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Thread: My First Muley

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2018
    Location
    Langley
    Posts
    52

    My First Muley

    I have been a member of Hunting BC for two years now and have enjoyed reading other members hunting stories or countless tips. This is all much appreciated. As it is priceless for new BC hunters like me I would like to thank HBC community by sharing a story about my first mule deer ever; During my first hunting trip of the 2019 season, on September 14th.

    A few details about me first. I was blessed to grow up in the mountainous regions of Southeast Europe very similar to BC with mountains, lakes, canyons, alpine, and mountaineering and hunting since I was a kid. Most of my school breaks I spent at my grandfather’s farm in the mountains and listened to hunting stories, participating in wild boar and roe deer hunts. But, unfortunate events and civil unrest in the early nineties forced me to leave my old country and move to Canada. Since then, besides skiing and occasional fishing I had never found enough time for the outdoors and hunting.

    That all changed though with the birth of my son in Canada, he started showing the same love for the outdoors, hunting, and firearms in his early teen years. I tried to stall his desire and promised him when he turned 18 he may start hunting. As time flies fast, 2018 came around and we took our PAL and CORE courses together and started hunting as of 2018 hunting season.

    Our hunting trips took us to Hope, Boston Bar, Logan Lake, Merritt, Princeton and Rock Creek. All of the trips were great and a lot of bear and deer sightings, but not a single shooting chance. Ones I saw were mostly on private land and at the end of the season I was kind of worried, and maybe a little bit disappointed. At least I got a feeling of what to expect next year. We continued with preparations for the next season, kept visiting the gun range to gain confidence in our rifles and I kept reading this site for tips and other help. We hoped that 2019 season would be a better one and indeed we got lucky, we drew in the LEH for the Mule Doe draw in region 3 area. So, I was relieved that if I could not get a 4 point this season, we will probably have a good chance to fill at least one tag (And that doe is now in our freezer).

    Finally once the 2019 season rolled around, I decided to visit one of my previous locations from 2018 as I had some experience there. I decided to go to a spot in region 3, about a three and a half hour drive from my home. My son could not join me this time, as he was busy with school and work on the weekends, so I decided to do a day trip alone from Langley. This location was chosen because it was where I saw a huge buck previous season during the rut and the picture attached is from December 01 of 2018 describing this area where I spend 1.5 hours on that day.



    I could not believe that this deer was within a 150 yard area for that entire time and I did not see him! But, I could hear the sounds, like scrapes for a long time from spot 1 (Spent ~30 minutes); And during my two walks, 1 and 2. Then I stayed in spot 3 for another 45 minutes. Finally when I started hearing the crows I thought it may be just them and no deer at all, so I started moving more and less carefully as the temperature began to drop. At one moment I heard a loud noise nearby and turned to see what it was, I saw a male and female running on the ridge towards the top of the hill. I tried to shoulder my gun, but I hit a rock behind me with the barrel, giving the deer enough time to get beyond the tree line. Obviously my inexperience played a role, though I was sad to miss the opportunity, but also very excited to see a big buck.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2018
    Location
    Langley
    Posts
    52

    Re: My First Muley

    Sept. 14th
    This trip, I woke up around 2:45 AM picked the coffee and was on HWY 1 by 3:15. There was hardly any traffic on the road and the weather was rainy until I passed Larson Hill on HWY 5, where it became cloudy and no rain with wet soil perfect for hunting. I came to the spot around 6:30 AM and quickly ate the sandwich I had packed, I grabbed a small backpack, rifle and headed to the area I saw the deer. As soon as I was able to get into the open area with cut block, I stopped and started looking. One of the basic tips I found on this site was to glass and go carefully over the terrain. Although I thought it may be overrated, since I did not spot a sign of life, I still pulled out my Bushnell bino and started glassing the spot where I saw the big buck a year ago. After a couple of seconds, some strange ‘Tree trunk’ took my attention as it was slightly lighter in colour then the others, so I focused on that ‘trunk’ and realized it was moving. Suddenly it looked more like the rear of a mule deer and after a few more seconds he moved, showing his broadside to me. Now I was angry at myself, as I did not have a range finder and could not tell the exact range, I thought to use my scout tricks with fingers, but when this great opportunity presented itself I did not want to waste it. I estimated at least 500-600 yards and was only confident up to 300 yards, as this was the range I tested myself at the range. I decided to not shoot it and attempt to get closer, so there I was helplessly looking at how the deer was disappearing at the same spot exactly a year ago.

    If I made one mistake, I did not potentially want to make another one, someone wrote that mule deer do not travel that far; So I continued walking towards the top of the ridge, trying not to disturb him. The wind was blowing towards me and as I was approaching the top of the ridge, I came across fresh poop and bedding.




