feel when hunting mule deer. I’ve found two or three bucks so far this week that would be my personal best, but I’ve never killed a very large mule deer. I’d prefer to stalk a buck that’s a no brainer, but so far that one hasn’t showed up.
A very nice buck climbed over the ridge top when he heard my ATV arriving this morning. I doubt that he ever saw me, but he didn’t wait around for that. Later I spotted a group of four bucks feeding in a patch of serviceberry – the same four I briefly spotted on the first day. It turns out that one of them was a 150 buck with a very nice rack, but I couldn’t get fired up.
I watched them all morning and at noon I had to decide whether to go to town and get my truck fixed or hang around until late afternoon when he’d come out of his hole. Decided to get the truck fixed – so hear I am reporting in. (The truck is fixed.)
Yesterday was a lost day. The rancher who owns the property next to where I’m hunting, gave me a hot tip and after a day of eating dust and getting frustrated, all I came up with was a very large burn (nothing but grass and dead junipers for miles) and an active gold mine. Stopped to glass in what appeared to be an out-of-the- way spot and within minutes two big trucks cruised by.
I arrived back in my original camp site in the dark, but at least it was peaceful. Saw some other hunters, but mostly it’s quiet out there. They were camped on a ridge about two miles away. Spotted them when I reached the top of the ridge at about 8,000 feet. That’s almost as high as these mountains get.
Got the truck fixed and picked up some better maps at the Elko BLM office.
Still seeing about ten deer each day, but not a wallhanger yet. If nothing bigger shows up I’ll go for a two footer.