A group of seven of us (family and friends) just returned from a 5 day trip to the Davis Mountains. We were hunting the same ranch some of us hunted 3 years prior. It was an awesome time and everyone that was looking for a trophy, found one. All in all, we took 4 mulies ranging from the high 150’s to the low 170’s. I closed the deal on a buck the third day. We were on deer at about 9am when we received a call from another guide that had spotted what looked to be a good buck high up in a canyon about 10 miles from our location. We jumped in the buggy and hauled arse to the location. When we got to the mouth of the canyon, we touched base with the spotter and he had lost sight of him. We cruised around the backside of the mountain and spotted him skylining at the very top of the mountain. He disappeared over the peak and we assumed he was headed for the property line. Just as we were trying to decide whether it was worth a climb, our spotter caught sight of him working back in the canyon. So we moved back around to the mouth and spotted what appeared to be a big framed buck bedding behind some yuccas way up the mountain. We couldn’t see his back right fork, but decided to go after him anyway. We picked a path and hiked up the mountain only to get in perfect position at 150 yards and see that he was a middle aged framey 5x4. Not what we were looking for. So we moved about half a mile to a vantage point that gave us a good view into the canyon. The first place I glassed was a thicket of cedars in the bottom of the canyon and I just happened to glass the dead cedar under which the 5x5 we were after was standing. If he hadn't turned his head, I would have never been able to distinguish his antlers from the white dead cedar branches. We had him at 360 yards, but didn’t have a clear shot. Fortunately he was on a doe and my guide put his 20’s on a tripod and could just make out the buck bedding with his doe deep in the cedars. At this point my guide smiled and said “he’s in a bad place for his sake.” We had him spotted and we had the advantage of an elevated position, good wind, and a buck locked in on a doe. We worked our way up the ridge and down to where we figured we would be within 150 yards. It was almost perfect. We set up on a boulder and decided we would wait for them to move. We couldn’t see them, but we knew about where they were. If they headed up the canyon towards the top of the mountain or up either side, we would have a shot. If they headed down towards the mouth, we wouldn’t see them. 75% chance sounded pretty good to me with nearly 90 hours of hunting this place between two trips and nothing to show for it.
I setup a pack on a rock as my rest and spent a few minutes looking through my scope to make sure I had a good rest. As I peered down in the canyon I spotted him. He had gotten out of his bed and moved towards us, and I could see a perfect small window to his high shoulder through a cedar. Seconds later I dropped him and the celebration was on!!! We worked our butts off to find this buck. It was an awesome mountain hunt.
We caped him out, quartered him up, and packed him up the canyon and back down the mountain. Hands down most fun I've had hunting in my life.
Here’s the deer:
And here he is on my back, ready to head out. The plateau i’m looking at on the horizon is where the spotter was when he located the deer. It was an amazing spot from 3 plus miles away. We defied the odds when everything came together on our stalk. We received the spotter's call at about 9am and it was nearly dark when we got back to camp with the deer. Awesome moment.
I’ll post pics of the other kills later. In addition to the bucks, two of our hunters took rams in the 32-33 inch range. Monsters.
Hats off to Hunter Ross at Desert Safaris and guides Robert Pulatie and Tate McMullen. Incredible ranch, outfitter and guides.