Archery Mule Deer
Complete stoked to have harvested this beautiful mule deer. Finally have a moment to reflect after driving home and doing most of the meat processing yesterday. I find every hunting trip provides some sort of lesson; whether it's physical, mental, tactical - there are always struggles and challenges you can learn from. This trip was no different, but it also provided a number of "firsts" for me.
⭐️ First kill with a bow
⭐️ First velvet mule deer
⭐️ First time hunting Nevada
⭐️ First successful solo hunt
⭐️ First pack out until midnight
I've been shooting my bow religiously, training incessantly and to finally have everything come together is incredibly rewarding.
I spotted a few deer bedded from across the canyon. I would need to descend a few hundred feet and then climb another 800 feet to get to them. I worried about the wind and the thermals as the afternoon sun was slowly falling. I worried about lack of cover on the sage covered slope. I had my gear packed as I was already considering hiking out and over to another canyon so I decided to give it a go. The climb felt like it took forever in the hot sun. After an hour or so I got to a point with a landmark I figured would put me slightly above the deer, I took a quick break to catch my breath and put on my stalking shoes. I inched my way toward a small draw where I had last seen the deer, nothing. I figured I was still a little low and started heading up the steep, rocky slope, inch by inch. I looked up and to my surprise saw a velvet rack of antlers, close. Too close. I froze. I thought he had to have busted me, if not the wind, the sound. After a moment I realized I was safe, for the moment, as the wind was dicey, still headed uphill with the afternoon thermals. A quick range had me at 20 yards 😳 Closer than I've ever been to a deer on a hunt. I needed to work my way around and above him; to get the wind right and to also get a better angle for a shot. I creeped around and upward for what seemed like an eternity and eventually made it to a small clearing. If he stood up I should have a clear broadside shot from this angle. **continued below in comments**