Weapon: 300 Winchester Magnum
Distance: 202 yards
Ammo: Winchester 190gr
Outfitter/Guide: Big Buck Outfitters
We set off for Wyoming in Mid-October and made the 1200-mile trek in 2 days of driving. The lodge was just as I remembered it, spacious and comfortable. However, the bonus this time was that we would be the only hunters in camp all week and would have the place to ourselves. After sighting in our rifles and watching the Packers kill the Raiders, we talked with our guide Chris about the plans for the next morning.
He wanted to know what I was looking for in a whitetail, and I mentioned I wanted something with character like a drop tine or kicker point. He knew of just the buck and had trail camera pictured from August. The only problem was the buck hadn’t shown up during September, but he had just spotted him 3 days prior. It was right then that I decided this was the buck I wanted to hunt.
We arrived to the creek bed where he had last seen this buck at first light on Monday morning. It was in the 20s and pretty cold, despite this, some deer were out and about. Nothing of any significance, but we could see the whitetail deer hunting was going to be great. We drove the truck a few miles back and started glassing mule deer higher up in the foothills of the Bighorn Mountains. Right away we spotted a group of 4 mule deer bucks and watched them for a bit. There was a solid 4×4 that my dad liked, so we decided to pursue. Chris knew the roads well and drove us to the top of rock quarry that allowed us to sneak in from above.
Stalking was easy and in no time, we were 220 yards away from the buck, which was bedded down. My dad had been having trouble seeing through his scope and this problem happened again in the field. No matter what he did, all he could see was black in the scope. The buck stood up broadside and he still couldn’t see him. After about the 30 seconds this buck decided to walk away around the mountainside. After a short pursuit, we could not locate him, forcing us to back out and head back to the lodge for lunch.
Later that afternoon, we drove back up the quarry and found an ancient-looking 4×4 buck. He had small splits at the top and was more of a management buck. Fortunately, my dad passed. An hour later, we found the group of bucks from the morning and Chris was able to put my dad within 230 yards again. This time, using a different rifle, my dad sealed the deal and dropped this beautiful buck. When we walked up on him, we realized that he had a cheater point.
Dinner that night was fantastic and celebratory.
With my dad done on day one, the rest of the week would be focused on my whitetail deer hunting. I told myself to be patient since we would be seeing 20-30 bucks per day. The morning came and went and my buck was nowhere to be found in his normal stomping grounds. Chris decided to take us into some brushy draws a few miles away on different ranch to see if there was anything we could find. Upon arrival to our glassing spot, deer were everywhere.
We had a bobcat run in front of us and down into the draw, spooking a bunch of deer out. One of these was a solid 10-point whitetail. He was a beautiful buck and I considered taking him, but it was still so early in the week that I didn’t want to settle, despite a lot of pressure from my dad to shoot. I decided he was a day four buck and we headed back in for lunch.
The evening hunt came before I knew it and we setup on the south side of the creek bottom we had started on in the morning. Deer were everywhere and we had many small bucks in our glass. Just not the one I wanted. After about an hour, we drove around to the north side of this area and immediately found ourselves in the thick of things.
There were 5 bucks within 300 yards of us and we figured our guy would step out with them. We watched the spot for well over an hour and night was falling fast. My dad blurts out that he sees a large spike in the brush straight out from us. There had been bucks and does moving through this section earlier and I figured it was more of the same. Chris scanned over there and said “that’s not a spike, that’s him! We need to shoot him!”
I located him bedded in the brush and setup prone with my bipod. He was facing away from me at 202 yards and had 3 large branches covering his lower half. I drew a bead on his left shoulder, however, with these branches, it would be a tight shot. Unfortunately, at this time of day, the visibility in my scope was quickly waning. I began to think I gotta thread the needle and lightly started to squeeze the trigger. I wasn’t quite comfortable and backed off the pull.
Although it seemed like forever, about 20 seconds later he started to stand and was there broadside. I didn’t hesitate and dropped him where he stood right at last light. When we got down to him, he was everything I was hoping for on this trip and one hell of a first whitetail! The cheaters points made him a 12-pointer and he scored a shade over 150 inches.
Two days into the hunt and we were done! This left us some time to get some fishing in on the Tongue River while our meat was processed. The german brown fishing was fantastic!
If you are looking for good outfitted whitetail deer hunting in Wyoming, look no further than Big Buck Outfitters. They put on a great hunt on private leases that are loaded with deer and antelope. The lodge is top notch and the home cooked meals are delicious.
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