We Got King Louie,
2014 hunt report
We got King Louie
Most hunting stories start out with I could not believe I was drawn and had to run check or call to verify you actually drew. That is not how it works in my family. We know we will be getting some fantastic tags. The only questions is where and how many tags. This year we just had too many good tags. We actually had to turn some of them back in. And we should have turned more back in because we did not see what we wanted before the hunt or we just did not have time to hunt them.
We found “King Louie” the afternoon before the hunt. We had a great scouting team of 4 little girls and a little boy. The oldest at the ripe old age of 6. Oh yeah we had a few of the nephews along helping too. We had been driving around and seeing quite a few deer. Some really nice bucks in fact. I think we were up to 4 different bucks that Hari, my nephew who drew the tag, said were shooters. Late in the afternoon on Friday we found a buck we named King Louie. There was some discussion on what to call him because Hari had said before the hunt, “I want a big deer, mass and trash would make it my dream deer..” We thought about naming him “mass and trash” for obvious reasons. Hari liked King Louie the best. The name came because of the crown appearance on one side and that his mass was as big as Louisville slugger baseball bat.
I have been going with a nephew on this hunt every year since 2009. Every year I ask what their dream buck for this hunt is. All but one have shot there dream buck. One nephew wanted cheaters. He shot a 185” gross scoring deer with cheaters. The only one who did not get what he wanted missed 2 really big deer that were exactly what he wanted. He wanted a big 4x4 with no cheaters. It is hard sometimes to find dear without even a small sticker on it. He shot a 4 point without cheaters on the last day but it was not as big as he would have liked. One nephew wanted a freak. We were not sure what that meant. But when we showed him a double main beamer with 3 eye tines on one side the hunt was over.
We asked the very small kids what buck they liked the best from our scouting. It was a consensus all around that King Louie was the neatest deer. We had discussed that most o
f us in our lifetimes had never seen a deer with this much mass. You might find a 200” deer or you might find a 30” deer in your life. Would you ever see a buck like this in your life? We think not. We saw a few 30” deer. We saw some really good scoring deer. But King Louie is what Hari wants.
We only drew one tag this year for this unit. It is my favorite hunt for nephews or kids who are not that much into real hunting. As you do not have to get up 3 hours before daylight and ride horses in the dark. On this hunt you try not to leave camp to early as you might miss a huge deer right by camp. This year was a little different. In our scouting we had found a buck we named “Camp Host” and he had this name because he was so close to camp. “Camp Host” was a solid 28” framed 4x4 with a cheater on each side. one about 4” and the other one somewhere between 2” and 3”.
Hari said, “I want to get King Louie if I can. Camp Host is just too good of a buck to pass up. So if I see him in the morning I am going to shoot him.” Based on this we made our plans. Get out of camp a few minutes before shooting light. Drive the truck about 300 yards to a place where you can see a sagebrush flat. That way we will not shoot Camp Host before we have a chance at getting King Louie.
We only saw does in the large sagebrush flat.
This is mostly a road hunt. We look for deer in the cedars, pines and quakes. Then we get out and stalk them. We also spot from points, the edges of cliffs, large flats or hillsides as needed. We hardly ever get far from the vehicles to do it. Not our normal kind of hunt. Jed, Hari’s brother had flown out from Michigan where he is doing his residency to become a surgeon, had said I have to go see if the uncles stories are real about this hunt or not. Our first day of scouting made him a believer. He even called his wife. He told her the stories are real. There are great deer to be seen without having to hike or ride in 5 miles. We all laughed about this phone call. Most of the nephews think the uncles are big story tellers for sure. I think Hari really believed even before this hunt. I am scared that the truth may get out about the stories from the uncles. Oh yeah the pictures are pretty good proof.
It is still to early to go into the trees where King Louie is living because you have to be able to see under the trees. The sky is cloudy enough that it is blocking the sun. So I say lets go check out some other places. We need make sure it is real light before we go looking for King Louie. It is cold, very beautiful as the quakes are in full color. We see a bunch of small bucks, 2 pretty nice 4 points, not even close to being shooters on this hunt.
It is about a hour and a half into daylight. Pretty darn good light. I was wishing the sun would come out but from the looks of the sky that is not going to happen at least this morning. So we go back to camp get out of the truck and into the Ranger. Kind of funny that we go from one type of vehicle road hunting to another. This road is pretty rough. The trucks get beat up going down it. I am worried that we might run into Camp Host. I am hoping the little girls are up making lots of noise so that at least he will be a little ways into the trees. I think they did their job here pretty good.
