By William Grimes
The second day of my mule deer hunt began at dawn on Oct. 21, 2011 at Idaho's Broadmouth Canyon Ranch.
My guide, Devin Bowman, and I were situated atop one of the pristine Blackfoot Mountains which overlooked several ravines funneling together in an area known as Colt Creek.
As we glassed for big mule deer, I watched some does and a 2x2 buck feeding 800 yards away. As they grazed down the mountainside, my attention was drawn away from the deer when a cow moose and her two calves appeared. Then I spotted a bull moose, too, feeding his way up a mountain. What a sight!
They nearly distracted me from the task at hand: bringing home muley venison.
The group of mule deer I'd been watching had fed into grove of trees and had never come out, including the 2x2. When Devin returned from glassing another ridge, I informed him.
He asked me about trying to get that buck and I replied that, yes, I'd love to at least go home with meat. He said, "Let's go," and the stalk was on.
We proceeded down the mountainside, stalking and trying to keep the wind in our favor. When we reached the bottom of the ravine, we stopped to rest for a few minutes.
As Devin and I caught our breath and prepared to proceed, the 2x2 appeared only 100 yards away, on the other side of a small knob and rest time was over.
We snaked our way through the brush and trees to reach the top of the knob. Devin stopped a few yards short of the top and noticed the wind had changed direction. It was now blowing directly toward the deer.
We knew this might be our last opportunity, so we topped the hill, set up the shooting sticks and I placed my dad's trusty .270 Remington on them. I had inherited that special rifle after his passing.
Suddenly, Devin yelled. "There they go!"
They had smelled us and were running away, back up the mountain.
I picked out the 2x2 and was about to squeeze the trigger, but Devin stopped me and said, "Shoot the other one — the BIG one."
That's when I saw the bigger buck. I drew a quick bead, leading the muley's front shoulder and fired.
The mule deer abruptly hit the ground about 175 yards away, but I chambered another round, just in case I needed a follow-up shot. I didn't.
Devin started toward the buck and yelled. "He's huge!"
I looked through my binoculars and told Devin I thought it was just sage brush, not antlers. But when I approached and Devin held up the horns of my mule deer, I realized just how big it was!
We started celebrating the team effort with high fives, pats on the back, a lot of yahoos!
I sent a great big smile toward heaven and knew my dad was smiling down at me, too.
We took some pictures and prepared the buck for transport back to the lodge. We got help from guides, Jared Crezee, and Tate Sorenson (aka Stretch).
This buck turned out to be a 4x5 with an unofficial SCI score of 195 inches.
I would like to thank Devin Bowman and everybody at Broadmouth Canyon Ranch for this awesome hunting experience.