Wow. What a season. I worked HARD mule deer hunting this year, put on a lot of miles, checked out some promising new spots and really didn’t have that much success…. I did get to hunt with a bunch of different friends on different hunts and that was cool, but man, I was getting frustrated. Russ must have been able to tell that I was having a hard time and last week he asked if I wanted to go in with him to his late season Idaho mule deer spot. Of course I did! I’ve been waiting on that invite for YEARS.
Here’s a rundown of our mule deer hunt:
- I was all stressed out because I was leaving my kids again to go hunt. I hate that.
- Showed up in camp early and waited for Russ and Jared to show up (Russ is always late).
- Russ had a nice base camp set up. It’s been awhile since I’ve been in a wall tent. Missed it.
- High hopes. Redemption time.
- Got up at 4:00 the first morning and sat in a blind only to watch some dude lumber up the mountain, spooking deer everywhere, cut off a buck that was coming right for me, hide in a bush and shoot it. That was….. awesome. Best thing about it is that we found out later that he knew we were there and cut us off on purpose. Cool guy.
- Later that day, Russ and I loaded up and hiked into spike camp. Watched a little bull and a good buck walk 30 yards from where we would be hunting in the morning. I would be hunting deer, and Russ was hunting elk.
- Kifaru teepees condensate. Bad.
- I needed a better sleeping bag than my 0 rated one. Tired of sleeping (I use that term loosely) cold this year.
- Still kinda stressed about leaving my kids.
- Up and in the blind an hour before light. Some deer walked by in the dark.
- Pre-drawing my bow (Hoyt Carbon Spyder) revealed a noise on my heavy coat. Gonna have to lose that when a deer comes in….
- Not long after the sun came up, here comes a BIG mature two-point. He was cool. He was good enough for me after the season I had just had. Game on!
- I missed. We won’t go into details, but it was pathetic. Really bad. Trump would call me a loser.
- So glad that wasn’t on video.
- I’m sitting there wallowing in shamed, amazement, wondering WTH just happened. Russ says “here comes a big buck and a doe…. big four point… 170” WHOA!!! Round two!
- A HUGE 6 point joins them, probably a bigger buck, but half of one side is broken off. They get closer. Russ says, “he might go 180. Get ready. DON’T MISS. Follow through.”
- I’m kinda a mess and my confidence is lacking after the two point fiasco.
- Calm myself down by the time they are about 70 yards out. Both bucks are grunting. Coming fast. Draw my bow unseen. I’m calm. I’m focused. Death mode.
- At 30 yards, Russ grunts and stops the big buck at 30 yards. I miss… threw my bow arm. Shoot high. Didn’t follow through. Tried to watch the arrow. Rookie mistake. IDIOT. Crushed. Embarrassed. Pissed.
- If the crickets weren’t all frozen husks of meat they would have been…. cricketting.
- Again, not on video. Incredibly thankful for that.
- On my knees, head on the ground. In disbelief. Russ says, “here comes another buck. A good one.” I say, “I’m done. It just doesn’t feel right. I don’t want to wound him.” He doesn’t have to work too hard to convince me to shoot.
- Draw my bow. He heard me. Damn…. but it’s ok.
- Level my bubble. Check my form. Settle in, 43 yards (Russ ranged him for me). Slightly quartered towards me. Squeeeeeeze….. a little forward but we’re good….. ahhhh, that felt awesome.
- Heard him roll down the mountain behind us. High fives. Hugs. He made it about 30 yards.
- Always amazes me how quickly a well placed arrow does it’s work.
- Mixed emotions, still shaken up over the misses, but oh so happy.
- Just wish it would have been on video….
- While I boned him out, Russ broke down camp.
- Packed out in our Krytpek Merino long johns. Temp was 19 degrees. Sweated like pigs.
- I REALLY like my EXO pack. Alot.
- Russ is tougher than me… and I’m pretty tough, but in my defense I jacked up my knee pretty bad last weekend. Still, he’s tougher than me. Damnit.
- Leaky waders suck.
- Haunted by the vision of that 180″ buck at 30 yards. Arrow missing it’s mark the whole hike out.
Bowhunting is a game of inches. Details. Capitalizing on opportunity.
- Luckily for me, God kept sending them down the mountain.
- Happy to hug the kids when I got home.
What an incredible way to end a hard, hard Idaho late season. Thanks a ton Russ. I appreciate it more than you know.
Thanks to my friends and family for helping out along the way with a tough season. Let’s do’er again next year! (except better)
by Cory Glauner