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Author Topic: Late Pearrygin mule deer 2017  (Read 4417 times)

Offline shootem

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Late Pearrygin mule deer 2017
« on: May 18, 2018, 08:30:56 PM »
**this is my son's post**

I was one of the lucky few that had the pleasure of drawing a late migratory mule deer tag in the Pearrygin unit. I had the pleasure, pain, misery and frustration of hunting 19 of the 20 day season. For me it started out with looking for a campsite well after dark in an area I wasnít familiar with. Once I found a random 2 track, with what seemed like it would have little traffic being it was all washed out from rain, I found a flat grassy area to setup my tent and settle in for the night. Iíd spent all summer in Colorado so had done all of my scouting via maps and through communication with huntnphool.

I spent the first couple dayís road hunting and looking for glassing tits. It was some truly beautiful mule deer country and just knew I was going to get into it as the rut began. The first day Iíd seen a few deer here and there as my eyes were adjusting looking for the ear, antler or tail flicker. I remember seeing my first buck about midday on the second or third day. He was getting up out of a bed and watched till he disappeared into the trees. I could tell with my spotting scope he was a young small deer that barely sparked my interest besides the fact of wanting to pattern all the deer I could. With that I was back on the road. I made sure to find out every gate that was closed for the migratory route and mark it hoping there would be little foot traffic. On the morning of the third day I remember waking up to a frozen tent and a crisp cool morning. Thank God I brought a tout of warmer clothes and an extra sleeping bag.

Got out at few times to find a glassing tit and glassing large areas of land seeing very little deer sign. Being a little discouraged mid day I ended up meeting a gentleman and his dog when I was driving around. He was a local and said he was just driving around looking for deer. He informed me that the regular season was an awful season. He said if you saw a deer, let alone a buck it was a good season. If you were one of the lucky few to have shot one it was a great season. That was extremely discouraging do to the fact of this idea I had put in my head of a monster deer I wanted to shoot. As I drove around I saw a hand full of does but could never seem to get my eyes on a buck older then a couple years. I had set a goal for myself and wasnít going to shooting anything that wasnít meeting my expectations until the last day.

As the weekend rolled around the deer were starting to get into the rutty behavior but werenít quite stupid yet. So I headed of to Pullman to celebrate Dadís weekend with my sister who was a senior knowing that I would be coming back in the thicket of the rut. GO COUGS!!! When I got back Sunday night my tent was collapsed in do to the unpredicted snow. I probably should have known it would be my luck that it would snow while I was gone, especially at the elevation I was at. Nonetheless I got my tent back up right and made it sleep able. Made a nice hot fire to warm up while I cooked dinner and enjoyed the gorgeous star filled sky. As I enjoyed being lost in my own world I finally made a plan of attack for the next day. I had found a burn area that I wanted to glass again right at first light. I woke up and was completely socked in and knew that it was going to be a late morning kind of hunt so I slept for a few more hours and went back to a few different areas I knew had a few does and a couple 2-3 year old bucks in it. Hoping I was going to be lucky and catch a monster migrating down and pushing those younger bucks off the does.

Being that Iíve hunted more white tail in wheat fields and was only on my fourth mule deer hunt I quickly learned hunting the easily accessible was not the best thing to do. Talking to other hunters I learned most of them werenít going to spend the entire 20 days in the field like I was. Most of them were so frustrated with the lack of deer that they were going to shoot the first decent buck they saw to fill their tag and get back to work and their wives. Not having a wife and convincing my new job I wasnít going to start until after the hunt I knew I had to change my tactics and so I headed up. I went well above the snow line and was hoping to catch a deer late to the party. More I drove I realized the area I was in was too dense to do a spot and stock. I was only going to see a deer if I was lucky enough to watch it cross the road. So I pulled out Google Earth and found a few logging roads that had a burn area from that summer. Got up there and the snow was just too deep for a single rig. Worried about getting stuck and no cell service and nobody to help me I headed back down extremely frustrated.

After picking huntnphoolís brain some more and telling him what Iíd seen he gave me a few more leads on some areas that were going to hold deer that I should glass. This was an absolutely amazing learning experience for me to learn to glass deer and be patient when looking at each hillside. Use to hunting white tail in a wheat field is quiet simple. If you donít see any deer they ainít there. Move on and go onto the next ridge. But I was able to learn with some ease due to the snow. I finally was getting it down and was able to spot more deer in areas I could have sworn didnít have a deer in it.

