Grant's Long Shot Pays off On Wooldridge Hunt
This year’s mule deer hunt turned out to be a rewarding one for me.I headed east again and was set up to hunt with my father Glen, uncle Don and his two sons, Jared (20) and Aaron (10). Aaron was just along for the experience as this was his first time tagging along on a hunt. We woke up very early on opening morning and all hiked up some very steep terrain to get to a good vantage point before sunrise.
My cousin Aaron ended up being with me as we maneuvered into a good position overlooking some ridges. We started glassing right away and I saw what I believed to be a doe in the low light a ways away. I quietly told Aaron what I was looking at and he looked with his binoculars and saw the same thing. I told him that when you see a doe you always glass around it really well as there may be a buck hanging around.
My heart beat a little faster as I saw what looked to be a strong, thick neck tucked back against a bush. I glassed very intently until my guess was confirmed; this was a buck settled down in the bushes. I made sure to quietly tell Aaron that I saw a buck and for him to see if he could spot it as well, which he did. It was laying very still and I could tell for sure that it was a decent 2 x 2 though that was not good enough, I needed this guy to have a third point somewhere. I needed him to move his head so I could tell.
By this time I was preparing myself for a shot. I had quietly and slowly extended out a monopod that I had carried with me. I was sitting on a steep section of this hill so I had to extend it about 4.5 feet or more so it would properly support the rifle. I had also looked at the deer with the range finder to see that he was exactly 398 yards away. I was prepared with my hand loads and a ballistic chart, so I knew where to aim. Aaron said, “Are you going to shoot it Grant?” I said, “We need to confirm he has a third point first, Bud”. The deer had still not moved his head to give me a clear view of a third point.
Then it happened, the deer looked down valley for a second and I saw that he had that third point that I was looking for. My heart now really began to beat as I was locked in and this would be my longest shot ever at a deer. Aaron quietly said, “Shoot it Grant!” I said “I’m going to as soon as my heart calms for a second.” Too bad for this deer as he was quite patient and was still in his bedded position. I aimed where I should and slowly squeezed the trigger! BANG……..
Success, I hit the vitals. Aaron and I high-fived and headed down to him, got my tag on the antler and then proceeded to get him cleaned and back down the hill so we could skin him and get him cooled off as soon as possible. Shortly thereafter my Uncle Don made a great offhand shot on a coyote at 118 yards. Good job Uncle Don!
Thanks to my little hunting buddy Aaron on this one as it was sure great to have you along on such a memorable hunt. And a very big thanks to Vence for teaching me how to reload and shoot for long distance game. And recognition for my hunting partners who saw game, but no legal bucks. They’re still great guys and fun to hunt with.
Added on 10/25/2011by Wooldridge Boats