Hunting Mule Deer

Hunting Mule Deer

Here is a picture of a mule deer buck I took back in 2004. He's definitely not my biggest but it was one of the most memorable hunts of my life.

I made the hunt with my Dad and we decided to try a totally new area. The lake that you see in the background is called Lake Sakakawea and is the 3rd largest man-made lake in the U.S. It is named for the Shoshone-Hidatsa Native American who acted as the guide/interpreter for the Lewis and Clark expedition from 1804 to 1806.

As I said the area was totally new to us and even though it is "public land" we saw no other hunters. The reason is that this area is only accessible by boat from the lake (which would take a couple hours to get here from the nearest boat landing) or by foot. Since it is public land, you can not drive on it, only foot traffic is allowed. Meaning if you take an animal, you need to drag it out or bone it out on the spot and pack it back to your vehicle.

After hunting here for several days, I had the opportunity to take this fine deer. The shot wasn't anything spectacular, nor was the stalk. But the look on my Dad's face when I told him I wanted to drag the buck to the top of a very tall, very steep hill 300 yards in the opposite direction from the truck to get this picture was priceless. He looked at me with wide eyes and said, "Son are you cracked?" I said "No, but I really want that picture." I wanted to remember the view of that lake and how beautiful this day was, and I could think of no better way than this picture. Even though he hesitated, he finally agreed and helped me drag the deer up there. He took the picture and when we were done and getting ready to drag the buck back to the truck about 2 miles away, he said, "It sure is pretty up here." My Dad is a man of VERY few words, and the meaning behind that sentence and how he looked at me just after he said it, was what makes this one of the greatest hunts of my life. It was, as they say in the commercials, "priceless".
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