Report - Congratulations, Eli, on your first mule deer!
Posted: December 15th 2016 @ 1:50pm
Congratulations, Eli, on your first mule deer! Image

Last summer I received a phone call from Eli's mother. She was looking for someone to take her son out on smile deer hunt. He had drawn a great youth deer tag over Thanksgiving. We made the arrangements and the day quickly came around. We saw lots of deer, including a couple of really nice bucks. Eli was looking for a nice clean 4x4. We watched a big herd of does and saw different bucks pretty much every time we went out. On the evening of day 3, we saw a nice buck right at last light, but there was not enough light left to make a decision, so we held off.  

The next morning, we went back out and we're overlooking the area again and the buck from the night before came out across a clearing. Eli made the decision that he wanted to shoot. We got him set up for a shot and the deer walked into the brush. We were watching and I saw movement behind the deer. I saw a flash of brown and realized that it was a mountain lion. The lion was stalking the deer that Eli was wanting to shoot! The lion came across the clearing in a crouched run. He paused behind the brush watching the deer. We assumed that we would not see the deer again when the lion went into the brush very closely behind the deer. The wind blew the lion's scent down to the rest of the deer down below us. The deer scattered!

I made the decision to call the hunt for the morning as the lion in the main hunting area did not help us. We went to check the meadow on the way to the truck and guess what we found? The 4x4 from earlier, the 4x2 that we had seen almost every hunt, and a handful of does.  

We immediately got the sticks set up and I told Eli that if he wanted him to take him. Eli said he wanted him, so I ranged the deer at 274 yards and Eli shot. He shot high, the buck stood there not knowing what was going on. Eli shot, again shooting high. I told him where he was shooting, he adjusted his aim and the buck collapsed with the shot. We stayed on him for a couple of minutes and then went to go look at him.  

Just before we started across the meadow, the 4x2 came over and started to beat up on the 4x4 that we had just shot. By the time we worked our way over to him, the other buck had shoved him 20-30 yards down the hill and was still standing over him when we arrived.  

I believe the smile on Eli's face says the rest! We had a great time with Eli and his mother. We hunted hard and Eli got a great deer. Congratulations, Eli, on your first mule deer!

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