We are driving up the road. We see a deer butt a little more than 100 yards into the trees. Or maybe it is is a deer butt. The binoculars confirm it is a deer butt. Is it him? To thick to tell. We start the stalk.
I am thinking that the odds of this being King Louie are very small.
The wind is perfect. The cover of trees make it easy to not be seen. I have big feet and snap a few twigs which is bad. The deer keeps his head down eating. I am thinking it is too big to be a doe? I cannot see horns yet. King Louie has tall horns. I am getting more sure it is not him. We get to about 50 yards, Hari says it is him.
Are you sure? Let me make sure? I still cannot see horns. I move to where Hari is. Yup he has horns. I can only see the very tip of some horn above the brush. We move closer. Hari is shaking. The deer picks up his head and looks away from us. It is king Louie. I am shaking for Hari now. This is a buck of a lifetime in my view. Under 50 yards. Looking away. I am trying to not shake the ground as my father in law and my nephews tease me that if there is a huge animal on a hunt and I am nearby then no one can hit it because I am shake the ground I get so excited.
Hari shoots and misses. Probably because the ground is shaking and no one could hit a deer with an earthquake going on. The deer puts his head down and starts eating. WHAT? The next shot blows bits of a tree up in the air and it comes down on the deer. I am thinking this deer is gone. It goes behind a huge dead pine tree and is looking right at us for 5 minutes not moving. he knows something is up now. I am wondering if this deer is deaf about now. A 270 WSM at under 50 yards? Twice? I really think there must have be small branches in the way that we cannot see that is deflecting the shots.
I whisper to Hari. Get a dead rest. He slowly moves to a tree and waits because he is scared of missing again and we can only see a little bit of the neck and his head.
The deer starts walking and as soon as it comes out from behind a tree Hari shoots. I see the deer is hit hard and running like crazy. It is a perfect shot. Destroys the deers heart. It does not make it out of our sight before it is down. I tell Hari to put more bullets in his gun just in case. Hari and I see the deer is really down for good and Hari starts hooping and hollering. It was awesome. Jed and Hari’s dad come walking up. Hari’s dad said that does not look like a deer. Are you sure it is a deer? Just teasing really because it has a weird set of horns.
The nephews who are in camp with the littles hear the shooting. They wake up those who are not awake yet and tell them there has been shooting and it sounds like right where King Louie should be.
There goes up a chant between the little girls. “We shot King Louie?” Oh no, what will happen when they get back to preschool or church? There are not secrets with kids. The nephews have had some explaining to do because these little girls have told people. “We shot King Louie.”
What a great hunting team. The proof of the team is in the pictures. Pink PJ’s or pink tootoo’s are order of the morning hunting attire.
King Louie has 46” inches of mass. If you have that much mass are you a mule deer?
Nothing like a family deer hunt to have a great time.
This is only the start of the story. Here is what else has happened this year on our hunts.
My nephew Dalton shot a super nice 165” 4 point in Colorado on draw only youth tag.
His 14 year old little brother shot my dream deer. a 30” buck. On an easy to draw tag.
Another grand nephew shot his first elk on a youth draw tag in Utah.
Another nephew shot a nice 4 point in idaho on a draw tag.
Johnie who had his girls with us for King Louie shot a great buck in Wyoming.
I will not talk about the bucks I missed in Wyoming. I was sick that I missed them or was I just sick with Buck fever?
All of these hunts are DIY (unguided) on public land. Forest Service and BLM. No private land on any of these.
We still have 3 elk tags left. I drew a great elk tag in Idaho. My brother has a tag in the best Elk Unit in Colorado. That is just my view. Most of the world would think I am crazy saying that. But we have drawn this tag before. Everyone has shot a 6 point except my one brother who could not find a big enough 6 point the one year. He also has an elk tag he drew in Arizona.
You have to apply to get these great tags. They do not come easy. I have a 10 year plan where I think I will be going on what I call a hunt of a lifetime every year. A few of those years it will be on my brothers or nephews tags. Most of the years I will have what I call the tag of a lifetime myself. My brothers say we are the most unlucky people ever as we should draw more tags according to the odds.
From here on is just telling you how I get the tags
I wrote an app that keeps track of your points in states and tells you if your drew. It is supposed to help you apply as well. It will remind you to apply so you do not forget. It is called PointHunter.
This year is not an anomaly. We will continue to draw great tags. Let this app help you get some of these tags.
Preference/Bonus Points and application reminder app. $1.99.
1. Application deadline reminders and verification you applied.
2. Be the first to know your draw results
3. Access to your points: anytime, anywhere
Watch how it works on youtube.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bwWaV0trHrw
Download now athttps://www.gotmytag.com/download/BFB2014