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What an awesome hunt. Beautiful rugged country that left me 158 pounds soaking wet. I'm sure glad I got into good shape, as the mountain did not win this particular battle.

We backpacked in over six miles 4 days early to scout and were met with some of the worst weather in years (according to locals). Rain, Lightning, hail, sleet, and yes......3" of snow! My hunting partner's (Fred) tent caved in from the hail, so opening morning we had to hike out for supplies! Not to worry, it was socked in with zero visibility. We got supplies and headed back in the next morning to clear skies. Sooooooo, our hunt finally started Sunday afternoon.

After several NICE bucks spotted in the week and a few blown stalks from too many deer in the area, my luck began to change....well, sort of. On Thursday, Fred and I hiked into a remote basin and saw 41 different bucks from the ridgeline. That's when disaster hit! My camera case (carrying my Panasonic FZ-20) came loose and rolled 100 yards down a cliff. When I finally managed to get to it the entire frame was cracked in half! I was heart-broke. Good thing Fred had a small 35mm camera as a back-up.

After recovering emotionallly from the camera :embara: , I found several good bucks bedded near the 12,600' level. I hiked above them and snuck to 31 yards of a beautiful 195" bedded typical in velvet. I sat there for 20 minutes trying to figure out how to get him to stand until the wind changed and he blew out. That's when a 27" main frame 3x3 with matching cheaters (6x6 counting eye-guards) came out of his napping tree and gave me a good opportunity. I sent an arrow through him and he went down rather quickly. He's an old buck (teeth worn bad) and probably down-hill. He should net enough to make P&Y as a 3-Point, even with deductions! He grosses around 158" with 24" main beams and inside spread.

The next day we were in the same basin packing out the rest of my meat, when I spotted a nice 24" typical with short mains in the bottom of a steep canyon. I gave Fred hand signals and got him right on the bedded buck. It was awesome to watch Fred send a perfect arrow through the lungs of a trophy buck. NOW the work REALLY began. We packed out both boned bucks, capes, and antlers to trailhead the next morning. The cool weather made it ideal to hang the boned meat in game bags overnight. This is Fred's best buck to date. With only 17" main beams, the buck still nets 163" P&Y. Had he had 24" main beams like mine, he'd be just shy of 180".

We saw elk, sheep, moose, coyote, marmots, pica, and some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. We also both came home with some VERY hard earned bucks, which made my aching legs and feet feel much better. Hope you enjoy.

My Buck:





Fred's Buck:



Packing them out:

 

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Great story and Congratulations on 2 nice Muleys.
 

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Great story and pics. I have wanted to do a high country mule deer for a long time. You have rekindled the flame. I will be hunting the eastern plains of Colorado in December for mule deer. It will not be the same but hopefully a close second.
 

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Fat Jesus
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Nice

Great deer & story man...Congrats on both of them.
I'm leaving Kentucky in a couple of hours and driving out to Denver, CO.
Not gonna get to do any hunting though...We're thinking about moving out there and the wife has an interview on Thurs..Hope I atleast see some big ones on the road.
 

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good job guys, nice story
 

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Great recap. Sounds like an awesome hunt! Congrats on the nice mulies.
 

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Altitude?

Seriously, what altitude did you shoot these bucks? You and your buddy are in the middle of scrub oak, which is about 8500' give or take. At 12,600, you'd be 1000' above tree line and would be lucky to find a plant taller than six inches struggling to survive in the shade of a boulder. Also, you talk of a napping tree that your buck came out of - impossible at 12,600 as there are no trees.
 

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Smilin' Bob
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elksniper said:
Seriously, what altitude did you shoot these bucks? You and your buddy are in the middle of scrub oak, which is about 8500' give or take. At 12,600, you'd be 1000' above tree line and would be lucky to find a plant taller than six inches struggling to survive in the shade of a boulder. Also, you talk of a napping tree that your buck came out of - impossible at 12,600 as there are no trees.
Those are alpine willows...and its amazing how stubborn an old stunted and twisted spruce tree can be.......:rolleyes:
 

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Regardless, that is no where near 12,600'. There is a full, healthy evergreen in the background.
 

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Darn good stuff! I'd be sending my story to Eastman's as we speak.
 
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