First off thanks for all the compliments. I am going to tell my story and Brady's to my best knowledge. The only hunt I wasn't with Brady was the morning hunt he took his buck, but I will tell you what I gathered from everyone.
We flew in Tuesday and went out for that evening hunt basically to scout because we got there a little late. It was dark and we didn't see much on Day 1 afternoon hunt except Elk.
Day 2 during the morning hunt we saw 3 Mule deer bucks a little over 900 yards away with a few coyotes also in that field. We glassed them for about 10 minutes and decided to wait being so far away and so early into the hunt and with the coyotes the Mule deer disappeared into the brush pretty quick. Day 2 we saw quite a bit of Elk bulls and cows and a few Mule Deer doe it rained quite a bit that afternoon and once it quit all we saw were Elk one herd of about 15 or more.
Day 3 morning hunt we decided to split up the hunters and hit the two hot spots. Brady went to the field we first spotted the 3 bucks and I went to a field just a mile or 2 west of the Colorado/Utah border. I got to my spot right at about dawn or 15 mins prior. We walked to the top of a rather large hill overlooking 5 or 6 fields. We glassed for 10 minutes or so seeing nothing at all. We start back to the main road and a doe jumps out of the brush about 10 yards behind us so we decide to maybe just try and see where she was going even though they weren't in rut maybe we could stumble across a bachelor group feeding somewhat close to her. Nothing more than a few more doe and after a few minutes they ended up crossing into Colorado
We planned on going to the other side of the fields we were first glassing when the guide called and said Brady got one. We went to help field dress, load, and get the deer closer to the truck since it was inaccessible to a vehicle. The story with Brady’s was this. They arrived at their field they wanted to glass where we previously saw the first 3 bucks we passed on. He said as soon as he arrived there were those 3 bucks and one more bedded down right at the edge of the field. They spooked the bucks up and they started running for the hills. Brady set up on a fence post as the guide whistled to make them stop to get a look. Brady agreed and later informed me that we made the right choice by passing on the first 3 even though we glassed them at 900+ yards. However the 4th buck that joined the bachelor group was a shooter great mass and tall. Running out of time, as if the bucks had gone another 50 yards they would be in a gulley and completely out of sight. He waited patiently as the deer finally quartered away from him not a textbook situation but good enough that Brady was able to drop him in his tracks @ 150 yards.
We finished with Brady’s buck loaded it up and decided since we were running out of time with only 3 hunts left, and the weather basically ruining the 2 previous hunts, to go ahead and try and see if we could come across something for me. With no luck whatsoever we decided to go ahead grab lunch and wait until that evening to try our luck again.
That evening the wind picked up quite a bit and seemed to have absolutely nothing going in our favor. About 45 mins before dark we cam across a monster bull Elk at a little over 200 yards we got distracted with him and ended up glassing him for about 15 mins before realizing we had only 30-45 minutes of day light left.
We still wanted to set up in a field that a bachelor group of bucks had been feeding in. We rushed over to the field and headed to where we planned on setting up when about 50-75 yards out to the left there was a bachelor group of 3 bucks however at this time we only knew of 2. We spooked them before we even got a chance to see them. Now we have less than 30 minutes of daylight left and we accidentally spooked the bucks we initially planned on setting up on. With only 2 more hunts left after that night one morning and one night we obviously decided to stalk them knowing nothing except that there what we thought 2 bucks and were possibly shooters.
We speed walked/slow jogged for about a mile in the general direction of where we thought they went. We stalked for about a mile before Brady spotted them about 450 yards to our left. We walked in about 50 yards. I set up on a dead limb not high enough to stand nor low enough to kneel I was in the middle. The fact of me being half bent over and just covering a mile of ground rather quickly in about 7000 feet plus of elevation which I’m not used to mixed with a little buck fever and I could not for the life of me slow down my breathin enough to pull a shot off. We are literally in the last 10 min of legal shooting time here. I pulled back, sat up,
and calmed down my breathing and decided to switch to another tree that was layin over set it on a branch that allowed me to almost stand straight up courtesy of Brady finding it. I got him in my sights the whole time trying to spot the bigger of the 2. I prepare to take my shot when I am told wait there’s another one to the left of the last fence pole only half way out of the brush and I think he is the biggest. I got on him saw the outline of his body and rack in the field he looked like a shooter. They ranged him one last time and said he’s at 360 something yards. I was prepared to be in the situation had sighted my gun at 200 yards and already figured out my drop for 3, 4, and 500 yards just in case I had to take a long shot. I held just and inch or so over his back with the plex reticle settled in and squeezed one off. You heard the gun go off then after some delay not a thump but a smack and it was recognizable loud enough the camera picked it up from nearly 400 yards out. After the shot I set back up chambering another round just incase. There were now only 2 bucks standing and they stood there for a good 15 or 20 seconds before running off. Now all we had to do was find out if he dropped in his tracks or doubled back into the brush from a poorly placed shot. We ended up finding him right where he was standing when I shot. I actually ended up hitting him straight through the bottom of his spine and clear out the other side.