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Author Topic: Quest for 200"  (Read 7843 times)

Offline jjhunter

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Re: Quest for 200"
« Reply #15 on: September 14, 2017, 09:40:07 PM »
As I crawled into my tent, I made a deal with myself.   "I will hunt one more basin on “my side” in the morning, and if I don’t see anything good, I will move camp midday and dedicate the rest of the hunt to the narrow buck."

The next morning, I left camp extra early, hiking up to 13,000 feet and looked over a new, beautiful basin for the first time.    I instantly spot a large 4 point, but again, this buck is a little lacking on his G3s and G4s.   I continue to glass, spotting 7 more bucks but nothing that I am interested in.    I come to the realization that for whatever reason, the deer have moved down out of the rocks and ledges and that it is time to move camp!

(Sorry for the selfie, I didn’t know what else to do solo?)

Offline jjhunter

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Re: Quest for 200"
« Reply #16 on: September 14, 2017, 09:49:15 PM »
As I head back to camp, I  meet another rifle tag holder on the trail.   He is a really nice guy so I let him know where I saw a couple of the better 4 points.   We wish each other luck and I hustle back to camp.   I need to get moved and set up before the next storm arrives!

I quickly break down camp and dread putting my heavy pack back on – but, it is what I need to do!   I head down the hill (I hate losing elevation!) and pause along a quick running creek before I push up the other side through 1200 yards of 6-8 foot tall willows.   “This may get western”, I thought to myself.   After an hour and a half, I have powered up through the willows and found a suitable place for camp.   I am still 1500 yards below and on the other side of the ridge from when I last saw “the buck”, but he is huntable from camp in the evening which is my best chance to kill him.

I set up my new camp, hanging my rain fly, pants and vest to dry as I came out of the willows completely soaked to the bone.   Thanks to my rain cover, my pack and contents were still dry.  I put on a pair of KUIU shorts  (home made mind you…ok, we’ll call them what they are…”Jorts”  hahaha) and wait for evening.

Offline jjhunter

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Re: Quest for 200"
« Reply #17 on: September 14, 2017, 10:04:35 PM »
My plan is to leave camp at 6:30, putting me at the top at around 7:00 (prime time).   I have a good feeling that I will kill that buck tonight!

Around 4:30, the clouds roll in along with 30 mph winds and whipping rain.   “Oh no” I thought “I am not going to get to hunt tonight!”   The storm pounds on for the next two hours and I have lost all hope.  At 6:45, I notice that my tent stopped whipping.   I peek outside and see that it is dark and the thunder is still rumbling, but I am going hunting!   I grab my rifle and my EL Range and power up the hill, still wearing my jorts!

At the top of the hill, I begin to slow and check the wind.   Wind is good!   I crest over the top looking into the little valley where I caught him feeding the night before.  Nothing.   I continue to slowly stalk and glass along the tree line, looking intently into the narrow lanes that open up before me.   I get the end of the ridge and wonder what I should do?  I am hesitant to drop down into the steep, thick hillside below in fear of blowing the buck out of the country.   After all, I have all week to let him make a mistake.
Below me is a 30 x 100 yard opening in the timber….I guess it wouldn’t hunt to head down about 40 yards and have a look around?   I can’t help myself and I slowly work down the near vertical face.   As I look to left, I notice that there are two lanes where I can see several hundred yards.    As I look in the lower lane, I notice a the back half of a deer.   I quickly drop another 15 yards to get a better angle, but the deer has his head in the trees and I can’t drop any lower.   The buck picks up his head and I see a massive blob of G3 and G2, scrambling for the range button on my ELs.   321, 325.   In seconds I spin the turret on my scope to 325, check the range one more time, and shoulder my rifle.   One step and the buck could be gone forever.   As the crosshairs come up the front leg and into the pocket I squeeze the trigger.   I am instantly rewarded with the all familiar “whop” and catch the buck donkey kick as the recoil causes me to lose my sight picture.

