USA: Wyoming Deer


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Sep 10, 2009
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Republic of CongoNamibia, Kyrgyzstan(2) South Africa(4) New Zealand Zambia(2)
So I got home from Africa on Sept 19. My wife had a double knee replacement while I was gone. (Yes she planned it this way). So between catching up at work and taking care of my wife I had no time to crossbow hunt or even scout the ranch where I normally hunt. Sept 30th I finally headed out to see what I could and talk to the landowner. I had called him, but like normal no return call. I got to the ranch around 5 and no one around. So I went out to see what might be around. At my first stop I can drive up on a small bluff and see about 100 acres of meadow with timber around it. This all sits just below some higher tougher country. This ranch has mule deer as well as whitetails. I normally try to shoot a whitetail as they "taste" better to me. Diet is different.
At the first stop I saw a very nice mulie. He was a 4X4 perhaps 27 inches wide and had decent depth in his forks. I thought to myself I'd shoot that one given a chance. All told I saw 9 mulies there. I looked at a couple more areas and saw a few more deer just not anything that I wanted. This ranch is over 70,000 acres. So over 100 sq miles. Its a big place.
At dark I was back to the landowners place. He and I chatted for 30 min. During our conversation he explained that his daughter was wanting to hunt the big mulie I had seen. So I made plans to hunt elsewhere. I headed home and made my plans for opening day Oct 1. My regular hunting buddy was up elk hunting with some other friend so I was on my own. The weather forecast was for snow. 1-2 inches in Gillette. So I prepared for the worst....
I was up at 3:45 and out the door by 4:30. It was snowing and got worse I drove to the ranch. The road I wanted was a little hard to find in the dark, but I got there. The snow had started as rain and it was wet.... The road was muddy and slippery. More later. Gotta help the wife

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I unloaded the 4 wheeler and loaded it up. Real pain with the snow with no windshield. I had to stop every 10 min to clean off my glasses.. Then the cloth got soaked so I just smeared the snow.... Then I took a wrong turn in the dark. Wound up backtracking to figure out where I was. Had to clean off the headlights to see where I was going. More like 3-4 inches where I was hunting.
As it got daylight I found the old homestead that was my marker. Close to the house I kicked up 3 does and a small 3X3 buck. Probably 2 1/2 yrs old. I bypassed them and worked my way out on a peninsula that extends out into the creek bottom. I rode out to perhaps within 120 yds and walked the rest of the way out. As I walked out to the point I spotted 3 whitetails bucks. The biggest was a "basket head" 4X4. So I let them go unmolested. They stood around at 75 yds that I certainly could of killed any of them.
I sat down in a chair I hauled in with me and watched for 45 min. Nothing going on so I moved to where I could see down the creek and spotted another whitetail buck under some tree's. I worked in to about 250 yds and decided he was too young to bother with on opening day.
I then loaded back up on the 4 wheeler and drove downstream a ways. Parked and walked to a bluff overlooking the creek bottom. There I spotted 3 bucks and 4-5 does and fawns. All whitetails. Again nothing I wanted to put my tag on. I walked upstream a short distance to make sure I hadn't passed up anything I should shoot. I saw a deer standing under the tree's so I duck walked closer so I could get a better look closer to the edge. I could easily see 2 mulies and one looked like a shooter. I crouched low and worked my way up to the edge. I laid down in the snow with the rifle on my bipod and my backpack as a rear rest. The deer were perhaps 150 yds away.
I found the bucks in my scope and turned up the magnification for a better look. The bigger buck looked good. Good forks and fully mature. I slipped the safety off and waited for him to turn and give me a better angle. I could easily kill him as he stood, but why waste meat if you don't need to? His companion was also a 4X4 and he had seen me move into position. Wary, but unsure if I posed a threat or not he watched me as I watched his buddy. Then the bigger buck turned his head and I realized that his spread was narrower than what I had first thought.
I laid there and thought about it for for 2 minutes and regretfully clicked the safety back on. I looked it all over again and found a 3rd 4X4 buck in the bachelor group. Again too young for me to shoot a mulie. I carefully worked back from the edge to try and not disturb them. I then went to the far edge of the property boundary and worked out to edge of the bluff overlooking the creek bottom. I could again see 4 whitetail does on my side of the property boundary and 3 on the other. So I worked back up a ways and ren into the does with the 3 bucks and saw a 4th small buck with them. All young. So I headed back to the homestead and cglassed some of the draw back that direction.
I drove a ways further and stopped again. Spotted some deer that had been spooked by hunters from the neighbors property. They headed my way, so I got my rifle out. 3 mulie bucks and a bunch of does. As they got closer I could see nothing big enough to worry about although the biggest looked like a 4X4. Drove up a little further and saw some of the does that had been kicked over the fence. This time as they took off there was a mature whitetail buck with them . No shooting opportunity so I said goodbye to him.
It was now 10:30 so I headed back to the truck and loaded up. Went back to talk to the rancher. His daughter had jumped the big buck but no shot opportunity. They had found a smaller 4X4 and she had taken that one. I headed home with a plan to return the next day.
On Wed I had business in the AM so I opted for a evening hunt. I went looking for the bigger mulie. He wasn't around so I went back to the rancher and visited. 3 more of his kids had killed 4X4 mulies that day. His son had a dandy that was about 27 inches wide. Good deer. He told me of a whitetail he had seen several times in the last few weeks that was a a good buck. I decided to sit where I could see part of the creek bottom, some hay field as well as cottonwoods where this buck had been. I wound up seeing perhaps 12 does/fawns. Nice evening to sit and watch.
Decided to sit in a tree stand on the opposite end that I had hunted opening day. Got there a little later than what I wanted. Missed the turn off to where I needed to go. In the dark landmarks can be hard to find..... Loaded up and walked the 3/8 mile to the tree stand. By the time I got there the horizon was getting light so I could see the ladder silhouetted against the faint start of daylight. I climbed into the the tree stand and got situated. No trimming had been done this year so it was hard to see out into the hay field where the deer usually feed on the neighbors place. They then cross over the fence to bed on the property where I can hunt. It hit legal shooting light and I couldn't see a deer anywhere. So I sat down to wait. Only 2 min later I looked down to my left and there was a 5X5 whitetail buck only 15 yds away! I slowly turned and reached for my rifle that was hung on a broken branch by the sling. Slowly so as not to attract the bucks attention. He walked by and I got the rifle up. He stopped at 20 yds and I pulled the gun up. Dang scope!!! 6X and parallax set for 200 yds.... Fuzzy scope picture. No matter. I found the shoulder and yanked the trigger. Down he went like a ton of bricks dropped on him. Didn't even twitch.
I was using my 6.5 SS with a 156 gr berger going about 3085 fps. Perfect kill shot and no tracking required. I took a couple of pics and then field dressed him. Retrieved my 4 wheeler and jet sled and pulled him back to the truck. Home by 9:30. Not the biggest whitetail, but mature and I nice deer for this year. Pics to follow.
Well done!
Congratulations! Thanks for the great story.
NICE! I’m full of envy!
Well done. It must be nice to hunt an area where you see so many deer and so few hunters.

