- October 6, 2018 at 2:48 pm #68868Larry GibsonParticipant
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Got back from a deer hunting trip a couple days ago. I didn’t have a tag but a good friend of mine son did. He’s a Major in the Air Force (pilot) and Oregon is his home of record. Oregon allows 10% of available tags to be given (without preference points) to active military stationed outside of Oregon. He had been regaled with deer hunting stories about the Trout Creek unit down on the Nevada Border near McDermitt, NV. My friend and I had hunted there for several years 25+ years ago so his son, now 36 years old put in for a military tag (he’s stationed at Travis AFB). There were 74 available tags with 2000 + applicants. Seven military tags were available and he and only one other put in for the military tag.
My friend and I went in 2 days before season opened and set up camp. His son came in on a flight to Travis on Thursday night and drove up to McDermitt. We met him Friday morning and made the 37 miles up into the mountains. It takes 2 1/2 hours to make that 37 miles as it gets pretty rough traveling. Camp was at 6,668 feet and the hunting area went up to 7,400 feet elevation. It got hot during the day and cold at night, as soon as the sun went down. It’s high mountain desert country with big rugged canyons. We saw only 2 other hunters that got off the road and actually hunted, most just road around on their 4 wheelers…….
Anyway, opening day he hunted an area we suggested from 0600 until shortly after 1500 when he spotted 3 large bucks; 2 4 pointers (nice deer too!) and this older 3 pointer. Older bucks regress after producing 4 point antlers to heavy knarley 3 or 2 points. He also was much larger in body than the other 2 mature 4 pointers. After dropping his day pack he low crawled through the high grass to a spot he could shoot sitting. His range finder said 304 yards but the bucks had spotted him and were quartering away. toward the next rim. His first shot from the 7mm Rem Mag (160 gr Speer at 2890 fps) hit the buck hard in the lungs but high. The buck kept running with the other 2 bucks and 2 more shots in the heart/lung area slowed him down but he kept going. A “hail Mary” shot at 600+ yards broke the bucks hind leg and he layed down. After closing the distance to about 300 yards again the buck stood back up and started to run again…..on 3 legs and with 3 shots in the lungs! A final shot to the neck put him down.
Fortunately I was able to work my jeep through the sage and rocks to the deer. It took all three of us to lift the buck into the back of the jeep. I estimate the dressed out weight to be 250+ lbs. It is the largest bodied mule deer I have ever seen. When we got back to camp the 3 of us could not get him high enough with the gimbal through its hind legs to skin it. I had to use the winch on the jeep to hoist the buck up high enough. Lots of celebrating with good whiskey and fine cigars that night. The hunt couldn’t have been any better.
A very memorable hunting trip!
- October 6, 2018 at 11:07 pm #68871JniedbalskiParticipant
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That is one very nice deer. Looks like a great hunt.
- October 7, 2018 at 8:43 pm #68872Rattlesnake CharlieParticipant
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Nice buck. Good hunt. Great memories.
- October 7, 2018 at 9:26 pm #68873Brodie BrickeyParticipant
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Beautiful heavy horned buck, your friend did very well Larry.
- January 8, 2019 at 6:03 pm #69132James NicholsonParticipant
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Wow, that is one large deer! Good job, Major.
- January 10, 2019 at 4:36 pm #69133GoodsteelKeymaster
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