Mule deer 2022

nhenry

Handloader
Feb 7, 2022
581
984
This was all posted to Hunt Talk, so I'm going to copy and paste with timestamps.

2 Dec. 2022:

I left for NWK at like 6:00 last night. Got here at 12:30 mountain time. I set my alarm for 5:00 and shut it off when it went off because I was tired as hell still. So I actually got to the field around 9:00.

Day 1:
Of all the starting days I’ve had, this one takes the cake for being the worst one… but oddly enough I’m not discouraged.

It was friggin windy. 70mph gusts. A big ol haboob went right over me for a couple hours. A fire was burning the countryside 2 miles away. Very little animal sightings.

Darn it, the day just had a bad night and took it out on me.

After hiking for a couple miles, I glassed up a water trough (one of those big roundies used for cattle) and two pronghorns were drinking from it. One was inside of it, which made me chuckle. I watched them for about 10 minutes because it’s been several years since I’ve seen one.

All throughout today I’ve seen lots of signs that deer are there, but I only saw one deer the whole time and she was stotting away from me bumping her. The area is beautiful, very good for mule deer. Maybe the wind kept them down.

Like a darn dummy I left my snacks in the car so I went without food today. Luckily I had a big breakfast. I’m hungry.

Pics:
(The pics make the ground look flatter than it is)
5FE07268-20B1-4ECB-AE19-2CE219995CB3.jpeg
E450B3FE-19B7-4337-8098-CE202E4FA3F3.jpeg
22627366-4518-42CF-9C4A-E37A96C1ED38.jpeg
94268A91-A1E0-4E87-984D-99594C6798FA.jpeg
593C3897-32D1-4A75-9E82-95D7E98CD730.jpeg
66CD5A56-5361-4D99-9800-0A31C0B91C7D.jpeg

3 Dec. 2022:

Day 2:
Second verse, same as the first, but with my dad and cold instead of wind and less pronghorn.

My dad, an experienced Kansas muley hunter (literally told me that he’s never mounted any because guys around him called 180s small), joined me and really taught me a lot of what I was missing.

There was a sh*t ton of sign we found, a lot of which was fresh in the last day, but no deer at all today. Don’t know where they disappeared to. The sheer size of the place (16 thousand acres of uninterrupted land) had to have something on it.

Saw some greater prairie chickens. Have a license for them but forgot my 22.

Got in about 8 miles of hiking (again) and came back early. Our legs were all stove up as soon as we got out of the car back at the house.

I’ve come to my conclusion:
Mule deer are a myth invented by Hunt Talk.

Obligatory pic:
C93FC55B-5D1F-4014-812B-FAC1AD6B3AED.jpeg

4 Dec. 2022:

Guess what gang?
It’s time for day 3:

Lots. Of. Deer. It was beautiful out today. No wind, 44°. I was in a t-shirt.

My dad and I went to a Kansas-owned area this morning and on the way, we saw a big pronghorn buck. Good sign.

When we got there, we were immediately greeted by two muley does crossing the road. Also a good sign.

Driving into the property, I saw a forky whitetail chasing a mule deer doe. Guess he likes em big.

Met some guys who told us there was a herd of 19 does with a pretty decent muley in it over yonder, so we thanked em and headed that way.

When we got to the northern edge of the property, we saw a big deer a half mile away, so we stalked within 200 yards of it. I got it to stand and realized it was just a huge doe. Probably would have shot it if I realized it was a whitetail. That was a lot of meat. I let it pass though.

On the way back, a little too late, we saw a deer off the road. I glass it up and it was a HUGE whitetail buck, but it only had one antler. That one antler had 5 tall tines. So I tried to sneak my way onto the property. It was already alerted to my presence though so it scampered off. Big ol friggin deer.

But I’m going home empty handed for now. Next weekend I’m hunting with my buddy where we’ve both killed decent bucks, albeit whitetails. Maybe a muley’ll step out.

