Dave Crozier ventured out from Ontario to BC on a combo mule deer/whitetail deer hunt in mid-November. He had hunted whitetails a lot back home but had never hunted mule deer, so he was intent on bringing one home with him.
Day 1 of the hunt started with a very vigorous hike through some of the grasslands and forests on one of the big ranches in our territory. We didn’t catch up to any bucks on this hike, but about mid-morning, I glassed a couple of bucks across the valley in some nice grassland. The deer were 2 – 3 km. away, so I couldn’t tell how big the bucks were. After our morning hike was completed, we decided to head across the valley for the afternoon hunt and have a closer look at the bucks we glassed. We hiked in above the area we had last seen the deer, and sure enough, as we crested one ridge, we could see bucks below us. It turned out to be a pretty decent 4X4, a 4X3 and a small spike buck. We looked the 4X4 over closely and after a discussion, we elected to pass on the buck and moved on to glass some more country. We saw a bunch of other deer in the next glassing location, but no decent bucks. We then elected to move back to where we saw the group of bucks and glass from there for the rest of the evening. The 4X4 had bedded on a nice ridge just below our new glassing location and looked regal laying there in the afternoon sun. Dave kept looking the buck over and commenting on how nice he looked. After about a half-hour of this, he commented that he would be happy to harvest this buck. I said it was his call, and he could take the buck or hope for a better one, as we were only on day 1. Bird in hand scenario took over, and Dave lined up for the shot. The buck eventually got up out of his bed and Dave made a perfect quartering-away shot with his .338 at 130 yards. Buck down on day 1!
We were then onto whitetails. We travelled to another large ranch in the area and started the search for a good whitie for Dave. We saw a couple deer from the road, tried rattling in one spot and did one push on a brushy draw where I had caught a glimpse of one deer in the afternoon. Two does came out but no bucks with them. We then looked at a new area that was heavily beaten-down with tracks, and hiked in and set up for a rattling sequence. I hadn’t even finished my first sequence when I caught a movement to my left. I turned and saw a very good buck literally running straight at me! I turned to confirm that Dave was on the buck, and when I saw him bringing his rifle up, I dropped the rattling antlers and plugged my ears. I was a bit ahead of Dave, but he had a safe shooting opportunity on the buck and he made the shot. He hit the buck in the throat patch at about 25 yards and he was down. We were both in disbelief at what had just happened. We were both jumping up and down, hugging each other and the adrenalin was flowing. No ground shrinkage on this buck. His G2s and G3s are both over 9 inches. Nothing like shooting a big buck in self defence!
Dave had a good trip out West and was a great hunting partner. I look forward to another adventure with Dave in the future.