Offline jjhunter

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Re: Quest for 200"
« Reply #18 on: September 14, 2017, 10:14:04 PM »
I scramble across the hillside, wondering where the buck went after the shot?   What did I actually shoot?  Is it the same buck?   A different buck?   It has to be the same buck with that MASS!

As I round a small patch of pines, I look below be and notice two nice, velvet 4 points staring at me from 75 yards.   I have to be close?   I scan to my left and see why they are just standing there,  I have just killed the mountain monarch and he is laying 25 yards from me in the brush!

I am shocked at the mass and tine length!   It is the same buck that I had moved camp for.  “He is only about 20” wide, but he had to pushing 200 inches” I say to myself.
I fly back to camp, seemingly unconcerned with the long night ahead me and grinning the whole way.   Thanking God, thanking my wife for allowing me to pursue my passion, thanking my brother for pushing me to this unit, thanking my dad for teaching me to be an outdoorsman.  “I did it, I freaking did it!”

Offline jjhunter

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Re: Quest for 200"
« Reply #19 on: September 14, 2017, 10:21:29 PM »
With knives and pack, I head back up the mountain by headlamp, excited to spend some more time admiring my buck.    I quickly find him in the dark and snap a few pictures with my cell phone.   I get my camera set-up on the tripod, but alas, the timer function was not working.   I was devastated!   I shot a 200” buck on a solo back pack hunt and won’t have any field photos with it!   I lick my wounds, take some additional cell phone ATL pics and proceed to bone out and load the buck into my pack, making the slow trek back to camp.   As I crawl into my sleeping back, and shut my eyes, I can’t help but smile.   This is a moment that I will keep forever.

Offline jjhunter

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Re: Quest for 200"
« Reply #20 on: September 14, 2017, 10:25:48 PM »
This buck is literally a one-in-a-million.   The mass is just incredible, though it "only" gets credit for 41"

The stats:

41" of mass
189" frame
16" inside spread
20" outside spread
202 3/8" gross

Offline jjhunter

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Re: Quest for 200"
« Reply #21 on: September 14, 2017, 10:27:51 PM »
Goodnight.   Hope you enjoy the read!

Offline WA1232

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Re: Quest for 200"
« Reply #22 on: September 14, 2017, 10:31:10 PM »
Well done! On both the buck and the story telling. Thanks!

Offline full choke

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Re: Quest for 200"
« Reply #23 on: September 14, 2017, 10:32:41 PM »
awesome! :tup:
Thanks for sharing the story!
Winter is coming.

Offline Dan-o

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Re: Quest for 200"
« Reply #24 on: September 14, 2017, 10:44:06 PM »
Wow, what a great write-up on a terrific buck.

Holy mass, batman!!!
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I wonder how many people will touch their nose to their screen trying to read this...

Offline Caseyd

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Re: Quest for 200"
« Reply #25 on: September 14, 2017, 10:47:13 PM »
Congrats!! Great buck and read

Offline Brushbuster

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Re: Quest for 200"
« Reply #26 on: September 14, 2017, 10:52:48 PM »
Congrats on another great trophy and for taking us along on your quest!   :tup:

Offline carpsniperg2

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Re: Quest for 200"
« Reply #27 on: September 14, 2017, 11:07:24 PM »
Awesome stuff. Such a cool buck with unique character and well earned.

You going to save a cape and do a mount with him?
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Offline jjhunter

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Re: Quest for 200"
« Reply #28 on: September 14, 2017, 11:14:18 PM »
Awesome stuff. Such a cool buck with unique character and well earned.

You going to save a cape and do a mount with him?
[/quote

I am contemplating a 3 buck pedestal for this CO buck and a couple mid 180s deer deer  that I haven't mounted. 

Offline carpsniperg2

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Re: Quest for 200"
« Reply #29 on: September 14, 2017, 11:18:32 PM »
That would be awesome. I have always wanted to do a 3 buck mount with a whitetail/mule deer and blacktail. I just need the whitetail  :bash: :chuckle:
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