I’m ecstatic about today. Didn’t even need something. I saw about 20 deer.

Didn’t take any pics today. Too much action. Here’s a picture of Matthew:
5FDAA96D-00AE-43EB-9268-44C5EF18451A.jpeg

7 Dec. 2022:

An update to all this, sorta:

I’m helping my buddy tag out this weekend, but on sunday I’m hunting with my uncle for me. Got some permissions today so I’m keeping my hopes up. If not, tag soup’s on the menu.

Wish me luck.

10 Dec. 2022:

If only I could get myself a deer. My buddy’s pretty happy after the 30 minutes we spent hunting this morning lol

Hammers worked very well. He’s now killed more deer with my rifle than I have.

My uncle who I’m hunting with tomorrow has seen a couple dandies this morning:
1EBADC91-A202-4463-B52C-8FDB480BAAC2.jpeg
3DD689A5-6DF0-4189-BCDC-AAEFF339D9FC.jpeg
 
Last edited:
11 Dec. 2022:

well that was a dud

I’m just kidding.

Smashing success.
C553D601-13EE-4570-9C91-2E133A3F3943.jpeg

We were out for about an hour and a half this morning. Saw a giant on some land that we didn’t have permission on… rats.

Then went to this parcel and looked into the gully and I spotted 5 does. Uncle decides to move forward to see if we can draw any out that were hiding along the face that we couldn’t see. That worked. More and more does piled in.

So I crept forward to see if there were more that would show themselves and two bucks popped out. This one and a 2x2 forky.

Had to get my composure under control and then took a frontal shot using yucca as a rest at 235 yards. Nailed the heart. Down right there, first time ever.

418B0831-736E-4AC4-8B37-F5A6547ABD90.jpeg

The Hammer Hunter didn’t do any meat damage whatsoever and my uncle was very impressed with that. I think he’s thinking about converting to em after that.

64D574B6-1FB7-459B-B4EE-86E37CBEDF62.jpeg

The deer had a broken tine which made me want him more. Has a history behind it.

This was fun.

Other pics:
406541D7-6049-4138-93B2-D63316ED6293.jpeg
42A38A49-C04E-4F23-ABDD-FD12D6AABC92.jpeg
86F4D040-B2A7-42BE-A2FF-56C90E270F34.jpeg
 
I was right there with you. Beautiful buck. You earned the right to invite him to dinner with you. Congratulations. I grew up in KS and never saw a deer until I was married and moved away to TX. I am proud of the state for what has been done to encourage the deer population. Again, congratulations on a fine buck.
 
I was right there with you. Beautiful buck. You earned the right to invite him to dinner with you. Congratulations. I grew up in KS and never saw a deer until I was married and moved away to TX. I am proud of the state for what has been done to encourage the deer population. Again, congratulations on a fine buck.
Thank you!

Kansas' whitetail population is booming, but the mule deer herd is at around 20% of what it was 3 years ago because of drought, CWD, blue tongue, poaching, etc. It'll come back as it always does, but it's been suffering lately.

I was fortunate enough to hunt this certain patch of ground where the pressure was way down. I'm very thankful for the opportunity and I'm thankful to the animal for feeding my family for the next year. I never do mounts but this one is deserving of it.
 
Congratulations on your successful hunt. Nice buck! What rifle caliber and load did you use?

JD338
 
Very nice. I very much enjoyed the read and the pictures. Congratulations on a well earned buck!

But you people talk funny. I on the other hand am of course properly learned in country slang. :p What the heck is a haboob? :LOL:
 
big ol dust storm. It's just a funny word so I use it :LOL:

Ha. In my community sometimes it's a exercise in verbal gymnastics to communicate. They have a word for everything except the actual word. Neighbor of ours called my Dad and said, say, can I borrow your fire hatchet? My Dad said what? Your fire hatchet. My what? Your fire hatchet, your torch!
 
Back
Top