I have hunted on this ranch for about 8 yrs. There used to be a lot more hunters. The rancher decided to cut back on hunter numbers and to try to improve trophy quality and deer numbers. About 4 yrs ago my hunting buddy sat in the same tree stand I used and saw something like 23 wt bucks in one morning sit!
I am blessed and very fortunate to be able to hunt there.
Nice buck. I shot a nice mule deer on a ranch by Gillette over 30 yrs. ago.
Gillettehunter, that was a great hunt. Dittos on the location being a "deer hunters heaven." Your 6.5 SS was a "new" caliber to me so I looked it up. That is a real smoker!! Is it a custom chamber? Who did the work? Where did you get brass, dies etc. I really love my 6.5 X 55 Swedish Mauser, but I think I could get into this "SS" business without too much prompting.
Gillettehunter, that was a great hunt. Dittos on the location being a "deer hunters heaven." Your 6.5 SS was a "new" caliber to me so I looked it up. That is a real smoker!! Is it a custom chamber? Who did the work? Where did you get brass, dies etc. I really love my 6.5 X 55 Swedish Mauser, but I think I could get into this "SS" business without too much prompting.
I had a Tika T3 in .300 WSM. The recoil was substantial and the barrel wouldn't hold a group after 10 rds so I used that action. Found a Manners that was used and built for a Tikka action. Bought a Christensen Arms barrel on sale and took it all to a gunsmith that has built several of these. His name is Rhian Mantha and he lives South of Butte MT. He put the rifle together. I'm using N-570 powder. I understand that N565, H-1000, Retumbo and other powders are doing very well. My barrel is 24 inches. Some with 26 inch barrels are getting over 3100 fps with the new 156 gr Bergers. Great BC and sectional density. Reports on performance of that bullet has been good so far. I have 3 1 shot kills this year.
I understand that people are getting 3200 fps with 140 gr bullets, although some run them slower to preserve brass. Brass is now being made by ADG here in the USA. Good brass. I have less than 100 rds through the rifle so far. Recoil is modest. All in all I expect this to become my main antelope/deer rifle for a while.
Congrats on the nice WT!
Nice deer. Congratulations

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Bill J H wrote on gearguywb's profile.
Do you still have this rifle? I'm in the KC area on business and I'm very interested.