A few days later I met up with the local gentleman I had talk to early that week and he was willing to show me an area I was looking for that huntnphool had told me about. As he took me into the area I soon realized we were the first rig in the area this season. After that day I spent first and last light glassing different fingers and draws. Finally I was getting into deer that were sparking my interest but none were intriguing enough to make me want to go home early.

After freezing my ass off at night, driving countless miles and glassing till me eyes were ready to pop out, my dad was finally able to join me on my hunt. He not wanting to spend his nights in a tent also freezing he was generous enough to put both of us up in a hotel. I took him to the different areas Iíd seen deer but again they was just nothing that sparked our interest. So I took him back to one last spot Iíd jumped a few deer. As we wondered different fingers and draws we eventually split up and tried to cover more ground.

Weather played a major factor on this hunt. If it was waking up and getting setup just to watch the fog roll in or waking up to it nuking snow we were still determined to get out and do some glassing. Sometimes the fog would pass and give a 20 minute window to get eyes on a deer then the fog was rolling back in

There was an area we found that we spent first light at many a mornings. We would glass till the fog kicked us out or the sun was beating down and there was nothing interesting us so we would head back to the truck and try to stay below the fog. There was one day I told him I would take the long way back to the truck and Iíd wake him up if he were napping when I got back. The walk I made I knew would end at a group of does I had walked up on a few days before. I was able to glass multiple draws but could only spot a couple coyotes. Being frustrated and beaten down I was ready to shoot one of those damn yotes but never got any of them to stop long enough to get a shot off. I kept walking and the fog rolled in faster then I thought it would. I heard hooves and a deer snorting at me so I sat down and just waited. Like a class B horror film three figures appeared slowly out of the fog to see what I was. It was the does I seen a few days earlier. Now that was an absolutely awesome experience. I sat completely still almost laying down on my back but my back pack keeping  just upright enough to see above the grass. They had me pinned and slowly came closer to investigate. One doe and her fawn got within 60 yards and she started to snort and kick the ground while dancing in circles for me. Was truly beautiful. As I lay there motionless she started to walk away so I gave a little woof noise and she came even closer! Her fawn didnít care so much and she kept about 60 yards from me and she made her way past me. Mom wasnít far behind to follow and so I kept an eye on the other does who werenít as curious hoping a buck would walk out of that eerie fog after them. All of a sudden I sensed something was behind me and the doe/fawn were 30 yards behind me sneaking up on me. As I kept watching they eventually got bored with me and rejoined with the other does and disappeared back into the fog and I walked back to the truck.

Finally huntnphool was able to make it up and man does he know his stuff. He took us into some beautiful country and got me on some deer but again nothing I was going home early for. We hunted the areas he showed hard. He was only able to stay for a couple days but he gave me plenty of knowledge and ideas of where to pursue. I hunted those areas during the morning and evenings learning their habits. Mid day Iíd go back to another area I liked that had some apple trees and finally found a deer I wanted. It was a 3x3 with a drop tine. I swore I would shoot the first non-typical if I ever was fortunate enough to see one. After debating with my dad he finally convinced me that this tag was worth more then a small 3x3.

The days are going by and I am getting frustrated thinking I donít have what it takes and getting in my head. Huntnphool had told me about an all day hike I should take. My buddy was suppose to come do the hike with me but wasnít able to make it out. So I sent my dad to a few areas I wanted him to watch and he would pick me up at last light. This is where I finally felt like I was going to get to be successful. Knowing I was the only one who had even considered hunting this area I knew the deer werenít going to be to pressured.

After hiking in a few miles I turned and made my way to the top of the ridge. I was overwhelmed with all the country I was tasked with glassing. Finally made it to the second ridge. For whatever reason I decided to glass the ridge behind me (I had no intent to make my way in that direction). Then I caught a glimpse of a doe cresting the ridge. Then a second doe followed. Knowing at this point that there had to be a buck behind it I waited. Finally after what seemed like forever he walked into my field of view. As soon as I saw that deer I knew that was the deer I was going to shoot. I spent the next 2-3 hours walking up the rest of the finger just on the left side hoping to not wind them or to be spotted. I finally got within 425 yards and crested back over to make sure they hadnít wondered to far. All that was there now was the 2 does and some small buck rutted out running in circles after the does. Knowing that big buck wasnít going to let some little punk deer on his does I did my best to close the distance. Well for me to close the distance and get a good shot I still had to walk another couple hours to where the two fingers met. I finally made it down to where I had last seen the does and small buck. I was blown away they werenít still there. I knew I hadnít spooked them and they were in no hurry to go anywhere. I finally heard some deer running around at the bottom of the draw. I knew I couldnít get to them by dark and not wanting to spook them I headed back to my truck. Called my dad and we met back at the hotel. We got dinner and made a game plan for the next day. He had to leave at noon but huntnphool was kind enough to drive back up and join me for the last 2 days of the season.

