Since my hunting partner Robbie O’Bryan had taken his mule deer buck on the first day of our hunt, the next 3 days I was going to hunt and try to take my buck. Although we saw quite a few really-big whitetails, I never had taken a mule deer. I was hoping to get my first mule deer buck at the Rosebud.
We went to South Dakota to hunt with Double K Guide Service (www.doublekguides.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, 1-605-930-2091). Robbie and I each had a tag for the Rosebud Indian Reservation to take either a mule deer or a whitetail. For my hunt, we left the area where Robbie had taken his buck and went to a new location. When we reached the region we were going to hunt, Robbie was filming, and I was the shooter. We spotted eight or nine mule deer does and two bucks coming-out of an alfalfa field, into the canyons to bed. But we saw a coyote, and the mule deer smelled it. The coyote pushed them down into the canyon quicker than we had anticipated. We were unable to get ahead of them to make the shot. Instead, we opted to get on a high point above the canyon, so we could watch them. We were trying to determine whether the bucks would stay in the canyon and bed there or work their way through the canyon and come out the bottom end of the ravine.
The mule deer came out of the canyon and one of the bucks bedded-down in an open plain. At that time of the year, the bucks were usually bedding in the small patches of cattails 30-yards long and 30-yards wide in the bottom of the canyon. This buck had bedded on the hillside rather than in the cattails, possibly, hoping to spot the coyote, if the varmint tried to sneak in to the cattails, and take down one of the mule deer. The buck was about 500-yards away from us. As we studied the terrain, we saw that we easily could stalk within 300 yards of the buck. Then the terrain flattened out, and getting any closer would be difficult. Robbie stayed on the high point with the camera to video the hunt from that vantage point. I moved down and used the terrain to get within about 200 yards of the buck. We watched each other through binoculars. Robbie saw the route that I had taken to get to the place where I thought I might get a shot at the buck. When he saw me give him a thumbs-up, he came down along the same route I’d taken and got right behind me, so he could film over my shoulder. When we got within 250 yards of the buck, Robbie set the camera up, and I started crawling toward that buck.
I knew if the buck saw me he would stand up, and I would have to take a quick shot. I knew the way my .45 caliber V2 Accura was set-up, I could make a 250-yard shot. We had a pretty good crosswind. I continued to range the buck as I crawled. When I was 207 yards from the buck, I noticed that he’d started stretching and acting like he was about to get up. Before the buck finally stood up, I went ahead and put my gun on the tripod and looked back at Robbie. He gave me the thumbs-up, indicating, that he could see both me and the buck in the video camera. Next, I readied for the shot. When the buck stood up, I squeezed the trigger. I saw the buck go down right where he’d stood up.
I really like that thumbhole stock on the .45 caliber CVA Accura Muzzleloader. I believe that the thumbhole makes the gun much easier to maneuver and much-more solid. When I squeeze the trigger, if there was recoil, I never feel it. So, Robbie and I both took nice mule deer bucks at the Rosebud Indian Reservation. What a great hunt.