New Mexico Mule Deer(very long winded)

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heritage14
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New Mexico Mule Deer(very long winded)

Post by heritage14 » Fri Oct 25, 2013 6:57 am

New Mexico Mule Deer Trip

I'll start off by explaining who everyone is to make this understandable.
Brandon = good friend
Danelle = Brandon's mom
Leland = Brandon's dad
Kenny = Brandon's brother
Bobby = outfitter
Junior = Bobby's client

Earlier this year Brandon mentioned about putting in for a deer hunt where his parents live in New Mexico. Statistically we had very low odds of being drawn, but I got lucky and pulled a tag. After it was all said and done the license and permit was right around $400. We started to make travel arrangements, and got all of our stuff lined up. Three weeks ago Brandon's work tells him he has to cancel his vacation and has to go to Guatemala. He tells me he's going to have Kenny take me around since he can't go now. Kenny works cattle on all the public land that's in the unit I'm hunting. Thinking things were going to go smooth from this point another curveball is thrown. Kenny's boss is coming to town and he is going to have to work cattle the whole time. Arghhh! Brandon talks to his Dad and he now agrees to help me get a deer.

The flight out was uneventful and I arrive in to Amarillo about 20 minutes late. Leland & Danelle are waiting for me in the cell phone lot and in no time I'm in their car. We stop for lunch, fill our bellies, and start our drive to New Mexico. We stop at Russell’s truck stop where we get off the highway. It has a cool car museum filled with classics and memorabilia from the 50s to the present. The rest of the drive was smooth.

The hunt doesn't start until Saturday morning, so we plan to help Kenny gather several pastures of cattle on Friday. Leland tells me that the best way to scout is on horseback and he's right. So Thursday night we get the saddle fitted for me on the horse they're putting me on. Friday morning is an early start, we load up the horses, and are on our way right around 5:30. We meet up with Kenny, Scott, & Carla and load our horses into their trailer. Around 6:40 we are at our starting point, and we get to work. It's fairly easy riding, and the cattle were cooperating. The only thing that sucked was a front moved in and brought 40 degree temps and 25-30 kt winds. We covered a little over 6 miles and I only saw one deer. He was a biggun though, very heavy horned just not really wide. Nothing else really happened that day. We fed some cattle on Leland's land and called it a night.
Saturday the hunt began. This morning just like every morning Leland cooks a breakfast fit for a king. I walk outside to start the truck and the driver side rear is flat. We take care of that and are out to the hunting grounds a little after daybreak. We glass some sand hills and put our feet to the dirt. He leaves me after 3/4 mile to go get the truck. I'm slowly creeping up on every high point and glassing. He was supposed to meet me at a set of cattle guards in an hour or so. I see him on the road flashing his lights so I put the glasses on him and he's waving me down. I figure its important so I make my way to him as quickly as possible. Upon arriving he tells me Moses, Kenny's ranch hand, spotted a decent buck. We drive to where he is and he tells me where he last saw it. It was feeding with a doe and they dropped over a tall hill a little over a mile away. I started to hoof it to their last known location. I was staying down in the draws and occasionally popping up to glass in case there was another that wasn't seen. I got to the base of the hill they were last seen on and slowly started my way up. The hill had a step in it about 30 yards below the top. Unbeknownst to me the doe and buck were bedded down on this step. The doe busted me first and the buck stayed laying in some sage brush. As I was pulling up the gun they busted out and left for Arizona. Whew!! First morning three hours into it I had an opportunity. This is going to be a great hunt. Unfortunately the rest of the day was spent glassing does and lots of walking.

Saturday night Bobby calls and tells us where he saw a massive 2x2, but his client was looking for something a little better. I was content with looking for him in the morning, so our plans were set. Sunday morning we pulled up to where the 2x2 was last seen and started to glass. We never found him but we saw several does a little over 1.5 miles away. We put a stalk on them hoping we would find a buck mixed in. Several hours went by while we watched them and a buck never showed. We ended up backing out without spooking anything with plans to come back later in the day. We checked a few more areas, I did a lot more walking/glassing, but never found any bucks.

That afternoon we went back to hillside where the 2x2 should have been and he was there. He was HUGE! We were looking at him from nearly 700 yard and could see horns without glasses. Wind was perfect and I had tons of cover, so I started the stalk. I was comfortable with any shot within 300 yards and knew where I had to go. It took a little over a half hour to get where I needed to be....and the !#!####$@ wind switched. WTF! Busted again. It was late enough to where it wasn't worth staying for 20 minutes left of light, so we headed back to the ranch.

About 830 that night Bobby called and said he found the bachelor group of bucks that had the monster with them. He said that they were all big, but one was truly exceptional. His problem was that they were on Leland's property. He asked for permission, but Leland told him no. It was a ploy(I didn't know) since Danelle was in the room, and she's adamant about no one hunting their land.
Monday morning came and we were out early looking for the group of bucks. I found 2 and a doe out on a hillside almost immediately. We watched them for close to a half hour from the road trying to figure out how to get to them when Bobby comes driving down towards us. We flag him down and walk over to him to talk. Leland hits him with a proposal that came out of left field.


