© By Othmar Vohringer
By the time you’re reading this I will be off again in the pursuit of a huge mule deer I have encountered a two weeks ago. After spotting the monster dozing in the shadow of big sage bush I stalked to within 150 yards of him. It took me almost two hours to cover the half-mile distance that separated me from him. The countryside these buck calls home consists of rolling hills in the grassland area of our province.
Big mule deer are smart and always bed down in a location that enables them to observe the area for along distance. It took all my stalking savvy, using every little advantage to hide my approach from the every alert eyes of that hunter wise monarch. Once in my final position I raised my rifle, the crosshairs of the scope centered perfectly. Instinctively the trigger finger bent when it felt right. The Weatherby Vanguard .270 barked loud into to silent wilderness sending a deadly Federal Premium 130 grain Nosler Partition bullet on its way.
The buck jumped up looked quick around and then in typical mule deer fashion made his way over the ridge. I could see through my scope that I missed him about ten inches over his back. How could that happen? I am not that lousy, in fact I am actually a very decent marksman. Then it seemed to come back to me that I just before the hunt dropped the rifle on the ground. Not much, it only was about a foot or two off the truck bed. Better check the scope and the zero.
Sure enough when I inserted the laser light into the barrel and aimed at a stone hundred yards away the crosshairs of the scope where off about three inches to the right and four inches high. Back to the shooting range and get that fixed right away. The rifle shoots dead on again and tomorrow (Friday) afternoon I am out in mister mule deer’s range until Tuesday night when I will come back home, hopefully not alone.
I am new to this mule deer hunting and there is much to learn. Mule deer are a very different breed from whitetails. I have been saying to my wife just the other day. “If I would be hunting whitetails for that many weeks that I am after mule deer, the freezer would be full and a rack or two would adorn my office wall by now.”
Here are a few pictures to show you what around here mule deer country looks like. Enjoy.
Rolling hills with ravines, over grown gullies, deep saddles and big dark old growth timber plus ever changing winds and thermals are an old mule deer bucks kind of paradise and a hunters nightmare.