My Greatest Bowhunts: My First Crack At Mule Deer: Part 5 Of 5

There was no need for an alarm the next morning, as I’d been awake for a
good while when it finally sounded off — it was 3:30 a.m. Rolling
out of my bivy sack in the darkness of a cold, alpine Colorado night, a star-filled sky greeted my appearance. Far in the distance the sound
of a bugling bull elk reached my ears. Oh well
— this was a BIG deer morning … I hoped.

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My Greatest Bowhunts: My First Crack At Mule Deer: Part 4

After my initial close encounter with the group of bucks, I was more determined than ever to make something positive happen from the golden opportunity that I’d been afforded. Seeing some flaws in my planned approach, I immediately started to come up with a new idea. But could I pull it off without running the bucks completely out of the country?

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My Greatest Bowhunts: My First Crack At Mule Deer: Part 2

I decided to spend some spare time glassing the rocky slopes of the mountains peaks that terminated nearly 2,000 vertical feet above the elk. I was thrilled when my glasses came upon a group of animals. I wasn’t looking at sheep, or goats, rather, a group of mule deer bucks … and one of them wore an unbelievable set of antlers! I realized that my elk hunt was temporarily over; greater opportunity was knocking — loudly!

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My Greatest Bowhunts: My First Crack At Mule Deer: Part 3

Having come into the presence of a world-class mule deer buck — along with a couple of other really big bucks — I knew that my “elk plans” needed to be quickly discarded. Every time I
looked at the buck, I was in shock — it was impossible to become even slightly accustomed to the sight of such giant rack!

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My Greatest Bowhunts: My First Crack At Mule Deer: Part 1

When I returned from my first successful bowhunt in the high country of the Colorado Rockies in 1980, I knew that I had sparked a new all-consuming passion in my soul. I could not wait to get back into such adventure the following year — the following 11 months were the longest days of my life! I’d allowed a full five weeks for this outing and I intended to spend ever available moment of that time in the backcountry.

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My Greatest Bowhunts: My First Crack At Elk: Part 5 Of 5

With arrow already nocked, I peered around my brushy hide as
five bull elk passed by at 30 yards. Quickly placing my sightpin on ribs, I set into motion an event that would forever change the way I lived my life. In a split second, my
arrow appeared on the side of the bull, buried to the fletching, right behind his shoulder … the 5×5 stood for
a short moment, then toppled over!

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My Greatest Bowhunts: My First Crack At Elk: Part 4

I spotted the group of bulls as they slowly made their way back down to their bedding area. Hiding behind a patch of
brush, I watched as the group approached my location, hopefully passing on a trail 30 yards uphill — and upwind — of my hide. Fate was now riding on my shoulders. I was strung tight!

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My Greatest Bowhunts: My First Crack At Elk: Part 2

With the strength of youth and a passion for adventure flowing through my veins, my senses were on edge — and then I heard IT — a high, piercing whistle-like sound! Slamming to a stop in the grayness of the pre-dawn morning, I stood completely still, wondering what I’d just experienced. Soon, the sound of
pounding hooves and breaking brush became apparent. Instantly freaked-out, I headed for cover myself … .

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