Confessions of a Mule Deer Newb- Aspect two – tinker talks guns


A single of the twins at Twin Lakes Recreation center on BLM land. Beautiful and, according to a fisherman camping there, complete of bass and perch. Photo by Jake Jacobson

We got an early start out on the second day and headed for the rough nation north of Odessa. We had a handful of fits and begins attempting to come across the region Jake was looking for, and as we drove previous a sideroad a group of 5 deer have been crossing. I saw the top couple, each does, but Jake spotted a couple of bucks as they moved off.

“I feel one particular of these is a 4-point,” he mentioned. We stopped and Jake broke out the binoculars though I got my rifle and loaded it. I walked out just after them and they stopped a hundred, perhaps a hundred-twenty 5 yards out. I cranked the scope to max and looked them more than. There have been two bucks and I situated the one particular with the biggest antlers- nonetheless not substantial, thoughts you- and took aim. It would have been effortless to drop him, but I just wasn’t certain he had the expected 3 points. When they are compact like this these damn major ears of theirs get in the way.

These have been none of them especially substantial deer perhaps 200-250lbs. In the finish I lowered the rifle and watched them. The major one particular turned and gave me a much better angle and I looked him more than via the scope once again, and about the time I decided he wasn’t a 3-point I heard Jake calling, “Don’t shoot!” I lowered the rifle as he approached and we agreed that he could possibly not be legal. We watched, not with out regret, as they moved off. In the distance they joined an additional herd, so there have been about twenty of them as they moved out of sight. Back in the truck, then, and we moved along.

Some does from the 1st day, about two-hundred yards out. An effortless shot… but not legal. Photo by Jake Jacobson

We discovered ourselves at the gates of the Twin lakes Recreation Center on BLM land and went in to have a appear. Lots of rugged, arid prairie or probably desert, no deer. We stopped at one particular of the lakes to avail ourselves of the outhouse, chatted with a fisherman who was camping on the edge of a lake and couple other hunters just before moving on. Lots of car accessible trails, but rough going.

We stopped at one particular point and looked more than a pair of forelegs from a muley, reduce off at the knees and left. The meat was nonetheless fresh at the joints, so most likely it had been taken earlier that morning. Leaving Twin Lakes we headed northwest and discovered the BLM land we had been hunting for. Best deer nation, but by then it was late for the morning hunt, so just after exploring a bit we headed back to Soap Lake to choose up our overnight gear and head household. Great timing- we weren’t on the road extended just after lunch just before a storm blew in and points have been quite nasty across the pass and into Seattle.

Much more deer we couldn’t legally shoot. I might basically make a true work to get a doe tag subsequent year we saw far more deer on this trip than I have in the final ten years west of the mountains. Photo by Jake Jacobson

So, no mule deer for me this year, but the Blacktail season is nonetheless on west of the mountains, so I’ll attempt a great deal luck on these. If I do not get one particular of these there’s Whitetail out towards Spokane subsequent month… We’ll just have to see what occurs.

I discovered a lot on this trip, not just the common approach for hunting Muleys in that region- for the reason that I am certain it is distinctive in other locations- but about what to take and how to equip for the hunt.

Due to the fact it could possibly nicely have been freezing I took my winter boots. I discovered that though these have been far more than warm sufficient and are wonderful for tromping via the snow they suck on rough ground. They just do not have the flexibility to perform nicely in the rough. Subsequent time I’ll put on combat boots and insulated socks.

I also had decided against taking my .44 Magnum revolver, but getting noticed deer at significantly less than twenty yards I feel that was a error. If you get down into the sage it is completely probable to encounter deer at quite close variety, and if I am in much better situation subsequent year (and that is the program) it is most likely I’ll be obtaining into the brush.

I had a handgun but it was a EDC piece, and totally unsuited to taking an animal this size. Jake was carrying a 4-inch .357 with heavy game loads in a chest holster, which would have performed nicely sufficient. Myself I would be far more comfy with a .41 or .44 Magnum I feel a four-five/8″ single action would be an fantastic compromise among packability and game-obtaining energy, so I’ll be on the lookout. I am not going to shorten the Abilene with the extended barrel and an optic it has it is personal location in my hunting arsenal, so it is going to remain just as it is.

A sidearm like this Ruger in .41 or .44 Magnum would be just about an excellent sidearm for this nation. Loaded with a heavy Keith bullet it ought to be up to the activity.

A handgun has an additional benefit it is illegal to have your rifle loaded in the car, but a holstered handgun can be loaded. If you have a concealed-carry permit there’s not a great deal any person can say about it, and it could be genuinely helpful.

Layers are great. I was OK in a extended-sleeve T-shirt with a flannel shirt and my hunting vest, but I had a couple far more layers with me to add on at want. Of course this is a quite great common rule for the Pacific Northwest the weathermen are much better than they employed to be, but they nonetheless have a way to go just before you can trust them with out a ‘just-in-case’ program.

A 4×4 car, as I pointed out final time, is non-negotiable. So is getting a hunting companion. Also though it is from time to time enjoyable to camp out an RV or hotel space is true good to return to at the finish of a extended day. Camping in autumn in eastern Washington is not a casual affair climate can be gorgeous or hellish, and can flip from one particular to the other with surprising speed.

I have an invite to accompany Jake once again subsequent year, and I am damn certain going to take him up on it. We had a wonderful time and saw some amazing scenery, and with a small luck subsequent time we’ll come across a thing to shoot.


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