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Author Topic: bottom of the 9th Blacktail- the backtracking buck  (Read 8035 times)

Offline lewy

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Re: bottom of the 9th Blacktail- the backtracking buck
« Reply #15 on: November 07, 2022, 10:12:25 AM »
Looks like a dandy, tagging....
Go hawks

Offline highside74

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Re: bottom of the 9th Blacktail- the backtracking buck
« Reply #16 on: November 07, 2022, 10:15:27 AM »
Here and I shouldn't do that while driving  :yike:

Offline skagitsteel

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Re: bottom of the 9th Blacktail- the backtracking buck
« Reply #17 on: November 07, 2022, 10:29:42 AM »
With deep snow and deer pushed down into the heavy timber my game plan became a tracking game.  Get to snowline at first light, keep climbing trying to get on fresh tracks.  I had seen some doe tracks and a couple smaller buck tracks as well as seeing 3 smaller  bucks and letting them walk up until this point.  About day 9 or 10 of my hunt I found the set of tracks I had been looking for.  Blocky, large, toes indicative of an older deer, no doubt a mature buck.  I followed these 3 hour old or so tracks with good wind and lots of snow falling from trees to cover my noise.  The buck crossed over a timbered finger ridge into some really thick stuff, no doubt to bed down.  I backed off his track and decided to climb above with a plan to circle back and hopefully catch him after he moved out that spot.  I climbed up about 10 minutes (and maybe 150 yards) and the snow became impossibly deep.  I decided I would turn back and come up with a new plan to approach the buck.  I had been gone for maybe 15 or 20 minutes at most from where I saw the track disappear.  What I discovered when I came back was a very large and very fresh set of buck tracks back over the top of my boot tracks headed the other way.  I knew I'd been discovered! I followed the bucks track to see where he went knowing I would need to rest him a few days to have a prayer of finding his track again this season.  I was blown away to discover the buck followed my backtrail step for step, every twist and turn for an an entire mile! He certainly wanted to know where I came from.  After the mile  his tracks dropped straight downhill right out of the snow.  I have followed many sets of big buck tracks over the years and without a doubt there is always a significant amount of trickery involved (on the bucks part) unless its a full on rutting buck.  it's the ultimate one on one chess match and they certainly are good at not being tracked down

Offline X-Force

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Re: bottom of the 9th Blacktail- the backtracking buck
« Reply #18 on: November 07, 2022, 10:46:20 AM »
Stud! Great story so far
People get offended at nothing at all. So, speak your mind and be unapologetic.

Offline Buckhunter24

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Re: bottom of the 9th Blacktail- the backtracking buck
« Reply #19 on: November 07, 2022, 11:10:15 AM »
Tagged for later. Man some of you guys up north really know how to hunt the blacktails great buck

Offline LDennis24

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Re: bottom of the 9th Blacktail- the backtracking buck
« Reply #20 on: November 07, 2022, 11:22:44 AM »
Following!

Offline JakeLand

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Re: bottom of the 9th Blacktail- the backtracking buck
« Reply #21 on: November 07, 2022, 11:24:44 AM »
About time you get to posting !! Itís a good buck

Offline dilleytech

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Re: bottom of the 9th Blacktail- the backtracking buck
« Reply #22 on: November 07, 2022, 11:31:32 AM »
Iím looking forward to about a half a dozen more pics of this buckÖ incredible.

Offline Ridgerunner

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Re: bottom of the 9th Blacktail- the backtracking buck
« Reply #23 on: November 07, 2022, 12:13:34 PM »
This is going to be good.

Offline skagitsteel

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Re: bottom of the 9th Blacktail- the backtracking buck
« Reply #24 on: November 07, 2022, 02:04:47 PM »
I'll try to wrap this up quickly

Day 11 & 12 of the hunt were spent in other areas where I have killed bucks in the past. Day 12 (Oct 30th) I cut a big set of mature tracks that were maybe 15 minutes old.  The snow was noisy and I knew the buck would hear me coming, even tip toeing along his track slowly.  I looped below his track at and couple well timed primos can calls got that buck to hold up and see what I was.  White face, Barrel chest, wedge shaped muzzle, all the indicators of a fully mature buck.  I held the crosshair on his neck and waited for him to give me a better look.  He was an older 2 point it appeared, almost identical to my 21 blacktail and not even 200 yards from where that one died.  He just didn't quite do it for me and I let him slink away, I was second guessing that decision most of the day. 

