Blackjack - Monster Mule Deer
The 2015 Utah hunting draws came out with the email every hunter wants to get. Success finally, on the limited entry elk permit I have been trying to draw for years. In addition a Pine Valley archery deer tag. My main focus would be harvesting a great elk. So for the next 2 months every weekend was spend scouting checking trail cams and putting feed out. But after 21 days of hunting hard every day, I realized this was not the year to draw this tag. The hunt started to early, mother nature wasn’t cooperating and way to many hunters. Half way through the hunt I met a guy (Kemp Barney) who had the same tag I did. For the remainder of the hunt all this man (who is an Army vet) wanted to do was help find me an elk. We hunted up till the last hour of the last day, but wasn’t able to get an elk to come within bow range. Thanks to Utah’s extended archery hunt, I contacted my good friend and owner of Rocky Mountain Rednecks, Steven James, to help steer me in the right direction for an elk, deer or both. So on Thursday morning we headed up the mountain in search of animals. It was obvious after seeing only deer the animal of choice was going to be a buck. We saw a few bucks early on but nothing I wanted to take. Later in the day we glassed a very nice 2 point that was worth going after. Unfortunately, after a 25 minute stalk the buck winded us and was gone.
The rest of the day was spent behind the glass without success. The alarm went off way to early Friday morning, yet still motivated, we hit the mountain just as the sun was coming up. The next 3 hours were spent glassing, but unfortunately all we saw were a lot of hunters. Later Friday evening I had a 2nd chance at the same 2 point I stalked the morning before, but shot just over his back. Turns out I am so glad I missed him. Saturday I was going to be hunting by myself as Steven informed me that hiking for 2 days on a broken foot was enough and he needed to rest it. Even with a broken foot the man is a billy-goat. The day started on a side hill glassing for deer. This morning I was amazed at the number of hunters I chose to sit and see if they would push anything to me, resulting in video of a very small spike. After the morning hunt I hiked out and found a high point to glass until the night hunt. While glassing I called my wife to let her know how the hunt was going and that I couldn’t believe all the hunters up here. She offered me her typical positive support and encouragement to go seal the deal. As I was glassing a couple of elk hunters stop and started doing the same thing. We talked while we glassed, exchanged some pics and swapped hunting stories. One of the guys located a nice 4 point pushing a doe down the draw. We all watched him for a bit, about 15 minutes later one of the guys noticed there was another buck coming along the hillside behind the other 2. And he was bigger and it looked like he had trash. As he got closer we debated “my best plan of action.” They told me to jump in my truck, drive down and sit up on a small knoll, and wait for them to come up the draw. By the time I had made it to the small knoll the deer were already in the draw below me. The buck with the trash must have winded me a bit because he turned and started back down the canyon. After ranging the only opening there was I waited for him to step out from the trees.
I think the first thing out of her mouth was see what staying persistent and positive will do for you. Next I called Steven and told him broken foot or not I needed his help capping and packing him out. I sent him a picture and he about died he called me back and said he would be there ASAP. While waiting I sent a picture to another good friend of mine Ron Elmer who also hunted the extended archery. He told me later that he got my picture while driving and when he realized what buck I had killed he almost crashed. He called me back and told me I had just killed the buck they call BLACKJACK and he was legendary. I learned this buck has been hunted for years and even sent me a picture of him in the velvet. When Steven finally arrived he confirmed it was indeed BLACKJACK. Steven also brought with him his father in law (Steve Lundy) and his uncle (Waylon Blackburn) to help with the capping and pack out. I want to thank all three of them because I couldn’t have done it without them. I would also like to thank my wife, who also bow hunts, for putting up with my hunting addiction and for always believing in me (even when I was doubtful). On the way home I met up with Ron Elmer (GameGear.com and BonedOut Production) and Kelly Cox (ivideowildlife.com) who graciously helped score BLACKJACK. Thanks Ron and Kelly. Green score 210 ¾ now I just have to wait the 60 days to have him officially scored. BLACKJACK is a buck of a life time and I will be on cloud nine for quite awhile.
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LegendCongrats again buddy. What a beautiful Muley you harvested. This buck couldn't have been taken by a better guy. Your the man Kurt. Great story!
blackjackso happy my husband was able to harvest this great buck he is still on cloud nine
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