Knowing the deer I wanted to shoot was in that area I headed right back up the same trail at first light. I got a little later start then I wanted. The hour hike in I was running every possible plan of attack I could think of. Do I hike the same ridge I already did and glass down? Do I hike back to the finger I saw the buck on and start from there back onto the long all day hunt? What do I do? With plenty of time to thick, second guess myself, tear myself down that I wonít get a deer I want and even planning on what deer I would shoot the next day just to have some meat in the freezer. I finally got to the first ridge I hiked. So lost with what to do I said screw it and was going for gold. I hiked right back to where I seen the shooter. Knowing I was getting there when the bucks were still going to be chasing the does they bedded with the night before I was on high alert. About 800 yard from where Iíd seen the big buck I heard all sorts of movement. I stopped dead in my tracks and sat down. Holy *censored* there were deer everywhere. I glassed the small buck I seen the day before pushing the 2 does. No big buck. Frustrated but on deer I kept glassing. The smaller buck skylined and ran off with some does. Then it happened. He walked out lip curled and rutting as hard as any buck Iíd seen on the trip. Nose down sniffing her ass he followed her out into the open. I put him in my knockers and knew this was the buck I was going to shoot and kill. There was no second-guessing and no need to look longer then it took to see antlers. All I really knew is it was a monster buck. Buck fever over took me. Shivering cold from the morning and buck fever taking over I was shaking like I was having a seizure. I was sitting with the hill going down from my right to left and couldnít get my shooting sticks stable enough for me to be comfortable shooting. I frantically looked for a stump or a down tree to shoot off of. Couldnít get a good rest on either so went back to my shooting sticks. Ranged the deer at 418 yards ĺ of the way back up the other ridge and I was at the bottom of it. So it was a rather difficult angle and the slope of the hill I was on made it hard to get comfy. Finally with him in my cross hairs I tried to control my shaking by taking deep breathes.

As I took my last few breathes and calmed down the doe was motionless. The buck was slowly creeping closer to her. As he stopped broad side I knew that was my only chance before he was back into toothpick trees. Ranged one more time and he was still at 418 yards. Popped the safety off my 270 and squeezed the trigger. BOOM! Gun goes off and nothing. Neither deer moved. Cycling my second round into the chamber I watched him take an awkward couple steps finally and fired a second shot. That shot got both deer moving. Followed him into the toothpick trees and could tell he was walking funny so I knew I must have hit him. Not more the 75 yards cross-hill from my first shot he dropped. I almost lost him in the trees but I knew he was one of the 2 figures horizontally across the hill. Not sure the quality of my shots I gave him 45 minutes. While I waited I called my dad and told them where I was and deer down! I sat there watching him relentlessly in my spotter. He never moved. Not once. So I determined it was a good time to go check on this deer.

It took me another 20 minutes to hike all the way up to him. I had no idea how steep this hill actually was. As I got closer I could tell he fell body down hill. His legs were pointed up hill and he had slid down and stopped on a downed tree. I lost it. Started hooten and hollering like the first deer I ever shot. Even though I knew he was dead I walked up and gave him a poke. This is when I finally was able to really see how big he actually was. I am glad I gave him time but knew he had bled out in the position he laid. After getting him out from under the log and down the hill a bit I was in awe of the size of this deer. He was even bigger then I thought.

I knew I had some time to pass till my dad and huntnphool made it to me to help get it out. I took lots of pictures of just the deer and finally went to check the blood trail. My first shot was the one that connected and the second shot I actually missed low. Ended up being a great shot. Both lungs and some of the heart were damaged.

