By Tyler Vickrey
-- November 14, 2008, is a date I will never forget. It was the morning of my first whitetail hunt in northeastern Washington state with five of my best friends. I usually hunt mule deer with my dad near our homes in the little town of Leavenworth. Dad and I hadn’t had any luck during the regular mule deer season, so my good friend Cory Lancaster invited me to his ranch to try my luck in the late season for whitetails.
The Thursday we arrived at our hunting destination, we spent the remainder of the day in two-man groups scouting for sign. After finding fresh scraps and tracks on a ridge, I was determined to hunt there the following morning.
The morning of the 14th, my friends and I split up and left on foot from the little farm house where we were staying. I walked uphill along the edge of a wheat field, trying to find a good place to drop down into the woods. I got to the end of the field and eased down into the thick forest. I snuck down a deer trail for about 40 minutes before I reached a small opening where I could take a rest.
With my gun off my shoulder, I noticed motion in the brush about 70 yards below. The woods were so thick that I couldn’t make out whether it was a buck or even a whitetail. I decided to crawl 15 yards down the slope to get a better view. Once in position I began to look for the animal again.
I waited the longest two minutes of my life. My heart was pounding and my stomach felt like it was in my throat when a whitetail buck finally appeared in an opening. It looked at me and realized it was in trouble, but it was too late. I pulled the trigger and claimed my first whitetail, a bruiser 10-pointer. It was one of the best days of my life.
Editor’s note: Tyler said he had his buck scored, and it is tied for 21st for all-time B&C typicals in the state of Washington.
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