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Thread: The Gulley Buck - Youth Opener

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Kamloops
    Posts
    106

    The Gulley Buck - Youth Opener

    The Gulley Buck


    Hey gang. I’d love to share a story with you. My 14 year old son Mason and I just returned from our annual father-son youth hunting trip. We like to camp the September long weekend together and take advantage of the youth season here in region 3 where we live, which permits him to harvest any buck.


    Mason has been quite successful since getting his CORE in 2021. He has harvested a mule deer, California bighorn ewe and a black bear. To be honest, his trophy room is more impressive than his old man’s, but nonetheless, he still lets me take him out hunting😀


    I took Friday off of work. We got camp setup Thursday night to be out at first light for the opener on Friday morning. This would be our second camp in our homemade hunting rig which is a 14’ enclosed trailer I converted. It’s the first time however that I loaded the quad into it. It worked as it should and tows nicely.












    It was apparent right away that it will be a good year for grouse. We counted probably 75 over the weekend. Coincidentally enough, I happened to buy a brand new 20 gauge over under shotgun earlier this year. Me thinks it’s going to be a lot of fun.


    Mason and I had seen lots of does, and does with fawns over the weekend. We hunted hard early mornings and evenings. We were surprised to have not seen a buck with the amount of deer we were coming across. It was last light Saturday evening that we spotted a buck. Best we could tell it was a tall spike. Even at that, the distance and light couldn’t give clear confirmation to what we were looking at. What we did know was that we would be back at first light.


    The particular area where we had been seeing good deer action was a large field with a bit of a gulley and wet spot just outside the tree line. This is where we wanted to setup as it’s where we saw the buck the previous night. Upon returning at first light, Mason spotted a couple of does entering the field a long ways away. I then spotted a deer outside the tree line we were focusing on and mentioned to Mason that this one could be interesting and for him to have a closer look. Well, he just about jumped up and down while telling me it was a 3x3! Upon closer inspection it wasn’t a 3x3 but it was however, bigger that the other two 4x4’s he was with! Holy Jeebus, this is fun now!




    Mason and I spend some quality time at the range. Just recently we’ve worked on stretching out his shot with confidence. We’ve found that prone is the most solid rest and he is comfortable to 150m. We haven’t practiced farther so that is the comfort level at this point. And when I say comfortable, I mean the kid knocks our homemade steel deer silhouette with 6” vitals all day long. The kid shoots better than I do, but again, he lets me tag along.


    The most impressive buck of the three was in the little gulley feeding. We weren’t positive of the antler configuration but he was tall and wide. The ‘Gulley buck’ was the one Mason was most interested in. Upon seeing the bucks, we crept as close as we could. The dang does they were with wouldn’t let us get closer than 225m. Mason was prone and ready but they never offered a quality shot before the does convinced them to retreat to the tree line. The shot distance wasn’t favourable either so all we could do was watch them disappear into the woods. After they left our sight, we went out into the field and positioned ourselves facing the tree line where mason would be within 150m +\- everywhere. The intention was to sit and wait on the chance that something would come out of the tree line again. It was still early so we were hopeful.


    Mason was settled in the prone position resting, and I was glassing taking ‘first watch’. Not ten minutes later, I spotted two of the bucks walking along the tree line coming from the left. One of them was the Gulley buck! I ranged 190m! Broadside! Mason had him steady in his crosshairs! I waited for the boom…nothing, and they both again, disappeared into the tree line. Mason started a whimsical conversation with himself, ‘why didn’t I shoot? I had him in my sights, what the hell was I thinking? That was a beauty buck! I’m never gonna see him again, WTF?’


    As a father, I was all smiles just letting him be the hunter. I’ve always told him that he’s the hunter, he writes his own hunting story. I guess it wasn’t the day to shoot that buck. But it was really something to be a part of. We were in the thick of it, hunting quality bucks. Nothing better.


    It didn’t end there though, Mason was still in a crazed trance saying things like ‘we’re coming back here tonight’ and ‘I’m going back to the cabin to sleep the day away’. I had other plans. I told him that I kinda know whereabouts they might be and that we should go poke around in there. Given that we didn’t spook them, they may have just retreated into the woods to bed down and that we were going to go in and find them. Trustingly, Mason followed my lead into the woods and as stealthily as we could, we followed the ridge line towards their bedroom. I noticed some beds ahead of us and when I stretched my gaze beyond the matted grasses, I spotted a buck bedded down straight ahead of us at 65m. It was the Gulley Buck! He was looking right at us as I set up the trigger sticks for Mason to shoot from a kneeling position. Mason sounded like he was having an asthma attack as he settled the cross hairs on his target. ‘Control your breathing son.’ I said, and he let his 7mm-08 bark. The bullet hit true, the buck leapt from his bed and expired 20m from where he had been laying.


    It was another cherished moment between father and son. The Gulley Buck was a dandy 4x2 in velvet. His body was huge. Mason's bullet went through both lungs. This was truly the biggest, most mature buck either of us have taken. And now, the work. We were approximately 2km from the quad, we didn’t have the means to pack him comfortably as our packs were only fanny and day packs. Believe me, quality pack boards are on our Christmas lists. We gutted the deer together and I sent mason back to the quad for the game bags we have there. Four big, homemade bedsheet bags my daughter made for us. These would allow us to cut the deer into quarters and take every ounce of meat off the buck. We were approximately 2km from the quad. We had to make two trips and it was a long, hard task but the weather was cool and I’m happy with the state of the meat. We left camp and went home to put our yield in our meat cooler and shower while we were home. We returned to camp to spend another night around our propane fire pit while reminiscing about the day. I write this story Monday morning, sipping coffee next to my best hunting partner who, with any luck, will let me continue hunting with him. 😀






    The end.
    Montec

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    145

    Re: The Gulley Buck - Youth Opener

    Great story!
    good for you young fella!

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Walnut Grove, Langley
    Posts
    14,160

    Re: The Gulley Buck - Youth Opener

    Always love those smiles. Well done gang.
    Take a kid hunting its more rewarding than shooting an animal yourself!!

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Posts
    320

    Re: The Gulley Buck - Youth Opener

    Congrats, awesome story and your son looks pumped!

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2023
    Location
    Kamloops
    Posts
    31

    Re: The Gulley Buck - Youth Opener

    Congrats! Well deserved (and nice trailer too).
    Tight lines. Tight groups.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    804

    Re: The Gulley Buck - Youth Opener

    Congrats to you and your son! Memories of his first buck that will last forever.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    16,264

    Re: The Gulley Buck - Youth Opener

    Not a bad first buck. Congrats.
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  9. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    The mighty peace
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    6,699

    Re: The Gulley Buck - Youth Opener

    Right on hunters, time well spent. I just love eating early season mulie. The face says it all. Congratulations and thanks for sharing your story. Love the trailer too, pretty hard to not enjoy yourselves with a good set up.
    If the world is warming why are there so many new snowflakes?

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  10. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Victoria
    Posts
    2,402

    Re: The Gulley Buck - Youth Opener

    That's one smokin' deer and a well written story about it!
    The only thing I like as much as trucks, is guns.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    1,375

    Re: The Gulley Buck - Youth Opener

    Nice deer, great story. A memory for life. Being from the coast I love the Stanfield.

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