As I made my way back to the deer I again took in the size of the deer. Still not believing I just shot this monster. I talked to many locals in town and I remembered what they said and how discouraged it made me. Thinking I wasnít going to get a deer of any size at all. I grabbed the rack again just to hold him and was overwhelmed by emotions. Knowing I was the only hunter in the area I let out a holler that echoed through out, I just couldnít contain my excitement. Finally my dad and huntnphool made it up with a game cart and we took pictures. And the rest is just me walking back with my deer smiling ear-to-ear and a little extra pep in my step. Determination and not willing to give up on my goal finally paid off. All the negativity was out the door and I knew I finally had succeeded.

I would like to say a huge thank you huntnphool. I canít say it enough. I couldnít have done it with out the information and knowledge you shared with me. To my dad I thank you a million times for putting up with my grouchy ass and willing to stick it out with me through all my frustration. You two helped me shoot the biggest deer of my life. To the local gentleman who shared with me his knowledge and love for the area thank you. To Rick Hagen at Pacific NW Taxidermy who got my deer in November and got it back to me in April you did one hell of a job.  Public land hunting in Washington I was able to harvest an unofficially scored ~175 4x4 with eye guards mule deer with a 27in spread. My favorite part is the little kicker just shy of a legal point. Thanks again to all those that helped me be successful!

Offline Alan K

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Re: Late Pearrygin mule deer 2017
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2018, 08:46:13 PM »
Great read! Congrats on a great buck!  :tup:

Offline Mfowl

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Re: Late Pearrygin mule deer 2017
« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2018, 08:49:18 PM »
Incredible buck! Great story! Thanks for sharing! Congrats!
Fish hard, hunt harder!


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Re: Late Pearrygin mule deer 2017
« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2018, 08:55:25 PM »
 :tup: awesome buck and way to stick it out!
Is that camera still good after it took a picture of you shootem?  :chuckle:

Offline shootem

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Re: Late Pearrygin mule deer 2017
« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2018, 09:13:54 PM »
What ever inappropriate response is outlawed on this site is sent to you Bullblater. LOL.

Offline Watimberghost

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Re: Late Pearrygin mule deer 2017
« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2018, 09:15:22 PM »
Great story and a fantastic buck! 19 days of hunting will be an experience that will never be forgotten. Congrats man :tup:

Offline Brushbuster

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Re: Late Pearrygin mule deer 2017
« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2018, 09:18:42 PM »
Awesome Buck with a great write-up!! Congrats & thanks for Sharing.  :tup:

Offline jeffitz

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Re: Late Pearrygin mule deer 2017
« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2018, 09:21:06 PM »
Great post man - awesome buck !
If you're gonna be dumb,you gotta be tough.

Offline carpsniperg2

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Re: Late Pearrygin mule deer 2017
« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2018, 09:21:50 PM »
Excellent and congrats! amazing buck!
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Offline jackelope

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Re: Late Pearrygin mule deer 2017
« Reply #9 on: May 18, 2018, 09:27:35 PM »
Congrats man and thanks for sharing your story and pictures. Great buck!!  Huntnphool is a hell of a generous guy.

" In today's instant gratification society, more and more pressure revolves around success and the measurement of one's prowess as a hunter by inches on a score chart or field photos produced on social media. Don't fall into the trap. Hunting is-and always will be- about the hunt, the adventure, the views, and time spent with close friends and family. " Ryan Hatfield

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Offline Dan-o

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Re: Late Pearrygin mule deer 2017
« Reply #10 on: May 18, 2018, 09:34:55 PM »
That is a GREAT buck and you definitely earned him.

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I wonder how many people will touch their nose to their screen trying to read this...

Offline grundy53

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Re: Late Pearrygin mule deer 2017
« Reply #11 on: May 18, 2018, 09:54:36 PM »
Great buck.  Thanks for sharing!

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Offline idaho guy

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Re: Late Pearrygin mule deer 2017
« Reply #12 on: May 18, 2018, 10:03:56 PM »
great buck and story. refreshing after reading all the doom and gloom on the mule deer over there. way to stick it out what a great hunt

Offline spin05

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Re: Late Pearrygin mule deer 2017
« Reply #13 on: May 19, 2018, 02:18:14 AM »
That 3rd pic with your dad needs to go on the wall next to your mount

Offline bearpaw

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Re: Late Pearrygin mule deer 2017
« Reply #14 on: May 19, 2018, 03:09:11 AM »
dandy buck and great write up :tup:
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