Bobby's client wants the big buck bad, really bad. Yeah I want to kill good deer, but in reality I'll be satisfied with anything. So Leland says, "Bobby, I'll give your client permission to hunt my land for one day if you get Adam a shot too." Bobby says "let me talk to my client." His client, without hesitation, agreed. We develop a plan to approach these guys, and start our stalk. We realize that there isn't going to be an easy way to get to them. We walk back to the truck to get a days worth of supplies. We begin our second approach around 7:45. Leland drove us to a feed trough, and that was as far as he could take us. From there Bobby went to work. We covered a lot of ground and he kept popping up the hills to keep tabs on the deer. Since he's never been on this particular piece of land we did a lot more walking than we needed. He wanted to take his time and do it right. The wind was swinging from the east to the north to make things that much more complicated. Minutes turned to hours and ground covered was becoming miles. Slowly but surely we were gaining ground working on a good position.

As we were getting close to them Junior asks me again, "are you ok with me taking the big one?" I reassured him saying "yes I'm ok with any of them." They were all very good deer after all. Meanwhile the deer have bedded back down on a sand hill. Leland can see them through his spotting scope, but we can't find them. We keep popping up to glass but we've lost them. We pop up on our last hill, and you can see the frustration in Bobby's face. He knows that we are very close, but thinks they must have been in a drainage. We cautiously walk around the hill and the monster stands up 80 yards behind us. Wtf! The hill had a step in it and they were bedded down on the bottom side.

The next 30 seconds seemed like an eternity.
Bobby, "Junior get on your sticks. "
Junior, "I'm ok I'll freehand it"
Bobby, "are you sure?"
Junior, "yes, I'm fine."
Bobby, "Adam get on your sticks and get ready. Junior shoot when ready."
Boom! He throws one over the big ones back. He cycles his bolt, and squeezes again. Click! After the click they all stand up and I have the next biggest lined up. Bobby, not wanting to lose the big one says "shoot the one on the left." I swing and drop him. The smaller breaks out and Junior takes him down on the run.

This was incredible!!

Junior is disappointed and trying to figure out what went wrong. After all was said and done he didn't pull his bolt back far enough to pick up a bullet. I can't believe how everything went down and how fast it all happened. Since it was private land, if Leland had no firearms or hunters he could drive out to the deer and pick them up. We did our photo shoots, gutted them, and loaded them up. We then took them to Bobby's to cape and skin them. From there headed back to Leland’s to quarter mine and hang it for the night.
The hunt was over. Of all the scenarios I could think of prior to coming out here. I never dreamt anything like this was going to happen.

I'm truly blessed to have had the opportunity.


Image

Bobby with both deer
Image

Spirit
Image

Poor horse
Image

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treefarmer
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Re: New Mexico Mule Deer(very long winded)

Post by treefarmer » Fri Oct 25, 2013 9:07 am

heritage14,
Great story! Those are some big deer compared to Florida deer. I got tired just readin' the story, all the walkin' y'all had to do. That wasn't a hunt for an ol' man with bad knees and an arthritic hip :crip .
How do you get your venison home when you fly out west like you did?
Treefarmer

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heritage14
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Re: New Mexico Mule Deer(very long winded)

Post by heritage14 » Fri Oct 25, 2013 11:18 am

I took the meat to a processor. They will mail it back to me whenever they are through, and I pay them. Figure about a $1/lb plus shipping costs.

I have been saving up for this trip since May when I found out I got drawn.

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9dawgs
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Re: New Mexico Mule Deer(very long winded)

Post by 9dawgs » Fri Oct 25, 2013 11:42 am

Dang, That's a couple of nice mulelys! Good story. Glad you had the opportunity and it turned out successful! :toast
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bellyacher
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Re: New Mexico Mule Deer(very long winded)

Post by bellyacher » Sat Oct 26, 2013 11:29 pm

very nice mulie. good times and great memories. You having him mounted? I sure would
Be polite, be professional, BUT have a plan to kill everybody you meet

born2hunt
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Re: New Mexico Mule Deer(very long winded)

Post by born2hunt » Sun Oct 27, 2013 12:48 pm

Thats an awesome buck man, I bet the other guy is wishing he had swallowed his pride and got on those sticks. Nice job on a cool hunt.

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Re: New Mexico Mule Deer(very long winded)

Post by DaveT » Sun Oct 27, 2013 1:14 pm

Awesome work there.....great pics....
http://WWW.TampaTaxidermy.com

Sometimes I wake up Grumpy.....but mostly I just let her sleep....

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Iluv2hunt
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Re: New Mexico Mule Deer(very long winded)

Post by Iluv2hunt » Sun Oct 27, 2013 3:55 pm

Very nice!
I don't hunt turkeys because I want to, I hunt them because I have to. ~Colonel Tom Kelly

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Reaper
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Re: New Mexico Mule Deer(very long winded)

Post by Reaper » Mon Oct 28, 2013 4:10 pm

sweet

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heritage14
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Re: New Mexico Mule Deer(very long winded)

Post by heritage14 » Tue Oct 29, 2013 5:32 am

He's getting mounted for sure. We drove him to H & H processing in Springer and the taxidermist(Cold Creek Taxidermy) is right next door to the processor. Bobby highly recommended her along with his client. Between the two of them they both have a few mounts done by her. She's very proud of her work, but she's got you by the short hairs once you get there. In the region I was in there's not many who will ship back to your state, or they are a significantly farther drive.

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Re: New Mexico Mule Deer(very long winded)

Post by sam03 » Tue Oct 29, 2013 8:18 am

Great story! Cant wait to see it on the wall!
I like animals, they are tasty!

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