Thank goodness I can sleep in now...
We've been hitting it it hard since Saturday trying to fill my wife's deer tag. Its been a really strange year with the drought and animals patterns being completely out of whack. Opening day, saw 40 does, 1 small buck too far away, too close to dark.
Sunday, saw 60 deer, 2 small bucks headed into impossible cover too far away in the morning, that evening the small buck from opening day was spotted again just at dusk and crossed the canyon to within 450 yards but my wife didn't feel comfortable with the shot.
Monday slept in, went up in the evening just as some NASTY weather was brewing up. I figured it would really stir up the critters and get them moving, and I was right. We hardly saw anything until we got to the snowline then wham, came around a corner and 30 were bedded just off the road in thick timber. We spent some time playing peek-a-boo around the trees trying to see if any had antlers when I noticed a small bunch sneak off to the side and disappear over a hill 100 yards away. Not seeing any antlers on the ones closer to us, we rode up around the hill the other ones went over and there was the small buck from the first two days standing there 60 yards away.
Wife grabbed her .243 but they took off and ran 200 yards away. She took a shot, buck fever I guess, shot just over it and it ran into some trees. We waited and after a minute it ran back out and stopped broadside at 240 yards. She hit it hard with her next shot and it went back into the trees. We could see the entire hillside around the cluster of trees so we just waited to give it time to expire. After a few minutes, I'm glad we waited as it came out the other side of the trees moving slowly. Could tell it was hit hard but it was still on its feet. Another shot... miss. Another shot... miss. Had to grab some more shells. By now it was out to 400 yards but on the next shot down he went.
By the time I hiked into it (nasty terrain) it was too dark for pictures with the storm rolling through and frankly it was just a small buck anyway. My wife was ecstatic though. She's killed more deer than both her brothers combined and she really wants to keep that streak alive
I did the gutless field dressing and packed out the quarters while she brought out the gear and loins / head.
Fun times doing it as a family. I find its more work than when I hunt for myself though, I can make the tricky shots but getting her a good shot, well now that can be hard. Normally shes a 1 shot kill but sometimes that old buckfever kicks in and rattles ya