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Author Topic: 2021 Blacktail- The wind storm buck  (Read 2654 times)

Offline skagitsteel

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2021 Blacktail- The wind storm buck
« on: October 27, 2021, 10:00:40 AM »
2021 was another year I waited patiently for my favorite hunt of the season.  It's a hunt that tests my physical and mental limits every year without fail, it also seems to be the hunt where I am right in my own element and find myself going daylight to dark without stopping, regardless of the weather.  I usually scout, run a few cams and try to locate a big buck or two to chase.  Usually I am able to find one, sometimes two, almost always I end up tagging a different one I never knew even existed, this year was no different. 
Having spent many nights in the backcountry chasing elk already this season, I was a little more limited on how many nights I could pack in deep for blacktail.  That left me with mostly day hunts and some ridiculously long middle of the night treks into a few of my areas, hunting hard all day, and returning to the truck late in the day.
 
 2020  I took a buck that turned out it was much younger than expected.   I was determined to get back on track this year and find a fully mature buck, I had an area that I knew held one good buck and I hunted it hard, rotating into a couple other spots when it needed a rest.  I didn't see a single deer until my 3rd full day of hunting hard.  A few of my areas have been hit really hard by the lions the last 2-3 years and it certainly shows.  Very occasional deer, might be 1 buck and 2-3 does on each huge timbered hillside that I hunt with a lot of real estate to hide them.  I kept after it, day after day, moving slow, glassing behind every tree and into every deer bed.  Rain, snow, high winds, wet brush, no question it is a total grind. The morning of the 24th found leaving me truck around 3 am convincing myself it 'wouldn't be that bad' despite what the weather forecast said  :chuckle:.  A few hours later I was cresting over the rocky exposed top of the mountain in a complete blizzard.  Blowing 60-70 easily, maybe more, I was mostly bothered that I had forgotten my ski goggles  :chuckle:.  I lost my footing a few times, blown off my feet by the high winds and tearing  a big hole in my favorite rain pants!  I ended up having to stay on all fours across some of the most exposed stretches to keep going.  Eventually, daylight came and I reached that patch of dark timber I was headed for.  After watching a 40' tree crash down in front of me, I decided to work my way around to the protected side of the mountain.  It was still bad just not 'as bad'.  after 7 hrs of still hunting my way through the timber, blowing rain and snow the entire time, I noticed something that didn't look right in a patch of brush in front of me.  Looked through the binos, and sure enough there was the white face of a buck staring at me from his bed 80 yards away. I didn't have a clear view so I took a few steps forward, he stood up from his bed.  I could see his body now, but not his head.  Definitely had a big barrel chest that looked like a 55 gallon drum, I knew by the body it was most likely a good mature buck.  I sidestepped left and his head came into view.  Wide head, big chest, not a big frame, but looked like 2x3 with good mass.  He was very content to stare at me from heavy cover and I wasn't sure at this point if I wanted to pass or shoot.  I slowly sat on a downed log, took off my pack and leaned my rifle up against a tree.   The wind was so loud, noise didn't matter, I just moved real slow. I just stayed their and looked him over, got a little video, really wanting him to give me a side profile before making a final choice. I watched him for what seemed like forever, but was actually about 10 minutes.

Offline skagitsteel

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Re: 2021 Blacktail- The wind storm buck
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2021, 10:02:26 AM »
I took a few more steps forward, hoping the buck would turn his head broadside and give me the look I wanted.  To my surprise he took two steps towards me, not realizing yet what I was.  Once he stepped out from behind the tree he got a good look at me and his head shot up and he began to turn broadside, about to take off.  When he turned I saw the mass, the short wedge shaped nose and big body, my internal 'age meter' alarm bells went off at that point and so I decided to take him.  One shot behind the shoulder, he ran about 20 yards and tipped over, tumbling down the steep timbered hillside landing on a small flat bench 100' or so below. 

Walking up on him. 

Offline skagitsteel

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Re: 2021 Blacktail- The wind storm buck
« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2021, 10:04:24 AM »
another view

Offline skagitsteel

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Re: 2021 Blacktail- The wind storm buck
« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2021, 10:07:06 AM »
The buck died in a spot where the trees were swaying pretty good, some branches were coming down and it was a little interesting.  I had one eye on the knife, the other on the swaying trees. I did a quick butchering job, hung the quarters and trimmings in a tree and headed back down the mountain.  Returned the next day with my pack goats to do the hard work, 7 hour roundtrip hike and we were back to the truck with the buck. 

Offline salt n sage90

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Re: 2021 Blacktail- The wind storm buck
« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2021, 10:09:49 AM »
Awesome Blacktail as usual!
"Nothing sinks faster than a downrigger ball"

Offline pianoman9701

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Re: 2021 Blacktail- The wind storm buck
« Reply #5 on: October 27, 2021, 10:42:52 AM »
Cool deer and packing goats, too. :tup:
"Restricting the rights of law-abiding citizens based on the actions of criminals and madmen will have no positive effect on the future acts of criminals and madmen. It will only serve to reduce individual rights and the very security of our republic." - Pianoman

Offline jason4429

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Re: 2021 Blacktail- The wind storm buck
« Reply #6 on: October 27, 2021, 11:21:55 AM »
Beautiful blacktail. Those kind of days are the best.

Online elkboy

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Re: 2021 Blacktail- The wind storm buck
« Reply #7 on: October 27, 2021, 11:28:59 AM »
Great story and photos! So cool to have the goats helping you on the packing job. 😀

Offline bearhunter99

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Re: 2021 Blacktail- The wind storm buck
« Reply #8 on: October 27, 2021, 12:03:12 PM »
Great story and buck!  Love the goats!
RIP Colockumelk   :salute:

"We sleep soundly in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm." Winston Churchill



Genesis 27:3
Now therefore take, I pray thee, thy weapons, thy quiver and thy bow, and go out to the field, and take me some venison

Online JakeLand

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Re: 2021 Blacktail- The wind storm buck
« Reply #9 on: October 27, 2021, 12:08:46 PM »
Great buck !

Online fowl smacker

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Re: 2021 Blacktail- The wind storm buck
« Reply #10 on: October 27, 2021, 12:15:31 PM »
Awesome, thanks for sharing.

Offline castie2504

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Re: 2021 Blacktail- The wind storm buck
« Reply #11 on: October 27, 2021, 12:43:57 PM »
Cool story, best part is the pack goats!
Life's a garden, Dig it!

Offline WildlifeAssassin

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Re: 2021 Blacktail- The wind storm buck
« Reply #12 on: October 27, 2021, 02:55:28 PM »
Great story & buck, thanks for sharing yearly, always impressed.

Offline wafisherman

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Re: 2021 Blacktail- The wind storm buck
« Reply #13 on: October 27, 2021, 03:00:47 PM »
Amazing!

Offline Birdguy

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Re: 2021 Blacktail- The wind storm buck
« Reply #14 on: October 27, 2021, 07:44:48 PM »
Seems like just another season for you! I have enjoyed your hunts for years! Great pics, glad things ended safely and way cool to post the goats! :IBCOOL:

 


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