Back Country Mule Deer - Mike McCall
Grandfather's 1963 Willys CJ-5; holding onto the roll bar, and looking for bucks. A Zone hunting season was definetly my favorite time of year. I never missed a weekend hanging out, and learning everything about the outdoors. As I grew older; I carried on this tradition with a passion. The first thing my Grandfather would ask when he saw me was "BEEN HUNTING?" Then I'd share all the pictures and stories.
This last May, my Grandfather passed away. I set a goal to shoots as a good buck in the back country with him watching over me. While I trained for this adventure; I kept visualizing the rack of my buck spread out either side of my pack while I was skylined on top of a mountain. It brought tears to my eyes everytime I thought about it.
I knew this hunt was going to be mentally and physically demanding and of course I was right. The physical part started early as my camera man had both soles of his shoes come off and got altitude sickness on the pack in. Knowing my camera guy was in trouble; it was obvious this hunt wasn't going to last long; so the panic had started to set in. Luckily early in the hunt I spotted two good bucks together feeding, and wasn't gonna waist any time deciding if I was going to make a stalk or not.
My camera guy was basically walking on slippers at this point; so he stayed back as I went on the stalk. I had marked a leaning dead tree as my goal spot that would put me within 30 yards from the willows that the bucks were bedded in. I took my pack off just before I reached the dead tree and snuck in. As I got close I heard hooves thump the ground and saw the two hind ends of the bucks trot uphill through the willows. I had no idea that the branches of the willows were so thin where I could get busted. By the way the bucks trotted off; they didnt seem too spooked. So I decided to get a vantage point just on the other side of the willows and climb on a barrier of rocks that was just on the other side. As I climbed up the rock wall; I heard the sound of hooves again. I looked up above me and there was this big buck slowly going up hill. Just before the buck got out of sight he stopped and looked down towards me. The terrain was straight up and down so I'm sure he was further away, but my range finder said 52 yards so I trusted it and let my arrow fly. The arrow almost seemed like it was in slow motion as I watched it hit it's mark that put the buck down within 20 yards from that spot. As I approached this awesome animal; my emotions kicked into high gear. I layed down right next to him looking into the sky in total disbelief of what had just happened. When I finally got back to camp after packing this trophy out; there was this beautiful sunset that seemed to be pointing it's last rays right at me. It brought to life the visual goal I'd had in mind all summer. That's when I yelled to the sky out loud to my Gramps "WE DID IT!"
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Great area and video!The Credtone Trail in CO is the place to go for back country mule deer. Nice buck.
high country hogAwesome video and story Mike. I enjoyed watching all of your videos thanks for sharing, Keep on hunting.
Mike McCallGreat story Mike.. I loved watching this video because I know how much your grandfather means to you..& I know he's so proud of you & smiling down.. & every time you go hunting you know he's right there with you..
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