Expectations come to fruition
Every year I look forward to chasing mule deer. The challenge of chasing these elusive animals keeps me coming back year after year. Every May my anticipation is sky high as I wait to find out if I drew a tag for Colorado.
My buddies and I spend much of our off season thinking about mule deer and strategizing for our upcoming hunting opportunities. We also get out and shed hunt to pass the time while we wait to hear the draw results. We always try to capitalize on an up-and-coming unit that does not take a lot of points to draw, but still offers trophy potential.
I am fortunate to have a great group of friends to hunt with. Camp in Colorado usually consists of 3-5 friends and finally, the week was here. Being non-residents we have a 7 to 8 hour drive, but it’s wise to arrive two days prior to opening day.
The first couple of days are spent scouting for deer. This is a great time to be in camp, as anticipation is sky high. Every morning we take off in different directions and return in the afternoon to discuss what we have found and to further plan for opening day.
One of the great parts of hunting new areas is when you find hidden gems. As we were scouting, we decided to take a road we had not taken before. Luckily for us, as we came across this old time cabin.
The original owner was Captain H.A. Smith. As you can see, he built his house into a rock. Smith then carved out a bed into the red rock and a separate area to house his rifle and tools. To this day this is one of the most amazing things I have ever come across while out in the field. This is a day I will always remember. Enjoy the journey.
Glassing all day enabled us to look over a ton of country. Several different glassing spots enabled us to spot multiple bucks.
With camp set up and scouting completed we were ready for day one. As we split up for the first morning we all went to different glassing points. Hunting was a little slow for me as I was only able to see a couple of deer with some smaller bucks.
Day two had very similar results for me. I was able to see deer, but nothing that I was ready to burn my tag on. At Camp, there was talk about great mule deer with a couple of nice bucks being harvested.
As the sun went down on day two I had a feeling that I needed to be patient and I would have my chance.
My luck turned on day three. After finding and losing a great buck, I found another. I could tell right away that is was a heavy, main-framed buck, but specifics escaped me. I decided that the buck was too good to pass up, so I took the shot and connected.
I used my flashlight to walk up to where I last saw the buck. I dropped him in his tracks. It was dark and the snow was starting to drop so I snapped a few pictures of the deer and field dressed him.
We came back the next day with a fresh 12 inches of snow and I was able to take these unbelievable photos.
The drive home was unforgettable. We did a great job in Colorado. What we had planned and strategized about all year came to fruition.