    At the top I realized that from a small groove at the top of the ridge, it was surrounded by another cut block about 70 yards wide. On the other side of the cut was recent growth and hard to hunt. My impression was that there was a deer hiding there, and I believed he couldn’t see me. I decided to head back to my car and try other areas first, and hope that the deer would move to a more accessible area during that time.

    After trying some areas and sleeping for a bit, I returned to the top of the ridge around 4:00 PM from the other side. As I was hoping to catch the deer on his way back to the ridge. This time the wind was to my back, but I was hoping that the deer was still far and this would allow me to reposition. Also I decided to leave one trail cam at the top as I was not thinking I will get another chance the same day.





    After setting camera on, as I was moving and making my way over a fallen tree, I made a noise and heard from my side a loud sound.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2018
    Location
    Langley
    Posts
    52

    Re: My First Muley

    There to my right I saw a deer jump about 30 yards below me at the edge of the forest! I was very excited, and I quickly cycled my x-bolt and saw the deer about 70 yards downhill from me. I took aim at his neck as he was very close to me and could easily make that shot, so I pulled the trigger. What followed next was nothing, no loud sound or kick that my 270 WSM normally makes. I couldn’t believe it, my firearm never misfired at the range. But then I noticed that I never chambered my round properly, that in my rush I did not pull back the bolt all the way and left myself with no round to fire.

    I quickly chambered a round and noticed he had gone under a small ridge on the neighboring hill, but he reappeared heading towards the top of that hill around 130 yards from me. As I was putting him in my crosshairs and all I could see was his rear, I did not want to miss my only chance and so I waited for a better shot. The buck finally moved his head slightly to the left uncovering his entire neck and head area, so with my crosshair roughly at 1 third from the top of his neck I fired. The rifle kicked back and the deer instantly disappeared from my view. I couldn’t understand what happened, how a buck could run the remaining 20 to 30 yards into the forest without be noticing him, and how I could not see anything on the ground either. So I made my way to the spot where the deer was last standing, regretting firing so early and not waiting for a better shot or not waiting to come another day.



    I approached the spot from 20 yards away and I see this sight, the buck did not escape into the forest behind. It dropped instantly in the spot where I shot it, I assume the 270 WSM bullet I fired instantly killed the deer. As it was getting late, around 5:45 PM, I made a couple of quick pictures and started butchering.



    First I cut neck to let him bleed, then carry on with a gutless method I had learned from google. I was experienced with butchering lambs before in a traditional way, so I was not entirely new to this kind of butchering. The only difference was the deer was considerably larger then anything I previously had butchered. Finally after two hours of hard work, all the meat was finally inside bags and all I had to do now was transport it to my car. With me all I had was a small day pack from Cabelas, which I had picked up on sale for $29, and to make life more difficult my rifle sling had broke earlier in the day. Carrying the deer head in one hand, a rifle in the other, and a rucksack filled with meat I made my way back to my car. I had to make two trips to take all the meat from the carcass all the way back to my car, fortunately the car was only a mile away and with this heavy load it took my about thirty minutes to walk tat mile. When I got to the car after the first trip, it was already near dark and I still had to go back and collect the rest of the meat.




    I did not want to travel without my rifle, as who knows what lurks in the night, so I was able to jerry rig a sling for my rifle and headed out for the rest of the meat. By 9PM I was all packed and ready, and by 10PM picked up a hot drink in Merritt and managed to get home by 1 AM the next day.


  5. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2018
    Location
    Langley
    Posts
    52

    Re: My First Muley

    I spent most of the next day cutting up the meat and putting it into a freezer, From 99 lbs. of meat I brought, after removing leg bones and fat 75 lbs. of lean meat was left.
    The day after that I enjoyed a nice bowl of deer goulash.






  6. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2018
    Location
    Langley
    Posts
    52

    Re: My First Muley

    After a month or so my antlers were all done.




    Thank you for reading and
    Happy 2020 to all of Hunting BC community

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    somewhere in time......
    Posts
    3,004

    Re: My First Muley

    Very nice! Thank you for sharing your adventure. Have a great New Year.
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 ​50 ........

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Posts
    5,240

    Re: My First Muley

    wooohooo........epic...thanks for that

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    An Island in the Pacific
    Posts
    8,500

    Re: My First Muley

    Loved that story! Good for you! Hope you are able to get one this season with your son along ... for young guys are excellent meat packers!
    I've sworn an oath of solitude until the pestilence is purged from the lands!

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    West Kootenays
    Posts
    880

    Re: My First Muley

    Thank you for your story. Your dedication and persistence were certainly rewarded. Nice buck, congratulations. And, Happy New Year !

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    123

    Re: My First Muley

    That's a good buck man. Love the bases.

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