Date: 9/30/2013
Location: The Huntin' Daddy - California Icon

Weapon: 7mm Remington Magnum
Distance: 232 Yards
Outfitter/Guide: None
Score/Size: 2 x 2

The Huntin' Daddy - Mule Deer

Mule Deer


This was the hunt that started it all. Basically the only reason I went on this hunt was to keep my dad from heading into the mountains by himself, although I was really intrigued about game hunting. We drew a decent tag in California, X8 so we knew giung in that we had a good spot. We started up the mountain at daybreak and quickly spotted 3 deer running away from us. One appeared to be a nice buck but with them moving quickly and to the east into the rising sun, it was impossible to get a bead. We slowly started moving up the mountain again when we spotted 3 does on the ridgeline. They trotted away without being spooked. After they moved on, we got up and crested the ridge, immediately below us 100-200 yards out we are welcomed by 4 bucks and 5 does. In this group are two 4×4 bucks , and forked horn, and further away a spike. We absolutely had them dead to rights! All we had to do was setup and shoot. Unfortunately, my dad got buck fever and started blasting away. The deer spread in all directions. I was tracking a buck through my scope (which was a cheap piece of junk) and thought I was still on one of the 4x4s. I could tell it wasn’t the spike and squeezed the trigger. I didn’t even see him go down as I was free standing and the rifle kicked. After the shooting gallery cleared up, my dad drew no blood and I tracked the forked horn to his final resting place. Being new to hunting, I had no clue what an ethical shot was and in hindsight, I sure didn’t take one. A 230-yard shot, free standing, and the deer on the run. Never would I take this shot again and I am thankful that it worked out for me. While this was a special day, my first deer, I always look back thinking about how it could have been an epic day had we settled in for easy 125-yard shots and dropped two 4×4 bucks side by side. We had a short drag back to the car where we were met by California Fish & Game who had heard all the noise. The warden was super cool and excited for me getting my first buck. He took off his jacket, grabbed his knife and helped skin and quarter the deer.