Day 13 Oct 31st, the final day and I knew I wanted to put it all on the line with the smart timber buck I had tracked 4-5 days earlier.  two weather systems had blown thru and I had been patient, not going back into his areas until he had a chance to settle down. I worked my way up pretty high with no new tracks, then about 8:30 am in knee deep snow, the same tracks without a doubt, I would get the rematch I'd hoped for.  The tracks did not cruise the finger ridge, just went up and over into the thicker stuff, no question to bed down.  The tracks were less than 30 minute old, it was snowing hard and the wind was in my face.  I started slooowly down his track glassing everything I could see 20-50 yards in front of me.  The hillside was 'cramp on's required steep and very thick timber.  At one point I had to turn my back on the trail to lower myself over an embankment the buck walked down.  I glassed everything carefully before I did.  As I inched my way down the embankment being carful not to make a sound, I glanced over my shoulder and saw a large rack gliding thru the trees about 40 yards away, my heart sank a bit.  I walked over to check out his very secure bedding site and discovered I would have had to be within 10 yards of him to see where he bedded.  He got up and conveniently took a few steps my direction when I had my back turned and then split.  He did not wind me, it was the last day of season and I had no other plan so I decided to keep tracking this smart old buck.  I waited for a bit before I started down his trail and thought things through.  I carefully tracked him, down, down, down, almost no snow left then starting to sidehill again (that is a good sign).  I walked right into 2 does and a spike.  I knew I could not bump them, so a few can calls, I sit down (30 yards from them) and let them do there thing.  Watching the doe furthest from me look back, I was sure there was a 4th deer just out of sight.  No question about it that buck took me right through those deer to see if whatever it was was still trailing him.  They hung around me for about 10 minutes then fed/ walked down thru the timber and I resumed the trail.  The tracks confirmed the buck had stopped and waited just out of site and now knew those deer had seen me.  He continued to sidehill and eventually ran out of snow.  I tracked painfully slow catching a track here and there in the dirt on the steep hillside.     
« Last Edit: November 07, 2022, 05:14:24 PM by skagitsteel »

Offline skagitsteel

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Re: bottom of the 9th Blacktail- the backtracking buck
« Reply #25 on: November 07, 2022, 02:19:29 PM »
The trail became impossible to follow without snow (I managed for 1/3-1/2 mile with no snow) It was getting to be afternoon time and I decided to make my final play.  I figured the buck would do one of 2 things: 1. work back up and over the finger ridge through the snow to bed on the opposite side, or more likely stay below the snow and bed somewhere in a spot he could watch his backtrail well.  I climbed back up and worked down the finger ridge in the snow confirming did not go over the top.  Now I knew within about a mile of hillside that he had to have stopped somewhere.  I worked down and across (thermals down and slight wind my direction)  now traveling just below the snow in the exact opposite direction that I had been following the buck (Essentially I made a big loop around him).  Time was running it, it was now 5pm and it gets dark much quicker in heavy timber on a cloudy rain/ snow evening.  I tiptoed along, glassing everything.  20 minutes of light left and I can't see well anymore, I make out the faint shape of a large bodied bedded deer down in front of me and about 70 yards.  I slipped the scope cover off and there he is in the crosshairs, intently bedded and staring the other way, carefully watching his backtrail with no idea I'm behind him. I put one shot in him bedded, he got up and I put two more in him real quick, which sent him tumbling down through the steep timber like a pinball machine.  I was not disappointed when I walked up on him   

Offline skagitsteel

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Re: bottom of the 9th Blacktail- the backtracking buck
« Reply #26 on: November 07, 2022, 02:29:42 PM »
I had spent all of the time I possibly could on this hunt and had to be to work the next day, so there was no coming back in the next day with the goats or a 2nd trip.  Butchering was a challenge on that steep hillside (I had to wedge the buck above a tree for butchering).  When I almost finished boning him out, my game bag some how became un-wedged and went on a journey down the mountain without me, tossing meat out is it rolled down, down, down.   :bash: :chuckle:  I walked down collected my now empty game bag and recollected the now dirt covered meat piece by piece in the dark back up the hill.  I got every last scrap back in the bag but it took a while to clean up at home the next day! Snow was coming down and the one trip load was heavy and it was very steep. Cramp on's were on my feet until the pack hit the tailgate at 11 pm.  I was exhausted, but nothing could wipe the smile off my face.  13 days of chasing blacktail this year, 47,000 ft of cumulative elevation gain in those 13 days.  I ran myself into the ground o that hunt but gave it 100% effort because its not over until it's actually over! 

another pic of him.  He broke off two tines on his right and part of  2nd eye guard on the left, most likely from the hard tumble he took.  I didn't go back and look for them as daylight was all but gone when I walked up on him.
« Last Edit: November 07, 2022, 02:37:51 PM by skagitsteel »

Offline highside74

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Re: bottom of the 9th Blacktail- the backtracking buck
« Reply #27 on: November 07, 2022, 02:43:46 PM »
What a great story and buck.

Offline ljsommer

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Re: bottom of the 9th Blacktail- the backtracking buck
« Reply #28 on: November 07, 2022, 03:03:50 PM »
This read was worth every second. What an adventure!

Offline Griiz

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Re: bottom of the 9th Blacktail- the backtracking buck
« Reply #29 on: November 07, 2022, 03:10:23 PM »
Enjoyed your story and the effort and smarts you put in to punch your tag. Some of those old bucks sure are crafty.

 


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