Public Land Mule Deer

Alright lets go back to a public land mule deer hunt in SD. As each season comes closer I begin to scout extremely hard to hopefully find some great deer to go after. This year it was tough because of the drought and the deer were not in areas where they normallywere. I had to hike around and learn what the deer were doing, instead of being near the top of the breaks along AG fields they were down tight to the river eating on the only green that was around. Also easy access to water. This sounds like I had it made, just hunt along the water, but with miles and miles of river break it was hard to say where a good buck was going to be. I found some nice bucks to go after when dad came up for opening weekend.

Opening day came around and seen tons of people hunting the same areas we where. This is just part of hunting public land. I had some close calls with a great tight massive mule deer but could not get the job done. Always hunters messing it up or not a good shot angle. Day 2 came around and I found the buck I wanted to kill, he bedded in a good stalking position. I tried to come in on him from three different angles but could not get close enough. Finally I found a way, I slipped in to 25 yards of him bedding. He had no clue I was there, I was getting camera equipment set up when the wind swirled he raised his head but never got up. Then again the wind blew right at him, this time he got up and went right into my 25 yard lane and I had my camera in my hand instead of the Elite. He turned to go up the hill when I dropped the camera and drew the Elite. I guessed it at 50 yards and really was only 45. He jumped the string a little too and I hit high. Below the spin and above the lungs, the deer was fine and eventually seen him about 5 miles away on private ground.

The next day we went way back in the river breaks and found a good buck right away eating near the river where I had seen him before. As I was watching him dad went around to look at another area, when he came back he found a giant 190 inch heading back even farther. We split and he went after his buck and I went after the one I was watching. The one I was looking at was heading up a draw and I knew that he was going to go up and over that draw and into the next to bed. I quickly ran down the other side to cut in front of him. I got within 60 yards of the river since that is where they love to be this year and sat behind some tumble weed. I look over the hills and here he comes, I range with the Nikon at 60 yards. When he topped the hill I drew the Elite and settled in, I waited and he kept coming closer, 50 then 45 and then 40. He stopped and I settled the 35 yard Dead On Sight pin and let the rage do its work. The Easton Arrow hit perfect and when I threw the Nikon Binos up I seen blood poring out. He went 80 yards and I had my 3rd great mule deer with the bow.

The exciting part was watching this deer and many more all summer and to get a shot at one was just awesome! Dad was up hunting with me and made the hunt just that much more memorable. Dad never got a shot at his but got close. He ended up shooting a doe and headed back to Iowa to chase the real giants!